Microsoft KB Archive/101925

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_DEFAULT.BAT Does Not Exist in Windows NT

Article ID: 101925

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q101925


In Windows NT, when a user starts an MS-DOS application, the _DEFAULT.PIF file is called to create the virtual machine environment for the MS-DOS application. The program filename that _DEFAULT.PIF calls is _DEFAULT.BAT. _DEFAULT.BAT does not exist as a physical file. It is a dummy variable used as a placeholder to allow _DEFAULT.PIF to be saved. The MS-DOS executable file is substituted for _DEFAULT.BAT by the operating system.

_DEFAULT.PIF should not be manually executed from anywhere inside Windows NT. The _DEFAULT.PIF file will be automatically used for MS-DOS applications that do not have a specific PIF file. If _DEFAULT.PIF is executed from File Manager, the following error message appears:

"Invalid program file name, please check your PIF file."

If changes are made to _DEFAULT.PIF, they will be used when MS-DOS applications without PIFs are started under Windows NT.

Additional query words: wfw wfwg prodnt

Keywords: KB101925