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Microsoft KB Archive/106276

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Knowledge Base

WFWG Err Msg: The 32-Bit File System Is Incompatible...SUBST

Article ID: 106276

Article Last Modified on 10/6/1999


  • Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11

This article was previously published under Q106276


If you enable 32-bit file access and you use the MS-DOS substitute command (SUBST), one of the following symptoms occurs when you start your system:

  • Your system stops responding (hangs) at a black screen after displaying the Windows for Workgroups logo.

  • You receive the following error message:

    The 32-bit file system is incompatible with the SUBST utility. To use 32-bit file access, do not use the SUBST utility before starting Windows for Workgroups.


The SUBST utility from MS-DOS allows you to substitute drive letters for directory names. This method of redirection is incompatible with 32-bit file access. When IFSMGR.386 detects SUBST, it prevents 32-bit file access from loading to protect against data loss.

IMPORTANT: It is important to note that 32-bit file access is disabled for all drives, not just the substituted drive.


This error message is by design.

If you use 32-bit file access, you cannot use the SUBST command. To use the SUBST command, you must first disable 32-bit file access.

Note that the following message is displayed if SUBST is used in an MS-DOS virtual machine (VM) with 32-bit file access enabled:

Cannot SUBST a network drive

This error message appears regardless of whether you are using a stand- alone machine or one on a network.

Additional query words: 3.11 vfat 32-bit blue screen

Keywords: KB106276