Microsoft KB Archive/171651

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Running a Batch or Command File from Windows NT Explorer Fails

Article ID: 171651

Article Last Modified on 10/31/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q171651


When you try to run a .bat or .cmd file from Explorer or by using the Run command on the Start menu, you see a command window open and then close immediately. If you could read the message it would say:

This command is not recognized as an internal or external command.

The .bat or .cmd file will work fine if you open a command prompt window, go to the directory, and run the file.


The .bat or .cmd file is located in a directory that has one of the following characters in the directory name or a parent directory name:

   @ & ^ ( )

NOTE: If you use the Run command on the Start menu, the at symbol (@) does not cause this problem.


Change the parent directory name so that it does not use one of those characters.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 4.0. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

Additional query words: VDM dosapp prodnt

Keywords: kbprb KB171651