Microsoft KB Archive/103167

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SYSEDIT Err Msg: Cannot Open This File


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows versions 3.0, 3.0a, 3.1, 3.11
  • Microsoft Windows for Workgroups versions 3.1, 3.11

NOTE: SYSEDIT is an undocumented text editor that ships with Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Product Support Services does not support this tool.


If you run SYSEDIT in Windows, you may encounter one of the following error messages:

  • Cannot open this file (in Windows 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups 3.1)


  • Can't open the file: <filename> (in Windows 3.0 and 3.0a)

Also, it is possible that the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files displayed may not be the ones that are actually used to boot your machine.


This problem can be caused by the following:

  • You are booting from a drive other than C.
  • Your files were saved in format other than ASCII.
  • One or more of your files is too large to be edited in SYSEDIT. For example, you may receive errors saying AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, or WIN.INI cannot be opened if your WIN.INI file is larger than 40 kilobytes.


If you boot your machine from a drive other than C, edit the appropriate AUTOEXEC.BAT and the CONFIG.SYS files using a text editor other than SYSEDIT (for example, Microsoft Windows Notepad).

If your boot files are on C:

  • Ensure the files are saved in ASCII format.


  • Ensure the files are not too large to be edited in SYSEDIT.


SYSEDIT looks only in the root directory of drive C when trying to open the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files. If you boot your machine from a floppy disk, or if the CONFIG.SYS file contains a drive letter swapping program (for example, SWAP.COM from STAC Electronics), SYSEDIT may generate one of the above error messages or display the incorrect AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files.

Additional query words: 3.00 3.0 3.0a 3.00a 3.10 3.1 syseditor sysedit.exe ANSI editor system configuration

Keywords :
Issue type :
Technology : kbAudDeveloper kbWin3xSearch kbWFWSearch kbWin300 kbWin300a kbWin310 kbWin311 kbWFW310 kbWFW311

Last Reviewed: October 14, 1999
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