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The system cannot execute the specified program.
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For those saying it’s not being found; it is being found or else they would be asking this instead. – Synetech Sep 1 '12 at 23:29

This error means that either the file/program is corrupt or the environment in which it is running is not correct. File corruption is the most common cause.

Since in this case, corruption should not be the cause, then what might be happening is that the NTVDM is damaged or there is not enough memory left to run it. What might also be happening is that you are running a copy of a different file called instead of the one that comes with Windows, so as sgmoore mentioned, try entering the fully-qualified-path: %systemroot%\system32\

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Sounds like your paths might be wrong or if you are using a floppy disk it might not have been included. Can you give us more info of what version of dos you are running and how you are getting to ms-dos?

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Nope. That would have given the error 'edit' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. – Synetech Sep 1 '12 at 22:49 should be in your system32 directory so %windir%\system32\ should start it.

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Yes, and it is being run, hence the lack of …not recognized… error message. – Synetech Sep 1 '12 at 22:50

verify if default values for "Path" are in your enviroment variables (win+break, advanced). "C:\WINDOWS\system32;C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\System32\Wbem;" must be there. Do not forget ";" to separate the paths.

if it does not solve it, try restoring your Windows with the CD.

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The path has nothing to do with it. If it were not found, the error message would have been 'edit' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. not the system cannot execute the specified program. – Synetech Sep 1 '12 at 22:50

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