Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When I open Start > Run, type cmd.exe and press Enter, a black window shows up and disappears immediately.

  • I've tried opening it from C:\windows\System32\cmd.exe
  • I've tried cleaning the PATH environment variable

However none of these have made any difference. Does anyone have an idea what the problem could be?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I had this problem and solved it in the following way:

Go to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor

It has an AutoRun value set to (Exit). Delete this value and the Command Prompt should work again.

share|improve this answer

I faced this issue once, and this probably looks like a virus/worm issue. Check if your Task Manager & Registry Editor is disabled?

share|improve this answer
Do you mean to check if I can open the Task manager and the Registry editor ? if so, I can open them and they work fine. – Nour Sabouny Jun 14 '11 at 7:33
@Nour: Can you try to get a screenshot of Command Prompt just before exiting? Also, which Windows you are running? Also, Can you try running from different user account, maybe Administrator? – anilmwr Jun 14 '11 at 9:30
I'm running windows 7 with administrator user and I tried to run as administrator , I also tried to get a screen shot and there is no error message, just the normal message of the command prompt. (Microsoft Windows Version 6.1.7600) Copyright (C) ..... – Nour Sabouny Jun 14 '11 at 14:21
@Nour: If your system is really infected, then I don't think that just renaming cmd.exe will work. I had issues with Sysinternal's Process Explorer, the malware used to kill it even when I renamed the EXE. Looked like it was checking the Application Title. Also, If you're getting Command Prompt Version & Copyright in the screenshot, then there must be some other problem. – anilmwr Jun 15 '11 at 7:04
@anilmwr could you advise me with some anti-mall-ware programs ? – Nour Sabouny Jun 15 '11 at 7:21

Go to windows directory (c:\windows\system32), find cmd.exe and copy it somewhere (like c:\ or desktop), then rename it to for example cmd2.exe and run it. If it works then you are infected with some kind of malware.

share|improve this answer
actually it didn't run, and I managed to read the following message: the system cannot find the text for message number .... in the message file. – Nour Sabouny Jun 14 '11 at 14:20
Then don't move the vopy, just create a copy of it with a different name. It is looking for some file in c:\windows\system32 and cannot find it (message texts are inside that file probably) – Xaqron Jun 14 '11 at 20:58
I tried that too, but it didn't work . – Nour Sabouny Jun 15 '11 at 7:20

Try one best solution Copy CMD.exe from some other computer and paste it in your computer.

share|improve this answer
:) thanks for answer, but I think I already solved the problem. – Nour Sabouny Jun 19 '12 at 16:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.