When I try to open a Command Prompt in Windows 7, the following message comes up:

Windows cannot find 'cmd'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.

How can I overcome this problem?

  • When you're typing in "cmd" in the "Search programs and files" field, does it ever show as a choice? – OldWolf Sep 3 '11 at 2:17

Have you checked for/cleaned some malware recently? Sometimes malware will hijack the cmd.exe and cleaning the infection can render the cmd.exe missing/useless.

Have you tried Windows 7's in-built System Restore to restore to a point when it did work? If not perhaps you could try that.

Perhaps run Window's System File Checker to see if it can find/replace the missing cmd.exe (if it is indeed missing).

  • If command prompt isn't working then I don't think he can running System File Checker. However, he could boot from the install disk, then select Command Prompt under the System Recovery Options. Just note which drive Windows is install on because it make be different than what it is on normal boot. Then run the following command: sfc /scannow /offbootdrive=DRIVE_LETTER:\ /offwindir=DRIVE_LETTER:\windows. Replace DRIVE_LETTER with the actual letter of the drive Windows is installed on. – SgtOJ Sep 7 '11 at 6:15
  • @SgtOJ - Good point. :) I was thinking of Start->SFC.exe in my head. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 7 '11 at 12:16

I had the same issue, solved by running Malwarebytes.

Go here install/update and run a full scan.


Copy cmd.exe from another working machine and copy it to your System32 folder. This thread has download link. But it is safe to copy it from another machine that you own.

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