Error: Autoexec.nt is unsuitable for running 16 bit applications in this environment

Important Notes:

  • This article assumes that Windows was installed using default settings.  If your Windows installation was customized, please make the appropriate changes to the steps below or contact your Help Desk.
  • This article applies to Windows 32-bit versions only.  16-bit applications cannot run on Windows 64-bit versions.

Complete error message

16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem
path to the program that you are trying to start or install
C:\[Operating System folder]\System32\Autoexec.nt The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application

Issue

An operating system file required to run the installation or application is missing, corrupt, or does not contain required entries.

Fix

Perform a search for the file on your computer to determine if the file exists or is missing, then apply the correct solution below.

Resolution Steps

  1. Follow the steps below for your version of Windows:
  • Windows Vista
A.    Go to Start.
B.    In the Start Search field, type: autoexec.nt
C.    Autoexec.nt should appear at the top of the list.
D.    Right-click Autoexec.nt and choose Open file location.
E.    At the top of the window that opens, check the folder path.  Confirm that autoexec.nt exists in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.  If autoexec.nt does not exist in the System32 folder, go to Step 12 below.
  • Windows 7
A.    Go to Start.
B.    In the Search programs and files field, type: autoexec.nt
C.    Autoexec.nt should appear at the top of the list.
D.    Right-click Autoexec.nt and choose Open file location.
E.    At the top of the window that opens, check the folder path.  Confirm that autoexec.nt exists in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.  If autoexec.nt does not exist in the System32 folder, go to Step 12 below.
  • Windows 8
A.    On the Start page, choose Desktop.
B.    At the Desktop, choose the File Explorer icon in the Taskbar.
C.    In the left pane, choose Computer.
D.    In the upper right corner, locate the Search Computer field and type: autoexec.nt
E.    In the Search Results list, confirm that autoexec.nt exists in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.  If autoexec.nt does not exist in the System32 folder, go to Step 12 below.
  1. If Autoexec.nt resides in the System32 folder, go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > NotepadImportant!: Windows Vista and Windows 7 users should right-click on Notepad and choose Run as AdministratorWindows 8 users:  Go to the Start page and type: Notepad.  When the Notepad icon appears, right-click it and choose Run as Administrator.
  2. In Notepad, choose File > Open
  3. Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder. 
  4. Change Files of type to: All Files 
  5. Choose Autoexec.nt and click Open.
  6. At the beginning of each existing line of text, type: REM and add a space.  For example: lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\mscdexnt.exe becomes REM lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\mscdexnt.exe
  7. Enter the text listed below Step 10.  You may wish to cut and paste to avoid typos. 
  8. Go to File > Save
  9. Close Notepad. 
  10. Reboot the computer and re-run your installation or application.
@echo off
 lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\mscdexnt.exe
 lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\redir
 lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\dosx
 SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 P330 T3
 
  1. If Autoexec.nt does not exist in the System32 folder navigate to the following location using My Computer, Computer, or File Explorer:  C:\Windows\winsxs\x86_microsoft-windows-ntvdn-system32...
  2. Right-click on the Autoexec.nt file and  choose Copy.
  3. Using My Computer, Computer or File Explorer navigate to and open the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
  4. In the System32 folder window, right-click a blank area and choose Paste.  Autoexec.nt should appear in the System32 folder. 
  5. Close the folder. 
  6. Reboot the computer and attempt the operation which caused the error to occur.

For further information and other solutions regarding this error see the following Microsoft document:

Error message when you install or start an MS-DOS or 16-bit Windows-based program

  Solution Tools
  Attachments
 Solution Id kb4544
 Direct Link
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