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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting The System Overall | Troubleshooting Run-Time Error Messages ]

Out of environment space

Explanation: The program or command you are trying to run cannot execute because DOS has run out of room in its "environment", a place where system settings are stored.

Diagnosis: The default environment that DOS uses to hold settings and DOS variables is small--only 256 bytes. Some programs can cause DOS to run out of space in this area by trying to create more variables that there is no more room for. A long PROMPT or PATH statement will take up more room.


  • Use fewer environment variables, or shorten the PATH statement in AUTOEXEC.BAT.
  • Increase the amount of environment space by adding the following line to your CONFIG.SYS file: "SHELL=X:\PATH\COMMAND.COM /P /E:NNNN" where "X:\PATH" is the directory where the COMMAND.COM command interpreter is located, and NNNN is the new size of the DOS environment area in bytes. Suggested is 512 or 1024; don't make this too large because increasing it reduces available conventional memory.

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