Troubleshooting Microsoft Backup

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

If you encounter problems running Microsoft Backup for MS-DOS or Microsoft Backup for Windows, use the steps in the following section to correct the problems.

Problem symptom

Probable cause

Backup appears to stop responding when run from the MS-DOS prompt under Windows.

It is recommended that you do not run Backup under Windows. Instead, run the Windows version of Backup (MWBACKUP.EXE). If you must use the MS-DOS version of Backup, create .PIF file with the "Exclusive" and "Full Screen" settings checked.

Backup reports problems accessing the second floppy disk drive during the compatibility test when run from the MS-DOS prompt under Windows. (Backup either displays the "Diskette not properly seated" error message or continues to ask for the first disk after you have inserted the second one.)

Make sure there is at least 450K of conventional memory free. If necessary, run MemMaker.

Backup for Windows causes Windows to close, leaving the command prompt displayed on the screen during the compatibility test.

This is probably caused by a conflict with a virtual device driver for a third-party backup program. Check the [386Enh] section of your SYSTEM.INI file for possible conflicting drivers. See the README.TXT file for more information.

Backup reports that it cannot open a file.

Make sure that the files command in your CONFIG.SYS file is set to at least 30.

Backup reports that it cannot read a file.

The specified file may be corrupted. Run Chkdsk or a disk-surface analysis program.

MS-DOS Backup Error Message: Unable to Open Component File

When you use a drive other than a floppy disk drive, Backup creates a .001 file in a .FUL directory. For example, if you back up to F:\TEMP on your hard disk drive or on a network drive, Backup creates the following file:


where xxxxxxxx are numbers and letters generated from the date. If the .001 file is moved, the Restore option in Backup will fail and you will see the following error message:

Unable to open component file

Therefore, if you back up to a network drive and someone moves your files, you cannot restore the files until they are moved back to the original location.

To work around this problem

Recreate your original directory structure, and then move the .001 file back to its original location. If you cannot remember the original directory structure, attempt to restore your files again. The error message displayed by Backup tells you the directory and filename it is searching for.

If the Backup Compatibility Test Fails

If you cannot successfully complete the Microsoft Backup compatibility test, you might still be able to run Backup. The most likely reason for failing the compatibility test is that your floppy-disk controller is incompatible with Backup. If this is the case, you can still run Backup.

To run Backup with an incompatible floppy-disk controller

  1. Start Backup as you usually would (either from Windows or from the MS-DOS command prompt).

  2. Select "MS-DOS Path" as the backup destination.

  3. Enter either a:\ or b:\ (depending on which floppy-disk drive you want to use).

You should now be able to use Backup even though your floppy-disk controller has not passed the compatibility test. Once you select "MS-DOS Path" as the destination, Backup writes to and reads from the destination floppy disk by using MS-DOS rather than by interacting directly with the floppy-disk controller.

New Features of Mscdex

MS-DOS 6 provides a new version of the Mscdex program, version 2.22, that includes the following changes:

  • You can now load Mscdex into the upper memory area by using the loadhigh command.

  • Mscdex is no longer version-dependent.

  • The /v switch for the mscdex command now reports accurate memory statistics.

Mscdex Loads into Upper Memory

If there is enough upper memory available, Mscdex can load into upper memory.

Mscdex versions 2.21 and earlier required the load size of MSCDEX.EXE (which varies for different configurations) plus 48K of memory to load. The 48K requirement was added to ensure that there was enough memory to load COMMAND.COM. Therefore, to load version 2.21 or earlier, you needed to have a block of conventional or upper memory equal to the load size of MSCDEX.EXE plus 48K. This made it difficult to load Mscdex into upper memory, since there was rarely an upper memory block that large.

Mscdex version 2.22 checks to see if the CD-ROM driver is being loaded above 640K. If it is, Mscdex does not add 48K to the initialization load size because it is not concerned with the transient portion of COMMAND.COM.

Mscdex Is No Longer Version-Dependent

When running Mscdex version 2.21 with MS-DOS 5 or 6, it was necessary to use Setver to tell Mscdex that the MS-DOS version is 4.0.

You do not need to use Setver in order to run Mscdex version 2.22.

The /V Switch Now Reports Accurate Memory Statistics

Earlier versions of Mscdex were not accurate when using the /v switch to report memory statistics. Version 2.22 is accurate.

Correcting Illegal Directory Names with Deltree and Move

The del command cannot be used to delete a directory with a blank space in the name (for example, you cannot use the del command to delete the directory C:\MY WORK"). However, you can use the new MS-DOS 6 deltree and move commands to delete or rename these directories.

Some utilities and installation programs allow you to create directory names with illegal characters, such as spaces. Because a directory name with a space or other illegal character is not expected, the del command was not designed to work with them.

Using Deltree to Delete Directories with Illegal Names

The deltree command can be used to delete directories with illegal names. For example, type the following at the MS-DOS command prompt:

deltree "my work"

You must type the quotation marks.

Using Move to Rename Directories with Illegal Names

The move command can be used to rename directories with illegal names. For example, type the following at the MS-DOS command prompt:

move "my work" my_work

You must type the quotation marks.

How Interlnk Drives Appear in File Manager

If Interlnk is loaded in the CONFIG.SYS file, Microsoft Windows File Manager indicates the presence of the Interlnk drives with removable media icons (sometimes called "floppy icons"). If Interlnk is loaded but you don't have an active connection to another computer, you will receive the following error message when you try to access one of the Interlnk drives:

Error Selecting Drive
There is no disk in drive x.
Insert a disk, and then try again.

Interlnk Cannot Access CD-ROM Drives

Interlnk accesses drives using a block device driver. This means that Interlnk can recognize standard drives but not network drives. Because CD-ROM drives use a network interface, Interlnk cannot be used to access them.

Novell's NETX Reports MS-DOS 6 as MS-DOS 5.0

When running with MS-DOS version 6, Novell's NETX versions 3.31 and earlier report the operating system version as MS-DOS 5.0. (To obtain an updated version of NETX, please contact Novell.)

NETX requires MS-DOS 5.0 or earlier — it does not run with MS-DOS 6 unless you use SETVER.EXE. Since SETVER tells NETX that the MS-DOS version is 5.0, NETX reports the MS-DOS version as 5.0.

This behavior could be a problem for network administrators who configure their systems to map to specific directories for different versions of MS-DOS, depending on the version reported by NETX. For example, suppose that machines running MS-DOS 3.3 are mapped to Y:\DOS\V3.30 and machines running MS-DOS 5.0 are mapped to Y:\DOS\V5.00. In this example, when you use SETVER to tell NETX you are running MS-DOS 5.0, you are logged onto the Y:\DOS\V5.00 directory.