Here's a tricky and frustrating problem.

I have a customer’s PC here which when you boot it, it comes up with a message saying “You are currently running in MS-DOS Mode, do you want to return to normal mode to run Windows applications again (Y/N)”

If you answer ‘Y’, it reboots and you get the same error, and it just keeps looping like that.

If you answer ‘N’, you get a further message telling you “You are still running in MS-DOS mode, to return to normal mode, exit the application you are running, or type WIN again.”

And of course typing ‘Win’ just puts you back into the earlier loop.

I’ve had this problem only a couple of times before, and in both cases it was due to the user (a child) running or doing something with a DOS game. On one of them, I spent ages trying to resolve it, tried various tips from the web but nothing would clear it. Everything pointed to a setting in one of the boot files, io.sys or similar but despite all attempts I could not fix it and ended up having to reinstall.

Now that I have a further one I’m sure there must be an easier way to fix it. All the customer could tell me was that "the kids were doing something with games".

The system WILL boot into the Windows GUI from Safe Mode. There has got to be a clue in that fact.

If anyone has encountered this and has a proven remedy please let me know.