Installs file-sharing and locking capabilities on your hard disk.


SHARE [/F:space] [/L:locks]
/F:spaceAllocates file space (in bytes) for file-sharing information.
/L:locksSets the number of files that can be locked at one time.


Share.exe was a memory resident utility that prevented a file from being modified by two programs (or two instances of the same program) simultaneously. Windows95 includes an alternative system to handle this situation and so Share.exe is no longer required. Furthermore, MS found it impracticable to rewrite Share.exe to work with FAT32 systems and so it has been dropped from Win95-OSR2 onwards (see MS KnowledgeBase Q161619).

This has led to some difficulties for people moving to new Win95/8 platforms with older Dos applications that require Share.exe to load and/or run.

First of all, when running in a Dos Window, no(?) program needs Share.exe - even if it says it does - because Windows can handle all the file sharing problems that Share.exe ever did.

Some programs will simply check to see that the line Share.exe is in Autoexec.bat and some others will look for the file in the root directory.

For these programs, the workaround is to create a dummy Share.exe by opening Notepad (or any other text editor) and saving the empty file as "Share.exe" in the C:\ directory. Note: use Save As *.*(all files) to prevent the .txt extension being added, which would rather spoil the point of the exercise. Autoexec.bat can be modified to include the line "Share". When run with the dummy Share.exe, autoexec will declare there to be an "Error in EXE file" and then move on.

Some programs might actually check to see if Share is installed. To satisfy these programs, it might be possible to copy and rename some small innocuous TSR to substitute for Share.

It would appear that running these programs outside Windows using Dos7 (ie. from a Boot-to-Dos prompt), is a non-starter because the Windows sharing facilities are not available. Note that, according to the above KnowledgeBase article (Q161619), trying to use SetVer will not work (even if working in FAT16).

If the program really needs Share.exe the only solutions I can see are:

  1. to set up a FAT16 partition, install Dos6x (or whatever) and take it from there. Oh, I guess you would also need a boot manager to move between Dos to Win95;
  2. use a second machine for the application;
  3. upgrade the application.

Please note: I do not actually have any applications that use Share.exe and so have not been able to verify/test the above ideas. I'm just passing them along!

File Details

File NameDefault LocationDos Ver.Win Ver.SizeDateSource
Share.exec:\windows\command 7.0Win95 10 30411/07/

If you should have any comments or suggestions,
please contact: Bob Watson
This page last revised:
December 9, 1999.