Using Windows 7 x64 Enterprise. When I view C:\windows\System32 through explorer I can see telnet.exe, if I open cmd from the start menu I can use telnet. If I open C:\windows\system32\cmd.exe via Launchy (as admin or not) I can't use telnet or even see telnet after running

Running from start menu

C:\Windows\System32>dir telnet*
07/13/2009  05:39 PM            79,872 telnet.exe
           1 File(s)         79,872 bytes

Running from Launchy

C:\Windows\System32>dir telnet*
           File Not Found

Anyone know why the contents of the folder change depending on how it is viewed?

  • Are you sure you are running the same cmd, and not the 64 bit version fromone place and the 32 bit from the other?
    – Zoredache
    Dec 2, 2010 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


As Zoredache said, you may be using two different versions of command prompt.

Windows 7 x64 has something called WOW64 which allows 32 bit applications to run on the 64 bit OS in compatibility mode.

I suppose Launchy is a 32 bit application. (Open task Manager and in processes tab see if Launchy's process is shown as Launchy.exe*32. If yes it is running under WOW64)

Windows transparently replaces System32 for 32 bit applications with C:\Windows\SysWOW64 folder. This is a folder with 32 bit variants of common windows applications like cmd and regedit present in system32. Telnet may not be present in SysWOW64. Hence the issue you are facing.

  • That is the problem, I don't like that they both say system32 when one isn't system32. Thanks
    – Peter
    Dec 2, 2010 at 19:38
  • Thank you, I had the same problem! Note than in Windows 10, "*32" is missing, so will you need to enable the "Platform" column to see if a program is 32 bit, see superuser.com/a/1321393/253137
    – bers
    Jan 7, 2021 at 6:33

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