PIF too large to load

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Solution or Workaround


This error occurs when attempting to load the ARCX.PIF in the PIF editor in Windows NT 3.5 or Windows 3.1:

   PIF too large to load.
Check to ensure that the file is a PIF.


This is due to the Extended PIF functions in Windows 95, some of which are not supported by the standard PIF Editor. Once the properties for the pcArcTextWindow have been changed in Windows 95, the ARCX.PIF is no longer editable in Windows NT 3.5 or Windows 3.x.


1. Copy the ARCW.PIF to ARCX.PIF.

2. Open the file ARCX.PIF in the PIF Editor and check the 'Close window on exit' box. Now you may make any changes to ARCX.PIF you wish.

SCRWIN launches either ARCX.PIF (x) or ARCW.PIF (w) depending on what is on the command line. Generally, it uses the 'x' option. For instance, the default command line for the ARCW icon is 'scrwin x'. It could as easily be 'scrwin w'; the difference would be the ARCW window would not close when the process finishes.

PIF is an acronym for Program Information File. A PIF contains such items as the name of the file, a start-up directory, and multi-tasking options. When you start an MS-DOS application, Windows looks for a PIF to use with the application.

Article ID:000001725

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