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Chapter 9 Configuring the System

Using SETUP to Configure the System

Configuring the System by Editing the Configuration Files

CONFIG.SYS

AUTOEXEC.BAT

Bypassing the Configuration Files

Confirming Each Configuration Command

CONFIG.SYS Command Reference


To improve the efficiency of your operating system, and maximize the performance of your programs, you can adjust the way in which the system is configured.

The operating system configuration is defined by the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files, both of which are executed every time you boot the system. This chapter describes these files.

Note: If you have installed DR-DOS on a computer already running Windows 95, the files DCONFIG.SYS and AUTODOS7.BAT replace CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT as your operating system configuration files. In this manual, wherever you see the files AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS mentioned, if you have a machine with both DR-DOS and Windows 95, replace these with AUTODOS7.BAT and DCONFIG.SYS.

The SETUP Program

The SETUP program provides a quick and easy way of changing the system configuration at any time after it has been installed. SETUP presents you with a set of menus from which you choose the appropriate options. When you exit SETUP, it automatically makes the necessary changes to CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. These changes will take effect the next time you reboot the system. This chapter describes what you can do in SETUP and how to use it.

For some advanced configuration changes, you may need to edit the configuration files directly using EDIT or another text editor. This chapter includes complete descriptions of all the special commands you can use in CONFIG.SYS.

NOTE: There are three CONFIG.SYS commands (DOS, HIDEVICE/DEVICEHIGH, and HIINSTALL/INSTALLHIGH) that are used for optimizing the way in which the system uses memory. These commands are also described in Chapter 10, "Managing Memory."

Using SETUP to Configure the System

The SETUP program allows you to make most of the changes to the system configuration that you may need without editing the configuration files yourself. Use SETUP to configure any of the following system features:
DOS System & Memory Management

· 386* or 80286 memory manager (EMM386 or HIMEM), DPMS, location of DOS software in memory

· Country and keyboard

· DOS parameters (system PATH, environment parameters, keyboard HISTORY, disk parameters, PROMPT command, directories for temporary and initialization files)

· Optional DOS device drivers and utilities (ANSI.SYS, GRAFTABL, FASTOPEN, SHARE, code page switching)

· Global color set

Disk Compression

· Creating and reconfiguring Stacker* drives

Disk Performance

· VDISK.SYS

· NWCACHE disk cache

Data Protection & Security

· DELWATCH

· DISKMAP

· DOS screen saver/system lock

· Enabling or disabling system security

Task Management

· Task Manager (multitasking or task switching)

Networking

· Interface card

· Personal NetWare server software

· Network management

· Server connections

Warning: Certain utilities must not be run on a Windows 95 computer, even under DR-DOS. These include STACKER, DISKMAP and DELWATCH. Only use Windows 95 management tools because these support long filenames.

Starting SETUP

Start SETUP by making DRDOS the current directory, and typing the following command at the system prompt:

SETUP <Enter>

The first menu you see lists the features of the operating system for which you can choose to set options: DOS System and Memory Management, Disk Compression, Disk Performance, Data Protection and Security, Task Management, and Networking. Select the area you want to configure and you will see a series of menus relating to that area of the operating system. When you finish changing values and exit SETUP, the appropriate commands are automatically placed in your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. The next time you boot the system, it is configured with the new settings.

Getting Help in SETUP

SETUP has extensive online help which is "context-sensitive"; simply press the <F1> key when an option is highlighted or when your cursor is on a field for which you want to view help information.

Leaving SETUP

You can leave SETUP at any time and return to the operating system by pressing <Alt> X and choosing to exit to DOS. Your existing system configuration is not affected and you can go back into SETUP at any time to change values. Configuration values will not actually change until you reboot the system.

SETUP Advise Mode

To see a summary of your current system configuration which includes current memory managers, available memory, last physical drive, and (if applicable) recommendations to improve the efficiency of the system, enter the following command:

SETUP /A

By default, this information is also displayed whenever you start the operating system.

Configuring the System by Editing the Configuration Files

It is always easier and safer to use SETUP to make changes to the system configuration. Occasionally, however, you may want to make a change that can only be made by editing the configuration files yourself. Loading a CD-ROM driver, for example, can only be accomplished by manual editing of CONFIG.SYS.

You can use any system command in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Refer to the "Command Reference" chapter of DOSBook for information about the syntax and function of each system command.

NOTE: The HILOAD/LOADHIGH and MEMMAX commands, which are used to manage memory, are also described in Chapter 10, "Managing Memory."

In the CONFIG.SYS file, you can use any of the CONFIG.SYS commands. For information about the syntax and function of each CONFIG.SYS command, refer to "CONFIG.SYS Command Reference" starting on page 9-9.

NOTE: Three CONFIG.SYS commands are used to optimize the way in which the system uses memory. These commands (DOS, HIDEVICE/DEVICEHIGH, and HIINSTALL/INSTALLHIGH) are also described in Chapter 10, "Managing Memory."

CONFIG.SYS

When you install the operating system, a CONFIG.SYS file is built for you automatically and stored in the root directory of the disk from which you start the operating system.

The information specified in the CONFIG.SYS file depends on the values you choose during the INSTALL program. Whenever you want to change these values, run SETUP and choose options appropriately.

To view your current CONFIG.SYS file, type the following at the system prompt:

TYPE CONFIG.SYS <Enter>

You will see something similar to the following:

SHELL = C:\COMMAND.COM /P /E:1024

DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\EMM386.EXE

BREAK = ON

BUFFERS = 20

FILES = 20

FCBS = 4, 4

FASTOPEN = 512

LASTDRIVE = E

HISTORY = ON, 256, OFF, OFF, OFF

COUNTRY = 001,,C:\DRDOS\COUNTRY.SYS

All of the commands included in this example are explained in "CONFIG.SYS Command Reference" starting on page 9-9.

You can also view the CONFIG.SYS file in SETUP by choosing the option to view CONFIG.SYS at the end of the SETUP program, if you have made changes.

AUTOEXEC.BAT

The AUTOEXEC.BAT file is a batch file that is run every time you start the operating system to configure it appropriately. When you install the operating system, an AUTOEXEC.BAT file is automatically built for you and stored in the root directory of the disk from which you load the operating system. The file must always be stored on this disk, which is usually your hard disk.

To view your current AUTOEXEC.BAT file, type the following at the system prompt:

TYPE AUTOEXEC.BAT <Enter>

When you make changes to the system configuration using SETUP, the commands included in AUTOEXEC.BAT may change accordingly. You can view AUTOEXEC.BAT during SETUP by choosing the option to view AUTOEXEC.BAT at the end of the SETUP program, if you have made changes.

Any command that you want to run automatically whenever the system boots can be used in AUTOEXEC.BAT. Refer to the "Command Reference" chapter of DOSBook, where all of the system commands that you may want to add to AUTOEXEC.BAT (or that you will find already included in the file after installation or SETUP) are described in detail.

The following commands are particularly useful in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file:
Table 9-1
AUTOEXEC.BAT Commands

Command

Description

KEYB

KEYB tells the operating system what kind of keyboard you are using. If you have a national keyboard (that is, one different from the standard keyboard used in the USA), you must run the KEYB command each time you start the operating system, to ensure that the characters you type are the same as those displayed on the screen.

PATH and APPEND

PATH tells the operating system where to look for command, program, and batch files.

APPEND tells the operating system where to look for any other type of file, such as a data file.

Placing PATH and APPEND commands in AUTOEXEC.BAT automatically tailors the system search path to your own directory hierarchy, every time you start the operating system.

SET

SET inserts strings of information into the command processor's master environment. These strings are then available to all programs and applications that you run.

TIME and DATE

TIME and DATE set the system time and date. You need to use TIME and DATE if your computer does not have a battery-powered clock. TIME and DATE prompt you to type in the correct time and date, and then set the system clock for you.

Placing TIME and DATE commands in AUTOEXEC.BAT means that you are prompted to set the system clock every time you start the operating system.

If you do have a battery-powered clock, the operating system reads it automatically at startup, unless you use TIME or DATE in AUTOEXEC.BAT.

PROMPT

PROMPT changes the default system prompt. For example, you could change it to show the current directory. You can change the prompt at any time, but placing the PROMPT command in AUTOEXEC.BAT (via SETUP) saves you having to define the prompt every time you start the operating system.

Starting Applications in AUTOEXEC.BAT

You can start your favorite software applications automatically by loading them from your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

For example, assume you have a word processor called WundaWord that is started by typing WW from a directory called \WUNDAWRD. Normally, you would need to type both the following commands:

CHDIR \WUNDAWRD <Enter>

WW <Enter>

Edit AUTOEXEC.BAT to add both commands, to load WundaWord automatically every time you start your computer.

Bypassing the Configuration Files

If you want to perform a "clean boot" of your computer by bypassing the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files during startup, press and release <F5> (once only) after the computer finishes its internal tests. This is usually indicated by a beep. The computer will then start with a basic ("clean") configuration instead of its usual configuration.

Note: For security, you can disable the F5 function by entering the following command as the first command in CONFIG.SYS. This also disables the F8 function described in the section "Confirming Each Configuration Command".

SWITCHES /N

Confirming Each Configuration Command

If you want the system to prompt you to confirm each CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT command during startup, press and release <F8> (once only) after the computer finishes its internal tests. This is usually indicated by a beep. The commands in CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT are displayed one at a time followed by a prompt; answer Y to execute the command or N to bypass it.

CONFIG.SYS Command Reference

The commands explained in this section can all be used in your CONFIG.SYS file. Remember, however, that it is always easier to let SETUP update CONFIG.SYS automatically rather than to edit the file yourself.

Each command is described in the same way as the internal and external commands are described in the "Command Reference" chapter of DOSBook. Refer to the section called "Command Syntax" for an explanation.

NOTE: Three CONFIG.SYS commands (DOS, HIDEVICE/DEVICEHIGH, and HIINSTALL/INSTALLHIGH) are also described in Chapter 10, "Managing Memory," because they are used to optimize the way in which the system uses memory.

?

Format

? ["message_string"] command

Explanation

When you use ? at the beginning of a statement, the operating system prompts you about whether or not you want the statement executed.

Use ? with DEVICE statements, for example, so that you can choose whether or not to install specific device drivers when you start the operating system. Similarly, use ? in CHAIN statements to choose whether or not to transfer control to a different configuration file.

You can also specify text for the prompt by including a message string between ? and the statement, enclosed by double quotation marks.

A response to the prompt specified by ? is required before you can proceed, unless you set a limit on the amount of time allowed for a response. The statement is then ignored if no response is received. Use the TIMEOUT command to set a time limit for a response; see TIMEOUT.

Note that the maximum length allowed for a command statement, including ? and a message string, is 128 characters. Any statement longer than this will be ignored.

Examples

The following statement means that you will be asked whether or not you want ANSI.SYS loaded (before it loads):

?DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\ANSI.SYS

So whenever you start the operating system and CONFIG.SYS is executed, you see the following:

DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\ANSI.SYS (Y/N) ?

If you type Y, ANSI.SYS loads. If you type N, the statement is ignored.

The next statement specifies a message to display when prompting.

?"Do you want ANSI.SYS?"DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\ANSI.SYS

This statement causes the following to display whenever you boot the operating system:

Do you want ANSI.SYS?

Answer Y to load ANSI.SYS or N to ignore the statement.

:label

Format

:label

Explanation

Use :label to define a location (label) that a GOSUB, GOTO, or SWITCH command can reference; refer to the descriptions of GOSUB, GOTO and SWITCH in this chapter.

Only the first eight characters after the colon are recognized as the label by GOSUB, GOTO, and SWITCH.

Example

The following sequence of statements includes a label (MEMDISK) that is referenced by a GOTO command:

? "Do you want a memory disk? (Y/N)" GOTO MEMDISK

.

.

:MEMDISK

DEVICE=VDISK.SYS

BREAK

Format

BREAK = ON|OFF

Explanation

The value of BREAK determines whether or not you can stop a program while it is running by pressing <Ctrl><Break> or <Ctrl> C.

Set BREAK to ON when you want to be able to do this; the operating system also looks for <Ctrl><Break> or <Ctrl> C when the program is reading to or writing from a disk.

Set BREAK to OFF to disable it; <Ctrl><Break> or <Ctrl> C will only stop the program the next time it reads from the keyboard, writes to the screen, or writes to a printer.

BREAK allows you to stop programs quickly: programs, for example, that do not use standard input and output operations very often, such as programs that perform lengthy calculations before printing the final output.

A BREAK command is overruled if you enter a BREAK command at the command line; refer to the "Command Reference" chapter of DOSBook for a description of BREAK.

NOTE: Many applications disable this feature; you must use the method documented with the application to stop it.

BUFFERS

Format

BUFFERS = nn

Explanation

Use the BUFFERS command to specify the number of buffers you want in memory. Buffers are small areas (blocks) of memory that the operating system uses during disk read and write operations to temporarily store the information being read or written.

You can specify between 3 and 99 buffers. The default number of buffers is 15.

The number of buffers available generally affects the speed at which a program accesses files; the more buffers there are, the faster the program accesses files.

Keep in mind, however, that each buffer you specify uses memory that could otherwise be used for the program itself and for data; if you specify too many buffers, your program may actually run slower than if you specified fewer buffers.

The documentation for your programs should indicate how many buffers to specify. A number between 10 and 30 is generally sensible but you may need more if your program uses a large number of files. A desktop publishing program, for example, may need more than 30 buffers.

CHAIN

Format

CHAIN = filespec

Explanation

Use the CHAIN command to transfer control (when CONFIG.SYS is executing) to another configuration file. CHAIN automatically verifies that filespec exists. If it does exist, the current configuration file is closed and the operating system begins executing the statements in filespec. If it does not exist, processing returns to the original configuration file.

NOTE: If you use the CHAIN command to transfer control to a configuration file on another drive, you must specify the full path including the drive in all DEVICE and HIDEVICE/DEVICEHIGH statements in that configuration file.

CHAIN is most useful when you are using a system with read-only or ROM disks; CHAIN allows you to change the configuration specified in the ROM-based copy of CONFIG.SYS.

CHAIN is also useful with the ? command; you can group together similar CONFIG.SYS commands into additional CONFIG.SYS files and then execute them with a single conditional statement; refer to the description of ? in this chapter.

Example

The following sequence of statements includes a CHAIN command that tells the operating system to look for the CONFIG.SYS file on drive D: when it reaches the CHAIN command during execution. If a CONFIG.SYS file exists on drive D:, that file will be executed rather than the rest of the one containing the CHAIN command. If CONFIG.SYS does not exist on drive D:, the original CONFIG.SYS continues to execute.

BUFFERS = 10

COUNTRY = 44,,C:\DRDOS\COUNTRY.SYS

CHAIN = D:\CONFIG.SYS

CLS

Format

CLS

Explanation

Use the CLS command to clear the screen.

COUNTRY

Format

COUNTRY = nnn, cp, [d:]\path\COUNTRY.SYS

Explanation

Use the COUNTRY command to load the COUNTRY.SYS file. This file provides the following:

Example

The following entry in your CONFIG.SYS file would convert the currency symbol and date and time formats to the Italian versions using code page 437:

COUNTRY = 039, 437, C:\DRDOS\COUNTRY.SYS

CPOS

Format

CPOS nn, nn

Explanation

Use the CPOS command to position the cursor on the screen.

Specify the row (the first nn) to set the vertical position of the cursor. The row number can be from 1 to 25.

Specify the column (the second nn) to set the horizontal position of the cursor. The column number can be from 1 to 80.

Example

The following statement causes the cursor to appear on the screen in row 10 and column 10:

CPOS 10, 10

DEVICE

Format

DEVICE = filespec [options]

Explanation

Use the DEVICE command to install (and configure) device drivers.

You need device drivers to operate devices (such as printers and keyboards) that are not recognized as default parts of your system. Most device drivers are hardware-specific although a few (such as VDISK.SYS, supplied with the system) are designed for software functions. Device drivers usually have the filename extension .SYS.

You configure device drivers by specifying the appropriate options in the DEVICE statement (options) after the name of the driver (filespec).

You can use ? in DEVICE statements to be prompted before drivers are loaded; you therefore have the option of loading or not loading a particular driver every time you start the operating system.

Supplied Drivers

Device drivers for the keyboard, the screen, disk drives, the printer, and auxiliary devices are automatically loaded as part of the system startup procedure. The operating system also provides a number of optional device drivers that you can load with DEVICE commands. ANSI.SYS, DISPLAY.SYS, DRIVER.SYS, PRINTER.SYS, and VDISK.SYS are described in detail in this chapter.

NOTE: EMM386.EXE, HIMEM.SYS, EMMXMA.SYS, and DPMS.EXE are memory managers. They are described in Chapter 10, "Managing Memory."

New Hardware Drivers

Whenever you add a new piece of computer hardware, such as a mouse or a printer, you must copy the device driver supplied with the new hardware onto the drive from which you start the operating system. Then you must use a DEVICE statement in CONFIG.SYS to make sure that the operating system finds the driver and loads it every time you boot the system.

Example DEVICE statements for each optional device driver supplied with the operating system are included in the driver descriptions.

Device Drivers Supplied with the Operating System

This section describes the drivers that are supplied with the system. See Chapter 10, "Managing Memory," for descriptions of the memory managers (EMM386.EXE, HIMEM.SYS, EMMXMA.SYS, and DPMS.EXE).

The DEVICE statements that load the supplied drivers are automatically added to your CONFIG.SYS file when you load drivers using SETUP or INSTALL.

ANSI.SYS

ANSI.SYS is a device driver for the keyboard and the screen. It provides extra options for programs that need to move the cursor, change the screen display, or assign keyboard use. ANSI.SYS options are in the form of ANSI escape sequences, which all start with the ESC character (1B hex). The ANSI.SYS driver can detect escape sequences sent via the normal DOS function calls but it cannot detect character output from the ROM BIOS directly.

ANSI.SYS must be loaded for certain commercial applications; refer to the documentation for your applications to determine whether or not you need ANSI.SYS.

Loading ANSI.SYS

Load ANSI.SYS if it is required by responding to the appropriate prompt during SETUP (or INSTALL). You can also load ANSI.SYS by editing the CONFIG.SYS file directly and adding the following DEVICE statement:

DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\ANSI.SYS

ANSI.SYS will now be loaded every time you start the operating system.

Using ANSI Escape Sequences

The general form of the ANSI escape sequence is as follows:

DISPLAY.SYS

DISPLAY.SYS enables code page switching for EGA and VGA displays.

Loading DISPLAY.SYS

DISPLAY.SYS is loaded automatically if you use the SETUP program to install code page switching. You can also install DISPLAY.SYS by editing the CONFIG.SYS file yourself. The format of the statement that loads DISPLAY.SYS is as follows:

DEVICE=C:\DRDOS\DISPLAY.SYS CON=(type,hwcp,n|(n,m))
Options

type

The type of active display; specify EGA for EGA and VGA displays. If you do not specify a display type, DISPLAY.SYS checks your hardware to determine the display type you are currently using.

hwcp

The hardware resident code page; DISPLAY.SYS cannot check this, so do not specify it if you are unsure about what to specify.

n

The number of additional code pages you want to prepare, usually 1. The maximum number you can specify is 12.

Preparing a code page allocates space in memory for it; the amount of memory available for applications is therefore reduced by each code page preparation you specify.

Note that this parameter only prepares for additional code pages. You prepare and select specific code pages using the MODE command, in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file or at the system prompt. Refer to the "Command Reference" chapter of DOSBook for information about the MODE command.

m

The number of subfonts stored in memory; the default is for all font sizes to be resident in memory but using m reduces the number to increase the amount of available memory. You can specify one of the following values for m:

Dsp Type m Supported Fonts
EGA 2 (the default) 8*14 and 8*8
EGA 1 8*14
VGA 3 (the default) 8*16, 8*14, and 8*8
VGA 2 8*16 and 8*8
VGA 1 8*16

Refer to Chapter 17, "Setting Up Code Page Switching" for more information about code pages and code page switching.

Examples

The following command defines EGA (or VGA) as the display type and 437 as the hardware code page, with one additional code page to be specified by the MODE command:

DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\DISPLAY.SYS CON=(EGA,437,1)

The next command is the same as the previous one except that it restricts the number of subfonts stored in memory to 1 (8*14):

DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\DISPLAY.SYS CON=(EGA,437,(1,1))

DRIVER.SYS

DRIVER.SYS defines the characteristics of a physical disk drive.

Use DRIVER.SYS when you want to add a new logical drive to your system that is a different type: a 3.5-inch diskette drive to a system that uses 5.25-inch drives, for example. Note, however, that DRIVER.SYS would only be necessary if the computer's ROM BIOS does not support 3.5-inch diskette drives. Consult your hardware documentation before using DRIVER.SYS.

If you want to modify the characteristics of a disk drive already recognized by the operating system, use the DRIVPARM command in CONFIG.SYS; refer to the description of DRIVPARM in this chapter.

Loading DRIVER.SYS

The format of the DEVICE statement in CONFIG.SYS that loads and configures DRIVER.SYS is as follows:

DEVICE=C:\DRDOS\DRIVER.SYS /D:n [/C] [/F:f] [/H:h]
[/N] [/S:ss] [/T:tt]
Options

/D:n

The physical drive for which you are defining characteristics; n is 0, 1, 2, and so on.

/C

Specifies that the drive is able to detect when a diskette is changed.

/F:f

The type of drive. The possible values are:

f Drive Type
0 360 KB 5.25-inch
1 1.2 MB 5.25-inch
2 720 KB 3.5-inch (the default)
7 1.44 MB 3.5-inch
9 2.88 MB 3.5-inch

/H:h

The number of drive heads; specify 1 or 2.

/N

Specifies that the drive is for permanent media.

/S:ss

The number of disk sectors per track that the drive supports; specify a number between 1 and 63.

/T:tt

The number of tracks that the drive supports; specify 40 or 80.

Example

The following statement defines a 720 KB 3.5-inch drive as the second drive:

DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\DRIVER.SYS /D:1 /C /F:2 /H:2 /S:9
/T:80

PRINTER.SYS

PRINTER.SYS enables code page switching for printers.

Loading PRINTER.SYS

You can install the PRINTER.SYS driver automatically by using the SETUP program. You can also install it by editing CONFIG.SYS directly. Either way, the format of the DEVICE statement in CONFIG.SYS that installs PRINTER.SYS is as follows:

DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\PRINTER.SYS LPTn=(type,hwcp,n
Options

LPTn

The port to which the printer is connected, where n is 1, 2, or 3. You can use PRN instead of LPT1; they are equivalent.

You must define each printer that supports code page switching, if you have more than one on your system. There is a limit of three printer definitions in a single DEVICE statement.

type

The type of printer. Specify one of the following:

Type Printer
4201 IBM* 4201 Proprinter*/4202 Proprinter XL
4208 IBM Proprinter 4207 XL24/4208 XL24
5202 IBM Quietwriter* III
1050 Epson FX 850/FX 1050/compatible type

hwcp

The hardware resident code page; this is optional.

n

The number of additional code pages that you want to prepare for the printer, usually 1 or 2. The maximum number you can specify is 12.

Preparing a code page allocates space in memory for it; the amount of memory available for your applications is therefore reduced by each code page preparation that you specify.

)

Example

The following DEVICE statement in CONFIG.SYS prepares two printers with one additional code page:

DEVICE=C:\DRDOS\PRINTER.SYS PRN=(4201,437,1) LPT2=(5202,437,1)

VDISK.SYS

The VDISK.SYS driver allows you to set up a memory disk: a portion of memory that acts as a very fast disk.

A memory disk is fast but only exists while your computer is switched on; when you switch your machine off or reset the computer, everything stored in a memory (or virtual) disk is lost. Consequently, anything stored on a virtual disk that you want to keep must be copied to a hard disk or diskette before you switch off power to the computer.

Use the VDISK.SYS driver when you want to store temporary files used by programs or when you are using programs that need to access a lot of information quickly and frequently, such as databases and spreadsheets.

Loading VDISK.SYS

If you do not have extended or expanded memory on your system, a virtual disk is automatically set up in conventional memory. If you do have extended or expanded memory, however, you can specify various options with VDISK.SYS. The format of the DEVICE statement that loads VDISK.SYS is as follows:

DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\VDISK.SYS [disksize] [sectsize] [maxfiles] [/E:[sectors]] [/X]
Options

disksize

The size of the disk in KB; specify a size between 1 and 256 KB (unless you have extended memory on your system). The default size is 64 KB.

sectsize

The smallest amount of space reserved on the disk. The default is 128 bytes but you can also specify 256 or 512 bytes.

maxfiles

The maximum number of files that can be written to the root directory of the virtual disk. Specify a number between 2 and 512; the default is 64.

The number you specify determines the amount of disk space reserved for the disk directory. Keep in mind that specifying a large number of files will waste space unless you actually do copy large numbers of files to the disk.

/E:[sectors]

Locates the virtual disk in extended memory, if extended memory is available on your system. Specify the number of sectors at a time to be transferred between conventional memory and extended memory when the virtual disk is being used; sectors can be a number between 1 and 8 (the default is 8).

/X

Locates the virtual disk in expanded memory, if available on your system. A virtual disk in expanded memory can be up to 32 MB in size.

You must load VDISK.SYS in CONFIG.SYS before any other drivers that use extended memory but after your memory manager, such as EMM386 or HIMEM. If you use SETUP or INSTALL to create a memory disk, however, VDISK.SYS is loaded automatically, in the correct sequence.

Also note that if you use the HIDEVICE/DEVICEHIGH command to load VDISK.SYS in extended memory, you must use the /E switch; refer to Chapter 10, "Managing Memory" for information about using HIDEVICE/DEVICEHIGH.

Examples

The following DEVICE statement defines a virtual disk of 200 KB with a sector size of 256 bytes and a maximum of 32 files:

DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\VDISK.SYS 200 256 32

The next statement defines a virtual disk of 10,240 KB, located in expanded memory:

DEVICE = C:\DRDOS\VDISK.SYS 10240 /X

DOS

Format

DOS=HIGH|LOW|UMB|HIGH,UMB|UMB,HIGH

Explanation

DOS specifies the location of the system software.

If you do not have extended memory, the operating system software is loaded in the lowest part of conventional memory (DOS=LOW).

If your computer has extended memory, however, you can make more conventional memory available to your applications by running the DOS software in the High Memory Area (HMA) and in upper memory (when the HMA is not available). DOS=HIGH,UMB is the default for the operating system when extended memory is available. In order for high or upper memory to be enabled, a memory manager (EMM386 or HIMEM) must be loaded first. Refer to Chapter 10, "Managing Memory" for information about memory managers.

You can also force the operating system software to use the HMA or upper memory exclusively (DOS=HIGH or DOS=UMB).

To change the default location of the operating system, run SETUP, choose DOS System and Memory Management, and then choose Memory Manager. You can specify Conventional Memory, Upper Memory, or High Memory. SETUP automatically updates the DOS command in CONFIG.SYS and the next time you boot your machine, the new DOS setting takes effect.

NOTE: When you choose High Memory, DOS=HIGH,UMB is added in CONFIG.SYS. To specify high memory only edit the CONFIG.SYS file manually.

Example

The following command loads the system software in upper memory, if available:

DOS=UMB

DRIVPARM

Format

DRIVPARM = /D:n [/C] [/F:n] [/H:nn] [/I] [/N]
[/S:nn] [/T:nn]

Explanation

The DRIVPARM command defines the physical characteristics of a specified disk drive. Use it to associate a particular type of physical disk drive with a logical drive. To add a 3.5-inch diskette drive to a computer that does not expect to use 3.5-inch diskette drives, for example, the DRIVPARM command is required to redefine the drive parameters for subsequent use by the operating system.

You can also use DRIVPARM to modify a logical drive already recognized by the operating system but to add and define a new logical drive, you must use the DRIVER.SYS device driver instead. Refer to the description of DRIVER.SYS in this chapter for information.
Options

/D:n

Specify the single digit that corresponds to the logical drive (drive A, drive C, and so forth.) for which you are defining characteristics.

/C

Specifies that the drive is able to detect when a disk is changed.

/F:n

Specifies the drive type. Specify one of the following:

n Drive Type
0 160/180 KB or 320/360 KB
1 1.2 MB
2 720 KB (the default)
5 Hard disk
6 Tape
7 1.44 MB
8 Read/write optical disk
9 2.88 MB

/H:nn

Specifies the maximum number of drive heads; specify a number from 1 through 99. The default depends on the value specified for /F:n.

/I

Specifies a 3.5-inch diskette drive that is installed on your computer and uses the existing diskette drive controller. Use this switch when your computer does not support 3.5-inch diskette drives.

/N

Specifies that the drive is for permanent media.

/S:nn

The number of sectors supported by the drive. Specify a number between 1 and 99. The default depends on the value specified for /F:n.

/T:nn

The number of tracks supported by the drive. The default depends on the value specified for /F:n.

ECHO

Format

ECHO [message]

Explanation

Use the ECHO command to display messages on screen when you start the operating system.

Questions and explanatory messages, for example, are useful as part of your CONFIG.SYS file. Messages you specify with ECHO commands appear in the order in which you enter them in CONFIG.SYS and exactly as you type them in ECHO statements, including any spaces you leave.

Example

The following ECHO statement causes the message INSTALL CODE PAGE SWITCHING? to appear on your screen whenever CONFIG.SYS executes:

ECHO INSTALL CODE PAGE SWITCHING?

EXIT

Format

EXIT

Explanation

EXIT forces the system to terminate CONFIG.SYS execution.

FASTOPEN

Format

FASTOPEN = nnnnn

Explanation

The FASTOPEN command increases the speed at which the operating system accesses files on a hard disk that are being accessed repeatedly. FASTOPEN records the locations of these files so that the operating system does not have to "navigate" along the path every time a file is accessed.

FASTOPEN causes the system to set up a special table of filenames in memory, the size of which you set by specifying the number of entries (nnnnn). Specify a number between 128 and 32768; the default is 512 entries.

Remember that FASTOPEN improves disk performance but results in less available space in memory; each table entry uses 2 bytes of memory. Consequently, you should not define a table larger than you need.

Example

The following command defines a table size of 512 entries:

FASTOPEN = 512

FCBS

Format

FCBS = m,n

Explanation

Use the FCBS command to specify the number of files that can be opened by programs at the same time using data structures called File Control Blocks.

NOTE: Some older applications may require an FCBS statement in CONFIG.SYS rather than a FILES statement; FILES is also used to control the number of files that can be opened simultaneously. Always use the FILES command to control the number of open files allowed unless your application specifically requires an FCBS entry.

For FCBS to have much effect, the SHARE program or networking support must be loaded. Refer to the "Command Reference" chapter of DOSBook for a description of the SHARE command.
Options

m

The number of files that FCBs can open at one time; specify a number from 1 to 255.

n

The number of files opened by FCBs that are protected from automatic closure by the system; specify a number from 1 to 255. If an application attempts to open more than m file(s) by FCBs, all but the first n file(s) may be closed by the operating system.

Example

The following command sets the maximum number of open files allowed to 8 and the number of protected files to 4:

FCBS = 8, 4

FILES

Format

FILES = nnn

Explanation

The FILES command specifies the number of files that can be opened simultaneously by programs. The operating system uses this number to determine how much memory to set aside for controlling open files.

Specify a number (nnn) between 20 and 255; the default is 20.

You should only specify more than the default number of files (20) if the documentation for an application you are using instructs you to do so or if the application returns error messages indicating that the number of open files allowed is insufficient.

Example

The following command sets the maximum number of open files allowed to 20:

FILES = 20

GOSUB

Format

GOSUB label

Explanation

GOSUB forces execution to jump to a group of statements (subroutine) within the same CONFIG.SYS file, execute the subroutine, and then jump back (when a RETURN command is encountered) to the statement immediately after the GOSUB. You must specify a label, and that label must be present in the CONFIG.SYS file to identify the start of the subroutine. A RETURN command must be present to identify and exit from the subroutine.

Example

In the following sequence of statements, execution jumps to the statement after the label and through the following statements before jumping back to the statement after GOSUB when it reaches RETURN:

GOSUB memdisk

exit

.

.

.

:memdisk

DEVICE=vdisk.sys

.

.

.

return

GOTO

Format

GOTO label

Explanation

Use GOTO to change the order in which commands are executed.

GOTO directs the operating system to jump to another part of the file, identified by a label. The label parameter must identify a label that is present in the same CONFIG.SYS file.

You can use ? with GOTO commands so that if a certain condition is satisfied, or response received, execution jumps to the appropriate statements.

If you want execution to jump to a certain point in the file and then jump back again, use GOSUB and RETURN commands instead; refer to the descriptions of GOSUB and RETURN in this chapter.

Example

In the following sequence of statements, execution jumps to the label (MEMDISK) if the user enters Y (for Yes) when prompted by the ? statement:

? "Do you want a memory disk? (Y/N)" GOTO MEMDISK

.

.

:MEMDISK

DEVICE=VDISK.SYS

HIDEVICE/DEVICEHIGH

Format

HIDEVICE|DEVICEHIGH [SIZE=nnnn] filespec

Explanation

HIDEVICE or DEVICEHIGH loads an installable device driver into upper memory.

You must specify the name of the device driver (filespec) that you want to load high.

If you want to load a device driver that is unable to determine the amount of memory that it will ultimately need, you can also specify the amount of upper memory required for the driver (SIZE=nnnn). To determine this amount, load the driver into conventional memory and then run the MEM command to see how much memory the driver uses. Refer to the "Command Reference" chapter of DOSBook for information about MEM and its options.

Example

The following command loads ANSI.SYS into upper memory:

HIDEVICE=C:\DRDOS\ANSI.SYS

HIINSTALL/INSTALLHIGH

Format

HIINSTALL|INSTALLHIGH=filespec [options]

Explanation

HIINSTALL or INSTALLHIGH loads and executes a specified program in upper memory rather than conventional memory. HIINSTALL or INSTALLHIGH performs the same function as HILOAD or LOADHIGH except that it is processed as part of CONFIG.SYS rather than at the system prompt or in a batch file (such as AUTOEXEC.BAT).

You must specify the full filespec of the program you want to load into upper memory. You can also specify any parameters (options) that you want to pass to the program.

The specified program will load and execute in upper memory every time you start the operating system, as long as upper memory is enabled by a memory manager (EMM386 or HIMEM) and is available. Before attempting to load a program into upper memory, you can check to make sure that there is enough upper memory available by running the MEM command; refer to the "Command Reference" chapter of DOSBook for information about MEM and its options.

Example

The following command installs the CURSOR program in upper memory:

HIINSTALL=C:\DRDOS\CURSOR.EXE

HISTORY

Format

HISTORY = ON[,nnnn[,ON|OFF][,[ON|OFF][,ON|OFF]]]|OFF

Explanation

Use the HISTORY command to turn the extended command line editing features on and off. Extended command line editing stores commands you issue in a memory buffer so that you can recall commands that you recently issued and re-issue or modify and
re-issue them.

Set HISTORY to ON if you want to be able to recall and modify command lines using the extended editing keys. See the "Command Reference" chapter of DOSBook for a full description of extended command line editing.

Set HISTORY to OFF if you want to disable extended command line editing completely.

You can also enable or disable the command line search mode features specifically; refer to the descriptions of the third and forth ON|OFF parameters in the options table below.
Options

nnnn

Defines the size of the memory buffer in which commands are stored. The size of the buffer determines how many command lines you can recall. Specify a buffer size between 128 and 4096 bytes. The default is 512 bytes, which allows you to recall approximately 10 commands.

Note that the operating system actually uses two memory buffers of the size you specify; the first buffer stores commands entered in the command line and the second buffer stores commands entered from applications.

[,ON|OFF]

Turns "insert mode" on and off; off is the default. When insert mode is on, characters you enter in the command line are inserted in front of the cursor. When insert mode is off, characters at the cursor position are overwritten.

[,[ON|OFF]]

This third ON|OFF option enables or disables the command line search feature specifically. Command line search allows you to display the
most-recently-entered command that matches the current one by pressing <Ctrl> R.

[,ON|OFF]

The fourth ON|OFF option enables and disables the more sophisticated search feature; this allows you to recall the most-recently-entered command that matches each character you type, by pressing <Ctrl> _.

Example

The following command switches insert mode on and defines a memory buffer of 512 bytes:

HISTORY = ON,512,ON

INSTALL

Format

INSTALL = filespec [options]

Explanation

Use the INSTALL command to load a program automatically from CONFIG.SYS when you start the operating system; this saves you from entering the program name in the command line every time you want to use it.

You can specify options to pass to the specified program (filespec).

The following programs can be loaded using the INSTALL command:
CURSOR.EXE

NLSFUNC.EXE

GRAFTABL.COM

PRINT.COM

GRAPHICS.COM

SHARE.EXE

KEYB.COM

NOTE: To load installable device drivers during startup, use the DEVICE command; refer to the description of DEVICE in this chapter.

Example

The following statement loads the KEYB program (with the UK keyboard option) whenever CONFIG.SYS is executed:

INSTALL = C:\DRDOS\KEYB UK

LASTDRIVE

Format

LASTDRIVE = drive_letter

Explanation

Use the LASTDRIVE command to set a different "last drive letter" than the one automatically set by the operating system.

The operating system assigns a drive letter to each actual drive that it finds during startup (including any virtual disk drives) and sets the last drive letter it assigns as the "last drive letter"; all remaining drive letters become invalid. Use LASTDRIVE so that the operating system will recognize drive letters not already assigned.

If you are using the operating system's network component, set LASTDRIVE to the letter Z.

Example

Assume that your computer has a diskette drive (A:), a hard disk drive (C:), and two virtual disk drives (D: and E:) but you are using a program that requires you to use the SUBST command with drives F: and G:. The following command causes the operating system to recognize drive letters F: and G: as well as A: through E:

LASTDRIVE = G

REM

Format

REM | ; [comment]

Explanation

Use REM to add comments to your CONFIG.SYS file. Simply use REM (for "remark") or a semicolon as the first character in a statement to identify it as a comment; the statement will be ignored when the file is executed.

Comments are useful to clarify the purpose of a command. You can also use the comment markers (REM or ;) without a comment itself to add spaces in the file so that it is easier to read.

Example

The following statements include a DEVICE command that loads the ANSI.SYS driver and a comment preceding it that explains what the DEVICE command does:

REM * Load the ANSI driver for Wordmaster

DEVICE = ANSI.SYS

RETURN

Format

RETURN

Explanation

Use RETURN with a GOSUB or SWITCH command to direct execution back to the statement following the GOSUB or SWITCH command after the appropriate subroutine has been executed; refer to the descriptions of GOSUB and SWITCH in this chapter.

SET

Format

SET name=parameter

Explanation

Use the SET command to add environment variables to the command processor's master environment.

The name of an environment variable is determined by the commands and device drivers loaded in your system configuration. Applications and batch files such as AUTOEXEC.BAT can then "test" the value (parameter) of a variable and execute commands accordingly.

Examples

The following statements include a SET command that specifies a value for the VDISK variable:

?"Create a 1Mb RAM Disk" gosub ramdisk

exit

.

.

.

:ramdisk

set VDISK=1024

device=c:\drdos\vdisk.sys 1024 /X

return

The next group of statements (in AUTOEXEC.BAT) tests the value of the VDISK variable (set above) and changes the value of the TEMP variable accordingly.

SET TEMP=C:\TEMP

if NOT "%VDISK%" == " " SET TEMP=D:\TEMP

MD %TEMP% >NUL

SHELL

>

Format

SHELL = filespec dirpath /P[:filename] [/E:n] [/Mx]

Explanation

SHELL defines the name (filespec) and location (dirpath) of the command processor used by the operating system. By default, COMMAND.COM is loaded from the root directory of the C: drive. Change the SHELL statement in CONFIG.SYS if you want the operating system to use a different command processor or a command processor that is located in a directory other than the root directory.

The /P switch is required with the SHELL command to fix the specified command processor in memory.

NOTE: You can load another copy of the command processor by using COMMAND at the system prompt. Refer to the description of COMMAND in the "Command Reference" chapter of DOSBook for more information.
Options

/P[:filename]

Makes the command processor permanent in memory. The EXIT command (to terminate a secondary command processor) is disabled. The operating system runs AUTOEXEC.BAT by default after COMMAND.COM is loaded; use filename to specify a different batch file, if required.

/E:n

Defines the size of the command processing environment in bytes, where n is a number from 129 to 32,751. The default size is 256; the default is also used if you specify a number outside the valid range.

/Mx

Forces the command processor to load in a specific memory area, where x is L (for low), H (for high), or U (for upper). The default is low memory. You must have a memory manager that supports high and upper memory loaded before you can use /MH or /MU. If there is insufficient high or upper memory available, the command processor loads in conventional memory.

Examples

The following statement loads COMMAND.COM from C:\DRDOS rather than from the root directory:

SHELL = C:\DRDOS\COMMAND.COM C:\DRDOS /P
/E:512

The COMSPEC environment variable, which defines the path to the command processor, is now set as follows:

COMSPEC = C:\DRDOS\COMMAND.COM

If you reset COMSPEC using the SET command (at the system prompt or in a batch file), however, this will override the value set in the SHELL statement.

STACKS

Format

STACKS=n,s

Explanation

The STACKS command supports the use of data stacks for hardware interrupts.

Specify the number of stacks (n) as 0 or 8 through 64 and the size of each stack (s) as 0 or 32 through 512.

The default STACKS setting is 0,0 for IBM PCs and PC/XTs and 9,128 for other machines.

Example

The following command allocates 8 stacks of 512 bytes each for hardware interrupt handling:

STACKS=8,512

SWITCH

Format

SWITCH label1, label2[, labeln]

Explanation

Use the SWITCH command to switch between different subroutines within the same CONFIG.SYS file. When CONFIG.SYS executes, SWITCH causes the operating system to prompt you to select a configuration subroutine. Execution then jumps to the selected subroutine.

Each subroutine must start with a label and end with a RETURN statement.

You can use up to 9 labels.

Example

The following statements specify switching between three subroutines.

echo = CONFIGURATION 1

echo = CONFIGURATION 2

echo = CONFIGURATION 3

echo = Please select CONFIGURATION 1 2 or 3 ?

switch config1, config2, config3

echo CONFIGURATION COMPLETE

exit

:config1

echo CONFIGURATION 1 selected

return

:config2

echo CONFIGURATION 2 selected

return

:config3

echo CONFIGURATION 3 selected

return

These statements would cause the following to display when executed:

CONFIGURATION 1

CONFIGURATION 2

CONFIGURATION 3

Please select CONFIGURATION 1 2 or 3 ?

The valid responses to the prompt would be

Assuming you type 2 and press <Enter>, you then see

CONFIGURATION 2 selected

Then

CONFIGURATION COMPLETE

TIMEOUT

Format

TIMEOUT [=] n

Explanation

Use TIMEOUT to set a time limit for the amount of time allowed to respond to a ? or SWITCH prompt (see ? and SWITCH); the command is then ignored (for ?) or the first option is assumed (for SWITCH) if you do not enter a response within the TIMEOUT limit.

Specify n seconds, where n is a number, or accept the default of 0, which forces the system to wait indefinitely until a key is pressed.

Note that a TIMEOUT setting applies to all ? and SWITCH statements that follow it.

Example

The following statement sets a time limit of 10 seconds for ? and SWITCH prompts:

TIMEOUT 10

YEAR2000

YEAR2000

Format

YEAR2000 = OFF|ON

Explanation

The DR-DOS kernel corrects any Year 2000 problems, even if your BIOS does not support the Year 2000 system date. See "Year 2000 Support" in Chapter 1 for more information.

Year 2000 rollover support (that is, correct date and time as the century changes at midnight December 31st) can be turned off because not all software will run with this support enabled. For example, to avoid problems with the Stealth features of Quarterdeck's memory manager QUEMM, turn off Year 2000 rollover support by entering the following command in CONFIG.SYS.

YEAR2000 = OFF

Note: Although DR-DOS corrects the system date, this does not prevent problems with all software applications. You must check all the software used on your PC for Year 2000 compliance and load any required updates to ensure that no problems occur.



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