DOS Frequently Asked Questions

Christoph Fuchs <mailto:cfuchs@drdos.net>
v.1.13, Jan. 1, 2004 (note: the newest version of this file will always be available at http://www.drdos.net/faq/)

Please read the copyright notice at the end of the text. If you miss any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Table Of Contents

  1. General information
    1. What is DOS?
    2. What do you need to run DOS?
    3. What you should know before running DOS
    4. What DOS is the best?
    5. Where can I get information/material about these DOSes?
    6. Where can I get help?
    7. Where can I learn the DOS basics?
  2. Driver/related
    1. How can I make my CD drive run with DOS?
    2. How can I access my FAT32 partition?
    3. How can I access my NTFS partition?
    4. How can I enable support for long file names (LFN), like the ones Windows 95 offers?
    5. How can I use more than 64 MB RAM with DOS?
    6. How to utilize up to 8 Gb disk space for DR-DOS?
    7. How can I access the internet with DOS?
    8. What is conventional memory?
    9. How can I get as much free conventional memory as possible?
    10. How to connect a DOS PC to an existing network?
  3. Other Stuff
    1. What about the Y2K problem?
    2. Can I configure my system to boot Windows 9x/ME/2000/NT x.x and DOS?
    3. I need a special program. Where can I get it?
    4. Where can I find DOS resources on the internet?
    5. I would like to use a GUI. Where can I get one?
    6. How can I help/support the DOS community?
    7. Where can I get information about BATCH programming?
    8. Multitasking with plain DOS? Is that possible?
    9. I run Linux on my computer. How can I emulate a DOS machine?
    10. How can I create hotkeys (like F1-F12) on my system?
    11. How to customize the DIR command?
    12. How to use the EURO-symbol (€) in DR-DOS?
    13. What is 4DOS?
  4. Different Disk Operating Systems (DOSes)
    1. MS DOS
    2. IBM PC DOS
    3. FreeDOS
    4. Lineo DR DOS
      1. What the hell is DPMS/DPMI?
      2. How can I improve my system?
      3. What are these 7.04/7.05 kernel files?
      4. Where can I find the DR DOS license?
      5. Where can I download the OpenDOS source code?
      6. Where can I find the OpenDOS documentation?
      7. Is there a way to buy DR-DOS?
      8. How can I create a bootmenu in config.sys like in MS-DOS?
      9. Are there any other DR-DOS/OpenDOS FAQs?
    5. PTS DOS / Paragon DOS
      1. How can I make my CD-ROM drive work with PS-DOS?
      2. I have got problems installing Windows 3.1x on my machine running PTS-DOS.
      3. Windows doesn't boot. The system crashes.
      4. Undocumentated commands in PTS-DOS
        1. COMMAND.COM
        2. CONFIG.PTS
        3. PTS Cache
        4. Bootmanager
      5. PTS DOS COMMAND.COM patch
    6. ROM DOS
    7. RxDOS
    8. MOE DOS
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1. General Information

1.1 What is DOS?

DOS is a Disk Operating System, that means it's an OS that uses a disk. Operating systems for IBM PCs since the early 1980s were called DOS. DOS consists of the command prompt, mostly command.com and two kernelfiles. That's a basic DOS system. DOS was a mainstream OS until Windows 95 (which also uses DOS, btw) threw it off the market.

1.2 What do you need to run DOS?

First, you need a computer which is IBM compatible. The computer should have 640 KB of RAM or even more :)) (in some cases it will work with fewer RAM, too, but I would use more). Then, you need a floppy drive, a harddisk or something simular. It would be great to have a keyboard or a mouse and if you want to see something you might need a monitor... but that's all.

1.3 What you should know before running DOS

For those who always were happy with Windows it might be annoying to type a lot at the command prompt. But for those who want the computer do what it should do it's the first choice. DOS is small in size, very fast and everybody can effort a DOS system. For less than 100$ you can set up a system that is much faster than many Windows machines and is very stabile. You can do quite a lot with DOS and nearly all your system resources are free, DOS only takes a few kilobytes of your RAM. You can find a lot of programs and hardware for that OS. But if you always want to play the newest games and don't want "to give up" your buggy Windows 9x, you might be on the wrong place here.

1.4 What DOS is the best one?

Well, that's a quite silly question. Everybody likes the DOS best she/he uses. My personal opinion is that DR-DOS is the best and highest developed DOS. The second choice should be ROM DOS. Another really great DOS is FreeDOS <http://www.freedos.org>. It's available under the terms of GPL and I really love it.

1.5 Where can I get more material about these DOSes?

1.6 Where can I get help?

Search for DOS newsgroups like comp.os.msdos.misc or de.comp.os.msdos, look at the manufacturer's website(s) you find above, look at the DR DOS forum at http://senac.com/forums/4356/ or at the OpenDOS documentation library at http://www.thur.de/~igs/USEFULL/OPENDOS/.
In many cases it's also a big succes to go to your local library to search for old DOS books. They often have some, normally it's not difficult to find them.

1.7 Where can I learn the DOS basics?

If you don't have a clue about DOS, I advise you to read some sites with the DOS basics, e.g. http://www.computerhope.com/msdos.htm.

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2. Driver/related

2.1 How can I make my CD drive run with DOS?

That's fairly easy: You simply need to add a line to your CONFIG.SYS file, for example:

DEVICE=C:\CDROM\IDE_CD.SYS /D:CD0001

Please change C:\CDROM\IDE_CD.SYS to your cd driver for DOS. You can get the driver with the drive on a diskette or try to use a different one from www.simtel.net.

After that, you need to add this line to your AUTOEXEC.BAT:

MSCDEX /D:CD0001

(The example shown above is for MS DOS, for FreeDOS it would be FDEX /D:CD0001 and for DR DOS it would be NWCDEX /D:CD001).

Look also at What is conventional memory? (2.8) or How can I get as much free conventional memory as possible? (2.9).

2.2 How can I access a FAT32 partition?

You can access your FAT32 partition with this driver: http://www.drdos.net/files/fat32.zip.

To configure your systemfiles, add to your CONFIG.SYS:

DEVICE=X:\DRFAT32.SYS /X

(assuming that X:\DRFAT33.SYS is the path to the drfat33.sys file).
The following line should be added to your AUTOEXEC.BAT:

X:\DRFAT32.EXE /m:120 >NUL

(assuming that X:\DRFAT32.EXE is the path to the DRFAT32.EXE file).

2.3 How can I access a NTFS partition?

If you want to read the files on your NTFS partiton (used by Windows NT or Windows 2000), I suggest to use this driver: http://www.drdos.net/files/ntfsdos.exe. A few people told me that they had problems using this driver with DR DOS (look at Lineo DR-DOS (4.4) for more detailed information).

2.4 How can I enable support for long file names (LFN), like the ones Windows 95 offers?

You can get a LFN driver at http://www.sylpher.com/dosuser/. I haven't tested it yet, it would be nice if someone could tell me her/his opinion about it.

2.5 How can I use more than 64 MB RAM with DOS?

You just need to copy a himem.sys from a Windows 9x/ME system to your DOS system and load it before your emm386 (e.g.: add

DEVICE=C:\DRDOS\HIMEM.SYS

to your CONFIG.SYS).
Might be that emm386 will print some errors, but you can ignore them.

2.6 How to utilize up to 8 Gb disk space for DR-DOS?

On modern system with harddisks >8GB you often have got the problem that you must use the new 0Fh extended partition (LBA) instead of the old sort 05h extended partition (CHS). DR-DOS 7.03 won't accept this new type 0Fh and won't have access to the data. A solution would be to use the old 05h partition type but then you would have access to 8 GB under DR DOS but you would be limited to these 8 GB under Windows 9x/NT, too.

The only "real" solution would be to create two extended partitions, first one with DR DOS FDISK (all the space above the primary partition but below the 8 GB) with the C5h type ("DR DOS secured"). MS DOS won't be able to recognize this partition.

Afterwards, you must create another extended partition with the rest of the space for MS DOS which won't be recognized by DR DOS using FDISK of MS DOS 7.10 or higher with the 0Fh type (not readable for DR DOS).

2.7 How can I access the internet with DOS?

First of all, you need a DOS compatible modem or ISDN card. I advise to use the Arachne browser, a great DOS webbrowser with PacketDriver and dialer. It's not difficult to set it up.

These sites might also be interesting for you:

2.8 What is conventional memory?

The first 640 KB of your RAM are called "conventional memory" under DOS. DOS can only address this first 640 KB of RAM directly, the other part won't be recognized if you don't load a memory manager like himem.sys. Most programs need a special amount of conventional memory to run, so it would be good to have as much free memory as possible within this 640 KB. How can you do this? Well, that's not quite difficult, but it is not fairly easy.

2.9 How can I get as much free conventional memory as possible?

Many drivers etc. are loaded into conventional memory by default setting. You only have to tell them to load themselves high, that means in the higher memory area. How to do this? Simply tell them in the autoexec.bat or config.sys somthing like LH (=load high, only use in autoexec.bat) or devicehigh / installhigh (in config.sys). As an example: If you want to load a CD-ROM driver in higher memory, simply add to your config.sys the line

DEVICEHIGH=C:\CDROM\IDE_CD.SYS /D:CD0001

and to your autoexec.bat

LH MSCDEX.EXE /D:CD0001

(assuming that C:\CDROM\IDE_CD.SYS is the location of your cd-rom driver and that you loaded a memory manager before in config.sys).

Before you can do this, you need a memory manager (I suggest QEMM386.SYS instead of himem.sys and emm386.exe, it uses not as much memory as the others). Add the line

DEVICE=QEMM386.SYS

to your config.sys before you load any other drivers in the higher memory area.

Note: QEMM386.SYS is not compatible with Windows 9x/ME!

2.10 How to connect a DOS PC to an existing network?

Florian Xaver postet a list of intersting DOS network links to the FreeDOS mailing list: http://www.freedos.org/freedos/news/technote/157.html. Thanks a lot!

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3. Other Stuff

3.1 What about the Y2K problem?

Many people think that DOS is a very very old OS and has got a lot of problems with Y2K. Folks, I can tell you that DR DOS 7.03 even corrects the BIOS date if your BIOS has got problems with the year 2000. So DOS isn't as bad as you might think of this topic.

I don't really had problems with PC DOS (IBM DOS 7) and FreeDOS, neither with PTS DOS and ROM DOS. If somebody of you made other experiences, please send me an e-mail (mailto:cfuchs@drdos.net).

3.2 Can I configure my system to boot Windows 9x/ME/2000/NT x.x and DOS?

Sure, you can. Create a primary partiton BEFORE your Windows partition (e.g. with PartitionMagic) and get a boot manager (I use the german tool 'Bootmanager', you can get a free trial version at http://www.bootmanager-pro.de).

Another very good bootmanager is the eXtended Operating Systems Loader.

This solution should also work with linux.

3.3 I need a special program. Where can I get it?

These sites have got a lot of fine DOS programs:

3.4 Where can I find DOS resources on the internet?

A list of good DOS websites can be found at the DOSNET netring: http://www.ringsurf.com/netring?ring=dosnet;action=list.

3.5 I would like to use a GUI. Where can I get one?

There exist several GUIs for DOS. The most frequently used one is Windows 3.x, but it's not developed any more and it's not for free.

3.6 How can I help/support the DOS community?

If you like DOS and want to discuss your problems or the experiences you made, then sign up to the OpenDOS mailing list at mailto:opendos@delorie.com (to subscribe, send an e-mail to listserv@delorie.com with the text add opendos or add opendos-digest in the body. If you subscribe to opendos-digest, you'll get all e-mails every sunday in a digest form).

If you can program, make a few free programs for the FreeDOS project or help people with their problems.

Please buy your DOS versions legally (only commercial ones, sure:)) ), because then you support the manufaturers and -hopefully- the producers will get so much money that they will continue to develop DOS.

3.7 Where can I get information about BATCH programming?

There are several really great FAQs and tutorials around here, Prof. Timo Salmi wrote an outstanding one, for example.

3.8 Multitasking with plain DOS? Is that possible?

Sure, it is. You need a program like taskmgr.exe in DR-DOS 7.03, but a tool like that clutters your memory like nothing else... Another very good and well-known tool is DesqView, look at http://www.chsoft.com/dv.html and you will know much more about it.

3.9 I run Linux on my computer. How can I emulate a DOS machine?

Try it with this fine program: http://www.dosemu.org.

3.10 How can I create hotkeys (like F1-F12) on my system?

You can do that using an ansi-driver like ansi.sys (load it in config.sys: DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\ANSI.SYS). Let's assume that you want to start Windows by pressing the F1-key. To start Windows with the F1 key, you have to modify/create the prompt-section in your autoexec.bat:

PROMPT $e[0;59;"C:\WINDOWS\WIN.COM";13p$P$G

The last $P$G tells command.com to show your active working directory (e.g. C:\DOS>) on the prompt. With the number 59 you can use the key F1, with 60 F2, 61 F3 and so on. With the code 133 you reach the key F11 and with 134 the key F12.

If you want to format a diskette in drive A: by pressing F2, you should add that at the end of the prompt command but before something like $P$G in your autoexec.bat:

$e[0;60;"FORMAT A:";13p

The complete command would look like that:

PROMPT $e[0;59;"C:\WINDOWS\WIN.COM";13p$e[0;60;"FORMAT A:";13p$P$G
             ^                               ^
            code 59: key F1                 code 60: key F2

3.11 How to customize the DIR command?

If you use the dir command always with a lot of options like /O /W or whatever you want, it's nasty to type them all the time. You can solve this problem by setting the varibale DIRCMD in autoexec.bat:

SET DIRCMD=/W

The example above will set the parameter /W as default, you only type dir and you'll get the same result as dir /w.

Note: This doesn't work for DR-DOS! In DR-DOS, you may set the default paramenter with dir /C [parameters], e.g.

dir /CW

"dir" gives now the same result as dir /W.

3.12 How to use the EURO-symbol (€) in DR-DOS?

You have to change the country-settings in config.sys (add 21000 to the country code):

COUNTRY=21049,437,c:\drdos\country.sys

This will switch the currency from "DM" to "EUR" and the format of the date from "dd.mm.yyyy" to the new format defined in DIN EN 28601 (ISO 8601) "yyyy-mm-dd".
This will also work for the other countries in the European Union which take part in the currency union and which are supported by DR-DOS: Simply add 21000 to the country code in config.sys (you find the "normal" country codes in the DOSBOOK).

I added a german posting from Matthias Paul in de.comp.os.msdos to the Quicknote section.

3.13 What is 4DOS?

4DOS is a command shell replacement for DOS. It allows more powerful batch scripts and is much more customizeable than the normal command.com. 4DOS is developed by JPSOFT, you can download a free evaluation version there. Klaus Meinhard is an expert for 4DOS, you can find his regularly updated website at http://www.4xbtm.de.

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4. Different Disk Operating Systems (DOSes)

This part of the FAQ is based on my personal opinion. Some of you might have another one, please let me know about it and send your comment to cfuchs@drdos.net. Thank you.

4.1 MS-DOS

MS-DOS is the most-used DOS and most compatible :) It's very stable, but it doesn't has as many features as some of the other DOSes. It's not developed any more and it's difficult to buy it (the only chance would be something like ebay...). MS-DOS 7.x is part of Windows 9x and Windows ME contains MS-DOS 8.0. The versions > 7.10 support FAT32 and partitions > 8 GB.

4.2 IBM PC DOS

Since version 5.02, PC-DOS is independent in its software package and is not longer the same as MS-DOS. Since version 7.0 or 2000 (it's nearly the same, but it's different though ;-)) ) PC-DOS doesn't have more in common than PTS/DOS or DR-DOS. PC-DOS has got a few new really great commands like dynaload. With version 6.3, IBM cleaned the source code. This speeded PC-DOS up a bit, but a few programs needed the old code and that may cause errors, but only two programs like that are known.The editor is a bit strange, I personally don't like it but some people like the /C and /A switch to edit the configuration files autoexec.bat and config.sys... You can purchase IBM PC DOS at http://www-4.ibm.com/software/os/dos/.

Thanks a lot to Thomas König for detailed information about PC-DOS.

4.3 FreeDOS

FreeDOS is still developed, it's OpenSource and it aims to be 100% MS-DOS 3.3 compatible. It comes with a big software package with lots of great tools. Visit the FreeDOS Website for more information. There you can also find some documentation stufff and lots of FAQs for FreeDOS.

Unfortunately, FreeDOS isn't 100% MS-DOS compatible., e.g. Windows 3.x won't work with FreeDOS, but I'm sure that will change! A list of known bugs can be found at http://www.freedos.org/bugs/. If you want to take part in the FreeDOS community feel free to suscribe to the FreeDOS mailinglist at http://www.freedos.org/freedos/join/.

Since kernel 2024h, FreeDOS also supports FAT32 partitons (kernel 2024h is an alpha-version, you can download the kernel at http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/fdlfn/kernel_2024h_fat32.zip).

There exist two different FreeDOS distrubtions: at http://www.fdos.org you can download the ripcord version which is updated more regularly - you'll find always the latest versions of the software in that package, but it might not be as stable as the "normal" distributions at http://www.freedos.org.

Jeremy Davis created a bootable ISO-CD-ROM image with the ripcord distribution. It's available for download at http://www.darklogic.org/fdos/ripcord/. Please tell him what you think about it and if you have got some suggestions for further versions.

4.4 Lineo DR-DOS

In my opinion, DR-DOS is the highest developed DOS. It has the best memory management, can run in DOS Protected Mode, is an 32BIT OS and comes with a taskmanager/-switcher for multitasking. If you run on a fast machine, >300Mhz, various utilities will break down because of a bug in the Borland C libraries. In DR-DOS 7.03 these have been recompiled with a fixed version of the library and they will not crash on fast machines anymore. The tool NTFSDOS (allows to read NTFS partitions) doesn't work with DR-DOS correctly, this fact shows that disk (files?) access by DR-DOS differs much from MS/PC-DOS. DR-DOS is free for personal use, but it's not developed any more. If you download the right package, it comes with Personal Netware (http://www.drdos.net/download.htm).

4.4.1 What the hell is DPMS/DPMI?

DPM stands for DOS Protected Mode. That means that you are able to use the memory above 1 MB for TSR programs or simular. Using DPMI, you will have more free convential memory.

4.4.2 How can I improve my system?

4.4.3 What are these 7.04/7.05 kernel files?

These files are OEM versions of Ontrack. They have got a big bug: an error occures when you want to rename a file. The IBM*.COM files nativly support the new partition type 0Fh (LBA).

It's not recommended to use these files if you don't know what you do. The COMMAND.COM file seems to be okay, but I didn't notice any changes.

If you want to try these files, please go to http://www.drdos.net/err705.htm. - good luck.

4.4.4 Where can I find the DR DOS license?

At http://www.drdos.net/faq/license.txt.

4.4.5 Where can I download the OpenDOS source code?

Download it from http://www.drdos.net/download.htm.

4.4.6 Where can I find the OpenDOS documentation?

You can get the OpenDOS documentation at http://www.thur.de/~igs/USEFULL/OPENDOS/.

An alternative to the official documentation is the outstanding file nwdostip.txt in the MPDOSTIP.ZIP archive (http://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs180/mpdokeng.html#M.MPDOSTIP) from Matthias Paul. This package isn't an official document, but it contains much information about DR-DOS and other DOS related topics like NC and a file with many undocumented features of DR-DOS. Unfortunately, these files only exist in german language.

4.4.7 Is there a way to buy DR-DOS?

Yes, there is. Lineo sells licenses in big packages, but if you only want to buy a single license you can get it at http://www.blands.co.uk, at Caldera (only version 7.02) or - if you live in or near Germany you can purchase it at http://www.linuxland.de.

If you need >5 licenses, feel free to get them from Lineo at http://www.drdos.com.

4.4.8 How can I create a bootmenu in config.sys like in MS-DOS?

Q: I have a NetWare 5.1 server and I need to create a multiple config boot. With MS-DOS, it was as simple as using the following structure in CONFIG.SYS.

[Menu]
Menuitem=BootServ, Boot Server
Menuitem=BootWork, Boot Workstation
Menudefault=BootServ, 10

[BootServ]

[BootWork]
Files=60
Buffers=20
Device=c:\CDROMDRV.SYS /D:CD001

Then AUTOEXEC.BAT looked like this.

Prompt $P$G

Goto %config%

:BootServ
cd\nwserver
server
goto END

:BootWork
mscdex /d:CD001
goto END

:END

Could someone please tell me how to do this in DR-DOS? Thanks.

A: Here is a sample CONFIG.SYS that will do the job. You can keep your autoexec.bat like in MS-DOS (you get an environment parameter CONFIG that you can use in auotexec.bat to specify the operations you want to do).

timeout=5
echo=1. Server
echo=2. DR-DOS
switch server, drdos
exit
:server
set config=server
return
:drdos
set config=drdos
Files=60
Buffers=20
Device=c:\CDROMDRV.SYS /D:CD001
return

4.4.9 Are there any other DR-DOS/OpenDOS FAQs?

I found an outdated (March 14, 1997) OpenDOS FAQ at http://www.delorie.com/opendos/faq/. If you know any other DR-DOS/OpenDOS FAQ, please contact me <cfuchs@n-net.org>.

4.5 PTS DOS / Paragon DOS

PTS DOS is a russian DOS, written in assembler. It's really fast. It comes on two floppy disks, one with the system and the utilities, the other one with Arachne as webbrowser. It claims to be MS-DOS compatible, but it's a bit strange in configuration and memory management but it is still developed. At http://phystechsoft.com/en you will find more detailed information about PTS DOS.

On their website, they provide a PTS DOS FAQ and an online help, which is very useful in my opinion.

There are two versions of PTS-DOS: One at PhysTechSoft (PTS DOS) and another one at Paragon called Paragon DOS. They seem to be the same, somebody told me that Paragon consists of former PhysTechSoft developers....

Paragon DOS has also the following features:

Wolfgang Elsässer published a website with a very big FAQ about PTS-DOS (http://www.almnet.de/ptsdos/). An english version is available.

4.5.1 How can I make my CD-ROM drive work with PS-DOS?

In version 2000 from PhysTechSoft exists a built-in cd-rom driver. In former versions you can use MSCDEX.EXE or NWCDEX.EXE from MS-DOS/PC-DOS or DR-DOS if the drive doesn't work correctly with the PhysTechSoft files.

4.5.2 I have got problems installing Windows 3.1x/95 on my machine running PTS-DOS.

(First answer:) Start PTS-DOS with a CONFIG.PTS and an AUTOPTS.BAT containing only the most neccesary lines and the keyboard driver for installing Windows (minmal configuration). After the Windows installation, choose the "Windows compatible" option at startup.

(second answer:) Some newer versions of PTSDOS offer a "Installation Mode" in the Boot-Menu. This should also work!

4.5.3 Windows doesn't boot. The system crashes.

Use himem.sys from Windows instead himemx86.sys from PTS DOS.

4.5.4 Undocumentated commands in PTS-DOS

4.5.4.1 COMMAND.COM
4.5.4.2 CONFIG.PTS

This commands aren't described in the online help or in the manual.

CPUxx Beside CPU86, CPU286 and CPU386 the following CPU types are also possible: CPU88, CPU486, PC, AT, PS1 and PS2.
PAUSE same syntax like ECHO (PAUSE = "<text>", but waits for a key.
SCREEN With the parameter "TTY" the screen output of the DOS is set to "Teletype-Mode" (terminal mode)
TMPEXT Sets the default extension for system temp files, e.g. TMPEXT = TMP. Normal default is no extension.
UMBSRV Decides, whether the built-in UMB routines (UMBSRV = INTERNAL) or extern ones (UMBSRV = EXTERNAL) are used. If you're using UMBSVR = INTERNAL, the name of the chipset must be given, the following ones are supported: 85C471, SIS471, UM82C491, UMC491, W83C491 and WINBOND491.
Example: UMMBSRV = INTERNAL SIS471
USERAM Here you can define the address sector (in HEX), which should be used for the UMBs, e.g. USERAM = E000-EFFF.
The UBM-functions haven't been tested yet, please tell me about your experiences.
VIRTDMA Beside ON and OFF there is also the parameter HDONLY for using the virtual DMA only for harddisk access.
4.5.4.3 PTS Cache

PTSCACHE.SYS is able to manage a RAM-disk and the disk-cache at the same time.

/V Parameters for RAM disk are following:
F:<size> creates a RAM disk with <size> KB
R:<root> Sets the number of the RAM disks's root-directory to <root>. Default is 64 (63 files + 1 volume label)
S:<size> Sets the sector size of the RAM disk to <size> bytes. Default is 512. Using a sector size of 256 bytes in a RAM disk smaller than 1 MB will save a bit of memory.

Example (CONFIG.PTS/SYS):

DEVICE = C:\PTSDOS\PTSCACHE.SYS 512 /V:512

creates a disk-cache and a RAM disk with 512 kilobytes each. The drive letters are assigned automaticly and can be influenced by the succession of the drivers loaded.

Programs which had been compressed with an old PKLITE version (1.03) will crash with PTSCACHE installed.

4.5.4.4 Bootmanager

The possible commands of the bootmanager in the directive [BOOTMGR] in the file config.sys aren't fully described in the manual. Therefore you find here a list of the bootmanager's functions since PTS-DOS 6.42:

AutoCheck = ON Checks whether a file (mostly AUTOBOOT.SYS) or an entry in the CMOS-RAM is available with a choice from the last bootmenu. If this is the case, the bootmenu won't be displayed to choose, but the system will be booted with the saved selection. That only happens if the selection had been made with one of the funtion-keys. If a selection is chosen with the number-keys, it won't be saved. During the boot, the bootmenu can be shown by pressing [ESC], although AutoCheck may be set ON.
Default value: AutoCheck = OFF
Color = ... Sets the color of the bootmenu. Possible colors can be found in the online help.
Default: Color = LIGHTGRAY ON BLACK
Example: Color = GREEN ON BLACK
Default = ... Defines the paragraph in the config.pts which should be started after the "time out". This paragraph is marked with a "v" in the bootmenu.
Example: Default = Standard
Filename = ... Sets the filename, in which the last selection of the bootmenu is saved. Only makes sense in combination with the "STORAGE = FILE" command.
Default: Filename = AUTOBOOT.SYS
Example: Filename = BOOTSEL.SYS
Force = ... Defines a paragraph or a number of paragraphs, which will be exectued every time, independent from the selection made in the bootmenu (simular to [PTSDOS] and [COMMON] in config.sys.
Example: Force = $System
Ignore = ... The opposite of FORCE, defines paragraphs, which won't be executed by the bootmanager. But that doesn't make sense in the [BootMgr] paragraph ;-)
Storage = ... Establish the place where the election of the bootmenu should be saved. Two options are possible:
Storage = CMOS Saves the choice in CMOS-RAM.
Storage = FILE Saves the choice in a file. Defalut filename is AUTOBOOT.SYS (look FILENAME above).
TimeOut = x Sets the time out value, after x seconds, a default paragraph will be started. Makes only sense in combination with the command "Default = ...".
Default value: TimeOut = 5

If the space key is pressed in the bootmenu, only the directive [COMMON] or [PTSDOS] will be exectued. If there doesn't exist a shell command, COMMAND.COM will be searched in the root directory or you must enter the path and the name of the command interpreter if it can't be found.

4.5.5 PTS DOS COMMAND.COM patch

This patch written by Jens Guenther fixes some bugs in the command.com of the german versions 6.51CD and 6.62. I don't know wheather it works with other versions, too, sorry. If you've tried it with a different version please tell me your experiences. Thank you.

<http://www.drdos.net/files/cmdptc19.zip> (51 KB)

4.6 ROM DOS

ROM DOS is an MS-DOS compatible OS (I run MS-Windows 3.1x with it) and comes with a large software package. It's still developed by Datalight, you can get more information on their website at http://www.datalight.com/rom-dos.htm. They offer for example a webserver to control your DOS computer with a webbrowser interface or to use your DOS computer as a FTP server. You can control your DOS box with specific e-mails you send to it. It supports FAT32 and long filenames (Long File Names can be read, written, and deleted with ROM-DOS 7.1). On their website they talk about something like 'Dynamic Device Driver Loading', they explain that ROM DOS 7.1 has the ability '...to detect hardware and load device drivers dynamically and to configure itself'.

Unfortunately, Datalight offers ROM DOS only to OEMs. There exist a development package for around 1200 US $, but I think that's a bit too expensive. But feel free to try the trial version on a bootdisk which can be downloaded on the Datalight website.

4.7 RxDOS

RxDOS is a small DOS kernel with FAT32 and long filename support, but it's quite buggy. You can download the newest files at http://rxdos.sourceforge.net.

4.8 MOE DOS

MOE-DOS is an experimental freeware-DOS by Martin Coleman which can be downloaded at http://moedos.net. Unfortunately, it's still in beta-version and not really MS-DOS compatible, but I think that will change soon.

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