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Environment under Windows ME

By Z80man ·
Some of my customers recently wished to change their Windows 98 for Windows ME ; though I think it is mainly a gadget, and though it is obviously not a professional solution, they did so. Now I must find a way to have MS-DOS applications running under Windows ME.

There are 4 problems encountered, mainly because Windows ME deletes anything it finds in CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT :

1 - The number of simultaneously opened files - solved using a directive line in SYSTEM.INI to replace the missing FILES=... directive (information found at Microsoft's online technical database), but even now, nothing about BUFFERS=... which I found very helpful in avoiding program locking while reindexing large files.

2 - The amount of conventional memory ; since EMM386.EXE can't be launched anymore for the reason above, there are about 580 K bytes left, which can be sufficient in most cases using overlays, but can be just too short in certain circumstances.

3 - The most annoying up to now : the keyboard is not configured correctly. I guess it's not a problem for american users, but for others (french, here), the ALT-GR key is disabled, so it becomes impossible to obtain any useful characters, such as ~,#,{,[,|,`,\,^,@,] and }. Well, not all so useful, but at least |,\ and @ are ! Using ALT + ASCII codes remains a solution, but a bit uncomfortable...

By the way, I'd be pleased if anyone knows how to stop Windows ME from touching the startup files (and by the way, any others, as it deletes some old system programs that for sure are not useful anymore, but I dont like the idea for an OS deleting things that the user should have wished to put on his hard disk, for example a temporary backup from another computer, etc.)

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Environment under Windows ME

by SixFourtyKilo In reply to Environment under Windows ...

The problems you have encountered with your customers is the exact reason why ME is not a business solution. With Windows ME, Windows no longer supports real-mode DOS applications, because of this, there is no need for the autoexec and config files. Although it may be an impossible task, I would recommend to your customers to change their upgrade solutions to Windows 2000 or remain with Win98.

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Environment under Windows ME

by Z80man In reply to Environment under Windows ...

Okay, dude, you think you're smart ?

I should have added : No Stupid, silly, sucking answers, please !

I perfectly know Win ME is not for business, but this guy wants to use it nonetheless (well, he went back to Win 98 because he couldn't do differently for now !) and on the principle, it is not forbidden to solve the challenge, is it ?

As you might know, I recently found a patch re-enabling the YET EXISTING BUT HIDDEN real mode DOS functions in Windows ME, including the "F8" key at startup allowing to boot under DOS-only mode. Yes, that's TRUE ! (anyone interested : just contact me)

But my questions were about tuning memory and files options within the system. I guess they should be much similar to Windows 2000 (such as the PerVMFiles parameter in system.ini).

I'm sure we could end up make Win ME functionning the way we all wish (that is, with the new multimedia functions, but with all the capabilities of the previous version).

Anyone having REAL hint for an answer to my questions will be welcome. Answers as this one (sent 2 times ! For more points ???) rate -1000 tech points. Thank you !

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Environment under Windows ME

by SixFourtyKilo In reply to Environment under Windows ...

The problems you have encountered with your customers is the exact reason why ME is not a business solution. With Windows ME, Windows no longer supports real-mode DOS applications, because of this, there is no need for the autoexec and config files. Although it may be an impossible task, I would recommend to your customers to change their upgrade solutions to Windows 2000 or remain with Win98.

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Environment under Windows ME

by Z80man In reply to Environment under Windows ...

Just the same s**t as above. not worth a penny. We're talking about tech tips here, this is not nursery school.

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Environment under Windows ME

by tjc In reply to Environment under Windows ...

You could try modifing the PIF file of the dos application. make an icon on the desktop and see if it has any properties, like in windows 98 with being able to create your on special config.sys and autoexc.bat file for that program when it is run from the icon.

The exact reasons for your question is why my company stopped writting dos programs and have switched to writting only windows programs.

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Environment under Windows ME

by tjc In reply to Environment under Windows ...

So the other part of my answer is also to have them stop using dos programs altogether or move back to windows 98. At least win 98 is somewhat dos compatible.

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Environment under Windows ME

by Z80man In reply to Environment under Windows ...

Ok, since then I found a way to approximatively tweak DOS applications using this method. Also, the first versions should have a bug with national keyboards drivers.

In fact, There is a big problem with what we udes to put in CONFIG.SYS, mostly upper memory managers and SETVER.EXE (people can't retrieve their BACKUPs anymore because ME can't recognize the version number (anybody knows why Microsoft did that ?) of RESTORE.exe !)

Actually, all our applications except for the biggest ones run normally (but I use an overlaying link editor) on ME.

The fact is, we can't really just give up all text programming : we need it for cash register software (no screen, no Windows crashes allowed...) running under MS-DOS or Linux. Or just fast Telnet applications...

So, you see, DOS programming still has some use, specially with more and more people wishing to get connected from a distance using a simple phone line.

Our DOS application run fine under Linux : shared either from a Windows or DOS local network or from Telnet (Windows emulation, Linux computer and so on), all together !

Thanks for your interest, and for providing a sensible answer, even it it doesn't really help !

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Environment under Windows ME

by Z80man In reply to Environment under Windows ...

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