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DOS Device Drivers from under Windows

Posted on 1998-08-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Formerly there was a utility DRVLOAD.COM (by Rick Knoblaugh) that allowed to additionally load a device (.sys) driver after both config.sys and autoexec.bat have been processed. Unfortunately, it doesn't work from under Windows 95. I am looking for a similar utility functional under Win 95/98. Do you happen to know of one?
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Question by:ppdanila
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1720440
Using Win95, you can set up a Dos configuration (pif) for the session you want that driver to be used in.

Tell me what you are trying to do so I might better assist you.

Regards,
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:ppdanila
ID: 1720441
Hi, Ralph.
 You are absolutely right. I must be more specific. I have 128 MB RAM, but in spite of it, my Windows 98 creates monstrous swap files (usually 80 MB, sometimes up to 115 MB). While I run no vast graphic applications or otherwise resource consuming programs. My initial idea was to create a RAMdrive, say of 64 MB (or 128 MB if I increase RAM up to 256 MB) and direct the goddamn win386.swp there. But this should be done from within Windows, not by means of config.sys. Could you give a piece of advice?
Regards,
Andrew
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by:ppdanila
ID: 1720442
Adjusted points to 15
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1720443
Andrew,
I haven't done it, although it sounds interesting.
Have you tried to create the ramdrive in the conventional manner at startup, (config.sys statement) and then move Win95's swap file to it from Control Panel/System/Performance/Virtual Memory?
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:ppdanila
ID: 1720444
Hi,Ralph,
Yes, I did. But I didn't like the result for many reasons. First, the conventional ramdrive.sys's capacity is limited to
32 MB. Second, it recklessly shifts all the drive letters (I have 2 CD-ROMs and a Zip-drive), for a RAMdrive under DOS falls
right after the hard disks. Last (but the most important thing), Windows (My Computer properties -- Performance -- Virtual Memory)
does not see (or rather doesn't want to see ?) the RAMdisk, thus
not allowing to direct the swap file to it. My conclusion is clear: to resolve this puzzle we need a specifically Windows utility. But if we find something of the kind, the speed of our machines may be accelerated dramatically.
Andrew
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Expert Comment

by:RebosMan
ID: 1720445
Have you tried the $nareware product vRam ?? It's supposed to create/manage Ram Disk(s) under Win95.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1720446
Wait a minute.......
The purpose of the swap file, as I understand it, is to fill in when you run out of physical memory!
Then Windows pages data out to the hard drive, slowing everything down in the process.
I think a better approach is going to be for you to optimize the settings for Windows' use of your RAM.
Have you tried adjusting cache sizes in sytem.ini file?
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:ppdanila
ID: 1720447
Mr. RebosMan: Yes, I tried some vRAM (I am not sure we mean the same product). It creates a a kind of a RAMdrive, but attaches it no letter. So it can't be seen in the Explorer. Extremely inconvenient.

Mr. RMarotta: Pure logic tells us that increasing RAM must result in decreased swap files, but in practice it is not so rectilinear. Otherwise I would need no RAMdisks (increasing RAM itself would have done). Now, I don't know exactly how the system.ini settings must be changed. Could you please give me some hint?
Andrew    
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rmarotta earned 30 total points
ID: 1720448
system.ini file needs to contain the following lines:

[VCACHE]
minfilecache=   (Minimum total vcache cache memory, in kilobytes)
maxfilecache=   (Maximum total vcache cache memory, in kilobytes)

See "Stop Windows95 from Wildly Accessing your Hard Disk" at this site:

http://www.annoyances.org/win95/win95ann6.html

I think it should answer your questions about swapfiles.
Let me know if you need more.
Regards,
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:ppdanila
ID: 1720449
Thank you, Ralph. I feel quite satisfied by your answer and the explanation at the indicated site. But to appraise this solution as excellent I will first need to practically test the new settings in the system.ini file and make certain that my swap file became smaller while the machine works comparatively fast.
Anyway, thank you very much. And let's keep in touch. All the very Best.
Andrew
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1720450
Glad to help, Andrew.
I'll be here when you come back. (if they don't run me off!)
Regards,
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:ppdanila
ID: 1720451
Attn.: Mr. RMarotta
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi,Ralph,
I tested (actually, I decided in favour of using) the proposed adjustments to the system.ini [vcache]. I can witness now that my PC began working NOTABLY faster. But, unfortunately, the swap file hasn't become smaller (and to decrease it to the minimum size was my initial goal, you remember), it is literally monstrous (more than 50 MB).
So, after all we need something like RAMdisk where we could direct the swap file. It would be a complete solution for those having a lot of RAM (currently I have 128 MB and am planning to increase it to 256 MB).
   Now, I perceive a kind of contradiction in the instructions given at www.annoyances.org/win95/win95ann6.html. On the one hand, the author advises to feed the machine as much RAM as one can afford (see Part 4). But on the other hand, he points out that Windows 95 usually wants to create a swap file about 2.5 times bigger than the installed RAM (Part 1). So, tell me frankly, should we increase RAM after all, or not, because I don't want enormous swap files?
Regards,
Andrew

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Expert Comment

by:RebosMan
ID: 1720452
The optimal amount of memory for Win95 is 64 Mb. Since you have already surpassed this, Why not just disable the swap altogether ? Or make it "permanent" by setting aside whatever amount you see fit ( 16 Mb for example )And setting it as the Min and Max value for your Virtual Memory.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1720453
The only thing that RAM is doing is sitting there if you don't have an enormous list of programs running concurrently.
The fact that you have a large swap file available doesn't mean Windows uses it.
It's only used as needed, and Windows is probably the best manager to control its use.
As long as you have increased your system's performance, I think you have the best setup you're going to get.
Additional RAM won't help without a need for it.
Regards,
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:ppdanila
ID: 1720454
Attn.: Mr. RebosMan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I tried, but unfortunately the trick with disabling swap file didn't work. On restarting, Windows produced a lot (really, quite a number) of 'OUT OF MEMORY' or 'NOT ENOUGH MEMORY TO RUN...' messages. So I had to restore the paging monster. In all likelihood we may consider the space occupied by the swap file on a HD excluded from possible practical use (the right word for it is probably 'interred'). And in my case the swap file takes sometimes up to 110 MB of disk space. I grudge it and I'd rather increase my RAM, because it's only a one-time expense. But RMarotta insists that it is not going to help either. I am in distress...
Regards,
Andrew
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Expert Comment

by:RebosMan
ID: 1720455
Try this :

Define your system's role as a Network Server. ( Not as a Desktop )
Run WinTune97. ( Freeware System Testing Software with Optimization suggestions )
Post your System.ini for us to review.

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Author Comment

by:ppdanila
ID: 1720456
Hi,
Upon your advice I changed the status of my PC to Network Server and ran Wintune 97, but it yielded no significant tips.
Now, how can I post my System.ini? Shall it be added to the comment area as a simple text?
Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1720457
Just open it in a text editor such as Notepad or Sysedit.  Select, copy, then paste it in the comment box below, along with your comment.
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:ppdanila
ID: 1720458
Hi,
Sending the required system.ini file...
*****************************************
[boot]
*DisplayFallback=0
fonts.fon=8514sys.fon
fixedfon.fon=8514fix.fon
oemfonts.fon=8514oem.fon
386Grabber=vgafull.3gr
display.drv=pnpdrvr.drv
drivers=ctpnpscn.drv mmsystem.dll power.drv
scrnsave.exe=D:\PROGRA~1\PLUS\Viruscan\SCRSCAN.EXE
system.drv=system.drv
shell=Explorer.exe
user.exe=user.exe
gdi.exe=gdi.exe
sound.drv=mmsound.drv
dibeng.drv=dibeng.dll
comm.drv=comm.drv
mouse.drv=mouse.drv
keyboard.drv=keyboard.drv

[Password Lists]
ANDREW DANILOV=D:\W98\ANDRE001.PWL

[boot.description]
aspect=100,120,120
display.drv=Tseng Labs ET6000/ET6100 ver 4.03.5000
system.drv=Standard PC
keyboard.typ=Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural Keyboard
mouse.drv=Standard mouse

[386Enh]
woafont=dosapp.fon
mouse=*vmouse, msmouse.vxd
device=*dynapage
device=*vcd
device=*vpd
device=*int13
keyboard=*vkd
Com1AutoAssign=0
Com2AutoAssign=0
Com3AutoAssign=0
Com4AutoAssign=0
PagingDrive=G:

[drivers]
wavemapper=*.drv
MSACM.imaadpcm=*.acm
MSACM.msadpcm=*.acm
wave=mmsystem.dll
midi=mmsystem.dll

[drivers32]
MSACM.ctadp32=ctadp32.acm
MSACM.ctfs32=ctfs32.acm
msacm.l3acm=l3codeca.acm
VIDC.VDOM=vdowave.drv
VIDC.MPG4=msscmc32.dll
vidc.vivo=ivvideo.dll
msacm.vivog723=vivog723.acm
msacm.lhacm=lhacm.acm
msacm.voxacm119=vdk32119.acm
VIDC.TR20=tr2032.dll
VIDC.UCOD=clrviddd.dll
VIDC.IV50=ir50_32.dll
msacm.iac2=D:\W98\SYSTEM\IAC25_32.AX
vidc.CVID=iccvid.dll
VIDC.IV31=ir32_32.dll
VIDC.IV32=ir32_32.dll
vidc.MSVC=msvidc32.dll
VIDC.MRLE=msrle32.dll

[NonWindowsApp]
TTInitialSizes=4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 20 22

[power.drv]

[iccvid.drv]

[mciseq.drv]

[mci]
cdaudio=mcicda.drv
sequencer=mciseq.drv
waveaudio=mciwave.drv
avivideo=mciavi.drv
videodisc=mcipionr.drv
vcr=mcivisca.drv
MPEGVideo=mciqtz.drv

[keyboard]
keyboard.dll=
oemansi.bin=xlat866.bin
subtype=
type=4

[vcache]
MaxFileCache=32768
MinFileCache=32768

[TTFontDimenCache]
0 4=2 4
0 5=3 5
0 6=4 6
0 7=4 7
0 8=5 8
0 9=5 9
0 10=6 10
0 11=7 11
0 12=7 12
0 13=8 13
0 14=8 14
0 15=9 15
0 16=10 16
0 18=11 18
0 20=12 20
0 22=13 22
************************
Regards,
Andrew
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