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AUTOEXEC.NT

Posted on 2000-04-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I am trying to get AUTOEXEC.NT and CONFIG.NT to impact the DOS BOX. I know how to use AUTOEXEC.BAT/CONFIG.SYS in MS-DOS. However, when I enter commands into the NT versions there seems to be no effect on the DOS BOX.

Any insights will be appreciated
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Question by:sigreene
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16 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:Bigjohn
ID: 2738727
See this technet article:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q103/6/56.asp?LN=EN-US&SD=gn&FR=0

Article number q103656 contains information for troubleshooting applications running in DOS or the NTVDM (16bit windows apps).

This article will also be helpful:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q165/2/14.ASP?LN=EN-US&SD=gn&FR=0

Article Q165214 specifically details with testing the configuration / troubleshooting of DOS applications under WINNT.

Good luck!
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Author Comment

by:sigreene
ID: 2738836
These Articles did not address the DOS BOX per se. Perhaps it does not work as in MS-DOS and the DOS BOX in OS/2. For Example:

1. I enter VERIFY ON
   and PATH=C:\PROCS  in Autoexec.nt
2. I click on the DOS icon opening the DOS BOX.
3. If I enter verify at the prompt, I get: verify is off and a different path.

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Expert Comment

by:tonnybrandt
ID: 2738896
Hi
I'm pretty sure, that when you click the dos icon, you get the CMD.exe, which is not the same as the dos command.com.
Try Start/run type command and see if the changes, you made to autoexec.nt is visible in here. They probably are.
If this works, you need to change the dos icon link, to point to the C:\winnt\system32\command.com

That's it
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Author Comment

by:sigreene
ID: 2738908
I tried the Run command.com approach; however, something (a Dos Box?) opens and closes so fast that I cannot interrogate it.
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Expert Comment

by:tonnybrandt
ID: 2738970
That's not the normal behaviur, when executing this command.
Open a explorer.
Navigate to c:\winnt\system32 and find the command.com
Rightclick it and choose properties
In program the commandline should read
C:\winnt\system32\command.com
Click the Windows Nt button and in here the Autoexec should read
%SystemRoot%\SYSTEM32\AUTOEXEC.NT
And config:
%SystemRoot%\SYSTEM32\CONFIG.NT

Otherwise all settings is normal. When the dosbox opens, it is considerably slower than the dos icon, because it executes the autoexec and config files. This is only on startup and is not slowing any commands executed afterwards.
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Expert Comment

by:Bigjohn
ID: 2741957
Let me get back to you monday when I'm sitting in a room where I can grab an NT 4 workstation/server.

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Author Comment

by:sigreene
ID: 2752597
I was able to get the command.com window to stay open and it executed some commands in autoexec.nt; but, not all. For example: it would not execute VERIFY ON. In fact, when the window was open, it would not execute the VERIFY ON command at the prompt.

When I click on the Dos icon, it seems to ignore autoexec.nt/config.nt; however, it WILL EXECUTE the VERIFY ON command at the prompt.

I'm confused.

  1. The dos prompt (which invokes cmd.com) ignores autoexec.nt/config.nt; but responds to dos commands at the prompt.

  2. command.com invokes autoexec.nt/config.nt; but, does not execute all commands in autoexec.nt nor does it execute all (verify on) commands at the prompt.

Anyone know how to get cmd.com to invoke an autoexec/config?


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Expert Comment

by:Bigjohn
ID: 2752910
Verify On is not supported or required on NT.  Any command that would effect direct hardware access will be ignored.

See this information:
Commands Available in Config.nt
 
Windows NT supports the configuration commands shown in the following table. If you include commands in your Config.nt file that are not supported, Windows NT ignores them. For more information about Windows NT commands, see the online Command Reference.
 
Command      Function

country      Sets the language conventions for a specific country.
device      Loads an installable device driver. If necessary, you can load drivers that control memory, such as Himem.sys, or that control character-based display, such as Ansi.sys.
dos      Specifies how the upper memory area will be used.
dosonly      Prevents starting applications other than MS-DOS – based applications from the Command.com prompt.
echoconfig      Switches on the display of Config.nt and Autoexec.nt messages when you start an application.
fcbs      Sets the number of file control blocks (FCBs) that can be opened concurrently.
files      Sets the number of files that can be open at one time.
install      Loads a memory-resident program into memory.
loadhigh      Loads device drivers into the upper memory area.
ntcmdprompt      Runs the Windows NT command interpreter, Cmd.exe, rather than Command.com after running a terminate-and-stay-resident (TSR) application or after starting the command prompt from within an MS-DOS – based application.
rem      Marks lines in the Config.nt file as comments (remarks).
shell      Specifies the command interpreter. Only the Windows NT command interpreter is supported.
stacks      Sets the amount of RAM reserved for processing hardware interrupts.
Commands Available in Autoexec.nt
 
Windows NT supports a similar range of commands as MS-DOS for use in the Autoexec.nt file. For more information about Windows NT commands, see the Command Reference in Help.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Bigjohn earned 50 total points
ID: 2752930
Drat.  My cut and paste did not look too good.

Click START, HELP.  From the Help Topics dialog select Windows NT Commands.  More will be revealed there.

Also, try PIF files for specific 'shortcuts' to applications.  This from microsoft:
Using Program Information Files
 
A program information file (PIF) provides information to Windows NT about how best to run MS-DOS applications. Windows 3.x, OS/2, and POSIX based applications do not use or require PIFs. When you start an MS-DOS application, Windows NT looks for a PIF to use with the application. If you have been using a PIF to run an application in Windows 3.x, you can continue to use it with Windows NT. For information about how to use PIFs, see “New PIF Handling in Windows NT” in Help.
To create, modify, and save PIFs, right-click the application file name in Windows NT Explorer. If you click OK after changing any of the settings in the Properties dialog box, you create a PIF (a shortcut) for the application. Typically, a PIF has the same file name as the associated application’s main program file, except that a PIF has the .pif extension. You can change the PIF file name, but do not change the extension.
Some software manufacturers provide a PIF for an application. To determine whether a PIF has been supplied, contact the software manufacturer or search the disks for a file that has a .pif extension. For information about how to implement a manufacturer-supplied PIF file, see “Using a manufacturer-supplied PIF file” in Help.
Windows NT includes a PIF named _Default.pif, located in the %SystemRoot% folder. The _Default.pif file contains settings that work with most MS-DOS – based applications. Windows NT uses this PIF when it is the only one available for MS-DOS – based applications. You should not change the settings in the _Default.pif file because Windows NT uses this file for every MS-DOS – based application.
For information about how to create or edit a PIF and other PIF options, see “New PIF handling in Windows NT” in Help.
Using Multiple PIFs for an Application
 
You can create more than one PIF for an application. You can create several PIFs if you run an application differently under different circumstances.
For example, you can specify in a PIF how much EMS (expanded) memory an application has access to. By using two PIFs, you can give an application access to a large amount of EMS memory when you’re using large data files but limit its use of memory when you are working with smaller files.
For information about how to set up two PIFs for an application, see “Creating two PIFs for an application” in Help.
Custom Startup Files
 
Windows NT enables you to create custom startup files that you can specify in an application’s PIF. When you start the application, Windows NT reads the custom files you specify rather than the Config.nt and Autoexec.nt files. Specifying custom startup files enables you to create a custom MS-DOS environment for each application you use. For example, if one of your applications requires a memory-resident program when it runs, you can include the name of that program in a custom startup file. When you start the application using its PIF, Windows NT automatically starts the memory-resident program.
When you create startup files, base them on the Autoexec.nt and Config.nt files. That way, the basic information needed to configure the MS-DOS environment will already be included in your files. In configuration files, Windows NT uses the variable %SystemRoot% to represent the Windows NT directory. When processing the files, Windows NT automatically expands this variable.
For information about how to create custom startup files, see “Creating custom startup files for an MS-DOS program” in Help.
Running Memory-Resident Programs
 
Windows NT supports MS-DOS memory-resident programs, also called pop-up and terminate-and-stay-resident (TSR) programs. Like any MS-DOS – based application you run in Windows NT, memory-resident programs run in the window in which they are started and can be used only within that window. MS-DOS–based TSR programs can function reliably only when running alone or with other MS-DOS–based applications.
In general, you should not start memory-resident programs from your Autoexec.nt or Config.nt files. If you do, each time you start an application that reads the Autoexec.nt or Config.nt files, you will also start another copy of the memory-resident program, thereby wasting memory. Start the TSR-based application just as you would any other application in Windows NT.
If one of your applications requires a memory-resident program to work properly, start the memory-resident program and then start the application in the same command window. You can also create a custom startup file that starts the memory resident program, and then specify that startup file in the application’s PIF. For more information about custom startup files, see “Custom Startup Files” earlier in this appendix.
When you quit an MS-DOS – based application, Windows NT returns to the Windows NT command interpreter, Cmd.exe. However, by default, when you run a TSR or temporarily suspend an MS-DOS – based application to return to the command prompt, Windows NT runs Command.com, the command interpreter for the MS-DOS environment. This preserves the MS-DOS environment, allowing you to use the TSR immediately. Because starting and running other types of applications from the Command.com prompt can disrupt a TSR or suspended MS-DOS – based application, Windows NT provides the dosonly command. The dosonly command enables only MS-DOS – based applications to be started from the Command.com prompt. You can include the dosonly command in your Config.nt file or the equivalent custom startup file in an application’s PIF.
When Command.com is running, some features of the Windows NT command prompt, such as the Doskey display of command history, are not available. If you would prefer to run the Windows NT command interpreter after you have started a TSR or started the command prompt from within an MS-DOS – based application, you can use the ntcmdprompt command. However, keep in mind that the TSR may not be available for use when you are running Cmd.exe. You can include the ntcmdprompt command in your Config.nt file or the equivalent custom startup file in an application’s PIF.
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Expert Comment

by:tonnybrandt
ID: 2752965
Hi again
Actually it's cmd.exe, not cmd.com.
I made an experiment, and did this:

In explorer go to c:\winnt
find the file _default
copy that file and paste it again.
rename the new file cmd
rightclick the new file and choose properties
in program/cmd line write cmd

When you doubleclick the file, you get cmd.exe up and carried out the autoexec.nt and config.nt.
If this is to your liking just create a desktop shortcut for this file and use this afterwards.
Hope this helps
Tonny
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Author Comment

by:sigreene
ID: 2756679
Bigjohn:

Concerning Verify command: Every help file I have tried (including Commands) define the Verify command and its use. Also, when I invoke the dos box (cmd.exe), I can turn the verify command on and off.

tonnybrandt: your suggestion is closer to what I want. However, a puzzle,the path and prompt command are executed via autoexec.nt - the verify command is ignored! But; I can then enter the verify command and it is accepted.
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Expert Comment

by:Bigjohn
ID: 2757007
If you are running NT on an NTFS partition, VERIFY is redundant.  It does not improve anything, since all the reads and writes are still executed by the NT file system.

Please review the part of my answer about using .PIF files for applications.  If you're trying to modify this dos prompt for a specific application, this might just be better.
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Expert Comment

by:tonnybrandt
ID: 2757185
Create a bat file whith whatever commands that you want executed. (including verify on)

Change properties in the file i suggested in my previous comment, like this:
In program/cmd line write
cmd /k <bat file>
where <bat file> is the name of the bat file i have mentioned, in the top of this comment.

This will force CMD to execute the commands in the batfile after itself has loadet. It seems that it has some builtin parameters, like the verify off, that is not changeble in the autoexec.nt. I have checked with Verify, and were able to change it with the batfile.

Hope this helps
Tonny
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Author Comment

by:sigreene
ID: 2766315
I would like to close this case now, problem solved, with the following:

tonnybrandt: Thank you, your last comment provided me with the last element to solve my problem.

Bigjohn: The excerpts you provided were very enlightening and have been saved for the future.

Now, Since one has been enlightening and another has directly solved my immediate problem, I would like to award both 50 points; However, I don't know how to do this.
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Expert Comment

by:tonnybrandt
ID: 2766615
Hi again
I'm glad your immediate problem is solved.

About points: You can select one of BigJohn's comment, as an answer, thereby rewarding BigJohn the 50 points from this question.
Then post a new question in this catagori, named "For tonnybrandt", with a value of 50 points. I will then post an answer in that "question", and you accept the answer, thereby rewarding me the other 50 point.

Will this be ok ?.
Tonny

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Expert Comment

by:Bigjohn
ID: 2769524
Glad we could help!
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