Why is my DOS app so slow?

Posted on 2002-04-18
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Hi, people.

We use a DOS program (MV90) over a Novell (v5) network.  While we had Win95 PCs, MV90 ran fast.  Edits to network data files were very fast.  Recently, some of those PCs were replaced with Win2000 PCs.  MV90 runs slow on those PCs.  Edits to those same data files on the network are sometimes mind-numbingly slow.  In fact, maintenance and daily reports are so slow that employees can go for a cup of coffee, read the front page of the newspaper, chat with a co-worker, and surf the internet before the reports finally print.  (Well, maybe not _that_ slow.)

1. What can we do to speed things up?
2. Is there a setting somewhere?

1. Upgrading to the Windows version of this app is not an option.
2. Changing the network configuration won't happen anytime soon.  The next opportunity to change the network OS is at least six months away and probably won't happen.
3. Changing the new PCs' OS is practically forbidden by our IT department.
4. We've looked at installing more coffee machines, but we already have problems getting the person who took the last serving to refill the pot.

If you need more information, please ask.
Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated!
I will post multiple awards if necessary.

Bye.  -e2
Question by:q2eddie
LVL 63

Accepted Solution

SysExpert earned 50 total points
ID: 6951024
I would Just use Apcompat.exe on the Windows 2000 CD \support dir.  It works "most" of the time. I believe that this might       answer your question. 

Also try adjusting the configuration of the apps shortcut.

WIn95 is DOS with a GUI
Win2k is NT based with no DOS built in.

Get the newest client software for Novell if needed.

Also get the newest NIC drivers.

I hope this helps !

LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 6951309
<heh> bet your CPUs are 5 times as fast, too

Consider boot disk to DOS? (I dunno what is MV90)

undo any live A/V checking etc that may have been added in since 95

upgrade client32 - it is free

Make shortcut on screen to CMD.EXE (in system32)
Launch the app from the shortcut
Change properties of shortcut
Cut down path length, size, tree depth, including for temp and other environment variables.
make sure you've configured networking protocols as well as before, and are NOT using any autoconfigure autodetect options for networking
Place all equipment on same network (LAN) using subnetting - don't route (around the world)

Not good, overall:
- increase foreground response time
- decrease HD relative response time
- minimize virtual storage, to keep imortant Windoze data available, and not constantly chucked off screen (ram) to disk (slow reload)

Expert Comment

ID: 6951519
Right-click the MV90 shortcut, click compatibility tab, enabled it and slect win95....should be better than uising the cmd, if you do this it will run in a win95 compatibility layer which includes the underlying DOS structure.

Lemme know if this works or not.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 6954347
Which client are you using - the MS Client for NetWare or ther Novell client?  If you're using the latest Novell 4.83 client, you may want to consider dropping back two revs.  4.83 is reaaal slow.

Author Comment

ID: 6967501
Hi, people.

Thanks for responding.
The resident pencil-neck thinks that the problem is this:

The MV90 program is trying to read/edit/create files in directories with more than 40,000 files.  While this is not a problem on PCs with Win95/98/Me, the PCs with WinNT/2000 don't fair so well.  Since he is "in charge" of the server and the network, he wants to try to split up the folders before trying anybody else's suggestions.

I'll be back by Monday to let y'all know how it went and to award points.

Bye.  -e2

Author Comment

ID: 7032131
Hey, guys.

I apologize for forgetting about this question.

Well, the resident pencil-neck split a few directories, and that seemed to work.  However, the users of those PCs say that it's still slower than when they had Win95.  The g33k is unwilling to consider alternatives.

For your patience and suggestions, I will award each of you 50 points and an "A".

Bye. -e2

Expert Comment

ID: 7032176
I have refunded 50 points to you, changing this question value from 100 to 50 points to facilitate the point split you want to process, as requested in your Community Support question today.

Moondancer  -  EE Moderator

Author Comment

ID: 7032215
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 7665925
Thanx (NoTif'd by NetMinder),,

I've had 'some' issues similar to this Win2K:
> "with more than 40,000 files"

All's I can say is it is a tricky business defining well the client vs server aspects of the platform. With foggy memory, I think it was somewhere between 10K and 20K where the response time issue became most obvious (I'd done metrics). Just an FYI on a ballpark ### if you revisit the directory splitting issue. Another possible is in dealing with actual path length to files, where shorter is better.

Among tunables could be foreground/background and whether more time is devoted to file management or to display, the caches and the fastfile features. Usually the latter seem less useful, in the speed can increase when I say to not increase speed. Go figure.

I've no news for XP - use it but not that way yet on the longer lists, but I did do 2K's advanced server and it also had 'the problem'.

The trickiness is of course that the user will likely have more to do than just the one (problem) application. So improving one area can surely degrade another, it is mere trade-off and whether we can live with result. IMO a slowdown of a little ms ot two elsewhere would not be that noticeable and thus worth a trade. But each configuration/platform may behave different, so all I can do is wish ya luck, say thank you, and

                                                       - Happy Holidays -

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