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WPDOS Under Windows 95 or 98 Only


 Set environment variables | Insufficient file handlesBoot Windows to the DOS prompt | Enable expanded memory (EMS) | Use up to 64MB of extended memory (XMS) | Home page


Note: This page includes additional information that applies to WPDOS under Windows 95 and 98 only, and that is therefore obsolete for most users. Ignore this page if you have Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.


Set environment variables to control WordPerfect startup options

Using Notepad or EDIT.EXE, edit your C:\Autoexec.bat file to add command-line switches. Add a line to the file (above the line that says Win if you have such a line) that reads like this, using the switches that you prefer:

SET WP=/R /DL /W-*,* /M-macroname

Note: See the important notes on the /DL switch above.

Of course, replace macroname with the real name of any macro you want WPDOS to run when it starts up, or omit /M-macroname entirely if you do not run a macro when the program starts up. Under WPDOS 5.1, use /W-*,* but under WPDOS 6.x, use /W-*,*,* and /NS

Restart your computer after you modify the file. At a DOS prompt, enter SET to see whether your WP variable is in use. If you do not see your variable on the list, repeat the steps, checking your typing carefully, until the variable appears after rebooting.

If you do not already have a C:\Autoexec.bat file, create one in a text editor like Notepad and add this line to the empty file. If, after restarting your computer, Windows does not start up, and you boot to a DOS prompt, add a new line to the file as the last line, and place the single word WIN on that line.

Important: If you normally use the equals sign in command-line switches (as in /NT=4), you must use a hyphen instead (as in /NT-4) when specifying switches with the SET WP= command. The SET command will fail if it has any equals sign other than the one immediately after SET WP= .


Insufficient file handles error message

Add the following line to your C:\Config.sys file (Help! How do I edit my Config.sys file?):

FilesHigh=60

If this number does not solve the problem, try 100 instead of 60.

Note: If for some reason you do not have the line DOS=UMB,HIGH in Config.sys (and you definitely should have such a line in Config.sys), use this line instead of the one indicated above:   Files=60


Boot Windows 95 or 98 to the DOS prompt

If your computer comes with Windows 95 or 98, but you prefer to boot to a DOS prompt instead of to the Windows interface, you need to make only a slight change to one of your files. A similar change can be made to Windows Me, but only if you change other files as described on a third-party page mentioned below.

To make Windows 95 and 98 boot to the DOS prompt instead of to the Windows interface, change one line in the MSDOS.SYS file in the root directory. Use the DOS command attrib -h -s -r c:\msdos.sys to make the file editable; then open it in a text editor. Under the [options] heading, find the line that reads BootGUI=1 and change it to read BootGUI=0 (the final character is a zero). If no such line exists, create it. Save the file, and reboot. To start Windows, type win at the DOS prompt. The DOS that you access by this method is a true DOS, not an emulated DOS as in Windows NT, 2000, and XP; and this DOS (except in the first version of Windows 95) fully supports FAT32 drives.

Windows Me, as shipped, does not support the option to boot to DOS. A modification to Windows Me that restores this option may be found on a Windows Millennium Real-Mode DOS Patch page (for US English Windows Me only). This method modifies your Windows files, and should be used with extreme caution.


Create expanded (EMS) memory for WPDOS under Windows 95 or 98

WPDOS 5.1 and later can use expanded memory (EMS) to increase its workspace. WPDOS 6.x can also use extended memory (XMS) for the same purpose, but, on slower systems, WPDOS 6.x seems to run faster with EMS. (If you have a fast system and use large files, however, you may get the fastest possible performance by using XMS without EMS, as described elsewhere on this page.) Most Windows 95 and 98 installations automatically provide EMS memory; in others, you must take some steps in order to provide expanded memory to DOS applications.

Note: Expanded memory is supplied in some but not all Windows Me systems; see the advice on enabling EMS for Windows Me elsewhere on this page. Expanded memory is automatically supplied in Windows NT, 2000, and XP, but, but for best results, should be fully enabled according to the instructions provided on another page.

To test whether EMS memory is available in your Windows 95 or 98 system, right-click on your WPDOS shortcut (Help! What's a shortcut? and Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?) , choose Properties, and go to the Memory tab; if you do not see the option to specify the amount of EMS memory, and EMS memory is therefore unavailable, perform one of the following steps:

Either: (a) If you already have a C:\Config.sys file on your system:

Open your existing Config.sys file for editing (Help! How do I edit my Config.sys file?), look for any lines that begin dos= or device=c:\windows\himem.sys or device=c:\windows\emm386.exe, and insert the word REM (followed by a space) at the very start of each of those already present lines. Do not change any other lines that you may find in the file. Then, add the following lines to the very top the file, save the file, and reboot.

dos=umb,high
device=c:\windows\himem.sys /testmem:off
device=c:\windows\emm386.exe ram

(If Windows is not installed in c:\windows use the folder in which it is found on your system.)

Note: If your system locks up when you try to restart Windows, press F8 as the computer reboots, and choose the option Safe Mode Command Prompt only; then use Edit.exe to edit the Config.sys file; try the following steps in order until it boots again: first, remove the first line; next, in the third line, add this at the end (after a space): frame=none ; this should be sufficient.

... or: (b) If you do not have a C:\Config.sys file on your system:

Create a C:\Config.sys file that contains these lines; it is an ordinary text file, not a WP document:

dos=umb,high
device=c:\windows\himem.sys /testmem:off
device=c:\windows\emm386.exe ram

(If Windows is not installed in c:\windows use the folder in which it is found on your system.) Save the file and reboot.

Note: If your system locks up when you try to restart Windows, press F8 as the computer reboots, and choose the option Safe Mode Command Prompt only; then use Edit.exe to edit the Config.sys file; try the following steps in order until it boots again: first, remove the first line; next, in the third line, add this at the end (after a space): frame=none ; this should be sufficient.

Then, after you have modified or created C:\Config.sys:

Check the properties sheet of your WPDOS shortcut to see whether EMS is now available on the Memory tab. If EMS is still not listed as available, make certain that you have followed the instructions exactly. If you are absolutely certain that you have followed the instructions exactly, and EMS is still not available, either (a) use this site's methods of enabling expanded memory under Windows Me, which also work under Windows 98 but are normally not needed, or (b) modify the line in your C:\Config.sys file that reads:

device=c:\windows\emm386.exe ram

so that it reads like this:

device=c:\windows\emm386.exe ram m6

In other words, add the characters m6 at the end of the file; reboot your computer; if this does not work, change m6 to m1, m2, etc., through m9, until you find one that works.

If EMS is listed as available, select either Auto or the maximum amount from the drop-down menu. Run WP with the /? switch on the command line to see a list of options that you can add to your WPDOS shortcut in order to use expanded or (with WPDOS 6.x) extended memory. You may be able to solve WPDOS printing problems by adding the /R switch to the WP command line in the Program tab of your WPDOS shortcut and by assigning as much EMS memory as possible in the Memory tab. (To do this, right-click on the shortcut, choose Properties, and then go to the Program and Memory tabs; but wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?) If you run WP from a batch file, add the /R switch to the line in the batch file that runs WP, so that the line reads something like  c:\wp61\wp /R instead of simply c:\wp61\wp. (Other printing problems may be solved with the solutions on this site's Windows printing page.)

Note: If you have 2 MB or less of extended or expanded memory, you may want to experiment with the /R switch before using it permanently. The extended or expanded memory used by the /R switch is not available for storing large documents in RAM, printing graphics, previewing, spell-checking, hyphenation or for the Generate command. Large-scale merging reportedly is not speeded by use of the /R switch. (This note is adapted from material found elsewhere on the Internet; I have not tested these statements myself.)

Read this important note: If you run WPDOS from a batch file or DOS prompt, it is not enough to enable expanded memory only in your shortcut for WPDOS itself. You must also create a desktop shortcut for the DOS prompt or for your batch file, and enable expanded memory in each shortcut that you create. If you need help, read this site's instructions for creating and modifying a DOS prompt and for creating and modifying desktop shortcuts.


Use 64MB of extended memory for WPDOS 6.x

If you work with large files, and have a fast computer, you can dramatically increase the speed of WPDOS 6.x by allowing the program to use up to 64 MB of extended memory (XMS) instead of its built-in limit of 16 MB of expanded memory (EMS). This method works only with WPDOS 6.x, because WPDOS 5.1 cannot use XMS at all, and needs EMS for most operations. (Note that 64 MB of extended memory is available only under Windows 95, 98, and Me, not under Windows NT, 2000, or XP, where WPDOS is limited to 16 MB of extended memory.)

WPDOS 6.x will use up to 64 MB of XMS extended memory only if no EMS expanded memory is available. To prevent WP from seeing expanded memory, start the program with the /ne (no expanded memory) command-line switch. In Windows, modify the WordPerfect shortcut (Help! What's a shortcut?) to specify, under the Memory tab, that the amount of extended (XMS) memory be set as "Auto" instead of any of the numbers in the drop-down list. You may also specify "None" under expanded (EMS) memory.

For advanced users who want maximum DOS memory under Windows 95 and 98, I recommend that you download and study the freeware memory management utility UMBPCI (as modified by Uwe Sieber). Either add this program to your C:\Config.sys file (following the instructions in the documentation that comes with the UMBPCI archive) or use it as a replacement for the emm386.exe command. With this program installed, my WPDOS 6.2 setup, under Windows 98, has 282 KB of conventional memory and 65,535 KB of extended memory. When I restart in MS-DOS mode, WPDOS 6.2 has 309 KB of conventional memory and 65,535 KB of extended memory. Your results may be even better.


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