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anormal
December 23rd, 2015, 03:14 AM
hi!

I am building a DOS installation in a 8086 (20mb hd), i choosed 3.30 because i think is a good SO for this cpu,
i guess i can install a 6.x version but wanted to emulated a bit when i used it.

In my >386 machines i usually install a predefined pack of dos tools, qemm, smartdrv, 4dos, Zansi, volkov commander, etc...

But i can't remember well how i optimized my old Amstrad 1640 pc, what tools did i used in this machine?

What do you think? i guess i can install Lightning disk cache, or hyperdisk, but apart from this? any tips?
I want to install software from the era, don't mind installing much modern software, but i prefer software from those years.

Can you recall how you optimized your old 8086/286 Pcs?

regards!

Maverick1978
December 23rd, 2015, 06:22 AM
I usually used smartdrv (or another disk caching program) on an as-needed basis. Ditto on the EMS memory (or was it XMS? Ugh - been years) using QEMM. Other than that, it was just minimizing the programs loaded into conventional RAM.

When DOS 5.0 and later 6.0 came out, I was using those on 286's to take advantage of using the high memory area. I still prefer to use those OS's today on a 286 for the same reason.

krebizfan
December 23rd, 2015, 09:14 AM
Stripped down minimalist installs are the way to go. Even if you have a EMS card installed, you may have to boot without an EMS driver for programs that need every last bit of conventional memory.

A clone 286 with 1 MB of RAM should typically have 384 KB of extended memory left over. Loading HIMEM.SYS and an extended memory disk cache is a good way of using that memory. If using DOS 3.3, skip HIMEM.SYS unless running Windows 286.

anormal
December 24th, 2015, 01:03 AM
>If using DOS 3.3, skip HIMEM.SYS unless running Windows 286.
why? is not useful to have himem always loaded?
thanks for tips!

krebizfan
December 24th, 2015, 09:59 AM
>If using DOS 3.3, skip HIMEM.SYS unless running Windows 286.
why? is not useful to have himem always loaded?
thanks for tips!

HIMEM.SYS has several uses. One is to create the HMA area but DOS 5, DOS 6, and Windows 286 were the only widely available programs that used it. The other use is to allow programs to use XMS to access extended memory.
If using DOS 3.3 and not running Windows 286, the HMA will waste 64k of extended memory since nothing will be able to load there. Some programs that accessed extended memory like disk caches used their own methods instead of relying on XMS.

Skipping HIMEM.SYS will reduce conventional memory usage by about 10k* and extended memory usage by 64k. Unless you have software taking advantage of it, why waste the memory?

* Not sure of the exact memory consumption.

anormal
December 24th, 2015, 10:35 AM
Wow! thanks for the detailed answer!
Even when i had an Amstrad 1640 PC for some years, it seems all those years i was a casual user, later when i changed to a 486 dx50 (later to 100...) I know much better dos and tools, so the things i remember are using qemm, smartdrv, always himen.sys, etc...
thanks!

Chuck(G)
December 24th, 2015, 12:02 PM
I recall that there were utility programs to regulate the loading and unloading of TSRs and drivers. You have to take things case-by-case after that. For example, EMS is of little use if you have nothing that can take advantage of it.

DOS 5.0+ has CONFIG.SYS menu support, which allows you to construct different configurations to be selected at boot. You can save quite a bit of memory by selectively loading only the things that you need to get a job done.

Krille
December 25th, 2015, 03:39 AM
DOS 5.0+ has CONFIG.SYS menu support, which allows you to construct different configurations to be selected at boot. You can save quite a bit of memory by selectively loading only the things that you need to get a job done.

That's a DOS 6+ feature IIRC.

Chuck(G)
December 25th, 2015, 11:40 AM
I'll check; but even if it is, I suspect that there are third-party utilities that accomplish the same thing under earlier DOS versions.

dieymir
March 23rd, 2017, 09:57 AM
I'll check; but even if it is, I suspect that there are third-party utilities that accomplish the same thing under earlier DOS versions.
Sure:

https://books.google.es/books?id=TJuFGeKsMJ0C&pg=PA323&lpg=PA323&dq=pc+magazine+CONFIG.END&source=bl&ots=FcgUZ7TBEN&sig=DaOioIia3bYqWJXvd9EVASsmPZc&hl=gl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiwsNuCme3SAhXIiFQKHUKvBhkQ6AEIRzAF#v=on epage&q=pc%20magazine%20CONFIG.END&f=false

you will want to use it with dummy.sys:

https://books.google.es/books?id=ySO4VbD0-mcC&pg=PT320&lpg=PT320&dq=pc+magazine+CONFIG.END&source=bl&ots=rNYTuqICbU&sig=FZI82Ru4Um2rdr1E_hfLQte3sVU&hl=gl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiwsNuCme3SAhXIiFQKHUKvBhkQ6AEISzAG#v=on epage&q=pc%20magazine%20CONFIG.END&f=false

and this one too:

https://books.google.es/books?id=v5YwX3auv0cC&pg=PA292&lpg=PA292&dq=pc+magazine+confix&source=bl&ots=8iw-aRrsc2&sig=I7fYhvPan9j71eK4md-q8DXbT3w&hl=gl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi91MqgmO3SAhUJjlQKHYWzBYUQ6AEIGjAA#v=on epage&q=pc%20magazine%20confix&f=false

Chuck(G)
March 23rd, 2017, 10:07 AM
...or just dig into the SIMTEL20 archives (on archive.org) for lots of choices.

smbaker
March 23rd, 2017, 03:58 PM
I'll check; but even if it is, I suspect that there are third-party utilities that accomplish the same thing under earlier DOS versions.

I wrote one back in the day called "CMENU.SYS", which I'm surprised doesn't seem to exist anywhere. I wonder how much old shareware has been permanently lost.

Trixter
March 24th, 2017, 01:26 PM
If you still have your last release of it, you should upload it somewhere, like archive.org.

dieymir
March 27th, 2017, 09:23 AM
IMHO, the best utility of this kind is this one:
http://salvisberg.com/boot.sys

the author does not sell new licenses anymore. Maybe he can be convinced to liberate it.

SEGStriker
November 5th, 2017, 01:13 AM
There are several utils for 8086 or 80286 class CPUs:

Hiram.sys - HiRAM is a memory manager introduced since DOS 5 (MS-DOS, DR-DOS). Use of upper memory areas (UMBs) also on 8086 and 80286 PCs with corresponding memory expansion cards and thus allows the free. Can increase DOS memory to over 620KByte.

EMM286.EXE - EMM286 is an Expanded Memory LIMulator for an AT-Class system, or other 286 compatible. Provides both an EMM driver and command line functions in one executable file. All functions of the LIM EMS 4.0 specification dated October 1987 are supported except DMA.

UMBPCI.SYS - UMBPCI.SYS is a FREEware MS-DOS 5.00/6.xx, DR-DOS, Novell DOS, Caldera Open DOS and MS Windows 9x/3.xx Upper Memory Area (UMA) access driver (MS HIMEM.SYS extender) for Intel, FIC VIA (Apollo), ALi (Aladdin) and SiS PCI/AGP chipsets, supporting Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium II/III, AMD and Cyrix CPUs.

There are other tools, I used lot of them back in 90s.

Casey
November 15th, 2017, 08:42 AM
I'll check; but even if it is, I suspect that there are third-party utilities that accomplish the same thing under earlier DOS versions.

Back in the day I used DesqView & qemm. The latter had an optimize program which tested various combinations loaded high to get the best result. This worked quite nicely until I took the plunge and installed Win95.

Chuck(G)
November 15th, 2017, 09:13 AM
QEMM very often was a "cut and try" affair. There were lots of "try this" tips wandering around.

Stone
November 15th, 2017, 09:51 AM
I wrote one back in the day called "CMENU.SYS", which I'm surprised doesn't seem to exist anywhere. I wonder how much old shareware has been permanently lost.This looks like it. It's on one of my CDs.

************************************************** ******************

What is CMENU?
--------------
CMENU is a program that I created to allow the easy alteration of
the CONFIG.SYS file at boot-up. Since I run my own bulletin board system,
there are a lot of drivers that must be loaded, some of which gobble up
too much memory for me to use the computer for other things such as
programming or playing with game software. I looked for a similar program
on the market, but almost all of them required you to run the program and
then reboot the computer to load the new config files. Then to get back to
your previous configuration, you would have to repeat the process.
CMENU is different - for one thing, it allows you to select your
configuration at bootup, before the device drivers are loaded. When properly
set up, CMENU will present you with a menu on boot-up, wait a specified
time for you to press a key, and then continue with the default
configuration. If you wish another configuration, simply type the number
and CMENU will do the rest.

.................................................. .................................................. ..

Scott Baker
xxxx Tierra Catalina #xx
Tucson, Az 85718

I may also be reached at my online bulletin board service (BBS):

NODE 1: (602) 577-3650 2400,1200,300 baud
NODE 2: (602) 577-3419 2400,1200,300 baud

smbaker
November 18th, 2017, 04:10 PM
Yep, that's the one. I didn't think to check old CDs. I probably have it on one somewhere too.