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Thread: Damn Direct Access Menu Software

  1. #1
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    Default Damn Direct Access Menu Software

    Ok, here's the problem; I have 3 MS-DOS machines with Fifth Generation Software's Direct Access menu software.
    They, obviously, came from a school environment where the idea was to run ceratin applications and not let whomever was using it get out of the menuing software.
    The software disables the break key, disables booting from floppy and needs a password to quit the menuing system.
    Anyone know of a "universal password" that will let you get out of this software?
    We used to use it on our clients systems, in some cases, but, we logged the passwords in case we needed to work on the machine.
    I'd appreciate some help here
    Legacy Computers and Parts

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  2. #2
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    How can it keep you from booting from a floppy (had the bios locked to boot C then A)?

    I would just move the drive to a secondary channel on the IDE cable (slave) and put a fresh C drive with DOS on the primary so the system boots to a clean DOS, then delete the offending menu software from the drive as needed.

  3. #3

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    Booting from the floppy would have to be disabled in BIOS, as the menu can't control anything until after the machine is booted. Check BIOS Settings to enable floppy disk boot...
    Windows: worst operating system in the world, almost two decades running!

  4. #4
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    You could remove the drive and format it in another machine. If the BIOS has a password, simply use the CLR_CMOS jumper (or short the BIOS battery) to unlock that.

    That is assuming you don't want to keep the software...

  5. #5
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    Well, the machines are a PC10-III and 2 PC20-IIIs and the same software is on all of them.

    The way it disables the floppy is through a /n switch in the config.sys file according to what I've been able to find on the 'net

    Directly Accessing Direct Access.

    Direct access 5.1 is a popular DOS shell program, which is often
    used to control access to the dos prompt in a stand alone, and a
    networking environment. Usually the program is run from autoexec.bat,
    and if the person doing security has done his/her job right, then
    switches=/n is in config.sys, and floppy booting is disabled in CMOS.
    This locks up the computer pretty tight, and Direct Access is usually
    passworded on exit to dos, dos commands, maint, etc. The weakness in
    direct access is that when you press F10 and the enter password box pops
    up, DA reads the password into memory, in ascii. So the trick is to get
    your handy dandy TSR memory explorer into RAM. If you ever get a dos
    prompt on the computer, even a shell, you can load your memory TSR, and
    then load DA. Then it is a matter of hitting F10 to exit, and when the
    dialog box is on the screen, hit the hotkey of your mem explorer, and do
    a search for Enter Password. Once it finds that in ram, the password is
    usually not more than 50 bytes or so in either direction, you need to
    look a little for a string that looks like a password. You can repeat
    and get all the password on the system this way. This info is from the
    mem explorer I use. It is freeware I think.
    I had thought of putting a bootable dos drive as C:, but, I can't find any info on the SL02 controller in the XT and I couldn't find any information on any dip switches on the PC10 and I did kind want to save the software on it.

    I thought that someone might have some knowledge on some "universal password" that I could have used to exit the menu system.

    If not, then I'll have to start ripping them apart to solve this annoying problem.

    P.S. DongFeng, I asked you some questions concerning a quadram board in the thread someone started about weither it was repairable or not, but, I suppose you haven't been back there yet,
    Legacy Computers and Parts

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  6. #6
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    Doesn't F5 on boot skip Autoexec.bat and Config.sys?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    Doesn't F5 on boot skip Autoexec.bat and Config.sys?
    Depends on the DOS version, IIRC.

    --T
    Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.
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    Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.

  8. #8

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    I can see several ways around the problem, but what I would try first is this:

    Enable boot from drive a: in CMOS. If the CMOS is password protected, clear it by using the CLEAR CMOS jumper to reset it to the defaults (this will probably enable the boot from a: )

    Boot from a floppy, then edit the config.sys and autoexec.bat to REM offending lines.

    Another way would be to press CTL C as soon as DOS starts to abort the autoexec.bat. Then you should be able to edit config.sys and autoexec.bat or at least rename them so that they're not invoked at boot.

    Kent

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I figure popping up the CMOS settings on the PC20s would be a way around the problem (at least, after I replace the Dallas RTC chips in them, since, after you set the CMOS up, it wants you to reboot, after which, of course, you've lost the setting because the RTC is dead LOL).
    It's more the PC10 I'm concerned about because, although you can find a few things about it on the 'net, settings ain't one of them.
    Maybe some kind soul (not mentioning any names, Micom) could open their PC10-III up and list the standard jumper settings. I figure Floppy Drive Enabled would probably be a fairly useful default setting
    Legacy Computers and Parts

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    Doesn't F5 on boot skip Autoexec.bat and Config.sys?
    Unfortunately, not on this system.

    I have the PC10-III apart and can access the MB, but, of course, the jumpers are just numbered with no indication of what they are for. *SIGH*

    They never make it easy, do they?
    Legacy Computers and Parts

    Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

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