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Thread: Keyboard differences. Msdos 3.3 vs Msdos 5

  1. #1

    Default Keyboard differences. Msdos 3.3 vs Msdos 5

    Hi, looking for some help to figure out where to start with a problem.

    My sort of XT compatible Zenith Z171 works well with MSDOS 3.3. However when I try to use MSDOS 5 the keyboard stops working.

    1. Cntl alt del still works
    2. Keystrokes otherwise dont register as input.
    3. Eventually after a bunch of keystrokes, the computer beeps on every keystroke. I think I that means the keyboard buffer is full.

    So it seems like msdos5 is not pulling keystrokes from the keyboard buffer. Seems strange when msdos3.3 works fine.

    Msdos 6.22 has the same problem.

    I'll start researching but does anyone have any thoughts on this one?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twospruces View Post
    Hi, looking for some help to figure out where to start with a problem.

    My sort of XT compatible Zenith Z171 works well with MSDOS 3.3. However when I try to use MSDOS 5 the keyboard stops working.

    1. Cntl alt del still works
    2. Keystrokes otherwise dont register as input.
    3. Eventually after a bunch of keystrokes, the computer beeps on every keystroke. I think I that means the keyboard buffer is full.

    So it seems like msdos5 is not pulling keystrokes from the keyboard buffer. Seems strange when msdos3.3 works fine.

    Msdos 6.22 has the same problem.

    I'll start researching but does anyone have any thoughts on this one?
    Don't know for sure but you may want to try appending your CONFIG.SYS for 'SETVER.EXE'; i.e., device=c:\dos\setver.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  3. #3

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    Is the version of MS-DOS 3.3 a Zenith specific version ? I'm not familiar this particular PC but it sounds like its BIOS may not be 100% IBM-compatible which would explain why MS-DOS 5.0 (or later) has problems on it.

    Also check if a special device driver was loaded in CONFIG.SYS for MS-DOS 3.3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twospruces View Post
    Hi, looking for some help to figure out where to start with a problem.

    My sort of XT compatible Zenith Z171 works well with MSDOS 3.3. However when I try to use MSDOS 5 the keyboard stops working.

    1. Cntl alt del still works
    2. Keystrokes otherwise dont register as input.
    3. Eventually after a bunch of keystrokes, the computer beeps on every keystroke. I think I that means the keyboard buffer is full.

    So it seems like msdos5 is not pulling keystrokes from the keyboard buffer. Seems strange when msdos3.3 works fine.

    Msdos 6.22 has the same problem.

    I'll start researching but does anyone have any thoughts on this one?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcdosretro View Post
    Is the version of MS-DOS 3.3 a Zenith specific version ? I'm not familiar this particular PC but it sounds like its BIOS may not be 100% IBM-compatible which would explain why MS-DOS 5.0 (or later) has problems on it.

    Also check if a special device driver was loaded in CONFIG.SYS for MS-DOS 3.3.
    Currently using stock Microsoft MSDOS 3.3. Zenith variant was buggy. Config.sys is the same as what came in the distro.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twospruces View Post
    Hi, looking for some help to figure out where to start with a problem.

    My sort of XT compatible Zenith Z171 works well with MSDOS 3.3. However when I try to use MSDOS 5 the keyboard stops working.

    1. Cntl alt del still works
    2. Keystrokes otherwise dont register as input.
    3. Eventually after a bunch of keystrokes, the computer beeps on every keystroke. I think I that means the keyboard buffer is full.

    ... Seems strange when msdos3.3 works fine.

    Msdos 6.22 has the same problem.

    I'll start researching but does anyone have any thoughts on this one?
    Wasn't this answered in another thread?

    Quote Originally Posted by lafos View Post
    DOS 5 and 6.22 use more RAM than 3.30, but otherwise should be compatible.
    Quote Originally Posted by krebizfan View Post
    No, the Z171 is not a PC compatible and will not run standard DOS versions.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    Don't know for sure but you may want to try appending your CONFIG.SYS for 'SETVER.EXE'; i.e., device=c:\dos\setver.
    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into that.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Wasn't this answered in another thread?
    I am delving into this to understand the root cause. Maybe there is no way to address this but I am curious. After all it is running a standard DOS version now. 3.3. So what's different about 5? Apparently the benefit is the ability to access memory above A0000h.

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    May have nothing at all to do with the keyboard--both DOS versions use the INT 16H BIOS service for keyboard input.

  9. #9
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    A lot of things are different in DOS 5.

    Are you absolutely sure DOS 5 is actually still running, and not hung? Perhaps put the command "CTTY COM1" at the end of you autoexec.bat and see if you can control the computer over a nullmodem cable. (I'm guessing it has a serial port).

    If you specify other programs in the autoexec.bat, do they run but still not accept keyboard input?

    You might try running various diagnostic programs under DOS 3.3 and see what they make of the keyboard. Perhaps find some games that are known to take direct control of the keyboard and see if they work under DOS 3.3.

    If the keyboard I/O interface differs from standard IBM PC and clones, then many programs will have problems. The only ones that would work are ones that use the BIOS interface.

    BTW, I was under the impression there at least had been some UMB programs that could load drivers in UMB memory even under DOS 3.3. Although newer ones are not likely to support 3.3. It is mostly a matter of tricking a TSR in to thinking the free memory starts at D000:0000, or wherever.

  10. #10
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    The three-key salute (ctrl-alt-del) is trapped within the BIOS and initiates a reboot--doesn't indicate anything about the MSDOS functionality.

    It sounds as if the system is hung in a loop or has gone out to lunch.

    First step--strip the thing down to its basics. That is, no autoexec.bat or config.sys. If you have a hard disk, temporarily remove it. Try booting and running from floppy. If that works, add things in until it quits working.

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