|Free Software for DOS|
|21 Aug 2006|
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|This page:||SYSTEM INFO AND DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS|
|MEMORY, CACHE, LOADING|
|OLD PROGRAMS ON NEWER MACHINES|
|BORLAND PASCAL 7 CRT BUG|
|ESCAPE / BREAK|
|SYSTEM INFO AND DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS|
For 'old' PCs try InfoPlus (released 1993).
Dedicated drive identity tools are listed on DISK UTILS PAGE 1.
NSSI (Navrátil Software System Information) Tool with excellent CPU identification capability.
* * * *
[added 1998-01-30, updated 2006-08-21]
NSSI is an up-to-date, freeware, hardware information tool. Some features have yet to be implemented, but it is quickly becoming a comprehensive and detailed hardware analyzer. Screenshot.Partial list of features:
Author: Tomáš Navrátil / Navrátil Software, Czech Republic (2006).
Download nssi059.exe (470K).
Get latest info at Navrátil Software (pages in English and Czech).
AIDA System information and benchmarking program.
[added 2001-06-01, updated 2005-12-09]
A sysinfo and benchmarking tool strength seems to be with identifying current, rather than legacy hardware. AIDA tests motherboards, video adapters, monitors, disks, printers and more. Reports can be generated in several formats. Available for 16-bit DOS and for 32-bit Windows. Free for individual use only.
The Windows version is multlingual, running in English, Albanian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified or Traditional), Czech, German, Danish, Spanish, Finnish, French, Gallegan, Greek, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Latvian, Macedonian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Slovenian, Slovak, Serbian, Turkish, Ukrainian
Development has ended, support is no longer available. AIDA for Windows has been folded into EVEREST, available in paid and free versions from Lavalys (Canada & Hungary).
Author: Miklós Tamás, Hungary (2004).
|2004-02-02:||2.14||AIDA16 for DOS|
|2004-02-23:||3.93||AIDA32 for Win32|
CMOS Save and restore CMOS data.
* * * *
This util saves an AT-class PC's CMOS data to a disk file, as backup in case of battery failure. Also, multiple data sets can be saved to separate files, for quick reconfiguration of the CMOS at any time. Does not work on XTs (no CMOS). Does not work on EISA or MCA machines. ASM source code included. Released under GNU General Public License.
Author: Charles Dye (1999).
Download cmos.zip (20K).
More in these pages from Charles Dye.
UPCT (Ultra precision command timer) Benchmarks duration of processes.
[added 1998-03-26, updated 2005-12-09]
A small utility for benchmarking duration of processes.
Usage: UPCT [COMMAND_SEQUENCE] Meaning: Any command plus parameters you would normally enter at the DOS command prompt, including redirection. To get UPCT to time duration of a batch file run from the command line, try this syntax: UPCT CALL MY.BAT Here's the output after running a batch file that turns this web site into a text file: Command executed: C:\COMMAND.COM /C call HTSTR.BAT Parameters: HTSTR.BAT Raw total count: 128403478 cycles on the 8253/4 programmable interval timer. Elapsed time: 107614357.1 microseconds = 1 minute and 47.6144 seconds.
Author: Erik de Neve, Netherlands (1995). Suggested by Robert Bull.
Download upctimer.zip (9K).
PC Diagnostics Hardware diagnostics tool.
[added 1999-09-25, updated 2004-06-30]
PC Diagnostics '95 (for DOS including, but not limited to, MS-DOS 7/Win95) performs hardware testing this distinguishes it from traditional system information utils like Microsoft's MSD or Qualitas' ASQ. PC Diagnostics "can check out most aspects of any PC, including modern features such as the PCI, AGP & MCA busses, and handles all types of systems, from an XT all the way to Pentium II. Performs system burn-ins and can even detect intermittent problems." Development of this program has ceased, but it should remain useful for legacy PCs.
While not difficult to use, it is intended for computer technicians / experienced users who are best able to interpret the information generated. Limitations and cautions are fully discussed in the documentation. This tool needs to be run after a clean boot.
Author: Craig Hart, Australia (1999).
Download diags.zip (179K).
Online manual, same as the plain text version that's in the program download package.
Also see the author's PCI and PCI32, next article, and his PCI & PnP Stuff Pages "Best viewed with eyeballs and brains."
PCI and PCI32 PCI system information tools.
[added 2000-08-28, updated 2006-03-14]
PCI "...features classic PCI Specification Version 3.0 support, including all 140 device class/subclass/programming interface codes" and "produces a report of the PCI, AGP & CardBus devices fitted to a PC, including the system chipset," as well as "system resource usage (IRQs, Memory ranges, etc), capabilities (busmastering, caching), setup data (device latencies, general capabilities, features, subsystem info), and much, much more." PCI's database (included in every package) currently identifies over 20,000 devices from over 2100 hardware vendors. Note that the database is updated regularly, so check for a new one often.
Major development work on PCI for DOS, Win3.x and Win9x has ended, but updates and bug fixes will continue if necessary. PCI32 for WinNT+ is still in development, and PCI64 is coming. PCI32vk is a package of ports for DOS16, DOS32, OS/2 Warp 3+, WinNT+ and Linux. All versions use the same database file.
All versions use the same data files. All versions are released as freeware, freely modifiable, with PAS source code, but the principal author accepts donations from grateful users.
Usage: PCI [-H] [-D] [-S] [-T] [-B] [-P] [-?]  indicates optional parameter -H : Use direct hardware access (instead of the BIOS) to retrieve PCI Info May be required for accurate reporting on Intel 430FX chipset+Award BIOS -D : Do a hex-dump of each device's entire configuration space -S : Create a brief, summary report only; only devices and IRQs listed -T : Disable the test ROM IRQ Routing Table function -B : Enable display of the Bus, Device & Function information -P : Enable display of PCI slot routing data -I : Installer mode: produce raw data dump (for use with auto-setup programs) -? : Displays this help screen!
|PCI, PCI32||Craig Hart, Australia (2005)|
|PCI 1.04vkA||Port by Veit Kannegieser, Germany (2005)|
|2005-03-16:||PCI||1.1||16-bit for DOS, Win3.x/9x/Me, OS/2|
|2005-10-12:||PCI32||1.4||32-bit for WinNT/2K/2K3/XP+ console|
|2005-10-13:||PCI||1.04vkA||For DOS16, DOS32, OS/2, Linux, WinNT+|
Also see Craig Hart's PC Diagnostics, above.
Go to Craig's PCI Programs for more info, or to make a donation.
Craig's PCI & PnP Stuff Pages "Best viewed with eyeballs and brains." have other software and info.
And see Veit Kannegieser's R200FIX below, and his online pages, in English auf Deutsch.
Memtest86 BIOS-based memory tests for Intel/AMD/Cyrix x86 computers.
Memtest86 runs from a bootable diskette or CDROM, testing, mapping and determining the size of a PC's memory. It can be installed onto the boot disk from DOS/Windows or from Linux/Unix but running does not otherwise require any OS or even a hard disk. Configuration consists of setting test and error-reporting options. Released under GNU General Public License.Error reporting:
Tst Test Number Failing Address Failing memory address Good Expected data pattern Bad Failing data pattern Err-Bits Exclusive or of good and bad data (this shows the position of the failing bit(s)
ESC Exits the test and does a warm restart via the BIOS. c Enters test configuration menu Menu options are: 1) Cache mode 2) Test selection 3) Address Range 4) Memory Sizing 5) Error Summary 6) Error Report Mode 7) ECC Mode 8) Restart 9) Adv. Options SP Set scroll lock (Stops scrolling of error messages) Note: Testing is stalled when the scroll lock is set and the scroll region is full. CR Clear scroll lock (Enables error message scrolling)
Author: Chris Brady (2004).
|CDROM ISO images||memtest86-3.2.iso.zip||(39K)|
Go to the Memtest86 page for more info, and Linux/Unix installers.
|MEMORY, CACHE, LOADING|
DRVLOAD Load device drivers from command line or batch file.
With this util, editing of CONFIG.SYS and rebooting can be avoided. Works under DOS 3.0+, but not in a Windows DOS box. Can be loaded high under DOS 5.0+. Occupies 2K on disk, adds 256 bytes to loaded drivers. ASM source code included.
Author: Rick Knoblaugh, for PC Magazine (1993).
Download drvloa.zip (20K).
MAP MEM substitute.
[added 2002-10-20, updated 2006-08-21]
"Map is a program to display the memory map. It can list only programs and device drivers, or the full list of memory control blocks. It can also list device drivers, interrupt vectors and the high memory area." Useful when you need detailed mapping information for optimizing memory.
Usage, v2.0: MAP [-option ...] Options: -n list of programs in normal memory (default) -u list of programs in normal and upper memory -f full list of memory blocks -d list of device drivers -x XMS report -e EMS report -h,? this text Usage, v3.0: MAP [-option ...] [name ...] Options: -c list of programs in conventional memory -u list of programs in upper memory -f[c|u] full list of memory blocks -d list of device drivers -i[list] list of interrupt vectors (in hexadecimal) -a list of HMA -o addr determine the owner of addr -h,? this text
Authors: v2.0 by Péter Sulyok, Hungary (1994); v3.0 by Jason Hood, Australia (2002).
|2002-10-09:||3.0||32-bit, requires 80386+, DOS 5+ (DOS 7/Win9x to display the HMA list)|
Jason Hood's Map page.
More in these pages from Jason Hood.
TSR Utilities (TSRCOM) Remove memory resident programs that can't remove themselves.
* * * * *
Several TSR programs are listed on these pages many of which have no option to uninstall themselves from memory. It's often wise to uninstall DOS TSRs [e.g., to free memory when a TSR is needed only temporarily, or when running programs with which a TSR may conflict (e.g., Windows)]. The TSR Utilities are compatible with a wide range of memory managers and can remove TSRs loaded to upper memory. Thorough documentation.
MARK Marks a position in memory above which TSRs can be released RELEASE Removes TSRs from memory FMARK Performs the same function as MARK but uses less memory MARKNET Like MARK, but saves a more complete picture of system status RELNET Removes TSRs marked with MARKNET WATCH A TSR that keeps records of other TSRs DISABLE Disables or reactivates TSRs, leaving them in memory RAMFREE Shows how much RAM is available MAPMEM Shows loaded TSRs DEVICE Shows loaded device drivers EATMEM Uses up memory for controlled program testing
Author: Kim Kokkonen / TurboPower Software (1993).
Download tsrcom35.zip (78K).
Cache Control (CC) Mouse compatible control center for MS-DOS SmartDrive.
* * * * *
[added 1998-03-05, updated 1999-02-21]
A slick and friendly full screen interface for the SmartDrive cache program: "...allows cache settings to be changed by intuitive point-and-clicking rather than using the less friendly command line options." Change settings for individual drives by clicking on drive buttons and selecting read/write caching options. Current settings are displayed under drive buttons. Good built-in help. EXE size: 14.4K.
F1 Displays brief descriptions of the function keys. F2 Flushes the disk cache and makes sure that any write-behind (or write-cached) data is written to the disk. F3 Resets the disk cache any write-behind data is flushed, and the disk cache buffers are cleared. F4 Use this to change whether the cache is flushed when the command prompt appears. F5 After confirmation, disables disk caching for all drives except A: and B: F6 After confirmation, sets read-caching for all drives except A: and B: F7 After confirmation, sets write-caching for all drives except A: and B: F8 After confirmation, sets read-write caching for all drives except A: and B: F9 After confirmation, restores the cache settings for all drives as they were when CC was started. F10 QUIT
Author: Mark Incley / Inkland, UK (1999).
1999-02-15: v1.53. Part of the InkUtils collection. Formerly shareware, now freeware.
Download ink153.exe (255K).
Get more info at the Inkutils page.
|OLD PROGRAMS ON NEWER MACHINES|
|BORLAND PASCAL 7 CRT BUG|
These programs are intended for users of "fast" PCs (e.g., Pentiums >~200 mhz). They can breathe life back into countless older Borland Pascal compiled DOS programs which may generate an error message on execution ("Runtime error 200 at xxxx:xxxx.") and abort. Several programs listed on this site generate that error. For the end-user, three types of remedies to the TP/BP CRT problem exist: (1) EXE patchers, which modify the original executable (CRTFIX and BP7PAT, or numerous others); (2) TSR runtime fixes (e.g., PROT200 TP7P5FIX R200FIX), which don't modify the original exe, but instead detect and prevent the error at execution; and (3) CPU slowers (e.g., SLOWDOWN).
(1) Attempts at exe patching are not always successful because some compressed exes won't be easily uncompressed (required for patching) or may contain anti-hacking code which defeats a successful patch. In addition, patching may infringe upon a program's copyright. Importantly, there is now discussion indicating that some patchers may not be effective for high MHz CPUs (e.g., Pentium II/III >400MHz); you may have to experiment with several patchers to find one that works. CRTFIX is designed to generate a fix appropriate to a PC's CPU frequency. It has the added advantage of offering several options (create backup of original, search for buggy files on disk and log list to file, etc).
(2) The TSR fix can be more desirable if you use a large number of programs with the error. They intercept a BP EXE's divide-by-zero operation, and change the quotient and remainder to real values. Limitations of the TSR fixes include less than 100% effectiveness, and the additional (if small - 1K) memory cost of running the TSR.
Also see J. R. Stockton's pages for more information on the BP CRT issue.
BP7PAT Patches EXEs.
* * * *
[added 1999-05-14, updated 2005-12-09]
SYNTAX: BP7PAT input[.exe] [options] The resulting file will have the same name as the input file. The originally file will be saved as input.PAT Available options: /?, /h - this little help screen /n - make NO backup /x - extended output
Author: Philip Helger (PHaX), Austria (1999).
Download bppat102.zip (7K).
More in these pages from Philip Helger.
CRTFIX Patches EXEs; handles wide range of CPU frequencies.
* * * *
[added 2000-10-02, updated 2004-06-27]
CRTFIX can patch any file created by BP: EXE, OVL, TPU, TPL, TPP, etc. PAS source code included.
CRTFix <file_masks> [options] USAGE: CRTFix [options]
where: file_masks are masks of files to be patched and options are: /a - ask before patching files; /b - backup files; /d## - set delay factor to ## (0 for autodetect); /m## - set maximal delay factor to ##; /e - do not reapply patch; /l - write log file; /p - write to log only files, containing CRT code; /r - recursive search; /t - test mode: only search for code, but don''t patch; /h or /? - this help.
Author: Eugene Toder (2001).
Download crtfix16.zip (20K).
PROT 200 TSR runtime fix.
ASM source code included. Also included is BP7PATCH, a library file patcher (for programmers).
Authors: PROT 200 by Martin Papík, Slovakia (2000). BP7PATCH by Dennis Passmore (1997).
Download prot200.zip (70K).
TP7P5FIX TSR runtime fix.
* * * *
[added 1999-08-16, updated 2005-12-09]
Run this once to enable, and run again to disable. Also included: Test util, ASM and PAS source code.
Authors: Originally by Marek Futrega, Poland; Latest version by Robert Riebisch / BTTR Software, Germany (2004).
Download tp7p5fix.zip (15K).
Marek Futrega on the Web (blog).
More in these pages from BTTR Software.
R200FIX TSR runtime fix.
* * * *
For Pentium 233MHz and up. Run R200FIX.COM when needed, or from AUTOEXEC.BAT. Package also includes a checksum util and BP source code patches (for programmers).
Author: Veit Kannegieser, Germany (2001).
|Download either one|
Also see Veit Kannegieser's PCIvk, above, and his online pages in English auf Deutsch.
SLOWDOWN Slows down PC to allow running of older programs.
[added 1998-07-15, updated 2003-05-23]
One of the more flexible "slowdown" TSR programs available freeware or shareware.From the docs:
SLOWDOWN is a program that temporarily "slows down" your computer so that you can run programs that require a slower computer (usually, a 4.77 MHz PC/XT or an 8 MHz PC/AT)...There are other "slowdown" programs out there that have already been designed and marketed, so what makes SLOWDOWN different enough from the others that I even bothered to write it? The main thing is flexibility... SLOWDOWN can be used to either "permanently" slow down your computer (letting you run several programs in a row, slowly), or to just slow down one particular program (and when that program is done, your computer automatically returns back to its normal, faster speed). Secondly, SLOWDOWN will let you run any type of program either executable files (.COM or .EXE) or Batch files. Some other "slowdown" programs will only work with COM or EXE files. Thirdly, SLOWDOWN can either simulate a PC/XT, a PC/AT, or can be "fine- tuned" to simulate almost any speed you want it to.
Notes: While progs like SLOWDOWN are usually used to run old games on a fast PC, they can also be used to circumvent the notorious Borland Pascal "Runtime 200" error generated by some old BP compiled programs on faster PCs.
SYNTAX: SLOWDOWN [SLOWDOWN Options] [executable filename w/ options] /?,/H - Show this HELP screen /U - UNINSTALL from memory /Q /V - Be QUIET or VERBOSE about the details (default = VERBOSE) /E /D - ENABLE or DISABLE the Hot-Keys (default = ENABLE) /K:ShiftMask - Hot-KEY Shift Mask (default = Ctrl-Alt) /KeyTable - Show the Table of valid Hot-Keys /[W]Int8 /[W]Int70 - [Windows] Interrupt to use for timing (default = Int8) /X[:nn] - Run at the same speed as an XT (4.77-MHz 8088) /A[:nn] - Run at the same speed as an AT (8-MHz 80286) /R[:nn] - Run at the REMEMBERED Speed (default = 65535) /[W]MHz486:nn - Run [Windows] at the same speed as a nn-MHz 80486 (0-5000) /[W]MHz286:nn - Run [Windows] at the same speed as a nn-MHz 80286 (0-100) /[W]MHz8088:nn - Run [Windows] at the same speed as a nn-MHz 8088 (0-100) /[W]P:nn.nn - Run [Windows] at nn.nn% of normal speed (0.00-100.00) /[W]S:nn - Run [Windows] at a SPEED of nn SU's (0-65535) /[W:]nn - Slow Down [Windows] by nn SU's (0-65535) (default = 0) /T - Show TABLE of various computer Speeds in SU's /C:Yes /C:No - Automatic control of CPU Cache (default = YES) /Trace:Yes /Trace:No - Automatic Trace Mode (default = NO) /Beep:Yes /Beep:No - Beep when changing Speed w/ Hot-Key (default = YES)
Caution: Has been known to trigger reboot on some modern (e.g., dual-processor) systems. Be careful!
Author: Bret Johnson (2002).
Download slodn310.zip (33K).
More in these pages from Bret Johnson.
|ESCAPE / BREAK|
Escape TSR aids in escaping DOS programs, avoiding system crashes.
[added 2001-10-07, updated 2005-07-17]
Escape allows the user to interrupt programs and prevent some potential system crashes it's more broadly effective than Ctrl-Break. Uses XMS memory when available.
Usage: ESCAPE to install ESCAPE /R to restore interrupt table ESCAPE /U to uninstall Press F12 to ESCAPE from any program.
Authors: Original code by Selçuk Aygüney (1994). Modified by David Lindauer / LadSoft (2000-01). Suggested by The Wørm and Selçuk Aygüney.
|esc3.txt||(3.0K)||v3.0 ASM source|
|escape20.zip||(4.6K)||Older v2.0 EXE, but has doc file, and sample batch file for loading|
HBREAK TSR aids in escaping DOS programs, avoiding system crashes.
[added 2000-01-08, updated 2005-03-11]
Hbreak is a TSR which allows the user to interrupt programs and prevent some potential system crashes it's more broadly effective than Ctrl-Break. HBREAK can interrupt a variety of programs (e.g., try it with EDIT). Warnings: Don't load TSRs after HBREAK. The default hotkey is CTRL-ALT-C (modifiable). HBREAK requires around 3.2K of memory, and self-installs into high memory by default.
HBREAK /? or
HBREAK /H will get the full help text onscreen (easily piped or redirected).
HBREAK 5.5 - System crash recovery utility HBREAK [/R=0|1] [/T=scan code] [/S=«shifts»] [/ML] [/U] [/?|H] This edition of HBREAK relocates the first 8 hardware INTs from habitual zone of 8-0Fh to new zone 50-57h: this is the only alternative location that MS-DOS 5.0 EMM386 support. This is not conflictive with Windows 3, but /R=0 switch avoid this action... Activation keys may be selected with /T and /S (to obtain «shifts» value you must add: 1-Right Shift, 2-Left Shift, 4-Ctrl and 8-Alt)... /ML switch forces installation in conventional memory (HBREAK is a upper memory self-installable utility, with or without DOS=UMB statement in the CONFIG.SYS). /U tells HBREAK to uninstall (if possible). HBREAK takes from 3232 to 3328 bytes of memory in most systems.
Author: Ciriaco García de Celis, Spain (1993, 1996).
|1996-02-28:||5.5||Uses ~16 bytes less memory than v5.2. Much thanks to Stephen Kitt for obtaining the file.|
|v5.2||hbreak52.zip||(7K)||Program & help, in Spanish & English. Doc file, based on help, English only.|
|v5.5||hbreak55.zip||(8K)||Program & help in Spanish, English & German. No other docs.|
Memory resident utilities (TSRs) that can be used to troubleshoot program errors and log file access. Don't run these under Windows.
* * * *
Argus packs a big punch for its small (8K) size. It can log access to drives, directories, files and transferred bytes, EMS use, modifications of the INT table, and memory management. I use it primarily to troubleshoot and to discover what file actions some apps perform (e.g., what files are required by a program, log creation of temp files, etc.). Requires about 5K RAM and can be uninstalled from memory. One warning: The log files created by Argus can grow very large very quickly.
Author: M. Heilfort, Germany (1995).
1995-04-03: v1.61. Package contains program + doc in English and German. Unzip with -dir switch.
Download argus161.zip (44K).
* * *
KGB is small (2K) and logs only file activity. Unlike Argus, KGB doesn't stamp the log entries with times. The log file is smaller and easier to read compared with Argus's because KGB doesn't record common error messages. Permanent saving of log file. Requires 1K RAM and can be disabled or uninstalled from memory.
Author: Petr Horák, Czech Republic (1992).
Download kgb104.zip (6K).
In case anyone has an old, untested machine, not run since 1999...
YMARK2000 Test PC for Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance.
"This program tests the personal computer's ability to support the year 2000, not the operating system or software applications. Separate testing must be performed on software." Returns error levels that can be used in batch files. Can't be run under Windows.The following tests are performed (per docs):
Author: NSTL National Software Testing Labs (1997).
Download y2000.zip (20K).
HolmesCk Checks old BIOS Real Time Clock, for Y2K compliance.
HolmesFx TSR fix for Real Time Clock's Y2K failures.
Run HOLMESCK.EXE to check the Real Time Clock (RTC). If year is 1900, run HOLMESFX.COM to change it to 2000. ASM source included.
Author: Lester C Holmes. Package assembled by M.J. Ray, UK (1998). Suggested by Howard Schwartz.
Download y2k_hf11.zip (6K).
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