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Win95 FAQ Part 12 of 14: MS-DOS Games
Section - 12.11. But this game won't run under Win95! How can I get it to work?

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Top Document: Win95 FAQ Part 12 of 14: MS-DOS Games
Previous Document: 12.10. Why do you keep telling me to run my games under Win95?
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
   OK ok ok ok... so you can't live without playing this game (Star Trek:
   A Final Unity (TM) by Spectrum Holobyte falls into this category) and
   you can't run it in a DOS session. Or maybe you can; bring up the
   program's properties, hit the Program tab, hit "Advanced", and hit
   "Prevent DOS programs from detecting Windows". This'll make the
   "smarty" programs run in a DOS session.
   If that didn't work, read on.

     * 12.11.1. How to make a special DOS setup for this program that
       won't run in Win95: 
    1. Bring up properties for its start-up program again, and hit the
       Program tab.
    2. Hit Advanced, and turn on MS-DOS mode. This will make Win95 exit
       before running the game. And since all the Win95 CD-ROM, netcard,
       etc drivers will unload when you run this:
    3. Hit "Specify a new MS-DOS Configuration". This will activate the
       two text boxes below, so you can feed a special CONFIG.SYS and
       AUTOEXEC.BAT for this program.
    4. Fill in the empty spaces for CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. All your
       normal DOS drivers, memory managers, and TSRs should go in here.
       You can also copy from your CONFIG.DOS, and press CTRL-V (Paste)
       to copy it here; that does work. Be sure you use Win95 versions of
       HIMEM and EMM386, and other DOS version-specific drivers.
    5. Save your changes and run the program. You should get a warning
       that you're about to enter MS-DOS mode. If you OK it, Win95 will
       re-boot your computer and run your special CONFIG.SYS and
       AUTOEXEC.BAT. When you exit the game, the system will re-boot into
       Win95 using the original DOS configuration (which should be
   With this setup, you can specify a DOS configuration just for this
   program without polluting your Win95 configuration. You will have to
   load all the real mode components necessary to make your hardware
   work, including real mode sound card and CD-ROM drivers. Net cards
   I'll cover later.
   Some useful stuff to include in these files are:
     * HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE: Yes, definitely include that in the
       special CONFIG.SYS you make. Use the Win95 versions.
     * SMARTDRV.EXE: You should have real mode disk caching here. Again,
       Win95 comes with its own version of SmartDrive.
     * PAUSE: Put this at the end of the special AUTOEXEC.BAT so you can
       prevent your game from starting right away. You can always press
       CTRL-C here and fine-tune the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT, and
       re-boot to try again. When Win95 finally re-starts, it will copy
       your changes to the program's properties. Now that's cool.
     * LOCK C: If you want to run Windows 3.1 this way (Yes it is
       possible) and you want 32-bit disk/file access, include this
       command. LOCK will allow direct disk writes by DOS programs,
       including Win 3.1's memory manager and FASTDISK drivers. Some DOS
       games that do disk swapping may also require this command. Use
       this with caution; it also allows viruses to do their dirty work.
     * MSCDEX.EXE: If you use a real mode CD-ROM driver, you obviously
       need MSCDEX to mount it and run it. Load MSCDEX before SmartDrive,
       so SmartDrive can cache CD-ROM reads. Save on conventional memory
       this way by specifying /M:4 (minimal buffer size). Win95 keeps
       this file in %WINDIR%\COMMAND.
     * MOUSE.EXE or MOUSE.COM: A must for mouse driven games.
   Keep in mind, that "MS-DOS Mode", or "Single Mode MS-DOS" is MS-DOS
   through and through, except for the LOCK and the direct disk access
   inhibitor. You can use all the MS-DOS memory management techniques you
   learned back in DOS 5.0. You might also want to disable the
   DriveSpace Driver if you use disk compression, and you can't get
   enough conventional memory. You could also try running MEMMAKER, if
   you're really desperate, in this configuration; add the old DOS
   utilities from OTHER\OLDMSDOS, then while you're in a special DOS
   configuration, run MEMMAKER. As long as you keep Win95 booting in this
   mode (where it says "Win95 is now starting your MS-DOS based
   program..."); the changes that MEMMAKER makes will only affect this
   particular configuration; it won't affect your normal Win95
   This above technique replaces boot disks and Multi-Boot entirely! If
   you use PIF files that specify MS-DOS mode, you can throw away all
   your boot disks and your multi-boot CONFIG.SYS file. You can even set
   up multiple PIFs for the same program; re-name the PIF file that the
   Properties sheet made up, and bring up Properties for the program
   again; it will build a new PIF file.
   Another cool trick is to look for an "Exit to DOS" file in your Win95
   directory, bring up its properties, and set it up to use a new MS-DOS
   configuration. This way, whenever you "Restart computer in MS-DOS
   mode", you will run this configuration. Real handy for running a bunch
   of games without having to make a special configuration for each. In
   this mode, type EXIT or WIN to return to Win95. You can also edit the
   custom startup files within DOS mode; when Win95 finally re-starts, it
   will update the .PIF file with the changes you made.

     * 12.11.2. How to make network games work without running Win95 
   Network Setup not only installs protected mode drivers for your card;
   it also installs NDIS 2.0 real mode components specifically for MS-DOS
   mode. You will need to install a Win95 net card driver and IPX/SPX
   Protocol for this to work.
   In the special AUTOEXEC.BAT you make for MS-DOS mode games, include:


   This will load a real mode protocol manager, net card driver, and
   Microsoft's IPX compatible protocol. You can go a step further and
   type NET START NWREDIR to load a NETX compatible client for NetWare,
   if you need to get to your games stored on the NetWare server, and you
   installed Microsoft's Client for NetWare. These components will try to
   load high if you have upper memory available. Put this at the
   beginning of the special AUTOEXEC.BAT, to improve upper memory usage.

     * 12.11.3. When (and when not) to use Intel's Configuration Manager
       in Single Mode DOS 
   If you use a PnP sound card and you want to use Single Mode DOS to run
   those pesky games, you may need to add this line in your special


   This line performs the same PnP magic that Win95 does when it normally
   starts. You MUST include it BEFORE EMM386.EXE so it doesn't interfere
   with EMS memory and upper memory. Don't worry; it doesn't stay in
   memory so no need to load it high.
   However, systems with PnP BIOSes may NOT need this. Depending on how
   well your PnP BIOS configures your cards, you can get away with just
   loading your normal sound card drivers (SB16.SYS and CTMMSYS.SYS for
   example) and it will use the I/O, IRQ, and DMA settings you chose in
   Win95's Device Manager. This works because the BIOS and Win95 store
   this config info in the NVRAM on your system board.
   So, for PnP sound cards in Single mode DOS, you CAN use DWMCFG but
   load it BEFORE HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE. Use it only if you HAVE to;
   Non-PnP systems will need it, but most PnP systems will not.

= I am Gordon of Winterpeg. Junk mail is futile.          Post MakeMoneyFast =
= Find out why:      Or eat pink meat from a can =
= World's best computer:          they're both the same =
= Windows 95 FAQ:    =

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Top Document: Win95 FAQ Part 12 of 14: MS-DOS Games
Previous Document: 12.10. Why do you keep telling me to run my games under Win95?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM