Frequently asked questions, problems, workarounds and solutions for PTSDOS. Compiled by Tobias Ernst. This list is updated continuously and published monthly in the Fidonet echomail area PTSDOS.GER. The latest version of this FAQ is also available as "PTSFAQ.TXT" for download/frequest at my mailbox (numbers see Section II).
Section I - Problems and Bugs, Technical Stuff
Section II - Support, Distribution etc.
Section III - The PTS-DOS Buglist
Q: How can I use a CD-ROM drive with PTSDOS? MSCDEX refuses to work with PTSDOS. A: Try using NWCDEX (Novell Dos 7.0) or MSCDEX (of IBM PC-DOS), if you have access to these drivers. A: Use version 6.51CD. V6.51 provides an internal CD- ROM support so that MSCDEX ist not needed any longer. A: Use version 6.6. It is able to run MSCDEX directly. Q: My Mitsumi ATAPI CD-ROM drive still does not work with PTSDOS A: This seems to be a bug in the Mitsumi drivers, because it only happens in certain constellations and with certain revisions of the Mitsumi drivers. Try one of the following: a) Try playing around with the Quiet=xx - Setting in Config.Sys. Using Quiet=Yes seems to help in some cases. But also Quiet=No could help. b) Load the Mitsumi driver (MTMDCDAI.SYS) first of all. c) You may download/frequest the file MITSUMI.LZH from my mailbox (numbers see below, section "Support"). It contains a driver which replaces the buggy MTMDCDAI.SYS and has solved the problem in most cases. d) Use PTSDOS 6.6. It is able to run MSCDEX directly. Q: I have strange problems with my hard disk (lost clusters and so on). A: It is highly advisable to entirely reformat your harddisk using the fdisk and format programs which are included on your PTSDOS disk prior to using PTSDOS on your hard disk regularly. Q: I tried to entirely repartition and reformat my hard disk using the installation routine, but it does not work. A: This bug is gone in version 6.6. In the meantime, try the following: Several problems were encountered with the installation routine of PTSDOS. Usually, using FDISK to repartition your hard disk is no problem, but the installation routine might be unable to format your hard disk afterwards. In this case, do as follows: 1. Quit the installation routine and return to the dos prompt. If, after leaving the installation routine, you do not see the dos prompt, but the CP menu, and if you are unable to quit CP using F10, you must type command to start the command line. 2. Type: format c: /s Your hard disk will be reformatted, but you will proably get an error message that the system could not be transferred to the hard disk. 3. Make sure the installation disk is in the current drive and type: sys c: Now, the system should be correctly transferred to your hard disk. 4. Reboot your computer in order to restart the installation process. This time, perform the installation without selecting to start FDISK or to format the hard drive, because you already have done it manually. Q: I have several timing problems. Delays take much longer than they should; my terminal program is unable to correctly count seconds etc. pp. A: Remove the CPU=FAST statement from your Config.Pts. Q: I want to install MS Windows for the first time, but the installation process is interrupted after the DOS part of SETUP is completed, and the system is locked. This occurs although I used the "windows compatible" startup option. A: For the installation of MS Windows, make a raw boot (i.e. use a Config.Pts and Autopts.Bat with none but the most necessary lines and the keyboard driver). After the installation is completed, you may again use the "windows compatbile" startup mode. A: Newer releases of PTSDOS allow you to select a "Installations"-Mode in the startup menu. This should work as well. Q: Windows refuses to start. The System is locked. A: There are a lot of reasons for that. First make sure that you use the settings of the "windows compatible" startup option. In the worst case, make a raw boot and then add your settings step by step until you have found which line was responsible for the problem. Then let ME know!!! A: Windows does not like FILES buffers loaded into XMS. Q: I am using the german keyboard setting, and Caps Lock does not work. A: This problem is fixed in V6.51, but still exists in V6.6 ... A: The problem is limited to the german keyboard layout of PhysTechSoft versions. You may fix the problem by using NKD.COM (which allows you to define your own keyboard layout) instead of KEYB.COM. Alternatively, you may use your own keyboard driver - there are lots of shareware or freeware keyboard drivers which use only about half a kilobyte of memory. Q: After using PTSDOS for a few days, I found bugs in my fidonet message base, i.e. wrong message texts, "chinese" chars etc. A: This problem is known to occur with McMail/IMail/Timed and Crosspoint. It was only observed when using PTSDOS on a hard disk which was formatted by MSDOS. Make a backup of your hard disk and repartition and reformat it using PTSDOS. Q: Although I never had a Windows crash or things like that, I am getting lost clusters and other errors in the file structure of my hard disk. A: Before you execute CHKDSK, you must disable SMARTDRV. If the problem persists (or if you were not using SMARTDRV ;-), see above: Repartition and reformat your hard disk using PTSDOS. Q: I tried to load a device driver into UMB memory, but although plenty of UMB memory was free, it still took up a considerable amount of conventional memory. A: Probably the driver's code was correctly put into UMB, but the program tried to allocate further memory blocks, which were taken from conventional memory. You can solve this problem by using SETDRV /U to load the driver in your Autopts.Bat file instead of using DEVICEHIGH in your Config.Pts file. Q: UMB? How can I make PTSDOS use UMB? A: PTSDOS is fully capable of handling upper memory blocks with commands like DEVICEHIGH and LOADHIGH (LH) - the only problem is that there is no program included that makes UMB memory available (like EMM386 in most other DOS operating systems). You may use a commercial memory manager like QEMM to provide UMB memory. QEMM seems to work fine with PTSDOS. It is not advisable to use MSDOS's EMM386.EXE together with PTSDOS, because it will make the system unstable. Another way to provide UMB memory is to directly reprogram your motherboards's chipset. Most chipsets set aside 384K of system memory as shadow ram, but as the BIOS ROM is only from 32K to 96K of size, plenty of memory remains unused. This memory can be mapped into the UMB area and used as normal UMB RAM. An advantage of this method is that your CPU stays in Real Mode, which is considerable faster and more compatbile than the V86-Mode into which your CPU is switched by EMM386 et. al. Furthermore, UMB RAM is not taken from your extended memory, but from reserved memory, which would otherwise remain unused. This reprogramming is totally dependent on your system's chipset. You have to search for a program that does it for your specific system. These programs are regularly available as freeware or shareware. Write a question in PTSDOS.GER for details. ;) Q: I have problems when using a folder / datacomp drive and a hard disk cache (e.g. SMARTDRV, PTSCACHE, HYPERDISK, ...) A: You must disable the cache for the COMPRESSED drive and have it cache the host drive (the drive with the uncompressed disk space) ONLY. As all data of the compressed drive is stored on the host drive, this measure will not negatively affect your system's performence. Q: When I am trying to print out a document on my HP Deskjet printer using MS Windows, I always get a "printer is offline" message box on the screen. Although the printing process is not interrupted and the message box disappears on its own, I am heavily annoyed of this because I can't do other things on my computer while anything is printed. A: You can prevent the box from appearing as follows: Start the Windows Control Panel and enter the Printer section. There you have to activate that dialog box in which you can select the printer port. If your printer is connected to LPT1:, change this to LPT1.DOS (at the bottom of the list, after the COM ports ;), if it is connected to LPT2:, change this to LPT2.DOS. Q: I solved the problem with my HP Deskjet Printer as you said, but now the printout is intolerable slow. A: Get the newest version of the HP Deskjet series driver (V 5.0). Printing speed will not be the same as under MSDOS, but at least faster than with older printer driver versions. Q: PTSDOS does not work on my pentium computer A: Use version 6.51 or above. Q: Which fossil driver do I have to use with my fidonet mailer? A: PTS-Fossil is not compatible to "revision 4". (At least, FrontDoor says so and refuses to start). BNU does not work (system hangs after init screen). X00 Version 1.53 seems to be OK. Not that, if you are using PTSDOS 6.6, you must not load X00 using device= in CONFIG.PTS. Use loadhigh in AUTOPTS.BAT instead. Q: My memory is fragmented: Although 620K are free, the maximum size for an executable program is only about 590K. A: This effect is caused by Command.Com if you are using the /E:xxxx switch in the SHELL line of CONFIG.PTS. The environment is then (and only then) placed in an odd place where it divides your 620K of free memory into a large area of 590K and a small area of 30K. There are two possible solutions: 1.: Leave out the /E command switch. Although of course the environment is still allocated, it now is in a more convenient place. 2.: If you need to define the environment size via the /E:xxxx switch, you may try to stuff the memory hole afterwards: Remove all device= entries from your Config.Pts and load these drivers via SETDRV from your Autopts.Bat file. The effect will be that command.com, the 30 KB hole and the environment block will be placed earlier in the system memory, and the drivers that are loaded after command.com will be placed into the 30KB hole. Please note that you must not load Folder.Sys via Setdrv!!! 3.: Try to provide UMB Ram and use SHELLHIGH instead of SHELL. This will also eliminate this strange effect.
(*) Q: What's this all about with PhysTechSoft, Paragon, PTSDOS, PT$DOS, ... !? PTSDOS has originally been developed at PhysTechSoft, Moscow, an enterprise which is sponsered by the Russion Defense Ministry. They finally gained allowance to distribute their DOS commercially, which lead to the releases of PTSDOS V6.4 and V6.5 in Germany. In 1995, some programmers (according to their statements dissatisfied with the vast bureaucracy at PhysTechSoft) left PhysTechSoft and took copies of the whole source code of PTSDOS with them. They founded "Paragon" and released an own version of their DOS, PT$DOS 6.51CD. This version fixed a lot of urgent bugs in PTSDOS 6.5 In the meantime, PhysTechSoft released PTSDOS 6.6, which also fixed a lot of bugs in V6.5. According to the president of PhysTechSoft, Paragon has no permission to sell anything abroad and is therefore not only violating copyright laws, but also Russian military law. We are going to see a major lawsuit in this case. Q: Who is the official distributor of PhysTechSoft PTSDOS in Germany? As of this writing, there is nobody who could sell you the legal verison of PTSDOS in Germany. :-( Q: Who is the official distributor of Paragon PT$DOS in Germany? A: ComKom GmbH, Joerresstr. 10, 53474 Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. Tel. 02641-900306, Fax: 02641-900306 Note that you might be buying an illegal copy of PT$DOS. Q: What is the latest version of PTSDOS? A: See the above statement on PhysTechSoft and Paragon. Q: Are there any means of electronic support? A: Well, in Fidonet, there is me and the PTSDOS.GER :-). It is heard that there is also an e-mail address in the Internet somewhere in Germany, but this rumour has not yet been proved. Please contact me, if you have any new information about that. You may also look into my Mailbox: Badnerland BBS, Fido: 2:2476/418 Analog: 0721-9374498 (v.42,v.42b,v.fc,v.34) ISDN: 0721-9374498 (x.75, i.e. ISDNC) As this Mailbox is run noncommercially, you must no expect the same range of support known from commercial support mailboxes. Q: Why the hell is this FAQ written in English? A: Because the programmers of PTSDOS don't understand German, but want to read the FAQ (and especially the buglist) anyway. If there are enough users requesting a German version, I might one day start keeping a bi- lingual list ... Or is anybody out there, who might want to do the translation? :-)
This buglist of PTSDOS was compiled by Tobias Ernst from both own experience and mails in the fido newsgroup PTSDOS.GER. It is intended to be forwarded to the programmes of PTSDOS hoping that they will either fix the bugs mentioned or at least tell us how to work around them. Suggestions welcome.