Windows Slow Boot Configuration

Discuss MS-DOS, Windows 1, 2 and 3.
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dfawcus
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Windows Slow Boot Configuration

Post by dfawcus »

I read someone asking about this, basically how to configure Windows 1.x (or 2.x) for Slow Boot, whereby they directly load the individual drivers, vs using the aggregated WIN100.BIN/WIN100.OVL (or WIN200.BIN/WIN200.OVL) files.

The key point to these is that one needs to directly run the Kernel .EXE, instead of the WIN.COM command, and have the correct directory contents.

So for 2.x, one needs to have the following modules available (with these names):
  • SYSTEM.DRV
  • KEYBOARD.DRV
  • MOUSE.DRV
  • DISPLAY.DRV
  • SOUND.DRV
  • COMM.DRV
  • KERNEL.EXE
  • GDI.EXE
  • USER.EXE
  • MSDOSD.EXE
  • FONTS.FON
  • OEMFONTS.FON
  • MSDOS.EXE
Note that they should be copied (and where necessary renamed) from the install disks; beware that the MSDOS.EXE installed by setup is simply a stub file, and the real file will need to be copied.

You then remove WIN200.BIN and WIN200.OVL, replacing the former with an empty file.

For Windows 1.x this is a bit more difficult, as the normal Kernel does not seem to contain the code for the Slow Boot mode, and one has to use a debug Kernel, which would be found in the SDK.

Having found that, you'll note that there is no need for an OEMFONTS.FON file, but there is a difference with the necessary stub aggregate file.

You instead remove WIN100.BIN and WIN100.OVL, replacing the latter with an empty file.

In theory you also need to have a renamed grabber file (DISPLAY.GRB) present, but I don't recall needing that. It is probably only required if one starts a DOS window.

dfawcus
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Re: Windows Slow Boot Configuration

Post by dfawcus »

Actually, if one looks at the contents of the WINx00.BIN and WINx00.OVL files, it shouldn't be too difficult to write some code to rip them apart, and reassemble them.

They're obviously a derivative of the various NE files used as input, the .BIN seeming to be sort of an in memory layout for the PRELOAD'ed segments, with the .OVL seeming to contain other bits (like the Non Resident Name Tables). The various NE headers seem to be preserved within the .BIN, but with the MZ header and DOS stubs stripped.

So basically one could write a program to rip apart OEM versions of the BIN/OVL files, and allow for portions to be replaced. i.e. take the Apricot XEN copy of Win 1 (1.03 I believe), and then maybe assemble a Win 2 Fast boot file by combining the platform independent bits of Win 2, and the platform specific parts from the Win 1 fast boot files.

Sadly, I no longer have access to a real Apricot XEN (despite the files being available), but maybe this could be tried with one of the Apricot (F1, Xi) emulators?

Overdoze
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Re: Windows Slow Boot Configuration

Post by Overdoze »

Here are the official instructions on how to do "slow boot" from README.TXT from 1.03 SDK:
Creating a "Slow Boot" Version of Windows

Some developers may want to create a "slow boot" version of Windows. It is called a slow boot version because it loads the individual drivers and dynamic-link libraries of Windows separately. This takes longer to load and start than the version of Windows created by the Setup program. The advantage of the slow boot version is that you can change individual parts of Windows quickly without having to run the Setup program again. For example, if you change your display adapter you just change your display driver file and Windows is ready to go.

To create a slow boot version of Window, do the following:

1. Copy all files from your Windows version 1.03 Setup and Build disks to a directory on your hard disk.

2. Replace KERNEL.EXE with the debugging version of KERNEL.EXE found on disk 5 in the Software Development Kit.

3. Select the keyboard, mouse, and display drivers you wish to use with Windows and rename them KEYBOARD.DRV, MOUSE.DRV, and DISPLAY.DRV. For example, if you want drivers for a United States keyboard, a Microsoft Mouse, and a IBM Color Graphics Adapter, rename the files USA.DRV, MOUSE.DRV, and CGA.DRV.

4. Rename the LOFONTS.FON or HIFONTS.FON file to FONTS.FON. Use LOFONTS.FON for low resolution displays, such as the Color Graphics Adapter, and HIFONTS.FON for high resolution displays such as Hercules Graphics Card.

5. Rename the .GRB file that matches your display driver to DISPLAY.GRB. For example, if your display driver is CGA.DRV, rename CGA.GRB.

6. Rename the .LGO file that matches your display driver to DISPLAY.LGO. For example, if your display driver is CGA.DRV, rename CGA.LGO.

7. Create a dummy WIN100.OVL file by typing the command: echo >WIN100.OVL

You start the slow boot Windows by using KERNEL.EXE instead of WIN.COM. Type the following: kernel [<program-name>]

where <program-name> is the name of the Windows application you wish to start with Windows. If you do not specify a program name, the kernel starts the MS-DOS Executive by default.
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AlejHerrBar2k3
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Re: Windows Slow Boot Configuration

Post by AlejHerrBar2k3 »

The idea for a "slow boot" Windows configuration seems like a nice thing. Loading drivers and configurations for them separately lets people maintain Windows without doing damage to most parts of it. By the way, can you try to do a "slow boot" configuration for Windows 3.x?
Alejandro J. Herrera Barboza, 16, from Costa Rica

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Re: Windows Slow Boot Configuration

Post by AlphaBeta »

Windows 3.x boot process is similar to the Windows 1.x/2.x "slow boot" mode, i.e. there are separate kernel, font and driver files. The font and driver file names are no longer hard coded in the kernel and SYSTEM.INI is used instead to choose the used drivers.
AlphaBeta, stop brainwashing me immediately!

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AlejHerrBar2k3
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Re: Windows Slow Boot Configuration

Post by AlejHerrBar2k3 »

AlphaBeta wrote:Windows 3.x boot process is similar to the Windows 1.x/2.x "slow boot" mode, i.e. there are separate kernel, font and driver files. The font and driver file names are no longer hard coded in the kernel and SYSTEM.INI is used instead to choose the used drivers.
Well, that's very interesting! Thanks AlphaBeta!
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Are you the guy behind Windows AlphaBetas?
Alejandro J. Herrera Barboza, 16, from Costa Rica

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Re: Windows Slow Boot Configuration

Post by AlphaBeta »

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AlejHerrBar2k3 wrote:Are you the guy behind Windows AlphaBetas?
No.
AlphaBeta, stop brainwashing me immediately!

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