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Microsoft KB Archive/101147

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Comprehensive List of MS-DOS 4.x “User’s Guide” Doc Errs PSS ID Number: Q101147 Article last modified on 11-01-1993 PSS database name: O_MSDOS

4.00 4.01

MS-DOS

The information in this article applies to:
- Microsoft MS-DOS operating system versions 4.0 and 4.01

SUMMARY

This article contains information on the documentation errors in the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Guide and User’s Reference” for versions 4.0 and 4.01.

The following topics are covered:

  • Access Denied
  • COMMAND.COM Search Directory in CONFIG.SYS
  • Cursor Key Functionality
  • MODE Command Cannot Change the Default Printer
  • Undocumented Error Message Returned from ATTRIB
  • KEYB Code for Denmark
  • Installing MS-DOS 4.0 and 4.01
  • FIND Command /f Parameter
  • IF ERRORLEVEL 0 GOTO, MS-DOS Batch File Example
  • Install Disk Not Write Protected
  • FASTOPEN Syntax
  • MS-DOS: SMARTDrive Cache Size Range
  • MS-DOS Version 4.x Format /S
  • EDLIN List Command More Robust Than Documentation States
  • EDLIN /B Option
  • KEY.EXE Argument to INSTALL
  • TYPE Command Does Not Support /P Switch

MORE INFORMATION

Access Denied

On page 337 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference,” the description of the error message “Access Denied” is incorrectly documented as follows:

Access Denied [Attrib][Find][Print][Replace][Xcopy] You tried to replace a write-protected, read-only, or locked file.

The description should read as follows:

Access Denied [Attrib][Find][Print][Replace][Xcopy] You tried to replace a read-only or locked file.

When a disk is write protected, the following message is displayed:

Write protect error writing drive X Abort, Retry, Fail?

COMMAND.COM Search Directory in CONFIG.SYS

The “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference” incorrectly documents setting of the COMSPEC variable with the CONFIG.SYS “SHELL=” command. On pages 294-295 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference” for version 4.x, the documentation states that the SHELL= command will set the COMSPEC variable to the drive, path, and filename specified on the SHELL= command line.

The COMSPEC environment variable is actually set by the MS-DOS command interpreter, COMMAND.COM, based on its command-line parameters. This is documented correctly in the entry for COMMAND.COM.

You can load the initial copy of COMMAND.COM from the DOS subdirectory on drive C with the following statement in the CONFIG.SYS file:

SHELL=C:.COM /p

However, this statement does NOT set the COMSPEC variable to C:.COM. The COMSPEC variable is set to the default of C:.COM. Problems may arise later if C:.COM does not exist, and the resident portion of COMMAND.COM needs to reload the transient portion.

To properly set the COMSPEC variable, add a line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file that sets the COMSPEC variable to the proper location, as follows:

SET COMSPEC=C:.COM

Cursor Key Functionality

The documentation on the functionality of the cursor keys is incorrect on page 9 in the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Guide” for Microsoft MS-DOS versions 4.0 and 4.01.

The documentation incorrectly states:

To move the cursor to the left or right without deleting any characters, you must use the direction keys. Direction keys move the cursor right, left, up, and down. They do not affect the characters that are displayed.

However, when you use the arrow keys at the MS-DOS command prompt, the arrow keys to delete characters.

NOTE: The last command entered on the command line is saved in a buffer. You can use the RIGHT ARROW key to bring a character at a time back on the command line from the last command. You can also use the F3 key to bring back the entire last command. You can use the arrow keys and the INSERT and DEL keys to edit the last entered command; however, once you press the ENTER key, the new command is entered into the buffer and the old command is erased from the buffer. After you run a large program, the transient portion of COMMAND.COM is reloaded. When this transient portion is reloaded, the buffer is cleared and no longer contains your last entered command.

MODE Command Cannot Change the Default Printer

In the documentation for the MODE command on page 95 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference,” the following is incorrectly stated (in the paragraph following the second square bullet):

In this form, MODE can also be used to select a parallel printer other than the one attached to LPT1 for use as the default printer.

The MODE command can be used to set the configuration of parallel printer ports other than the default port (LPT1). However, the MODE command will not change the default printer device (PRN) to another LPT device. PRN is assigned to LPT1 at boot time.

Undocumented Error Message Returned from ATTRIB

The documentation for the “File not found” error message on page 362 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference” for MS-DOS versions 4.0 and 4.01 does not include [Attrib] as one of the possible commands that may return this message.

If you use the ATTRIB command to try to remove read-only privileges from the file NOTTHERE.EXE using the following

attrib -r c:.exe

and the file does not exist in the specified path, you will receive the following error message:

FILE NOT FOUND - C:.EXE

KEYB Code for Denmark

The KEYB country code for Denmark is incorrectly documented as “df” on Page 87 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference” for the MS-DOS versions 4.0 and 4.01. The correct country code for Denmark is “dk.”

For more information on the syntax for KEYB, see pages 87-89 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference”. For more information on code pages see Appendix E in the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference.”

Installing MS-DOS 4.0 and 4.01

Page 24 in the “Microsoft MS-DOS 4.0 User’s Guide” incorrectly states the following:

For a 360-kilobyte drive, the working disks are labeled

  Startup
  Working 1
  Working 2
  Working 3
  Shell

Of these five disks, only Startup will start MS-DOS.

This information is incorrect. The Startup, Working 1, and Working 3 disks all can be used to boot your computer.

The Working 3 Disk is a bootable disk only because the installation routine for installing MS-DOS to floppy disks incorrectly copies the Install Disk onto the Working 3 Disk. The installation routine should have copied the Operating 2 Disk onto the Working 3 Disk. Since the installation routine copies the Install Disk onto the Working 3 Disk, you will have two disks, Working 1 and Working 3, that both contain the utilities from the Install Disk. None of the newly created floppy disks contains all the utilities contained on the Operating 2 Disk.

To correct this problem and still keep your Working 3 Disk bootable:

  1. Format your Working 3 Disk using the /S switch, as follows:

    format a: /s

  2. Copy all the MS-DOS utilities from the Select Disk, except the files SELECT.DAT and SELECT.EXE, to the Working 3 Disk.

To correct this problem and make your Working 3 Disk non-bootable, DISKCOPY the Operating 2 Disk to the Working 3 Disk.

FIND Command /f Parameter

Microsoft has confirmed that there is an error in both the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference” on Page 76, and in the README.TXT file included with MS-DOS version 4.x. The TREE command /f parameter should include a colon. If you don’t include a colon, the TREE command gives you a syntax error.

The FIND “.exe” parameter in the example should also be in uppercase letters. If the parameter is in lowercase letters, no .EXE files are found because MS-DOS converts all filenames to uppercase.

Specifying the parameter as “.EXE” will cause the example to work correctly. This error occurs in the “MS-DOS User’s Reference” for version 4.0, but it is corrected in the README.TXT file included with MS-DOS version 4.0.

The complete, correct example is as follows:

tree /f: | find “.EXE”

IF ERRORLEVEL 0 GOTO, MS-DOS Batch File Example

Microsoft has confirmed that the batch file example using the <IF ERRORLEVEL 0 GOTO> statement is incorrect on pages 158 and 160 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference.”

The <IF ERRORLEVEL 0 GOTO END> statement in the “User’s Guide” should be changed to <IF NOT ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO END>.

The statement <IF ERRORLEVEL n GOTO Label> will GOTO the Label if the exit code is greater than or equal to n.

According to this logic, the <IF ERRORLEVEL 0 GOTO END> statement in the example on the pages 158 to 160 will always jump to the “:end” label and bypass the error message, no matter what the exit code (error level) is. Therefore, the <IF ERRORLEVEL 0 GOTO END> statement in the “User’s Guide” should be <IF NOT ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO END> to work as desired.

The batch file should be changed to read as follows:

begin echo off format a: /s if not errorlevel 1 goto END echo an error occurred during formatting. :END echo end of batch file.

Note that a successful termination of the FORMAT command in the above batch file returns an exit code (error level) of 0 (zero).

Install Disk Not Write Protected

The Welcome section (page VII) of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Guide” for versions 4.x incorrectly states that the Install disks in both 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch versions are write protected.

FASTOPEN Syntax

The syntax section of the documentation for FASTOPEN located on page 69 in the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference” is incorrect. The following documentation is in the manual:

FASTOPEN [drive:[=n][...]] /X

or

FASTOPEN [drive:[=(n,m)][...]] /X

or

FASTOPEN [drive:[=([n],m)][...]] /X

This documentation should be:

FASTOPEN [drive:[=n]] [...] [/X]

or

FASTOPEN [drive:[=([n],m)] [...]] [/X]

The changed lines reflect the following information:

  • The /X switch is optional, as in the examples, and should be enclosed in braces.
  • Any additional drives should be separated from the first drive by at least one space.
  • The second expression is a redundant subset of the third expression.

MS-DOS: SMARTDrive Cache Size Range

The upper limit of the SMARTDrive cache is not specified in the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference” for versions 4.x.

The cache size for SMARTDRV.SYS is in kilobytes. The minimum value is 128 (128K), and the maximum value is 8192 (8 megabytes). If this size is not explicitly specified on the SMARTDrive command line, the default value is 256 (256K).

MS-DOS Version 4.x Format /S

On pages 77-78 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference,” the following statement concerning the /S option of FORMAT.COM is incorrect:

The newly formatted disk must be 1.2 megabytes or greater in size; otherwise, format rejects the command

The system files can be transferred to any disk size that FORMAT.COM supports.

EDLIN List Command More Robust Than Documentation States

The L (List) command of EDLIN does not behave consistently with the documentation on page 194 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference.” The manual states that if the L command is used and is not preceded with a line number, EDLIN displays 23 lines (beginning with the 11 lines before the current line).

MS-DOS EDLIN version 4.x queries MS-DOS for the current number of video lines. Earlier releases of this utility use a fixed number of lines, expecting a 25-line video display.

EDLIN /B Option

Page 184 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference” incorrectly states that the EDLIN /B option allows EDLIN to edit files that have multiple CTRL+Z (end-of-file [EOF]) characters in them. This is not the case; EDLIN stops reading a file after the first CTRL+Z character.

KEY.EXE Argument to INSTALL

On page 292 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference,” the INSTALL command is documented with the filename parameter selection of KEY.EXE. This filename is listed incorrectly – it should be listed as KEYB.EXE.

TYPE Command Does Not Support /P Switch

Page 34 of the “Microsoft MS-DOS User’s Reference” discusses using the /P switch with the TYPE command to pause after one screen. This is incorrect; TYPE does not support the /P switch.

Additional reference words: 4.00 4.01 noupd no600 docerr doc err documentation error errors docerrs

Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1993.