Microsoft KB Archive/103885
Article ID: 103885
Article Last Modified on 7/30/2001
This article was previously published under Q103885
OVERVIEW: INTERRUPT 21 HOOK OPTIMIZATION
In Microsoft LAN Manager version 2.1, an important performance optimization was implemented in the DOS redirector--the Interrupt 21 Hook. The redirector initialization software registers a handler at interrupt x21. Since the redirector loads after MS-DOS, the redirector handler gets control, before MS-DOS, when interrupt x21 is called.
When an application wants to read from or write to a file, it loads selected CPU registers with information such as:
- the file handle
- the number of bytes to read/write
- a pointer to a buffer that will accept the data to be read
- a pointer to a buffer that contains the data to be written
The application then passes the read/write request to MS-DOS by calling interrupt x21 with the appropriate function number.
Before the Int 21 Hook
The request is processed by MS-DOS. If the handle for the specified file has been designated as "remote," MS-DOS passes the read/write request to the redirector.
With the Int 21 Hook
The request goes directly to the redirector, which quickly determines whether the request is a repeated sequential read or write. If so, the redirector handles the request immediately. If not, the redirector passes control to the next registered interrupt x21 handler, and MS-DOS gets control. MS-DOS performs its standard check to determine if the request is local or remote. If remote, MS-DOS passes the request back to the redirector.