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Microsoft KB Archive/106645

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Frequently Asked Questions on PowerStation for MS-DOS

Article ID: 106645

Article Last Modified on 10/2/2003


  • Microsoft FORTRAN PowerStation 1.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Fortran PowerStation 1.0a for MS-DOS

This article was previously published under Q106645


These are the answers to 20 of the most commonly asked questions about Microsoft FORTRAN PowerStation for MS-DOS.


  1. Q. When I attempt to build a project using the PowerStation Visual Workbench, I get an error dialog box that says:

    Internal error. Timed out waiting for "C:\F32\BIN\WINTEE.EXE" to start. Please contact Microsoft Product Support Services

    What can I do to correct this problem?

    A. The problem is probably caused by a Windows configuration setting that causes Windows-based applications to get 100 percent of the computer's processing time whenever a Windows-based application is active. This causes MS-DOS-based applications to fail to run whenever a Windows-based application is running. To correct the problem, from the Main program group, start the Control Panel application. Choose the "386 Enhanced" icon. Be sure that the Exclusive In Foreground check box is not checked. Choose OK to return from the dialog box, and close the Control Panel application. The problem should now be corrected.
  2. Q. My PowerStation application writes data to a binary file. Why is the amount of data in the file less that what I expect?

    A. There is a problem with output to binary or unformatted files with FORTRAN PowerStation. If your code writes arrays larger than 64K in size to a binary or unformatted file and the array is specified in the output statement without using an implied DO-loop (or only a simple, single-dimension, implied DO-loop), then the amount of data that will be output to the file is the size of the array modulus 64K.

    To correct this problem, use an explicit implied DO-loop for the array in the input or output statement. The array index expression in the implied DO-loop must be more than a simple variable. For example, change "array sub i" to "array sub i plus zero." The functionality is the same but the more complicated expression causes the compiler to generate the correct code.
  3. Q. When I use the PowerStation's Visual Workbench to compile and build programs, it takes a very long time to compile and link. What can I do to improve this process?

    A. The system requirements state that you must be running MS-DOS and need 4 megabytes (MB) of available memory with 6 MB or more preferred. If you have only 4 MB of physical memory, then under Windows you probably have less than 4 MB of physical memory available and are intensively using your Windows swap file. Make sure that your swap file is as large as it can be and that you are using a permanent swap file. You can also decrease the amount of memory that SMARTDRV or any other disc caching utility is consuming. The most effective solution is to add more physical memory to your machine.
  4. Q. I used to do mixed-language programming with high-level languages (such as C) and FORTRAN. Can I do this with FORTRAN PowerStation?

    A. Yes. Object modules compiled with Microsoft Visual C++ 32-bit edition, can be linked with FORTRAN PowerStation. For more details, please see the information in the F32\SAMPLES\MIXED_C directory. 16- bit C/C++ object modules (created by earlier versions of Microsoft C or Visual C++ 16-bit edition) can not be linked with 32-bit FORTRAN; these must be recompiled with a 32-bit compiler.

    For complete support of mixed 32-bit C and FORTRAN programming, Microsoft offers development tools for Windows NT: Visual C++ 32-bit edition and FORTRAN PowerStation 32 for Windows NT. Microsoft Windows NT is a true 32-bit operating system (in contrast to a 32-bit DOS extender on top of 16-bit MS-DOS) allowing full integration between the two languages. Mixing of C and FORTRAN is also possible in a pure 16-bit world, such as MS-DOS or Windows, with Microsoft FORTRAN 5.1 and Microsoft Visual C++ 16-bit edition.
  5. Q. Can I do Windows executable or Windows dynamic-link library (DLL) programming using FORTRAN PowerStation?

    A. FORTRAN PowerStation for Windows creates only 32-bit MS-DOS- extended MS-DOS applications. FORTRAN PowerStation32 for Windows NT will create Win32 executables and DLLs.
  6. Q. I have some FORTRAN code that reads a file that used to work with Microsoft FORTRAN version 5.1. The code now gets an error when it is almost finished reading the file. What is the problem?

    A. Earlier versions of Microsoft FORTRAN had some limited support for end-of-file handling using the "CTRL+Z" character. This character, which is number 26 in the ASCII table, is placed in files by some editors and some other file creation utilities. FORTRAN PowerStation no longer treats this character as a special character and gives an error message when attempting to read it into a variable. Make sure that files being read by FORTRAN PowerStation programs do not contain this character, which resembles a small right-pointing arrow when displayed by editors capable of displaying all characters in a file. This was an unintended loss of functionality with the product and is under investigation.
  7. Q. When I run my program on a machine with lots of memory I get no error. But when I run it on a machine with less memory I get the run-time error:

    DOSXMSF : fatal error DX1020: unhandled exception: Page fault

    A. This is an MS-DOS-extender error that indicates that the program attempted to access memory that was not owned or allocated by the program. A common cause of this error is an array subscript going out of the array's declared range. An attempt to access an array beyond the range of the array does not cause the DX1020 error to occur immediately. On machines with less physical memory (RAM), this error occurs more often because any attempt to access virtual memory on the disk will cause an initial nonexception page fault; however, if the request for memory is invalid, the DX1020 error will occur. Check the code carefully to be sure that all array access uses an array index within the proper range. Also, use the /4Yb compiler option to install some additional debug error checking. This can be set in the Visual Workbench by choosing Project from the Options menu and then choosing the Compiler button. Select the category Language Extensions and the option Extended Error Handling.
  8. Q. When I use the PowerStation debugger under the Visual Workbench, it sometimes proceeds very slowly and occasionally acts erratically. What can I do to improve this situation?

    A. The system requirements for FORTRAN PowerStation states that the product requires 4 MB of available memory. This is an absolutely minimum requirement. Under Windows, the PowerStation tools may not perform optimally without an adequate amount of Windows swap file. Make sure that you have the largest Windows swap file that it is possible to have. The most effective way to improve performance of the PowerStation tools is to add physical memory (RAM) to your machine. For optimal performance while debugging make sure that you are not running any other applications. In particular, make sure that you are not running any other MS-DOS applications or MS-DOS prompts.
  9. Q. My program runs for some time and then I see intensive disk access. It takes a long time to terminate or I see the error, "F6700 Heap Space Limit Exceeded."

    A. There is a known memory leak with the PowerStation product, which is caused by having a string concatenation inside of an IF statement. Assign the string concatenation to a intermediate variable and use that variable in the IF statement instead of the concatenation itself.
  10. Q. I have some code that uses COMPLEX variables. Why aren't I getting the results I expect or why don't I get the results that I got under FORTRAN version 5.1?

    A. There are two known problems with COMPLEX variables that could result in incorrect results. The first problem is that logical expressions that compare COMPLEX variables for inequality can fail under some circumstances. These are expressions such as IF (Q.NE.Z) where both Q and Z are COMPLEX variables. If either the real or the imaginary elements are the same in both variables then the .NE. will fail to detect that the other elements are different and will return .FALSE. To avoid this problem, use the logical equivalent to .NE. of .NOT.(Q.EQ.Z).

    The second problem occurs if a REAL function, including the FORTRAN intrinsic functions, is assigned to a COMPLEX variable. To resolve this problem, assign the REAL function to a REAL intermediate variable and then assign that variable to the COMPLEX variable.
  11. Q. I get linker errors that start with LNK. Where can I find more information about these errors?

    A. The LINK32 errors are available in the ERRORS.HLP Windows Help file and in the ERRORS.TXT ASCII text file. Access to ERRORS.HLP is available only from Windows. You can bring up this file from the Visual Workbench by selecting the Help menu and choosing Search For Help On. Type in "errors" in the Help Keyword text field and then choose OK. You can also access the file by opening the File Manager and double-clicking the ERRORS.HLP file in the \F32\HELP directory.

    The ERRORS.TXT file is in the F32\README directory. It can be read or printed from MS-DOS or Windows like any other text file.
  12. Q. I am getting some errors that begin with DX. Where can I get more information on these errors?

    A. The DX errors are Phar Lap DOS-extender errors and are available in the ERRORS.HLP Windows Help file and in the ERRORS.TXT ASCII text file. Access to ERRORS.HLP is available only from Windows. You can bring up this file from the Visual Workbench by selecting the Help menu and choosing Search For Help On. Type in "errors" in the Help Keyword text field and then choose OK. You can also access the file by opening the File Manager and double-clicking the ERRORS.HLP file in the \F32\HELP directory.

    The ERRORS.TXT file is in the F32\README directory. It can be read or printed from MS-DOS or Windows like any other text file.
  13. Q. In FORTRAN version 5.1 there is an option, /Fs, to create a source listing file. Can I do this with PowerStation?

    A. No, the PowerStation product does not support the source listing option. Most of the functionality of source listings is available though different options in the Visual Workbench. Source browser information, for example, provides a visual means of locating variable definitions and references.
  14. Q. I created a project with the PowerStation Visual Workbench and several of my source files have include statements. When I modify one of these include files and then build the project, the source file does not recompile. Why isn't there a build dependency for the include files?

    A. You are probably using the $INCLUDE metacommand and not the INCLUDE statement in your source files. The Visual Workbench build engine does not create dependencies for files on $INCLUDE metacommands. Change all the metacommands to FORTRAN statements and then force the project to rescan dependencies by selecting Project and then choosing Scan All Dependencies.
  15. Q. I am getting the following error:

    LINK32 : error LNK2133: Size mismatch for symbol and the symbol listed in the error is the name of one of my COMMON blocks.

    What is causing this error?

    A. You probably have a COMMON block declared with arrays of different sizes in different source files. In one source file you are initializing the COMMON block with a DATA statement. You must have the object file from the source file that initializes the data in the COMMON block in the link command before any other object file from a source file that references the COMMON block. Moving the object files in the link order will prevent the error from occurring. If you are using a Visual Workbench project, change the filename of the source file that initializes the COMMON block to a name that is alphabetically prior to all other source filenames. This will force the build to include the object file first on the link command line.
  16. Q. Sometimes when I start up the PowerStation Visual Workbench I can't see some of the windows I had set up when I closed it; they are listed in the Windows menu, but I can't see or access them. What happened and how can I see my windows again?

    A. You probably had the inaccessible child windows minimized within the Visual Workbench frame and then closed the Visual Workbench while it was itself minimized. This can easily happen if you exit Windows when the Visual Workbench is still active and minimized. To avoid this problem, never exit the Visual Workbench application when it is in a minimized state when the Visual Workbench still active. You can make any inaccessible child windows visible by selecting the Window menu and choosing Cascade.
  17. Q. When I try to use the PowerStation Visual Workbench browser I get the error:

    Cannot open the browser database file. Share is not installed or is not active for this drive.

    How can I avoid this error?

    A. The Visual Workbench browse utility requires that SHARE.EXE, an MS-DOS file access arbitration utility, is installed prior to starting Windows. The easiest way to do this is put the statement "C:\DOS\SHARE" in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Make sure that you put the SHARE command before any line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT that says "win" or "dosshell."
  18. Q. How does virtual memory work under the PowerStation product? Is there any way I can change this functionality?

    A. PowerStation virtual memory management is considerably different depending on whether you are running your application under MS-DOS or under MS-DOS under Windows.

    If you run your PowerStation application under MS-DOS, virtual memory is managed by the Phar Lap DOS-extender. When your application loads into memory, all declared data must load into memory. If you don't have sufficient available extended memory, the DOS-extender will use virtual memory on the disk where DOSXMSF.EXE is located. This process is automatic and requires no interaction on the part of the program. If you want to relocate the location used for virtual memory, you can set the DOSX environment variable with the command:


    Note that X: is the drive/partition you want to use and MYSWAP is the directory you want to place the virtual memory file in. If you want to turn off use of virtual memory, you can set the DOSX environment variable as follows:


    If you are running your program under an MS-DOS session under Windows, then virtual memory is managed by Windows. You can control the size and type of your Windows swap file by starting the Control Panel application and selecting the 386 Enhanced icon. Please consult your Windows documentation for further details.
  19. Q. I am compiling and linking in two separate steps from the command-line. When I go to run the executable file I get the error:

    This program cannot be run in DOS mode.

    What did I do wrong?

    A. PowerStation applications use an MS-DOS-extender so there is an additional step required to allow the executable to run under MS-DOS. You need to run the BINDMSF.EXE utility on your executable to install a small piece of code called a "stub-loader." For example, if you had an executable file called MYEXE.EXE, you would use the command line:


  20. Q. Can I run the PowerStation product under OS/2?

    A. No, FORTRAN PowerStation does not run under or target OS/2 or the MS-DOS-compatibility session under OS/2. Under the MS-DOS- compatibility session, the MS-DOS-extender has a problem that prevents it from working correctly.

Additional query words: kbinf 1.00 FAQ swapfile DOS

Keywords: KB106645