Microsoft KB Archive/93361

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FastTips: Applications Questions & Answers for Windows 3.1

ID: Q93361

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows operating system versions 3.1, 3.11


This article contains questions about Windows applications.


The following information applies to Microsoft Windows(TM) version 3.1.

  1. Q. Since I upgraded from Microsoft Windows version 3.0 to 3.1, I can no longer use the object-linking-and-embedding (OLE) features in Microsoft Excel for Windows or Microsoft Word for Windows. What is causing this problem?

    A. When you upgrade to Windows 3.1, Windows may not recognize the OLE database, which is named REG.DAT. If Windows cannot recognize REG.DAT, you cannot use OLE features in your Windows- based applications. To use OLE applications in Windows 3.1, you must update REG.DAT with the following five steps:

    1. From the Program Manager File menu, choose Run.
    2. In the Command Line box, type "regedit" (without the quotation marks) and choose the OK button to open the Registration Information Editor.
    3. From the File menu, choose Merge Registration File.
    4. Select the registration file that corresponds to the OLE server application you are using. (For example, if you are using Microsoft Publisher, choose MSPUB.REG.)
    5. Choose the OK button.
  2. Q. When I try to upgrade to Windows 3.1 using Digital Research(R) (DR) DOS version 6.0, I receive the error message "Standard Mode: Fault in MS-DOS Extender." Why is this error occurring?

    A. Microsoft can ensure the stability of Windows 3.1 only when it is running on Microsoft MS-DOS or IBM(R) PC-DOS versions 3.1 or later. Digital Research has announced the availability of a software upgrade for running Windows with DR DOS; however, Microsoft does not recommend using Windows 3.1 with DR DOS, either with or without the Digital Research software update. We cannot ensure the stability of Windows with DR DOS.
  3. Q. When I try to run one of my MS-DOS-based applications, the MS-DOS screen briefly displays a message; but before I can read it, the Windows screen returns. Does this message tell me why my MS-DOS-based application cannot run?

    A. This message may tell you why your application cannot run. To suspend the message so that you can read it, use the PIF Editor to create a program information file (PIF) for the application. Make sure the Close Window On Exit check box is not selected. (This forces any error messages to remain on the screen when you run your application.)

    Try running the application using this new PIF. Read the message when it reappears and then try to correct the problem based on the error message information. After you correct the problem and want to resume normal work in your application, reopen the PIF using the PIF Editor and select the Close Window On Exit check box so that you do not have to quit the program manually each time you exit.
  4. Q. My Windows-based applications run correctly under Windows 3.1, but my MS-DOS-based applications have display problems. (These programs run correctly under Windows 3.0.) I am using the standard Windows 3.1 VGA driver. How can I correct these problems?

    A. The Windows 3.1 VGA video driver causes problems for some video cards (mostly older ones) when you are running MS-DOS-based applications in 386 enhanced mode. To work around this problem, use the following three steps:

    1. Quit Windows.
    2. Change to the WINDOWS directory.
    3. Type "setup" (without the quotation marks). When the hardware options are displayed, select the VGA (Version 3.0) option.
    Using the VGA (Version 3.0) option should correct this problem.
  5. Q. Does SMARTDrive make my system run more slowly with Windows 3.1 than with 3.0?

    A. SMARTDrive runs more slowly with double buffering than without it. To make SMARTDrive run faster with double buffering, try adding the /L switch to the SMARTDrive command line in AUTOEXEC.BAT. This switch forces SMARTDrive to load its buffer low (that is, into conventional memory).

    NOTE: If your hard disk requires the use of double buffering, Windows places a SMARTDrive command in your CONFIG.SYS file as well as in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. You must place the /L switch on the command line in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
  6. Q. Why is the line "DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\SMARTDRV.EXE /DOUBLE_BUFFER" in my CONFIG.SYS file and why can't I run Windows in 386 enhanced mode when I have a 386 computer with 4 megabytes (MB) of memory?

    A. When you install Windows, Windows Setup tests to see if it can recognize the hard disk drive. If the hard disk drive uses a SCSI controller or a caching controller, Windows adds the line "DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\SMARTDRV.EXE /DOUBLE_BUFFER" to the CONFIG.SYS file. Sometimes, double buffering may not be activated even though you have that line in the CONFIG.SYS file. If you have a controller and double buffering is not active, you may be unable to run Windows in 386 enhanced mode. To force double buffering, add a plus sign to the end of the SMARTDRV.EXE line so that it reads as follows:

  7. Q. I have an IBM PS/2(R) model 55 SX with a SCSI hard disk drive. Every time I try to boot Windows 3.1 in 386 enhanced mode, my machine stops responding (hangs). The Windows logo is displayed briefly, but then the screen goes blank. I added SMARTDrive with the /DOUBLE_BUFFER+ option, but it did not have any effect. How can I correct this problem?

    A. Windows 3.1 has a switch called MCADMA designed specifically for the PS/2 model 55 SX. To correct this problem, disable the switch using the following two steps:

    1. Edit the SYSTEM.INI file with a standard ASCII text editor.
    2. Locate the [386Enh] section and add the line "MCADMA=OFF" (without the quotation marks).

    NOTE: Do not use this switch with any computer other than the IBM PS/2 55 SX, even other PS/2 computers.

    For more information on the MCADMA switch, please refer to the SYSINI.WRI file.

Additional query words: appnote 3.10 ivrfax fast tips AWW31

Keywords          : win31 
Version           : 3.10 3.11
Platform          : WINDOWS 
Issue type        : 

Last Reviewed: July 30, 1999