VOGONS


First post, by mothergoose729

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I keep running into this issue with really old DOS games. These games will run fine within a DOS window but if I reboot into DOS I get an error. I tried setting "Files" to a higher number but that doesn't seem to fix it. Any ideas?

Reply 2 of 15, by mothergoose729

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-04-01, 03:47:

Can you be more specific about which games you are referring to?

What exactly are you changing when you try to set "Files" to a higher number?

Froggerjr (1984), Castle Wolfenstein (1983).

In config.sys Files=40 (or 80, 0r 120), buffer=40 (or more).

My autoexec file has a few commands for setting the windows directory and some temp directories so applications can find command.com, ect.

The games will run fine in a ms-dos window and in dosbox. I remember them working in dos 6.22 on an actual 8088 but I am not 100% sure.

I am using a Slot 1 motherboard with a VIA Nehemiah processor.

Reply 3 of 15, by jmarsh

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When exactly does the error message appear?
I think it's trying to tell you the "files=" setting is too high (8 was a typical value), increasing it is not the solution when it says there are too many...

Reply 4 of 15, by mothergoose729

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jmarsh wrote on 2021-04-01, 06:56:

When exactly does the error message appear?
I think it's trying to tell you the "files=" setting is too high (8 was a typical value), increasing it is not the solution when it says there are too many...

With Castle Wolfenstein it happens right away, with frogger jr it happens after I select the level and difficulty (so right before gameplay actually begins).

Reducing the number of files is counter intuitive. I can give that a try. I have already tried running the game with a blank autoexec and config.sys (they are PC Speaker and CGA so they don't need any drivers) and I still got the error.

Reply 5 of 15, by jmarsh

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mothergoose729 wrote on 2021-04-01, 13:41:

Reducing the number of files is counter intuitive.

No it's not. Those old games certainly aren't going to need 40, 80, 120 files open concurrently - and the reason the "files=" setting exists in the first place is because the memory for it has to be static/reserved rather than allocated dynamically, so setting it very high just eats up space. In other words, if files=120 there will exist 120 file handles regardless of how many files are currently open. That may be what the games are complaining about.

Reply 6 of 15, by mothergoose729

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jmarsh wrote on 2021-04-01, 16:17:
mothergoose729 wrote on 2021-04-01, 13:41:

Reducing the number of files is counter intuitive.

No it's not. Those old games certainly aren't going to need 40, 80, 120 files open concurrently - and the reason the "files=" setting exists in the first place is because the memory for it has to be static/reserved rather than allocated dynamically, so setting it very high just eats up space. In other words, if files=120 there will exist 120 file handles regardless of how many files are currently open. That may be what the games are complaining about.

Hm, still stuck.

The number of files in the game directory is 4 so I tried that. 8 also did not work.

Attachments

  • Filename
    START.BAT.txt
    File size
    72 Bytes
    Downloads
    9 downloads
    File license
    Public domain
  • Filename
    CONFIG.SYS.txt
    File size
    18 Bytes
    Downloads
    9 downloads
    File license
    Public domain
  • Filename
    AUTOEXEC.BAT.txt
    File size
    20 Bytes
    Downloads
    8 downloads
    File license
    Public domain

Reply 8 of 15, by mothergoose729

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-04-01, 17:48:

When you reboot into DOS, are you referring to Win9x "MS-DOS mode", or something else?

Restarting in MS-DOS mode, and also updating autoexec to run a DOS application before windows starts.

Reply 10 of 15, by Jorpho

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mothergoose729 wrote on 2021-04-01, 17:57:

Restarting in MS-DOS mode, and also updating autoexec to run a DOS application before windows starts.

That's a highly unusual way of trying to start a program, wouldn't you say?

Why not just hit F8 when "Starting Windows 95..." appears, and select "Command prompt only" from the menu? (Is it Windows 95?)

CD C:\Games\DOS\1984\FROGERJ
C:\Games\DOS\1984\FROGERJ\FROGERJR.EXE

This is also a highly unusual way of starting a program. Why not just:

CD C:\Games\DOS\1984\FROGERJ 
FROGERJR.EXE

or even

CD \Games\DOS\1984\FROGERJ 
FROGERJR.EXE

Reply 11 of 15, by mothergoose729

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-04-01, 18:31:
That's a highly unusual way of trying to start a program, wouldn't you say? […]
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mothergoose729 wrote on 2021-04-01, 17:57:

Restarting in MS-DOS mode, and also updating autoexec to run a DOS application before windows starts.

That's a highly unusual way of trying to start a program, wouldn't you say?

Why not just hit F8 when "Starting Windows 95..." appears, and select "Command prompt only" from the menu? (Is it Windows 95?)

CD C:\Games\DOS\1984\FROGERJ
C:\Games\DOS\1984\FROGERJ\FROGERJR.EXE

This is also a highly unusual way of starting a program. Why not just:

CD C:\Games\DOS\1984\FROGERJ 
FROGERJR.EXE

or even

CD \Games\DOS\1984\FROGERJ 
FROGERJR.EXE

What can I say, I'm an usual guy.

I have all my DOS games setup so that it replaces the contents of config.sys and autoexec.bat for what that game needs and forces a reboot. I took out a lot of stuff. It also replaces the autoexec and config.sys back to a blank state so that on the subsequent boot I get back in windows. It works pretty well so far.

Of course, I have tested this game without all of that and it doesn't seem to effect it.

It's windows 98.

Reply 12 of 15, by mothergoose729

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I got frogerjr working! I did some more googling and I found that this issue can pop up in fortran applications when the number of files in the root directory is above a certain number.

https://in.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answer … ting-code-which

Windows adds a bunch of junk to the root of the C drive and I probably can't delete any of it. So what I did is create another partition 8mb in size, move my files on to that partition, and then ran it from there. And success!

These games I am trying to run have had their copy protection stripped from a booter floppy, so it makes some sense why they might promote themselves to the root of the drive when running. I think when I ran DOS 6.22 I just had fewer files at the root directory before.

I am going to try the six or seven other games I had already given up on and see if that fixes them 😁

Reply 13 of 15, by Jorpho

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Interesting. Be advised that there are also limits on the number of files with long names that you can store in the root directory of a FAT32 partition.

Wasn't there a recompiled version of Castle Wolfenstein, or was that just Beyond Castle Wolfenstein?
http://www.oldskool.org/pc/BCW

Reply 14 of 15, by mothergoose729

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-04-01, 21:41:

Interesting. Be advised that there are also limits on the number of files with long names that you can store in the root directory of a FAT32 partition.

Wasn't there a recompiled version of Castle Wolfenstein, or was that just Beyond Castle Wolfenstein?
http://www.oldskool.org/pc/BCW

My copy of Beyond Castle Wolfenstein is working fine, sot hat must be it.

Reply 15 of 15, by mothergoose729

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Using this trick I was able to get bitbat, miner 2049er, and frogger jr working. Castle woflenstein will now boot but I immediately get caught as soon as the game starts so not sure what that is about. There are a handful of other games I have tried so far that I can't get to work, but they seem to be for different reasons. Probably CGA modes that are incompatible with my graphics card.