Re: Booting to Windows

Subject: Re: Booting to Windows
From: Paul Sholar <pks -at- GENSYM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 5 May 1995 19:01:39 EDT

I don't think that your posting is nearly sufficient as an explanation of
what happens when a PC boots. Try this simplified version on for size.

All PCs boot to DOS, period. Windows itself is a program that runs under DOS.
After booting the PC, you can start Windows by typing in the "win" command,
or you can start Windows as a command (preferably the last command) in the

If the AUTOEXEC.BAT file happens to include a command that starts Windows,
this should not _in itself_ be affecting the amount of "Windows system
resource" (that is, the combination of: available conventional memory,
available extended [?] memory, and disk space available for use by the
"Windows swap file") that is available to Windows applications as of the
time that Windows starts up. (OK, there might some slight effect, if you
count the memory required for the DOS command processor to keep the context
of its processing of the AUTOEXEC.BAT file in memory while still starting
up Windows.)

The number of DOS environment variables, the specific characteristics of the
drivers loaded in the CONFIG.SYS file and in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file
(for instance, the mouse driver might be loaded in either), and other factors
determine how much Windows system resource is available for use by Windows
applications after Windows itself starts up.

The less Windows system resource available to Windows when it starts up,
the more likely are your Windows apps to crash as those applications attempt
to gain more Windows system resource. This is the basic "fact of life"
with which users of all Windows applications stuggle.

Some Windows users run a utility that monitors the availability of Windows
system resource; when the total Windows system resource usage of all running
Windows apps reach approx. 95%, many users find that it's best to save,
shut down, restart the application, etc., to prevent loss of the application's
data from a dreaded Windows GPF message (General Protection Fault).

To understand these issues, you would do better to consult the many commercial
books (try anything by Van Wolverton first) that explain how DOS and Windows
interact and how Windows applications request and utilize a PC's memory
and disk resource.

Communicate well and prosper,

Paul Sholar ( pks -at- gensym -dot- com )
Sr. Technical Writer
Gensym Corporation
Cambridge, Massachusetts

DISCLAIMER: Not speaking for Gensym Corporation

RoMay Sitze wrote:

> Several of you asked for more information about the message I posted
> yesterday about booting to DOS rather than Windows to minimize crashing
> Windows. I asked my son what the rational behind that recommendation
> was. According to Kevin, when MSDOS boots, it parses the config.sys then
> executes the Autoexec.bat. Not everything is initialized properly until
> the Autoexec.bat is completely executed. When you boot directly to
> Windows from the Autoexec.bat, this tends to short circuit the process so
> that initialization is not really complete, hence the crashing Windows.

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