[Solved] Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

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[Solved] Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby OfficerJimLahey » 13. Apr 2017, 04:08

VirtualBox 5.1.18 / 4.3.36
Host: Debian Stretch / Jessie
Guest: Caldera DR-DOS 7.03
Memory Manager in Guest: EMM386 / QEMM

As you can see above, I tried a few different combinations, Most of the time getting an error, although lately the VM will just lock up without any message. If I remove the special includes in the CONFIG.SYS noted below, I would get an error log.

All this happens post boot, when I run a program that I suppose depends on extended memory, particularly DOS4GW for SEA (image viewer) or DOOM. While In was using EMM386, I managed to get DOS4GW to spit up an error, "2001 0Ah". I was unable to determine what this meant.

Strangely enough, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 works fine (same VM).

While using QuarterDeck instead of EMM386, they had their own set of errors, unfortunately I don't have any screenshots or snippets at the ready. If anyone is well versed in QEMM error codes, I can post some.

Anyway, is there something I am missing, or is DR-DOS a lost cause for VirtualBox?

In CONFIG.SYS:
DEVICE=C:\DRDOS\EMM386.EXE RAM ON NOEMS FRAME=NONE I=E000-EFFF I=B000-B7FF

Log:
Apologies to the Mods, did not think I would have uploading capabilities first post - please see attached.

Thank you.
Attachments
Vbox.log.zip
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Last edited by OfficerJimLahey on 13. May 2017, 03:18, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby socratis » 13. Apr 2017, 09:18

Partial logs are not that helpful I'm afraid. Please ZIP and attach the full log. See the "Upload attachment" tab below the reply form.
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby erdeslawe » 13. Apr 2017, 10:55

"I managed to get DOS4GW to spit up an error, "2001 0Ah". I was unable to determine what this meant."

For an explanation of the error message see: http://www.tenberry.com/dos4g/faq/err2001.html and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Task_state_segment
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby OfficerJimLahey » 14. Apr 2017, 23:13

Thank you erdeslawe for the info. I came across the former at an earlier point, but I could not make any sense of it.

My curent config.sys
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
DEVICE=C:\DRDOS\EMM386.EXE DPMI=OFF FRAME=NONE EXCLUDE=F000-FFFF INCLUDE=B000-B7FF INCLUDE=C800-EFFF
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRDOS\DPMS.EXE
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRDOS\SETVER.EXE
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRDOS\CDROM.SYS /D:cd001
DEVICE=C:\DOS\DOSPLUS\ANSIPLUS\ANSIPLUS.EXE /U
BREAK=OFF
HIBUFFERS=10
FILES=30
FCBS=1,1
STACKS=0,0
DOS=HIGH,UMB
LASTDRIVE=H
HISTORY=ON,512,ON
COUNTRY=2,,C:\DRDOS\COUNTRY.SYS
DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\IFSHLP.SYS
SHELL=C:\DOS\COMMAND.COM C:\DOS /E:1280 /MH /P
YEAR2000=OFF


When using QEMM, I was using the same inclusions and exclusions (except the C800 exclude test that did nothing):
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
DEVICE=C:\UTIL\QEMM\QEMM386.SYS RAM BE:N ARAM=C900-DFFF X=C800-CFFF X=F000-FFFF I=B000-B7FF I=C800-EFFF R:2


I generated a VB log by turning off VT-x temporarily, so I don't know how useful it would be. I suppose I can include one that doesn't particularly crash.

Also, I have since found this:
https://www.pcorner.com/list/AOS/QWHITE ... EPT13.TEC/

With the additional logs I gathered (attached), I am wondering if it is a segment wrap (one of the registers in the DOS/4GW error was 0000) - not like I have any idea on how to fix.

I will keep plugging away.
Attachments
VBox-DR-DOS.zip
Log and Two Screenshots
(234.12 KiB) Downloaded 5 times
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby michaln » 19. Apr 2017, 15:03

QEMM: If you don't know exactly what you're doing, don't touch it. QEMM is very finicky and often does not work out of the box, in VMs as well on physical hardware. Advantages over later DOS/EMM386 versions are minimal.

DR-DOS: A bit exotic. Does it work with MS-DOS 6.22 or PC DOS 7.0/2000?

If you can provide a VM (disk image), we can take a look. Without that, it's just too much effort to set up a reproduction scenario.
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby OfficerJimLahey » 1. May 2017, 21:23

michaln wrote:If you can provide a VM (disk image), we can take a look. Without that, it's just too much effort to set up a reproduction scenario.


Apologies, just getting back to this. I will create a sample VM that is scaled back so it won't be terribly huge, within the next few days.

I tried JemmEx from FreeDOS, and got a step forward (SEA image viewer loads and mouse works, but keyboard presses either do nothing or lock the VM up) yet two steps back (WfW no longer loads - known compatibility issue with JemmEX).

Does attaching here allow fair-sized zip files, or do I need to use a service like dropbox?

EDIT: I scaled everything back to DRDOS, JemmEx and SEA. I attached via Dopbox if that is satisfactory (12MB seems too large to attach directly here):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hacjmsm069po3b9/DR-DOS-Concept.zip?dl=0

To reproduce, run the VM, let it boot. The enter the following commands:
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
CD GRAPHICS\SEA
SEA


Mouse should work just fine, and will be able to open an image using the mouse. Function keys seem to do nothing (e.g F10 binding to quit) and arrow keys will lock the mouse up (if there is an GIF playing, it will continue to play). The same app works fine on a native (installed to physical hw) DR-DOS.

Feel free to adjust the settings in CONFIG.SYS (including going back to EMM386) to find a resolution. I will try MSDOS (I have that old stuff laying around still) a little later on.

Thank you for the help.
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby michaln » 3. May 2017, 19:01

Thanks for the files. The SEA program has very screwy keyboard handling. Workaround: Run 'keyb us' from PC DOS or MS-DOS (not DR-DOS).

What's the deal with SEA.OLD? Where did it come from and why is it needed?
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby michaln » 3. May 2017, 21:25

To be specific, the keyboard handling in SEA is just wrong. The program seems to want to keep track of key presses and releases, but instead of using the standard INT 15/4Fh keyboard intercept, it sends EOI and reads data from the keyboard directly. That is extremely unsafe and interferes with the system keyboard interrupt handler.

I'm still not sure why it works at all with MS/PC DOS KEYB.

Note that this problem has nothing to do with DR-DOS.
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby michaln » 3. May 2017, 22:17

I think I can make the VirtualBox BIOS keyboard support compatible with SEA, or at least stop it from ignoring keyboard completely or hanging.

So what was it about memory problems?
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby OfficerJimLahey » 7. May 2017, 08:54

michaln wrote:I think I can make the VirtualBox BIOS keyboard support compatible with SEA, or at least stop it from ignoring keyboard completely or hanging.

So what was it about memory problems?


Apologies for the late reply.

The memory crashes occour with memory managers other than JemmEx. e.g. If you swap the commented lines (comment out FreeDOS' JemmEx for DR-DOS' EMM386) SEA could load for three seconds, and then die a horrible death. I had this behaviour happen also with some games. Coincidentally they usually use DOS4GW.

I would rahte rnot use JemmEx as it is not compatible with WFW (leaving my Certificate of Authenticity go to waste) but for now it works the best out of the lot probably because it is VM aware.

Anyway, SEA may be a bad example given the keyboard handling, but it was a simple example of a DOS4GW application, and it probably wouldn't bode well if I uploaded an image with id's DOOM on it - unless that can be considered abandonware by now.
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby michaln » 11. May 2017, 13:01

I can supply my own DOOM, that's not a problem (have original floppies). I'll take a look what happens without JemmEx.
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby michaln » 11. May 2017, 16:11

So... this is not a VirtualBox problem, and the solution is documented within DR-DOS. Run 'EMM386 ?' and read what it tells you. What exactly the problem was isn't entirely clear to me, but it was obviously known. And yes, after doing that PIC=ON thing, DOOM and SEA both work with DR-DOS EMM386.

When I installed DR-DOS 7.02 (Caldera), I selected the "optimize for DOS games" option. And guess what, it added the requisite 'EMM386 PIC=ON' line to autoexec.bat. And of course DOOM works without crashes or hangs.
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby michaln » 11. May 2017, 16:12

Might as well add that a) doing PIC=OFF in DR-DOS 7.02 breaks DOOM too, and b) EMM386 in DR-DOS 7.0 (Novell) has no such option and no such problem.
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Re: Memory Issues with Caldera DR-DOS 7.03

Postby OfficerJimLahey » 13. May 2017, 01:22

Wow, exactly what I was looking for! I inserted EMM386 PIC=ON into the autoexec.bat and DOOM works.

Looking back, I also pulled KEYB.COM from MS-DOS 6.22 disk 1. I tried to use it, but it errored out on "Incorrect DOS version" .
So I tried tricking it with SETVER, and got this in return:

Code page requested (5) is not valid for given keyboard code


So even though you recommended against it, I tried the DR-DOS KEYB and even though the strokes do not "register", SEA does not lock up anymore either. Will try puling KEYB from FreeDOS in a little while, failing that I will tract down a version of PC-DOS for that file (though I may get the same as above).

I have another game - a pool game - that still faults (Exception 0Dh - General Protection) but if that is the only specimen that does that - EMM386 catches it before the system goes into a state where it needs to reboot - then I will call this an overall win.

Thank you very much! :D
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