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January 26, 1998

Here's how to fix glitches when using Win95 with Win3.1

I described in last week's column software patches for the OSR2 version of Windows (also known as 95B). These patches allow you to dual-boot under OSR2, a feature that was removed, and to run Windows 3.1 under the DOS 7.x version that comes with Windows 95. Many people need to be able to run both versions of Windows on a single machine for testing or other purposes.

Although these patches restore the disabled capabilities, there are still some minor glitches in OSR2 that they can't help you with. The following items give you the pointers you need in case you run into these situations.

  • If you run Windows 3.11 using Win95's DOS 7.0 or Win95B's DOS 7.1, you won't be able to employ 32-bit disk or file access in Windows 3.11. You must fall back on the older 16-bit access to your drives. This is caused by Win 95's reliance on IFSHLP.SYS, which boots in real mode during startup.

  • Similarly, you cannot routinely create a permanent swap file in Windows 3.x under DOS 7. (Windows 95 did away with the concept of a "permanent" swap file because it uses a dynamically sized one. But the idea was that a single, contiguous area of your hard disk would provide faster application swapping than a fragmented area.) To set up a permanent swap file, you must run the LOCK command in DOS before starting Windows 3.x. After the swap file is established, you can quit Windows and run the UNLOCK command at a DOS prompt. Your swap file will continue to function (it's permanent, until you reconfigure it). You can get a bit of information about these two commands by typing LOCK /? and UNLOCK /? at a DOS prompt.

  • A permanent Windows 3.x swap file must be placed on a drive named C:, or whatever is your "primary partition." It can't go on any "extended partition," usually named D: or higher, that was created with OSR2's DOS 7.1.

  • Finally, OSR2 does not support any version of the "share" capabilities that come with DOS 6.22's SHARE.EXE or Windows 3.x's VSHARE.386. These "share" programs allow two applications to use the same open file. Some applications, including Microsoft Word for Windows 6.0, require some version of "share" or they won't run under Windows 3.x.

    Windows 98 may solve some of these issues. I'd like to thank reader Claude Herail for sending in much of this information.

    Maybe I'll read a book instead

    Travelers who like to use their laptop computers on international flights may be in for a big surprise. MIS Sciences Corp. reports that travelers who have used their laptops on the tray tables of some Sabena Belgium World Airlines flights have experienced corrupted hard drives. Sabena is a partner with Delta Airlines in the United States.

    Apparently, to reduce rattling while the plane in is motion, tray tables in Sabena's new Airbus 340s have now been magnetized. That would certainly cut down on annoying rattling noises -- but how about the wailing and gnashing of teeth when road warriors discover their data is no longer usable?

    MIS recommends that you test tray tables for magnetism by seeing whether a paper clip will stick to them before you set your laptop PC down. Thanks to Dan Nord for reporting this problem.

    Now, where's that paper clip I packed in my luggage ... ?

    Brian Livingston is the co-author of several best-selling Windows books, including the most recent Windows 95 Secrets (IDG Books). Send comments to Unfortunately, he cannot answer individual questions.

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