On Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 3:11 AM, Andrew Robins <arob...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> Already I have found
> that GrandMaster Chess, found to be a tall order on the newer machine
> (2GB RAM, etc), works straight off the bat in ye olde Toshie. So, as I
> think you were getting at - it isn't the availability of RAM and its
> memory allocations- conventional, UMA, EMS etc - but what the old
> software thinks it is looking for and if it doesn't find, it borks in a
> huff.

The main issue is trying to understand which type of memory each
specific app is looking for. Then there are various things to try. One
silly example would be Chasm: The Rift and Borland's 16-bit extender.


BTW, as far as chess goes, I'm a noob. But I know there are various
other chess programs for DOS out there. I know some may be more
aesthetically pleasing than others, better difficulty, better
tutorials, etc., but if you just want chess in some form, surely there
are other alternatives.


(It's been a while since I tested such things, so the only vaguely
memorable ones are Rose [rchess], GNU, and Rebel, esp. for a noob like

> I still get strange JEMMEX memory allocation errors on occasion -
> even when I've gone with the EMM386 + Share option, but I gather JEMMEX
> is being used pretty much like Memmaker might have been, in earlier DOS
> incarnations. National Lampoon's Chess Maniac gives XMS errors, so I'll
> be looking up on that one with the strategies you've outlined. Worth a
> separate thread on its own, so I'll divert other memory management
> questions thataway...

We probably need a decent FDCONFIG.SYS / FDAUTO.BAT layout that offers
various memory manager setups for easy testing.

Though, honestly, it's maybe easier to just manually write down what
you've tried and what goes wrong. Then you'll know what NOT to do
again and what else needs testing.   ;-)

P.S. If any of these problematic games are freely available, feel free
to post to the mailing list(s) in a separate thread about each of
them. Maybe some people will help test for you under different
environments and report their results.

> So, to return to the OP, I thought after weeding out multiple zip
> copies, junk games etc I'd clean up the USB (allocated as Drive B) with
> a defrag. Started well, but froze completely in mid-process and needed a
> hard reset. On rebooting, attempted defrag met with "Error, Disk
> checking failed" and no go - but so did attempts to defrag C (sd-card,
> also FAT32). Is FAT32 support still to come for FreeDOS defrag, as I see
> it is still lacking for ChkDsk? I used MHDD32 from UBCD and no problems
> were found in either drive, so I guess I'm wondering that for *pure*
> DOS-game roles, the respective drives are best formatted as FAT16? Might
> well be the source of the hiccup I'm having with Access icon libraries,
> but I'm only guessing.

Most apps don't read the FAT directly, so file system type shouldn't
affect them. But yeah, I guess there are still some that could have
various minor conflicts.

CHKDSK is the 16-bit tool for older computers. For newer 386+ ones,
DOSFSCK (DJGPP) is recommended. There is no (working) FreeDOS
Scandisk, IIRC. And FD Defrag does support FAT32 but tries to be ultra
compatible, running in real mode, so for bigger FATs and HDs, it may
run out of memory.

As for SD cards, USB, SSD, etc., I'm not sure how well (if at all)
they would respond to "traditional" defragging. They aren't like
traditional hard drives, so it may be best (or at least easier) to
defrag them under Windows or similar OS where such things are more

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