The Explorer: By the Bootstraps

In a recent issue of the LangaList I casually mentioned a few DOS commands that could cleanup some of the garbage files that Windows sometimes won't delete on its own, even if you use the "Cleanup Wizard" and such. The reader response was very, very eye opening.
Now, before you do anything else (and before you close Sysedit), click on Start/Programs/MS DOS Prompt. When the "DOS box" opens, type MEM and hit enter: You'll see a display of how your system's memory is allocated. Look for the line near the bottom that starts: "Largest executable program size" and make a note of the number displayed - this is the amount of memory available to DOS programs and to the most basic portions of Windows. On my test system here, the number is 557,536 bytes (your number will probably be different).

Now close Sysedit (you'll be prompted to save the files you altered), and reboot. When your system restarts, it will use the newly-altered Config.sys and Autoexec.bat, and - in theory - should make better use of your system memory.

When your system is done booting, once again click on Start/Programs/MS DOS Prompt, type MEM and hit enter. See what your "Largest executable program size" now is.

In my test system, I now have 618,960 bytes available; an 11% improvement in the amount of "low" DOS memory I have. This isn't a huge difference, but it's a definite plus and gives DOS apps (such as Drive Image, Partition Magic, Scandisk, Norton Disk Doctor, etc.) more room to maneuver. And - call me anal - I just like knowing that my system isn't wasting RAM.

Your system may yield greater or lesser improvements; if you don't like the results, just re-edit the files with Sysedit to put things back the way they were before, and reboot. Simple!

DOS Experts: Please click on over to the discussion area and share your best DOS tips, tricks, batch files, and tweaks; and please share your knowledge with those who are just starting out.

DOS Novices: Please click on over to the discussion area and post your questions and comments. The Experts in this forum are a wonderfully helpful lot, and chances are, someone will be willing to help you learn what you need to know.

Let's help each other!

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Fred Langa's forum on the Listening Post.

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