This article contains a comprehensive list of documentation errors
reported for the MS-DOS 5 product documentation. The following topics
"User's Guide and Reference"
• SETVER Can Be Used Without Being Installing as a Device Driver
• Using the F4 and F5 Keys in DOSKEY
• RAMDRIVE.SYS Maximum Size
• Clarification of the 2.77 HIMEM.SYS Default Handle
• Incorrect Syntax for RESTORE to View Backup Files
• Misleading Information on Monochrome-4 Colors Scheme in Shell
• HIMEM.SYS Is Not an Upper Memory Block Provider
• EMM386.EXE Provides Minimum 64K EMS
• MS-DOS 5 Upgrade Setup Does Not Repartition Hard Drive
• SHIFT+code ASCII Code for C is 67, Not 66 as Shown
• DRIVER.SYS Does Not Accept /I Option
• PRINT Command /S: <ticks3> Switch
• MS-DOS 5.0 Disk Densities Incorrectly Documented
• MS-DOS 5.0 COUNTRY=061, COUNTRY=044, and Time Format
• Expanding New MS-DOS Shell Video Drivers
• DCA 10NET Versions 4.20.2 and Later Work with MS-DOS 5.0
MS-DOS 5 Upgrade README.TXT File
• README.TXT and ROM Update Available from Columbia Data Products
• README.TXT and 50-Line Mode with an ATI Wondercard
MS-DOS 5 Upgrade APPNOTES.TXT File
• APPNOTES.TXT Reference to LOADFIX Documentation Incorrect
• APPNOTES.TXT and Software Carousel
• APPNOTES.TXT Section 1.4 and CodeView 3.14
• APPNOTES.TXT and Borland Turbo Debugger 386
MS-DOS 5 Upgrade Package (Box)
• System Requirements Error on Microsoft MS-DOS 5 Upgrade Box
"USER'S GUIDE AND Reference"
SETVER Can Be Used Without Being Installing as a Device Driver
The following incorrect statement appears on page 562 of the version
5.0 "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference":
Before you can use the SETVER command, the version table must be
loaded into memory by a device command in your CONFIG.SYS file.
This is not true; the SETVER command can be issued regardless of
whether or not SETVER.EXE has been loaded as a device driver.
The version table can be modified via the SETVER command as long as
SETVER.EXE resides in either the current directory or a directory
specified in the PATH environment variable. For example, the command
SETVER FORMAT.COM 4.01
would add FORMAT.COM to the version table, regardless of whether or
not SETVER was specified as a device driver in the CONFIG.SYS file.
However, the values in the table are not used by MS-DOS unless SETVER
has been loaded. In the previous example, the entry would have been
added to the version table. For the version table to take effect,
SETVER must be loaded as a device driver in the CONFIG.SYS file with a
statement such as the following:
This line assumes that MS-DOS version 5.0 was installed in the C:\DOS
directory, and the line is inserted into the CONFIG.SYS file by the
MS-DOS 5 installation procedure. When this statement is present in the
CONFIG.SYS file, the version numbers listed in the version table are
used by MS-DOS when the specified program is executed. In the previous
example, MS-DOS would report itself as version 4.01 to the program
Using the F4 and F5 Keys in DOSKEY
On page 451 of the version 5.0 "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and
Reference" the F4 and F5 keys for DOSKEY are described. The
information in the manual is misleading.
The following is the actual behavior of the F4 and F5 keys:
F4 Deletes from the current character position up to the
character you specify (if your cursor happens to be on the
first character, the documentation is correct, but if it is
at the default position, the end of the line, then it does
F5 If you type and execute a few commands and then type
another command, but instead of executing it, you press F5,
the current line is copied into the buffer (used by F1, F2,
F3, and so on). Pressing F3 causes the line to be put in the
command line. However, if the command executed prior to the
one just typed and copied to the buffer was longer than
the current one copied to the buffer, the end of the buffer
is not cleared, and you get a combination of the commands.
For example, type the following commands at the MS-DOS command prompt:
The result: "VER A:" is displayed on the command line.
According to the documentation, the result should be "VER" only. The
DOSKEY history will now look like the list above without the VER
command, since VER was not executed.
RAMDRIVE.SYS Maximum Size
Page 614 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference"
for version 5.0 incorrectly states
Valid values for DISK SIZE are in the range 16 through 4096.
where the numbers are given in kilobytes for the size of the RAMDrive
utility. The maximum value is not correct.
The maximum value for RAMDRIVE.SYS is 32 MB minus 1K, which comes out
to 32,767 kilobytes.
However, when HIMEM.SYS is being used as an XMS provider, RAMDRIVE.SYS
can be no larger than 16 MB. This is due to a limitation in the
version of HIMEM.SYS that shipped with MS-DOS 5.0.
NOTE: The documentation error was corrected in the Help file that
ships with MS-DOS 6.0. The HIMEM.SYS limitation was corrected in the
version of HIMEM.SYS that ships with Microsoft Windows version 3.1 and
MS-DOS version 6.0.
Clarification of the 2.77 HIMEM.SYS Default Handle
At the end of the second paragraph on page 611, the "Microsoft MS-DOS
User's Guide and Reference" states:
The default value for the /machine:xxxx switch is at or 1.
This is unclear. By default HIMEM.SYS chooses the most appropriate
handle for the machine it detects. If it does not detect a specific
machine type, it then defaults to /M:1.
If HIMEM.SYS is not loading correctly, the chosen default handle may
be incorrect. Type the following to override the HIMEM.SYS default
where "#" is the handle desired.
NOTE: Since HIMEM.SYS may incorrectly default to a different handle
than 1, make sure to try /M:1. HIMEM.SYS states what handle it uses at
startup. Look for the following statement
Installed a20 handle #x
where "x" is the handle used
For more information on MS-DOS 5.0 HIMEM.SYS and machine handles,
query on the following words:
himem and /m and dos and 5.0
Incorrect Syntax for RESTORE to View Backup Files
On page 144 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference" for
version 5.0, the command syntax is incorrectly stated as
"RESTORE C: A: /D."
The correct syntax is:
RESTORE A: C:\*.* /D.
- or -
RESTORE A: C:\*.* /D /S
Misleading Information on Monochrome-4 Colors Scheme in Shell
The dimmed commands in the DOSSHELL menus are not visible when using
the Monochrome-4 Colors scheme. The version 5.0 "Microsoft MS-DOS
User's Guide and Reference" incorrectly states that the only color
schemes in which the dimmed commands are not visible are Monochrome-2
Colors, and Reverse color.
The information on page 33 of the version 5.0 "Microsoft MS-DOS User's
Guide and Reference" is misleading. It should state that the dimmed
commands are not visible in Monochrome-4 Colors, Monochrome-2 Colors,
and Reverse color schemes.
HIMEM.SYS Is Not an Upper Memory Block Provider
HIMEM.SYS is not an upper memory block (UMB) provider with any known
Page 436 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference" states:
On some computers, you might even be able to use
HIMEM.SYS itself as the UMB provider.
This statement is incorrect. HIMEM.SYS does NOT have the capability to
be used as a UMB provider under any circumstances.
EMM386.EXE Provides Minimum 64K EMS
The minimum amount of expanded memory (EMS) that can be provided by
EMM386.EXE is 64K. Page 606 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and
Reference" version 5.0 manual incorrectly states that the minimum
value is 16K.
If the memory size is stated as 16K in the DEVICE= line that loads
EMM386.EXE in the CONFIG.SYS file, the size will be adjusted to 64K
and the following message will be displayed:
For more information about how EMM386.EXE adjusts the expanded memory
pool, query on the following words:
emm386 and ram and xms and 1024
MS-DOS 5 Upgrade Setup Does Not Repartition Hard Drive
Page 149 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference" version
5.0 manual states the following:
If MS-DOS 5.0 is the first operating system to be set up on your
computer, you can choose to partition your disk when you run the
Setup program. By default, the Setup program creates one primary
DOS partition that occupies the entire disk.
The MS-DOS 5 Upgrade Setup program does not contain an option to
create or repartition a hard drive. This information applies only to
the full original equipment manufacturer (OEM) versions of MS-DOS 5.0,
not to MS-DOS 5 Upgrade.
The Microsoft MS-DOS 5 Upgrade is intended for users currently using
MS-DOS version 2.11 or later who want to upgrade their current MS-DOS
system to version 5.0. Because the MS-DOS 5 Upgrade is designed for
systems that have MS-DOS currently installed, the MS-DOS 5 Upgrade
Setup program will only upgrade the current MS-DOS system to version
5.0. It will not repartition or reformat the hard drive.
Once the MS-DOS 5 Upgrade installation has been completed, you can
then repartition and format the hard drive.
For more information on repartitioning hard drives with MS-DOS
5.0, query on the following words:
repartitioning and partition and backing and 5.00
SHIFT+code ASCII Code for C is 67, Not 66 as Shown
Page 598 of the version 5.0 "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and
Reference" manual incorrectly states that the SHIFT+code ASCII key
code for the for the letter C is 66. This information is incorrect.
The correct SHIFT+code ASCII code for C is 67.
The ASCII code for C (uppercase C) is correctly included in the table
on page 632.
DRIVER.SYS Does Not Accept /I Option
Page 75 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS Getting Started" manual incorrectly
shows the /i option being used with the device driver DRIVER.SYS.
If you use /i with DRIVER.SYS, the following message will be displayed
when booting your machine
where "X" is the line that DRIVER.SYS is on in the CONFIG.SYS.
The following lines appear on page 75 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS Getting
Started" manual under Procedure 2, step 3:
device=driver.sys /d:0 /f:7 /i
device=driver.sys /d:1 /f:7 /i
The /i option is only valid with the DRIVPARM statement that is loaded
in the CONFIG.SYS file. /i specifies an electronically compatible
3.5-inch floppy disk drive.
PRINT Command /S: <ticks3> Switch
The explanation for the MS-DOS PRINT command switch /S:<ticks3> on
page 543 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference"
incorrectly states the following:
Increasing this value can speed up printing while slowing down
The <ticks3> value actually represents the CPU time (expressed in
time-slice ticks) that passes before PRINT.EXE can use a tick to send
characters to the printer. If you increase this value, printing slows
because more of the CPU time is allotted to tasks other than printing.
For example, if you set this value to 25, PRINT.EXE must wait 25 ticks
before it can use one tick's worth of time to send characters to the
printer. A smaller value for the /S switch gives PRINT.EXE more of the
CPU cycle and therefore speeds up printing.
MS-DOS 5.0 Disk Densities Incorrectly Documented
Page 126 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference" should
read as follows:
5.25-inch, double sided/HIGH density 1228K or 1.2 MB
3.5-inch, double sided/HIGH density 1474K or 1.44 MB
3.5-inch, double sided/EXTRA HIGH density 2949K or 2.88 MB
The information in the manual about the density has been incorrectly
reversed. The only EXTRA HIGH density entry should be the 3.5-inch
2.88-MB disk. All other entries in the table are correct.
MS-DOS 5.0 COUNTRY=061, COUNTRY=044, and Time Format
The CONFIG.SYS command, COUNTRY.SYS, does not change the time format
to 24-hour format when COUNTRY is set equal to 061 (International
English) or 044 (United Kingdom). This conflicts with the COUNTRY
This error occurs on page 395 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide
COUNTRY.SYS can be used to change the time and date format that MS-DOS
uses to display time and date information. The file COUNTRY.SYS is
loaded in the CONFIG.SYS file. Following is an example of the
COUNTRY.SYS as it should appear in the CONFIG.SYS:
The above statement provides support for the International English
Page 395 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference"
documentation incorrectly states that setting COUNTRY= to 061
(International English) or 044 United Kingdom) in the CONFIG.SYS file
will cause MS-DOS 5.0 to display the time in 24-hour format. Loading
either of the above country codes will cause the time to be displayed
in 12-hour format. Examples of both formats are as follows:
24-Hour Format 12-Hour Format
Expanding New MS-DOS Shell Video Drivers
Page 46 of the version 5.0 "Microsoft MS-DOS Getting Started" manual
(which discusses how to create a DOSSHELL.INI file) incorrectly states
that you should expand a file called VGA.IN_; this file does not
exist. Instead, a file named EGA.IN_ should be expanded if you use a
VGA video card.
The file named VGA.IN_ does not exist on the Microsoft MS-DOS 5
Upgrade disks. Instead, you should type one of the following commands:
expand ega.in_ c:\dos\dosshell.ini
expand ega.in_ c:\dos\ega.ini
DCA 10NET Versions 4.20.2 and Later Work with MS-DOS 5.0
The version 5.0 "Microsoft MS-DOS Getting Started" manual states that
DCA 10NET versions 3.0 through 4.2 will work under MS-DOS 5.0.
However, according to DCA, only version 4.20.2 or version 4.2 level 20
will work correctly with MS-DOS 5.0.
If you try to run a version of 10NET earlier than 4.20.2 under
MS-DOS 5.0, you may get a "Wrong DOS version, sorry" or "Incorrect DOS
version" error message, or the network will not work reliably. Using
the DOS LOADFIX and SETVER commands will not correct the problem.
To upgrade to the latest version of 10NET, call DCA.
MS-DOS 5 UPGRADE README.TXT FILE
README.TXT and ROM Update Available from Columbia Data Products
There is a documentation error in section 2.14 of the Microsoft MS-DOS
5 Upgrade README.TXT file. README.TXT says that the upgrade for
Western Digital WD 7000 FASST or AT/XT SCSI customers can be obtained
from the customer's vendor. This information is incorrect. The correct
source is Columbia Data Products. There is a charge of approximately
$50 for the driver.
The Seagate ST-01 and ST-02 hard-disk controller cards are made for
Seagate by Western Digital. Section 2.14 of the MS-DOS 5.0 README.TXT
file does apply to the ST-01 and ST-02 hard-disk controller cards.
The following is a copy of the incorrect portion of the README.TXT
file, which is found in the section titled "2. NOTES ON SETUP":
2.14 Western Digital SCSI Hard-Disk Controller
If you are using a Western Digital WD 7000 FASST or AT/XT SCSI
controller with hard-disk ROM version 3.35 or earlier, contact your
vendor for an upgrade before installing MS-DOS 5.0. The ROM version
number is displayed when you start your computer.
Columbia Data Products is also the proper source of the device drivers
referred to in section 2.8 of the README.TXT file.
README.TXT and 50-Line Mode with an ATI Wondercard
The README.TXT file on the Microsoft MS-DOS 5 Upgrade installation
disks refer to the "ATI Wondercard 3.x" not working in 50-line mode.
This can be confusing because there are various ATI products that fit
this description. ATI believes the problem is in the ATI EGA
Wondercard which identifies itself as a VGA even though it doesn't
fully support VGA functions.
To work around this problem, reconfigure the VGA card to work as an
EGA card. To do this insert the ATI disk in the floppy disk drive and
type <floppy drive letter>:\SMS EGABIOS
at the MS-DOS command prompt prior to running MS-DOS 5 Upgrade
If you have already upgraded and are running into a problem running in
50-line mode, remove (uninstall) MS-DOS 5, run the command noted above
and reinstall MS-DOS 5 Upgrade.
MS-DOS 5 UPGRADE APPNOTES.TXT FILE
APPNOTES.TXT Reference to LOADFIX Documentation Incorrect
The APPNOTES.TXT file located on the last disk in the MS-DOS 5 Upgrade
floppy disk set refers you to Chapter 4 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS
Getting Started" manual for more information on the LOADFIX command.
However, there is no Chapter 4 in the specified book.
For more information on LOADFIX, refer to page 41 of the "Microsoft
MS-DOS Getting Started" manual; there is no reference to LOADFIX in
the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference."
APPNOTES.TXT and Software Carousel
Section 1.19 ("Software Carousel") of the APPNOTES.TXT file supplied
with MS-DOS 5.0 Upgrade should include the following information:
Version 5.01 of the Software Carousel works fine with MS-DOS 5. If
you have version 5.00 of Software Carousel, you can download the
file CAROUSEL.501 from SoftLogic Solutions BBS #603-644-5556. This
file can be renamed to CAROUSEL.PGM and should replace the file you
have by that name. If you have a version previous to 5.00, you can
upgrade by calling SoftLogic Solutions's sales department at
APPNOTES.TXT Section 1.4 and CodeView 3.14
Section 1.4 of the APPNOTES.TXT file (located on the last disk)
This problem has been fixed in CodeView version 3.14. Call the Microsoft
Sales Information Center (MSIC) for information about obtaining this
version; see your registration card for the phone number.
This statement is misleading because CodeView is available with various
language products such as Microsoft C or Microsoft Basic Professional
When contacting MSIC, please ask for information about the upgrade to
Microsoft C 6.0ax. If you already own Microsoft C 6.0a, the upgrade to
6.0ax is no charge. If you own Microsoft C 6.0, the upgrade to 6.0ax is
Microsoft C 6.0ax is C 6.0a plus CodeView version 3.14 and the extended
memory version of the compiler.
If Microsoft Basic Professional Development System version 7.0 or 7.1
is owned, the upgrade for CodeView can be obtained from Basic support
by calling (425) 637-7096.
APPNOTES.TXT and Borland Turbo Debugger 386
Borland Turbo Debugger 386 version 2.5 does not work properly under MS-DOS
version 5.0. Borland has a maintenance release, version 2.51, of Turbo
Debugger 386. Turbo Debugger 2.51 works correctly only if the line DOS=HIGH
is not included in the CONFIG.SYS file. Turbo Debugger 2.51 works correctly
with HIMEM.SYS installed as long as MS-DOS is not loaded into the high
memory area (HMA).
Turbo Debugger 386 does not work with any program or device driver
that uses either the virtual or protected modes of the 80386
processor. This includes EMM386.EXE.
Section 1.21 of the Microsoft MS-DOS 5 Upgrade APPNOTES.TXT file is
incorrect. It incorrectly states that Turbo Debugger 386 is
configuration dependent. Turbo Debugger 386 is NOT configuration
MS-DOS 5 UPGRADE PACKAGE (BOX)
System Requirements Error on Microsoft MS-DOS 5 Upgrade Box
The Microsoft MS-DOS 5 Upgrade package incorrectly states (on the back
of the box) under "System Requirements" that "256K of memory" is
required. The correct memory requirement, as stated in the "Microsoft
MS-DOS Getting Started" version 5.0 manual, is 512K bytes of memory.
The minimum amount of "free" memory necessary to run the MS-DOS 5.0
installation procedure is 256K bytes.
The Borland, ATI, and DCA products included here are manufactured by
vendors independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or
otherwise, regarding this product's performance or reliability.