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Messages - wolf.b [ switch to compact view ]

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Hi all,

my name is Wolfgang, I am from Germany. I am 41 years old and computers are just a hobby, not my profession.
I have come across this forum, when I searched for tips on programming/scripting: AutoHotKey -> Skrommel -> DonationCoder
My impression is: DC is the friendliest place on the net.

mouser for president.

Ok I try to catch you around 3:00 PM via chat room at I have at present no other messenger available. See you then.


Hi wreckedcarzz,

I would like to take your offer for online help with my problem: After the log on, my computer takes a long time to show the toolbar that is situated at the left screen edge. Not the one that has the start button and clock, but one that appears when dragging and dropping a folder there. I have been trying to find the reason for the delay since about two weeks or so, when I first noticed it.

Do I have to book an appointment? I guess you need administrator rights, when using remote assistance. Is that right? Do I have to download certain software beforehand, so that you can get started. I would not like to waste your precious time with boring tasks like that.

I have found the following little typo:
Should be Run,%ProgramFiles%\Opera\Opera.exe

edit: I just realized this is probably an old version (EasyOpen rather than AppLaunch) but I got it today from your webpage.

Thank you very much in advance.


Living Room / Re: Multibooting and Partitioning Experiments
« on: October 24, 2007, 07:52 AM »
Thank you Carol Haynes!

This non standard way was somewhat of an religious experience for me (YES, I can see the light !!!), and is not my own idea. I got it from here: The REAL Multi-boot -Trombettworks. When I came across it first time in 1999, Ranish Partition Manager (RPM) did not support 32 primary partitions (version 2.38), like some of the older versions did (don't know which one). Mikhail Ranish does not support RPM any more, but others have taken over the project, and reactivated support for 32 primary partitions (most recent version is 2.44).

Interesting because I'm sure Win98SE actually said it need to install below the 8Gb boundary. I am pretty sure it said it needed to install in a primary partition too.
I am sure it does say so somewhere, but I have not come across it.
Makes me think of a story from my childhood. There was a mama goat and seven child goats. In the house was a grandfather clock (a tall thing with a pendulum in a case and the clock on top). The children were allowed to play anywhere around the house, but they must never go inside the pendulum case of the clock, as that would ruin the clock. Only one of her kids was naughty and was not listening and went inside anyways. One day when mama goat went shopping, a wolf came round to pay a visit. Six of the children where hiding behind the sofa, and some other similar clever places, and got eaten. The naughty child was hiding inside the clock, and survived. (Sorry this is VERY bad English, and I ruined the story merely by telling it).

An other thing that comes to mind is that Win95 without FAT32 support, and Win3.x, could have the 8 GB limitation. But they both run from logical drives without hassle over here. Even DOS can be setup to install on a logical drive (version 6.22).

Wolf (no pun intended, I'm a humor-free German)

P.S.: As I always said in self defence: We DO have a sense of humor, only our jokes aren't funny.

Living Room / Re: Multibooting and Partitioning Experiments
« on: October 23, 2007, 07:14 PM »
Hi Carol Haynes,

well the way I see it is this: You (I, rather) can have any number of primary partitions on a hard disk, that you (I) like. But you are (I am) limited to mention a maximum of 4 of those inside the master boot record's partition table. The laptop that I used when starting to experiment, has got today a total of 20 primary partitions, including one extended partition. On that I have 21 logical drives. I have written a batch file that makes use of the following include file:

/* edited by Wolfgang Bernady */

/* -------- Primary Partitions ------------------------------------------ */
   Password = "01 01 00 06 EF 3F 00 3F 00 00 00 D1 3A 00 00"
   BootMan = "00 01 01 06 EF 3F 01 10 3B 00 00 10 3B 00 00"
   BootCD = "00 01 02 06 EF 3F 02 20 76 00 00 10 3B 00 00"
   Zyl_03 = "00 01 03 06 EF 3F 03 30 B1 00 00 10 3B 00 00"
   Zyl_04 = "00 01 04 06 EF 3F 04 40 EC 00 00 10 3B 00 00"
   Boot50 = "00 01 05 06 EF 3F 05 50 27 01 00 10 3B 00 00"
   Boot622 = "00 01 06 06 EF 3F 06 60 62 01 00 10 3B 00 00"
   Boot710 = "00 01 07 06 EF 3F 07 70 9D 01 00 10 3B 00 00"
   Win311 = "00 01 08 06 EF 3F 0F 80 D8 01 00 80 D8 01 00"
   Zyl_16 = "00 01 10 06 EF 3F 17 00 B1 03 00 80 D8 01 00"
   Zyl_24 = "00 01 18 06 EF 3F 1F 80 89 05 00 80 D8 01 00"
   Zyl_32 = "00 01 20 06 EF 3F 27 00 62 07 00 80 D8 01 00"
   Zyl_40 = "00 01 28 06 EF 3F 2F 80 3A 09 00 80 D8 01 00"
   Zyl_48 = "00 01 30 06 EF 3F 37 00 13 0B 00 80 D8 01 00"
   Booter = "00 01 38 06 EF 3F 3F 80 EB 0C 00 80 D8 01 00"
   Boot = "00 01 40 06 EF 3F 47 00 C4 0E 00 80 D8 01 00"
   MiniWin = "00 01 48 06 EF 3F 8C 80 9C 10 00 50 EB 0F 00"
   Internet = "00 01 8D 06 EF 7F 16 D0 87 20 00 A0 D6 1F 00"
   Erweitert = "00 41 17 0F EF FF FF 70 5E 40 00 D0 CE D7 01"
   SaveToDisk = "EF FF FF A0 EF FF FF 40 2D 18 02 30 62 04 00"

/* -------- Logical Partitions ------------------------------------------ */
   Dateien =  4218480
   E =  5624640
   F =  5639760
   G =  5654880
   H =  5670000
   I =  5685120
   J =  5700240
   K =  5715360
   L =  5730480
   M =  5745600
   N =  5760720
   O =  5775840
   P =  5790960
   Q =  5806080
   Werkbank =  5821200
   Win98 =  7907760
   Spiele =  9994320
   Erwin = 12080880
   Freigabe = 14167440
   Goodies = 16254000
   Hilfe = 33052320

/* ---------------------------------------------------------------------- */

The first section is a collection of those 15 bytes per partition that I need to remember to mention it in the MBR. My little tool can be called like this
patchmbr 1 Boot710 Leer Erweitert SaveToDisk

I this example it will take the strings from the variables Boot710, Leer, Erweitert, SaveToDisk (as defined in records.r), then prepend "80 " to the string No 1, then prepend "00 " to the other strings. Finally it calls DEBUG.EXE to update the MBR using redirection, like this:
"debug < %TEMP\$debug$.dbg > NUL"
Please note that I use 4DOS (open source, freeware) as a primary shell, so this is a valid syntax. I hope I make any sense. I have not translated any variable names from the code to English, but that should not be a problem, I think.


Living Room / Re: Multibooting and Partitioning Experiments
« on: October 23, 2007, 03:57 PM »
Hi Carol Haynes,

I have tested my Windows 98 SE again, just to be sure. It is installed on a logical drive. That logical drive is located 12 GB past the start of the drive.

First physical sector = 25,430,958   (Cyl 1,583, Hd 1  , Sect 1)
Last  physical sector = 29,623,859   (Cyl 1,843, Hd 254, Sect 63)

It boots OK. :) I have no boot loader, I used fdisk /mbr (MSDOS version 7.1). That loads IO.SYS et al. (MSDOS version 7.1) in the boot process, which gives me a DOS prompt. Then I type "win" to start E:\WINDOWS\ (Win98SE deutsch). No special software, not even an AUTOEXEC.BAT file gets involved.

Sorry for my stupid question (foreigner), but is the "first block of a hard disk" the same as the first physical sector? If yes, there could be a difference between German and English Win98. I don't have Win98 in English, so I can't test. Or is it the Second Edition of Win98 that enables me to do that?


Living Room / Re: Multibooting and Partitioning Experiments
« on: October 22, 2007, 01:16 PM »
Hi tomos,

do you miss Ireland? How do you cope with all those humor-free Germans (me included)? I am not spying on you but I have found your post whilst reading the thread "OK - lets get to know each other... who are you, what do you do, where from?". I might introduce myself properly over there as well, but not today.

Thank you for your links. I will read them after posting this.
Yes, XP is on a logical drive on my desktop computer (bought that when I was working in the UK). So is Win2000 on a virtual machine. I have two old laptops with Win98SE on a logical drive. I have never had any problems with that. Works like a charm. This is my boot.ini:

; edited by Wolfgang Bernady

[Boot Loader]

[Operating Systems]
C:\SECTOR\floppy.bin   = "Floppy A:"
C:\SECTOR\msdos622.bin = "MS DOS 6.22 (Win 3.11)"
C:\SECTOR\msdos710.bin = "MS DOS 7.10 (Win 98 SE)"
C:\SECTOR\cmdcons.bin  = "XP Recovery Console" /cmdcons
C:\SECTOR\minint.bin   = "XPE Mini Windows" /minint
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Pro (3)" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Pro (4)" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(5)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Pro (5)" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

The three entries for XP are actually all the same installation. I have added them for convenience. When I make two or three primary partitions visible the number needs to change. Right now minint.bin is just a non functional dummy, but floppy.bin will read the floppy boot sector and boot from A: drive, although my BIOS setup will check for HDD only. So even with a boot floppy inserted, the computer boots from the hard disk.

Ranish Partition Manager is good for studying and I regard it as an essential in my TOOLS collection. I also have a floppy without DOS that runs RPM. It starts very fast!!! But it sure has a learning curve. And a lot of features that are missing can be found in Powerquest Partition Magic, such as a graphical user interface with mouse support. On the other hand, RPM allows me to do things that PPM can not do. So I would have to use Powerquest's Partition Table Editor, to do the REAL multi booting thing. At the end of the day two tools are needed and I am used to RPM. Another thing is that PPM + PTedit together don't fit on a bootable DOS floppy, which has io.sys and Maybe I should try and compress some of those files. But because I have USB boot support on my desktop, I don't really need to do that. And PTedit will not boot from a floppy in under 5 seconds. Unfortunately there is no single application that does it all for me, and I use all three of them. PTedit even works under WinXP when I want to manually mess up the running system. :-*


Living Room / Multibooting and Partitioning Experiments
« on: October 21, 2007, 11:09 PM »
I have been experimenting with partitioning my hard drive to be able to achieve these goals:
  • multiple OS to choose from
  • several instances of same OS to choose from
  • have a drive with essential tools and data mapped to the same letter at all times
  • write my own boot manager using batch files
  • use hard disk backups for OS

After researching and reading what I could find I came to the following conclusions:
  • I have to partition my hard drive and give each OS its own space. The is a very limited amount (4) of primary partitions that I can put inside the partition table of the master boot record. But I can put any number of logical drives inside an extended partition, given an large enough hard disk.
  • Most (maybe all) OS for PC run well when they are installed on a logical drive and I boot from a matching DOS floppy. So I thought maybe they also run well when booting from a small primary DOS partition.
  • In order to have access to a collection of essential tools (they are in a folder called TOOLS), I would have to copy that folder onto all of the floppies and primary partitions. That clearly is not possible because of lack of space and it would be a pain to maintain in case I update one of the tools or batches. So I have created an extended partition that contains a FAT16 logical drive and always shows up as D:.

Now I have a setup where
  • C: is the only one of my primary partitions that gets mentioned in the MBR
  • D: is the first (and always visible) logical drive and contains stuff that I consider essential. For me that is private data, DOS tools, and non-DOS tools that don't rely on being installed.
  • E: is a logical drive where Windows operating systems (version >= 95) are installed. Only one of them is visible.
  • F: contains a Setup folder where I keep installers for software.
  • G: contains a Games folder and a Disks folder containing ISO images.
  • H: contains a Backup folder for OS.
  • This list is not complete but shows the organising of my hard disk.

I have used these tools to set up my system:
  • Microsoft DOS                    (operating system)
  • Ranish Partition Manager         (partitioning tool)
  • Powerquest Partition Magic       (partitioning tool)
  • Norton Ghost                     (imaging tool)
  • JP soft 4DOS                     (powerful batch language)
  • BREXX by Vassilis N. Vlachoudis  (rexx extension to 4DOS batch language)
  • Microsoft Debug                  (assembler extension to 4DOS batch language)
  • Norton Commander                 (orthodox file manager for DOS)
  • Volkov Commander                 (orthodox file manager for DOS)
  • WBAT by Horst Schaeffer          (dialogue boxes, menus and more for DOS)

Here is a pseudo screenshot:
Pseudo Screenshot.PNG
The entire hard disk is represented in the 2nd row. Most space is occupied by the extended partition containing logical drives.

My reason for starting this thread is not to get anybody to do something similar. I just want to present my thoughts and experiments with multibooting and partitioning. This thread is a spin off of this thread: https://www.donation...54.msg78404#msg78404, which I did not want to hijack. I feel I could write an awful lot more here, but the reading would become pretty boring, unless I write about specific topics that others are interested in. So I invite you all to share your experiments as well, and to ask about specific topics if you like. I don't claim expertise on anything, but I might be able to help. My main inspiration came from this website in 1999: The REAL Multi-boot -Trombettworks. It has been updated since I got my inspiration. Very useful tutorial, very technical in places, and very much in love with Ranish Partition Manager.


Hi again tomos,

I already have started a new thread. But at present it is posted in my personal area (nice feature). It will take another day or two to mature. So stay tuned ...


Hi ak_,

really nice tool! Thank you.

Maybe the next version could have an edit field on the configuration dialogue. This would be a way to customize the text that appears in context menu. My entry would be "Go to your room !" (as found in the source code). But it might not be worth the effort because of error checking would have to be in place as well. I'm not sure what happens when you register a display string with punctuation characters. I will do a bit of research myself, but I have to go now and watch the snooker.

Please don't regard this as a feature request, it's just a thought. I really like utilities that are small, easy to set up and easy to use. Thanks for the code as well, I can translate the strings to display to German myself, if I need to do so for my family.


Living Room / Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection
« on: October 20, 2007, 08:04 AM »
Sorry, if this has been mentioned by someone else before, but my forum search didn't show it. Simon has been mentioned, portable apps have been mentioned, and I found lots of threads about tiny games. Don't miss out on those:


This page contains a collection of small computer programs which implement one-player puzzle games. All of them run natively on Unix (GTK), on Windows, and on Mac OS X.

I wrote this collection because I thought there should be more small desktop toys available: little games you can pop up in a window and play for two or three minutes while you take a break from whatever else you were doing. And I was also annoyed that every time I found a good game on (say) Unix, it wasn't available the next time I was sitting at a Windows machine, or vice versa; so I arranged that everything in my personal puzzle collection will happily run on both those platforms and more. When I find (or perhaps invent) further puzzle games that I like, they'll be added to this collection and will immediately be available on both platforms. And if anyone feels like writing any other front ends - Mac OS pre-10, PocketPC, or whatever it might be - then all the games in this framework will immediately become available on another platform as well.


Living Room / Re: (Webfind) Flash game: Double maze, twist your mind
« on: October 20, 2007, 07:42 AM »
Thanks for sharing!

a pity that there are only 12 levels. But there are 15+ pages with 10 different logic puzzles each more on that website. Thanks again very much. I love that kind of stuff.


Hi tomos, thanks for your interest.

Yes, most of my primary partitions are actually for testing/toying and occupy one cylinder only. On my two laptops that is about 4 MB (HDD capacity 2059 MB), on the desktop about 7.8 MB. That way I can fit lots of them in front of the 1024 cylinder boundary. I don't claim that this is useful, but it tickles my fancy. I also have a large C: primary partition, which is active most of the time when I boot into Windows (any flavour). That is a compromise I had to make when I realized that there are programs, that insist on putting files in C:\Temp, or C:\WARCRAFT, or C:\Programme, or C:\Program Files, or ... . All of these are primary and that "primary block" is physically located at the start of the hard disk.

Next comes a single extended partition, that contains all the remaining HDD drive letters: D, E (several to choose from), F, G. On my Dell Inspiron 7500 laptop there follows a SaveToDisk primary partition, because it likes to have one there. Well, it likes to have one and I just put it there so it's out of the way.

TotalCMD on D: is Total Commander, without which I could not work the way I like to work. Actually work is the wrong term, maybe play or mess is more appropriate. But anyway.

E: (all of them) are logical drives inside the extended partition. When I install programs they usually go to E:\Program Files\ alongside with E:\Windows. There have been naughty installers that created their own folders in E:\Programme or even E:\XXX where XXX is the default name for %ProgramFiles% in french, spanish, ... . Those installers have always created that particular folder in the root of E drive automatically, without my help or consent. After testing and uninstalling I remove the foreign E:\XXX manually. No cause for upset on my behalf.

So to answer your question directly: I have no trouble with the different path. Just when I try to figure things out for foreign friends, or when I try out software that does not support english, these folders get ceated on eighther C: or E:. All of the programs that I use on a regular base install automatically in %ProgramFiles% as expected. BTW when I want to use/test a particular program under a different Windows version, I boot into the different version first and install it again. I keep installers in F:\Setup, my downloads go to F:\Download and are accessible from several different Windows versions without even a change of drive letters.

As to your remark about Ghost images, no problems here. I stick to the rule that what comes from C: goes back to C: (primary partition), what comes from E: goes back to E: (logical drive inside extended partition). I can just guess that restoring an image of a bootable primary partition to a logical drive might no be bootable any more, but did not know about problems with restoring ghost images to non-C drives. Maybe I was just lucky to not run into problems. If you can remember where that info comes from, would you mind telling me where, or what to google for, please?
I just want to add that I have no experience with imaging software other than ghost, but my feeling is that restoring a bootable primary partition with Windows as OS to a logical drive will never work, because Windows does not support booting from a logical drive. I further feel that if it is done anyways, and I reboot (lets say from a CD), the restored partition will contain all the files from the image, will not be corrupted in any way, but will not boot because of OS just can't. IMHO this might be the case with all imaging software. So if I expect to boot from it, I won't get what I want. But If I expect to restore the files, I will get what I want. It's a question of "Does my problem suit the solution?"

I have tried out several different locations for pagefile.sys: C:\, E:\, external HDD (I don't have a 2nd internal HDD). I have settled for E:\pagefile.sys for the following reasons: 1. Windows puts it there (least important), 2. the heads on the HDD don't have to travel far to access it if they are lurking somewhere on E: (which might not even be the case most of the time), 3. hassle free (most important, that is something that I don't enjoy messing with). But I will definately try out 2nd internal HDD as soon as I have one. I want to find out if I could have a single pagefile for different Windows, because I could save disk space on all my Windows installations. Not really necessary, but I'm curious about it.

I just noticed you wrote paging file(s). The only other file I have is E:\hiberfile.sys on my WindowsXP desktop. It appeared after the first use of hibernating. Is that what you meant? And as mentioned above my Dell laptop supports hibernating (or something) to different locations, (C:\filename.ext and dedicated primary partition) when I use the utility that comes on the driver disk. IIRC, because right now I can't seem to find the lead to plug it into the mains. An even older TI Extensa of mine (I found the lead) has E:\Windows\win386.swp in an Windows 98 SE installation.

I will now go and search the forum for discussions on paging file or swapfiles or virtual memory, because I am eager to find out what others have done.

Sorry to be so long, I will stop here now. If you have more questions, I will gladly answer, but I don't want to abuse other peoples threads. I will start a new thread for that, and post a link here. I don't want to leave a bad impression on my second day of membership.

Greetings to all

Hi all,
I know it's too late as reinstalling windows this weekend sets a time frame that has expired. I just followed the link on the newsletter from Oct 15 2007, right after registering which encouraged me to post. So my first trial at participating is this:

I have partitioned my HDD since many years this way:
  - Drive C:  primary partition, contains files required to boot OS (I can choose between different versions)
  - Drive D:  first logical partition, contains folders TOOLS, Tools32, TotalCMD. It is formatted as FAT16, and can be accessed by all installed OS's as D:. The TOOLS folder contains DOS-Tools, and the Tools32 folder contains portable stuff. So I can use them when booting from floppy, LS120, CDROM or USB stick.
  - Drive E:  Windows partition. I have several to choose from. Win98, Win2k, WinXP all think they are alone, because only one is visible.
  - Drive F:  stuff that is worth backing up, but not on previous drives. Folders are Setup, Projects, Documentation
  - Drive G:  everything else, mainly Backup, ISO Images, Games

I know this is not really a new idea for organizing a Windows installation, or a new idea at all, but may be interesting to some. By the way I have batch files that take care of which of my primary partitions gets control, and which of my Windows partitions is visible.

I offer my apologies to the readers in advance if I am off topic, but I am still practicing.


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