ID:S3 QEMM-386/Stacker 2.01 - 3.0 Troubleshooting
Quarterdeck Technical Note #104 Filename: STACKER3.TEC
by Robert Gaustad CompuServe: STAC3.ZIP
Last revised: 12/17/92 Category: SW3
Subject: Information on using Stac Electronics' Stacker v. 3.0 with
**** NOTE ****
Throughout this document we will refer to QEMM-386. With the exception of
QEMM-386's Stealth feature, the same solutions presented for QEMM-386 will
also apply to users of QEMM-50/60 or QRAM. The OPTIMIZE program is the same
for all three products. Note that the STEALTH option exists only with
This document discusses issues related to Stacker versions 2.01 and 3.0. Most
references to Stacker will be without a version number, except in those
instances where it is necessary to specify a particular version.
For those who have Stacker version 2.0 or earlier, you must contact Stac
Electronics for the update to 2.01 or 3.0. If you have version 2.0 and have
had a problem running QEMM-386's OPTIMIZE program, you may call Quarterdeck
Tech Support and request Quarterdeck Technical Note #214. Other ways of
obtaining the tech note are listed below:
Quarterdeck BBS (310) 314-3227 (STACKER.TEC)
Compuserve Local Number (STAC2.ZIP)
QFAX (310) 314-3214 (STACKER.TEC)
In order to obtain an upgrade or technical assistance from Stac Electronics,
call the numbers below.
Tech/Voice: (619) 431-6712
Tech/Fax: (619) 431-1073
1. STACKER DETECTS QEMM-386
Stacker (both 2.01 and 3.0) will now detect the presence of QEMM-386,
regardless of whether or not you install QEMM-386 first. If you install
QEMM-386 after installing Stacker and you run OPTIMIZE, Stacker will detect
OPTIMIZE and copy the pertinent QEMM-386 files from the COMPRESSED drive to
the UNCOMPRESSED boot drive.
This copy process is usually successful, but if you do not have enough room
on your UNCOMPRESSED drive to hold the QEMM-386 files, you must use the
Stacker utility STAC.COM to increase the size of the UNCOMPRESSED drive and
then either run OPTIMIZE again or manually copy over the correct files to the
drive. The following is a list of those files needed on the UNCOMPRESSED boot
MCA.ADL (if a microchannel machine)
To increase the size of the UNCOMPRESSED partition, through Stacker, type:
at the DOS prompt. For further information regarding the STAC.COM program,
please refer to your Stacker manual.
2. IF YOU ARE NOT USING SSWAP.COM
If you are NOT using the SSWAP.COM program to swap drive names, then
Stacker will not detect the presence of OPTIMIZE and copy the correct files to
the UNCOMPRESSED drive. However, this should not be a problem because you
will most likely have already installed QEMM-386 on the UNCOMPRESSED drive.
3. "/SYNC" PARAMETER WITH SSWAP.COM
If you are using the SSWAP.COM program, in order to maintain compatibility
with OPTIMIZE, you MUST have the "/SYNC" parameter at the end of the SSWAP.COM
line. The parameters differ slightly between version 2.01 and 3.0. Examples
of the two versions are below:
DEVICE=C:\STACKER\SSWAP.COM C:\STACVOL.DSK /SYNC (VERSION 2.01)
DEVICE=C:\STACKER\SSWAP.COM C:\STACVOL.DSK /SYNC+ (VERSION 3.00)
Stacker places the "/SYNC" parameter at the end of the SSWAP.COM line during
installation. It is only discussed in this document because sometimes it is
As you can see, the /"SYNC" parameter for Stacker 3.0 has a "+" sign at the
end. The "+" tells SSWAP.COM to AUTOMATICALLY update any changed files, such
as CONFIG.SYS, that are supposed to be on both drives. If you delete the "+"
from the "/SYNC" parameter, SSWAP.COM will only NOTIFY you of changes to files
and ask if you want to synchronize them.
OPTIMIZE AND STACKER
With the recent release of Stacker version 3.0, Stac Electronics has made
great strides toward complete compatibility with QEMM-386. However, some
issues remain unresolved. These issues, although minor, may require some
troubleshooting as well as editing of your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files.
1. STACKER'S DETECTION OF OPTIMIZE
Stacker detects the presence of OPTIMIZE and allows you to run it without
having to first edit your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. If you are using
SSWAP.COM, it will detect when OPTIMIZE is being run, make changes to the
drive references in the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files, then prompt you to
press a key to reboot the machine again for OPTIMIZE. This will occur during
the Detection and Final Phases of OPTIMIZE. Don't worry if your machine
reboots itself several times during OPTIMIZE; this is normal.
If you are using DOS 5 with Stacker, and you run QEMM-386's OPTIMIZE program,
during the OPTIMIZE process, the NUMBER of buffers disappears from the line in
the AUTOEXEC.BAT file or CONFIG.SYS file, depending on whether or not you are
loading DOS into the HMA. To fix this problem, simply edit the the
AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS file after the OPTIMIZE process is complete and add
the number of buffers you want to the C:\QEMM\LOADHI line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT
or the BUFFERS= line in the CONFIG.SYS file.
For example, your BUFFERS line in the CONFIG.SYS file may look like the
following, after OPTIMIZE is completed:
Just add the number of buffers you want to load, at the end of the line. For
BUFFERS=30 (or whatever number you desire)
If your BUFFERS= number exceeds the amount available in the HMA, ALL of the
buffers will then load into conventional memory. To be on the safe side, try
not to load more than 45 buffers into the HMA. For further information on
buffers, you may want to look at Quarterdeck Technote #226, BUFFERS.TEC.
If you are NOT loading DOS into the HMA with the DOS=HIGH line in the
CONFIG.SYS file, then QEMM-386 will load buffers into HIGH RAM from the
AUTOEXEC.BAT file. After OPTIMIZE has completed, your BUFFERS line in the
AUTOEXEC.BAT file may look like this:
Once again, just add the number of buffers you want to load at the end of the
line. For example:
3. "INCORRECT QEMM OPTIMIZE"
Although it is not common, there may be times during Optimize when you will
receive the message: "Incorrect QEMM Optimize". To fix this problem, you
must edit your CONFIG.SYS file on the UNCOMPRESSED drive and remove the line
DEVICE=C:\QEMM\RSTRCFG.SYS **** OPTIMIZE D%etection %P%hase ****
After removing the line and saving the file, reboot your machine and re-run
4. OPTIMIZE.EXC and SSWAP.COM
Some earlier versions of QEMM-386's LOADHI.SYS driver may have a conflict with
Stacker's SSWAP.COM. Although Stacker now creates an OPTIMIZE.EXC file which
tells the OPTIMIZE program to NOT place a LOADHI.SYS line in front of
SSWAP.COM, you must make sure that a LOADHI.SYS line is not ALREADY in front
of SSWAP.COM. If it is, you must remove it before running OPTIMIZE.
5. STACKER WITH "/EMS" SWITCH
Stacker can put its built-in cache into EMS, which reduces the amount of
conventional memory the STACKER.COM driver requires. You can select this
option when you are installing Stacker on your hard drive. If you are using
the STEALTH option with QEMM-386, however, you must make sure that you have a
"DBF=2" parameter at the end of the QEMM-386 line. This is because when
STACKER.COM uses EMS, it accesses the disk via the EMS Page Frame at the same
time that STEALTH is using the Page Frame. "DBF=2" buffers all disk read and
writes that directly access the Page Frame and thus prevents a conflict.
Stacker 3.0 should automatically place this parameter at the end of the
QEMM-386 line for you, but 2.01 does NOT. If you are using Stacker 2.01, you
MUST add this parameter manually. Below is a sample QEMM-386 device line with
the "DBF=2" parameter:
DEVICE=C:\QEMM\QEMM386.SYS RAM ST:M DBF=2
6. "LOADHI: This program took over INT 67!"
If you are using STACKER.COM with the "/EMS" parameter, under certain
circumstances you might get the above error message. To get this message,
your QEMM-386 / Stacker configuration has to be as follows.
1. STACKER.COM is using the "/EMS" parameter which puts Stacker's
built-in cache into EMS.
2. You are NOT using QEMM-386's "STEALTH" parameter.
3. QEMM-386's LOADHI.COM driver is loading, from the COMPRESSED Stacker
drive, a driver or TSR into HIGH RAM, with the LOADHI.SYS "SQUEEZEF"
(Squeeze Frame) parameter. "SQUEEZEF" uses the Page Frame
temporarily, to give a driver or TSR enough room to initialize.
Since ANY driver or TSR loading from the COMPRESSED Stacker drive
becomes an EMS user, and subsequently uses the Page Frame at the
same time as "SQUEEZEF", the two become incompatible. Hence, the
error message above.
To remedy this problem, you have a number of options:
1. Use QEMM-386 with the "STEALTH" parameter. Since "STEALTH" uses the
Page Frame, "SQUEEZEF" does NOT work with it. However, the
"SQUEEZET" (Squeeze Temp) parameter which temporarily uses areas of
HIGH RAM to give a driver or TSR enough room to initialize does
2. If you do not want to use STEALTH, the easiest remedy is to rerun
OPTIMIZE with the "/NF" parameter. This tells OPTIMIZE to NOT use
the "/SQUEEZEF parameter.
3. A final option would be to simply load all your drivers and TSR's
from the UNCOMPRESSED boot drive. For instance, if you are using
Stacker with SSWAP.COM, and a sample line in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file
looks like the following:
then you must change it to read:
After SSWAP.COM has swapped your drive names, the D: drive is your
UNCOMPRESSED drive. If you are loading a driver from the CONFIG.SYS
file, and SSWAP.COM is the last line, there is no need to make any
changes to that file.
The suggestions included in this technote should take care of most of the
problems you are likely to encounter with either Stacker version 2.01 or 3.0.
*This technical note may be copied and distributed freely as long as it*
*is distributed in its entirety and it is not distributed for profit. *
* Copyright (C) 1992 by Quarterdeck Office Systems *
************************* E N D O F F I L E *************************