Category : System Diagnostics for your computer
Archive   : CONF715E.ZIP
Filename : CONFIG.FAQ

Output of file : CONFIG.FAQ contained in archive : CONF715E.ZIP
Frequently Asked Questions and their answers in connection with CONFIG

Q) Config says my computer has a POPAD error. Is it defective, do I
have to replace it?
A) Under certain conditions the machine instruction POPAD does not
restore the EAX register afterwards. The error affects only 386
processors and was only discovered around the middle of 1990 and
affects nearly all processors from Intel and AMD. The very newest
versions from Intel at least have been corrected. The error is known
to software developers and the instruction is only implemented so
that the error does not occur. Don't worry about it, my computer has
it too.

Q) Why can't the chip set on my board be identified?
A) I do not have the required information about every chip set
available. Unfortunately I have only a limited selection.

Q) The short interval timer on my 66MHz board is claimed not to
A) The test does not work properly on some boards and gives false
results. In this event the test should be deactivated with the
switch SKIPTIMERTEST in the INI file.

Q) Why does it only show ??? on the hard disk rotation speed test?
A) Modern hard disks have on board caches up to 256 KB. In this case
a whole track is read into cache per rotation, and the disk is not
read on a repeated request.

Q) In the memory windows areas are mentioned with 8 Bit access. I
have a 386/486, so how come only 8 Bits?
A) These memory areas are empty, they contain NOTHING; no RAM, no
ROM, no HI-DOS, nothing. If these EMPTY areas are accessed, the
access is slow and 8 bit.

Q) It says my graphics adapter has an 8 Bit bus. It has in fact a 16
Bit bus, I know, I have seen it.
A) These adapters can be used in ATs as 16 Bit or in XTs with 8 Bit.
The card decides which mode for itself. Many older cards do not
identify the bus correctly and even when in an AT think they are in
an XT. When CONFIG says 8 Bit, this will be correct 95% of the time.
The speed tests will confirm it: 8 bit cards cannot exceed about 700
KB/sec throughput in text mode.

Q) Why are the interrupt allocations shown in the IRQ-Window as the
standard values and not the ones actually allocated?
A) For safety and compatibility reasons I leave the interrupt
controller well alone.

Q) Why does CONFIG show a higher speed for data transfer for the
hard disk than other test programs?
A) CONFIG tests the speed of data transfer by reading ONE track by
increasing sector number until a maximum value is reached. With
hard disks with hardware caches this represents more the value
Cache->Bus->Main Memory than Disk surface->Bus->Main Memory. On
older MFM/RLL type hard disks it shows really the speed
Disk Surface->Bus->Main Memory.
The test 'Linear Reading', implemented since the version 6.4
delivers a realistic value also on newer hard disks for the transfer
speed from hard disk to main memory.

Q) Why are the speed values for BIOS and DOS character transfer so
much higher when I boot the computer without any extra device
A) Many device drivers such as the mouse, screen savers or memory
managers latch into the character output routines to monitor them or
extend their functions. This leads to a reduction in output speed.
In addition, the functions sometimes get so big, that they don't fit
all at once into the CPU cache any more.

Q) Can't CONFIG display the physical parameters of IDE hard disks as
well as the translation parameters?
A) No.

Q) It shows only a strange sign in the upper left corner of the
screen and crashes.
A) You have a S3 with 801 or 805 chip. Set VIDEOTEST=NO in .INI file.

  3 Responses to “Category : System Diagnostics for your computer
Archive   : CONF715E.ZIP
Filename : CONFIG.FAQ

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: