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

Output of file : CONFIG.TXT contained in archive : CONF715E.ZIP

* PC-CONFIG by M.Holin, PO-Box 1146, 38678 Clausthal, Germany *
* *
* THE ultimate System-Info und Benchmark-Program for MS-DOS! *
* *
* Telephone: +49(0)5323/3350 Fax:3380 *
* E-MAIL: Z-Netz: [email protected] *
* UUCP: [email protected] *
* Fido: 2:2437/125.16 *
* Scroll this text with the Cursor Keys or PAGE-UP / PAGE-DOWN *

What can CONFIG do, that other programs cannot?

1) Shows ISA, EISA, MCA, VLB and PCI Mainboards
2) Identify C&T, G2, OPTI, ELITE, SIS, ETEQ, UMC, Forex Chip Sets
3) Identify 386 & 486 processor caches and their size (8-256 KB)
4) Tell a DX from a SX CPU, identify RapidCAD, Cyrix486, Pentium
5) Identify VGA- card manufacturer, chip-set and BIOS version.
* 6) Identify over 600 expansion cards in Microchannel (MCA) systems
7) Identify a variety of harddisk cache software
8) Show HI-DOS memory under DOS 5, 386MAX, QEMM386 and MOVE'EM
9) Find areas of memory of different speeds in the first megabyte
and in extended memory
10) Test for hardware shadow-RAM for main and VGA BIOS.
11) Show the physical parameters of ESDI harddisks
* 12) Identify SCSI HD-controllers and their manufacturers
13) Establish the rotational speed of the harddisk
* 14) Display the name, cache size and contoller version IDE harddisks
* 15) Identify the frame speed for VGA cards

* Registered Version only!

Copyright und License Agreement:
CONFIG is (c) copyright Michael Holin
PO BOX 1146
38678 Clausthal

The user of this software recognizes and accepts that this program
and all rights thereto are protected by copyright and other rights of
possession. The user gains none of these rights for himself through
purchase or use of the program, but only the right to useage of the
program not exclusive to himself.

The program, parts of the program or the documentation thereof may
not be copied, except for the purpose of a back up copy for
safekeeping. The purchaser may use a single purchased copy only for
his own purposes, and only on one computer at one time. It may be
neither passed freely nor sold to third persons.

Neither the program nor its documentation may be altered in any way,
extended, changed for use on other systems, or translated into other
languages without express written permission from the author.

By using this program, the user accepts these conditions of license
and use.

Without the presence of the file CONFIG.REG in the same directory as
CONFIG.EXE, the capabilities of the program are limited. Keep this
file CONFIG.REG in a safe place, it will also be needed for future
versions of CONFIG.

Private Version: Commercial Version:
55 DM or 29 US$ 165 DM or 100 US$

School students, students, schools, youth centres, charitable
organisations and the like will be charged reduced price on production of
appropriate proof. If you pay by check, please enter the equivalent
amount of YOUR currency.

You can also pay by credit card. See REGISTER.FRM for details!

System Requirements:
IBM PC,XT,AT or compatible with minimum 260 KB free RAM
MS-DOS ver. 2.0, better ver 3.0 or higher
CGA, MDA, EGA, VGA compatible graphics adapter

Guarantee agreement:
The program and instructions are handed over as seen, the author
takes no responsibility for the suitability of the program for any
particular purpose. In particular, the author takes no responsibility
for damage or consequences directly or indirectly intentionally or
unintentionally which may arise from use of the program or its

The program, the Documentation and the prices are subject to change
at any time.

Files in this package:
CONFIG.EXE - The program
CONFIG.TXT - This text
CONFIG.INI - The configuration file with switches. Changes can be
made here with a text editor.
CONFIG.FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions and their answers
CONFIG.REG - Contains your name and your code! Please save this
carefully and in your own interest do not let it be
CONFIG.MCA - Contains information about Microchannel Cards.
CONFIG.VGL - File with its own comparison list. Can be edited
with an ASCII editor
CONFIG.XXX - A hard copy of the monitor screen (made with F10).

Brief Description:
PC-CONFIG is principally a program which can list the componenets of
your computer without you having to touch a single screw to look

While there are several of this kind of program (let's call them
computer test or diagnostic programs) available on the international
commercial market, you will certainly want to put PC-CONFIG on the
short list.

The main users of PC-CONFIG are professionionals and interested
amateurs, who like to be informed over the hardware configuration
of their computers, be it because they wish to make sure a computer
really has what it claims to have before buying it, or because they
change the hardware of their computers often and wish to confirm that
everything runs properly together.

The Window HARDWARE:
At this point the computer BIOS is searched for possible clues as to
the computer manufacturer (e.g. Commodore, Unitron....) and the
computer is gererally classified (XT,AT,AT386). At the same time,
particular chip-sets are tested for:- Chips & Technologies, G2-, OPTI,
SIS, UMC, FOREX, ETEQ, ELITE, CONTAC, SHASTA (see also below: problems)

The copyright string found in the BIOS is displayed here. It may be
that the BIOS copyright does not belong to the computer manufacturer.
This is because many manufacturers use licensed versions of a BIOS.
In this way, a Unitron computer for example has a Phoenix BIOS.

This shows how old the BIOS-version is, und thus the age of the
computer. Also checked is whether the BIOS (in computers built since
1987) is copied into shadow RAM. If BIOS calls run as quickly as
normal RAM calls, it can be assumed that the BIOS has been copied
into RAM.

In the case of a 386er, shadow RAM is assumed if the call is 32 bits

The address of any BIOS extension such as VGA-ROM or SCSI controller ROM
is displayed

Bus System:
Displays whether the computer has a standard ISA (= Industry Standard
Architecture) bus, an EISA (=extended ISA) bus, IBM's Microchannel
Architecture (MCA), the popular VESA-Local-Bus, or Intels PCI Bus.

The CPU is identified (88,86,188,186,286,386DX/SX,486DX/SX,Pentium,
Cyrix486, RapidCAD,V20,V30). 80386 or 80486 processors are tested
whether they are running in REAL or VIRTUAL mode (many memory
managers such as 386MAX run the processor in virtual mode). The
processor clock speed is displayed, together with the number of wait
states on a memory access (8 and 16 bit CPUs only).

Tested here is whether the computer accesses memory:-
a) in normal mode
b) in Page-Mode, that is within a small page fast and outside a page
slower (with waitstates). This makes possible the use of slower,
cheaper RAMs at high clock frequencies.
c) through a processor cache (80386 & 80486 only)
Tries to destinguish between frist and second level cache of the cpu.

Main Memory:
Total amount of memory and amount of free memory.

Extended Mem:
Memory above 1 MB (only on ATs). The amount of extended memory
still free is obtained from a XMS driver if used, otherwise through
Int 15h.

Expanded Mem:
Expanded memory to LIM specification (in XTs oder ATs). This sort of
memory extension can be used by many programs, and for this reason
most memory managers for 386 computers change extended memory through
software into expanded memory.

In this case the amount of expanded memory is contained within the
amount of extended memory.

Graphics card 1:
CGA, MGA, Hercules, EGA, and VGA video adapters are recognised.
The BIOS of EGA and VGA cards are searched as above for a possible
manufacturer's identity. VGA cards are tested, whether they allow 8
or 16 bit access. This is normally immediately reflected in the speed
of the card. Thus even in the fastest IBM PS/2 models, the maximum
video throughput is only 500kB/s, because of the 8 bit bus. A 16 bit
bus card with a Tseng ET4000 chip reaches a throughput of over

VGA Chip-set:
CONFIG attempts to identify the chip-set of any Super VGA card
which may be present. The following chip-sets can be recognised:-
ATI, NCR, Trident, Video 7, Genoa, Paradise, Chips & Technologies, Above,
OAK Technology, Tseng, ZyMOS, Cirrus, Ahead, Yamaha, S3.

Any further available information about the BIOS of the installed
graphics card will be displayed here (only for ATI, TRIDENT, AHEAD,
TSENG, GEMINI und some OAK cards).

Graphics card 2:
If an additional monochrome graphics card should be present, this will
be displayed here

Video mode:
The active video mode number, plus the number of columns and lines.

Intel 8087, 80287, 80387, IIT 80287, 80387 and software coprocessor
emulators can be identified.

Game card:
CONFIG will attempt to identify any Joystick port which is present.
Unfortunately the identification for game cards is not standardised
and other computer test programs may come to different conclusions.
Generally it can be assumed, if CONFIG says a game port is present,
then one is definitely present. If CONFIG says no game port is
present, then "probably" none is present.

Floppy drives:
The number and the type of floppy drives present.

IO Ports:
The number of parallel and serial ports installed.

The Window HARDWARE 2: (registered version only)
Here is checked whether the main BIOS can support an extended keyboard
(i.e. with the extra F11 and F12 function keys), and whether such a
keyboard is connected

Here is shown which type of chip is installed on the serial interface
(8250, 16450, 16550, 16550A, 16552), and the current port settings.

The manufacturer of any installed SCSI adapter is shown, together with
the start address for the controller ROM

Modem connected:
Whether a Hayes-compatible Modem is connected, and if so on which
port. Some modems can only be recognised immediately after
initialisation. If required, the switch INITMODEM in the CONFIG.INI
should be set to ON

Sound Cards:
Soundblaster, Adlib and Roland cards are searched for. Should this
test collide with other hardware (Network adaptors for example), it
can be disabled in the CONFIG.INI. Soundboards with AZTECH chipset
are recognized.

Whether a CD-ROM drive is connected, and which version of the driver
is in use.

IDE Harddisks:
If present, the name, cache size and controller version of an IDE
harddisk will be displayed.
This test can however lead to problems with other types (non-IDE)
of controller. In this case the switch ATBUSINFO should be set to OFF

The Window SOFTWARE:
The current DOS version is displayed. DR-DOS should be recognised.
In most cases the language version should also be displayed (english,
german or french). For DOS 5 will be noted whether it is currently
loaded into the HMA (high memory area). If DOS has been started from
an OS/2 DOS-Box, this will also be recognised.

Is an MS-NetBIOS compatible network installed? In this case the
network name for the computer will be displayed. Novell networks
will be recognised.

Mouse present:
Microsoft, Genius, Logitech, Agiler, Reis-Ware, Unitron, und Truedox
Mouse drivers can be recognised.
Many mouse suppliers these days try to achieve a very high
compatibility to the Microsoft original, so their drivers may be
recognised as Microsoft.
Note: If a program which changes the mouse interrupt has been loaded
after the mouse driver (e.g. a screen saver), the mouse driver cannot
be recognised.

Mouse Type:
If the mouse driver supports the function 36, the type (serial, bus,
inport, HP-mouse) of mouse and the driver version number can be

EMS Driver:
The type of EMS supported by the driver, and if possible the supplier
name (e.g. Compaq, Toshiba...) and the pageframe address.

XMS Driver:
The XMS version supported by the driver, and the internal version
number of the driver.

Sofware Disk-Cache:
The following can be recognised:
Norton-Cache (V5 & V6), Smartdrive, IBMCACHE, Compaq-Cache, QCACHE,
HyperCache, PC-Cache.
If problems should occur, the test for these programs can be disabled
with the switch SkipHDCacheTest in the .INI file.

This is a software extension of the BIOS for the serial port.
A driver of this kind can be essential for the use of a high speed
modem and the software which is used with it.

4DOS, the shareware replacement for COMMAND.COM, and its version
number will be identified if loaded, as will those for NDOS, a version
from Peter Norton.

The following RAM disk types can be recognised:
XPANDISK, NJRAM-Disk, SRDisk, xDISK, TurboDisk

The following can be recognised:
Windows, DesqView, 386MAX, QEMM386, Move'em, EMM386

Speed relative to IBM-PC:
The CPU speed relative to the IBM-PC is measured with a loop made up
of frequent machine instructions such as AND, MOV, NOT, SHR, and
accessing different memory segments. This value depends directly on in
the CPU type, clock speed and waitstates, and is useful as a measure
of pure processing speed. The loop is small, and will fit completely
in a CPU-cache, if present. The real meaning of such a value is
therefore debatable.

Dhrystones & Whetstones:
These are well known benchmark test from the Unix world, and the
versions here are implemented in Pascal. The results from the pascal
and C versions are compiler-dependent and not necessarily directly
comparable. The larger the resulting value the better. The test
routines fit completely into an 8 kB CPU-cache. Dhrystones gives a
measure of the integer processing power of the CPU, Whetstones
measures the performance of the Math Co-Processor. Both test were
changed frequently in the 70's and 80's and there are versions in
many programming languages. The pascal versions used here are the
same ones used by Norman Juffa in his test program CTEST257. The
results are not however comparable with CTEST257, because Juffa used
his own run-time library for his program.

VideoRAM-Throughput, Scroll, VideoWaits:
The Video RAM throughput describes roughly how many characters can be
written directly to the screen. This value, and the time taken to
scroll the screen 1 line up, depends mostly on the speed of the video
adapter, but partly also on the processor speed. The number of
Video-Waits is also dependent on the CPU speed, but serves mostly as a
basis for comparison with other video cards. It is not to be taken as
an absolute value. With a VGA card for example, very different values
will be measured depending on the selected video mode. As a general
rule though, the fewer waits, the faster the card!

The time measured here is that to blend in 1 (!) EMS page in the page
frame. The measured value is compared with the time that this task
would take on a 16MHz NEAT computer (100%). Other types of hardware
EMS reach values around 90-110%, 386 software EMS (e.g. 386MAX) come
in at around 70%, and 286 EMS emulators about 2%-5%.

RAM Disk Speed:
A file is opened, written to the RAM Disk for 1 second, closed,
reread, deleted and so on repeatedly.
From this the throughput capability of the RAM disk is calculated.
Run your RAM Disk first in Extended Memory then in Expanded Memory,
and see the difference!

The drive letter for the RAM Disk will be automatically recognised if
possible, but can be specified in the .INI file if necessary.

Here, a file is opened, written for 4 seconds to the disk, closed,
reread, deleted and so on repeatedly.
From this the throughput capability of this DOS Disk is calculated.
The effect of caches can clearly be seen here.
The drive to be tested can be specified in the .INI file! If no drive is
specified here, the current drive will be tested.

Harddisk Tests:
The harddisk throughput is established by means of time taken to carry
out absolute write-accesses through the BIOS routines. This test must
be done without any cache active, because the measured speed and the
interleave factor calculation from it will be heavily distorted by an
active cache. CONFIG will therefore not do this test, if it finds that
a cache is indeed active. The test can be forced in spite of this with
the entry FORCEHDTEST=YES in the .INI file.

In the same way, the rotational speed of the harddisk can only be
established, so long as no cache software is active, AND the harddisk
has no hardware cache bigger than 32KB of its own.

The average access time is decided from 100 random head positionings
over the whole disk surface, and can vary from test to test by up to 5ms.
The test can be skipped by pressing the SHIFT or CAPS-LOCK key.

The Window Mem-Timing:
Displayed here is the access speed for the different areas of memory.
The speed of access to the main memory (first 640k) is defined as 1.0.
It can now be compared, for example, how quick the access is to, say, the
VGA BIOS at C000h, perhaps with factor 2.3. That means that accesses
here need 2.3 times as long as main memory access.
In addition, the throughput speed of the CPU cache memory (if present)
and of the main memory will be measured. The value is given in
kByte/sec. The quality of the CPU cache can ssen here, as can the
effect of wait states on main memory access.
For comparison, values for a 386/40 Forex-Chipsatz:
Cache: 38000 KB, Mem: 22000 KB

The Window VGA-Timing: (registered version only!)
The most significant text and graphic modi are activated, and the
picture frame rate measured. At each mode switch, the PC loudspeaker
should click. The test lasts 30 seconds. Standard VGA cards run in
text mode at 70Hz and in graphics mode at 60Hz. At 60Hz with a light
picture background a slight flickering of the screen is probably
noticeable. Modern graphics cards can manage 70Hz even in graphics
mode, or are even freely configurable for each mode.
It can happen that the computer crashes here because there very many
different graphics adaptors and a mode on one does not always match
exactly a mode on another. For this reason the number of modes tested
can be limited by an entry in the .INI file.

Demo-Mode and Auto-Log / Commercial Version:
Of interest to dealers is the DEMO-MODE, by which CONFIG can be set to
run for a predetermined time repeatedly through the displays HARDWARE,
Optionally a list of your own values can be displayed for comparative

This is ideal for a showcase or shop window demonstration.

The DEMO mode can be activated either with an entry in the .INI file
or from a running CONFIG by pressing the "D" key. The length of time
the demo should run can also be entered in the .INI file

When testing computers it is often desirable to produce a hard copy of
all important screen displays. If the switch AUTOLOG in the .INI file
is set to YES, then all displays defined in the switch
LOG(PROTOKOLL) will be copied automatically into the file CONFIG.XXX
The following screens may be logged:
Hardware 1&2, Software, Benchmark, Chips, Mem-Timing, VGA-Timing,
Drivers, IRQs, Notes.

Logging can also be started independently from the .INI file with a
command line parameter. Simply start CONFIG with the parameter p,
followed by the the desired windows (see example), and the appropriate
data will be logged in the file CONFIG.XXX.

For example CONFIG phsm: p is for Protokoll (log) and the hsm for
windows (h)ardware, (s)oftware, and (m)em-timing.

If the log should be put somewhere other than the file CONFIG.XXX,
this can be given as a second parameter, for example:

CONFIG phsm prn

and the log will be output immediately to the printer.

Demo mode and Autolog are only available in the commercial version,
and run only when a further key is entered into the .REG file.

This feature can be ordered for DM 100,- at any time.

-under Windows in 386 mode and other multitasking environments,
it is not possible to make short term time measurements, which makes
benchmark tests and the like impossible.
-under DR-DOS 6.0 EMM386, the speed measurement test for extended
memory causes privilege errors. The switch TESTEXTMEM must therefore
be set to NO(NEIN)
-PC-Cache V5.x is recognised as Multisoft QCache
-There are problems with more than ONE continuous area HI-DOS
-Some computers slow down their clock frequency when a floppy drive is
running. CONFIG can usually recognise when it has been started from a
floppy and waits for the drive to come to rest. However with some
Compaq computers this recognition does not work, and for this reason
the displayed value for the clock speed is wrong. In this case press
"R" for Restart!
-If ALL resident software is loaded in HI-DOS, this causes problems.
-CONFIG cannot find RAMdisks loaded high under QEMM.
-The amount of memory on a VGA card can sometimes only be properly
identified if the monitor connected can also display the higher
-No waitstates are measured with 386 processsors, because the procedure
used here only gives correct values with 8 and 16 bit computers.
(The discussion about wait states is a moot point anyway, because it
is the real computing speed reached which is actually of interest.)
-On some computers (e.g. IBM XT/286) there are problems with
establishing the harddisk access times.

What to do in case of problems:
CONFIG is programmed at low level, close to hardware. For this reason,
crashes must be reckoned with. Recognition of the Chip-Set on the main
board is sometimes problematical. This test can be skipped by pressing
the SCROLL-LOCK key, or by setting the switch TESTBOARD in the
CONFIG.INI file. Should CONFIG still crash before the windows appear
on the screen, start CONFIG with the command line parameter "log". In
this case a file CONFIG.LOG will be opened on the current drive, in
which all the tests will be logged. The last test logged is then the
one causing the crash. It may be possible to skip this problem area
with an appropriate entry in the .INI file.

If you should discover bugs in the program, or other problems, please
store the current screen contents in a file by pressing F10, and send me
this file together with your comments AND your version number of CONFIG
AND the date of your CONFIG.EXE file. I will then try to fix the

Errors in 80386-Processors:
To my knowledge, INTEL overlooked at least four errors (bugs) in the
production of the 80386 processor:

1) Early versions could not switch back to the protected mode from the
real mode
2) Early versions did not carry out 32 bit multiplication properly.
3) Early versions incremented the EDI Register after a STOSB instruction
incorrectly from 0000FFFFh to 00000000h, instead of to 00010000h!
4) The POPAD instruction did not restore the EAX register correctly
under certain conditions.

Whereas the bugs 1-3 were very soon corrected (they only apply to
16 MHz versions anyway), bug 4 was only discovered around the middle
of 1990, and nearly all versions of the 386DX and 386SX from Intel and
AMD to date (Jan 91) still have the error. The very newest versions,
at least from Intel, have been corrected. The bug is however now well
known to programmers and the instruction used with appropriate

CONFIG tests for the bugs 2-4.

CONFIG is based on various sources, among others:

1 - PC Intern Systemprogrammierung, Michael Tischer, Data Becker Verlag
2 - PC-Referenz fr Programmierer, Thom Hogan, Systhema Verlag
3 - Assorted issues of the german magazine c't, Heise Verlag
4 - NEAT-P9 System Board Technical Reference Manual
5 - Programmers Technical Referenz for MS-DOS and the IBM PC, Dave Williams
6 - The Interrupt List, Ralf Brown ua
7 - INFOPLUS.PAS, Andrew Rossman & Steve Grant
8 - The HIMEM-Specifications from Microsoft
9 - the sourcecode from FRACTINT
10 - The IBM PS2 Technical Reference Manual

The publications 5-9 are in the public domain and available in the
SIMTEL20 PD-collection.

My thanks go to the following people who have helped me to develop and
improve CONFIG.

Thomas Kreiling, Mario Leinker, Peter Kruse, Guido Falkemeier, Thomas Haukap,
Ibrahim Tertemiz, Mathias Helm, Jrgen Schlegelmilch, Kai Kluwe, Olaf Rathje,
Michael Schulz, Karsten Wiborg, Frank S„mer, Ulrich Schlechte, Michael Kohl,
Dirk Schmidt, Marc Zimmermann, Jrgen Fitschen, Hans Ullrich Siehl,
Arnd Burghardt

Special thanks to Jim Blackler for the english version of this text!

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

  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.

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