version 1.0 (c) copy right 1988 All Rights Reserved
Whether you're developing a software in Basic/C or just
typing a manuscript, there are times when suddenly, your
computer system just locks up. Where's the key, Dr. Lock?
If you used a virtual (RAM) disk to speed everything up,
boy, have you lost plenty.
This is the last resort program to SELECTIVELY copy any
file still in your virtual disk but which you can't get to
without turning off your computer. AND lest you may think
that this is just a file copy program, even if you don't
use a virtual disk, this will usually let you EXIT a locked
computer without having to reboot it.
In fact, this will go where no DEBUG will dare to tread.
If you simply type
then you get the help list only.
To run this, simply type
and end it with an or or or anything
else you want to call the carriage return. Just the letter
'r' in 'run' will work also. The and 'M' will pop up
the menu. The BAZIC.EXE program, another program in this
series, must have at least 'ru' of 'run' in order to work.
# WARNING!!! #
#LASTRESO.EXE will pop up anytime, even at time critical #
#parts and with no regard to what is going on underneath.#
#This is a necessity of this program and not a bug. #
You should run LASTRESO.EXE before loading any other
software program which may be the cause of your lock up.
As a test, try running the LASTRITE.EXE program. Run it
without any parameter and it will tell you that this program
is designed to lock up your computer in an infinite loop.
Run it with any parameter and it WILL LOCK UP your computer.
Run it without running LASTRESO.EXE and you will have to
warm reboot in order to gain control.
LASTRESO.EXE itself does not have a wipe out feature, but
many other programs made by this group will wipe this out
from memory without rebooting. Why doesn't it have this
option? Because noone is asking for it...
Do not load this or any memory resident program from the DOS
mode offerred in many programs now-a-days. In other words,
if you happen to be in your favorite word processor and you
suddenly go to DOS with the ability to go back to where you
left off on the word processor by typing EXIT at the DOS
prompt, do not load any memory resident program and then
EXIT back to your word processor. You've just initiated
the computer system for a lock up and you will have to
reboot the system as soon as you get out of your word
Similarly, do not load any memory resident program which can
be removed from memory, run your word processor, go to the
DOS mode, and then wipe out the memory resident program.
These two conditions are both going to cause the computer
system to lock up. This is not a fault of this or any
memory resident program, free, public, or expensive payware.
This program constantly checks to see if this program still
has control of the required screen dump interrupt or not by
checking at the keyboard.
If you don't want this program to constantly check the
keyboard, run this program with
Where is the or or ^M or whatever you
want to call the carriage return.
If a memory resident program should take control of screen
dump and you you use this parameter, LASTRESO may not work.
HOW LASTRESO.EXE WORKS
The screen dump via shift-prtsc is an interrupt driven
feature which usually works, even when the rest of your
computer locks up.
This program hooks onto and take over the screen dump. This
can be used to prevent accidentally screen dumping useless
text to your printer. But then, that is just the icing on a
When your computer locks up for one reason or another, hit
the shift-prtsc combination as fast as possible: Some
run-away programs just lock, while others start feeding on
sensitive memory. If you got the latter type running, then
there is often a second or two between the time you realize
that something is wrong and the time the program start
feeding on sensitive memory.
Once you hit the shift-prtsc combination, the interrupts 6
through 132 decimal are replaced with the values which were
present when LASTRESO was first ran.
Unless you're writing exotic codes in assembler, this will
usually regain control over the keyboard, screen, disk and
other interrupts required by LASTRESO.
If you were using CGA/EGA/VGA with multiple screens, then
the screen is reset to page 0, if not already there.
If you were in modes other than 80 by 25 text mode, then the
screen is reset to 80 by 25 black and white mode. This is
in case you had a green/amber screen and the screen was
accidentally set for colored characters distinguishable only
on a color monitor.
You'll hear a short beep to warn you that you typed the
shift-prtsc combination and you'll get this message on the
Type "M" for LASTRESO menu, to abort or "*" to screen dump
If you typed the key combinations by accident, just type
to get back to your program. Or type the asterisk "*"
to dump the screen.
At this time, neither of these keys will affect the screen
beyond what is already mentioned.
If you need to use the LASTRESO menu, then type "M" or "m".
When you do, the screen will be cleared: The screen is not
saved and cannot be recovered. You'll now get this pop up
|type to NOT do LASTRESOrt. |
| "X" to try to exit to DOS. |
| "K" to try to exit to DOS but |
| keep any TSR programs intact.|
| "C" to copy files from RAM drive.|
If you type now, you can still get back to your
software. The interrupts will be reset to the way your
softwares had them.
This method can be used to simply copy files from one
diskette/subdirectory to another (using the "C" option
above), but don't make a habit of doing this without
thinking. LASTRESO will happily interrupt right in
the middle of a diskette access or any other time
The main purpose of this feature is to allow you to
copy files from RAM drives to safe diskettes or hard
disk, just in case LASTRESO cannot exit to DOS.
If you type "X" or "x" now, LASTRESO will try to abort
whatever program you are running and exit to DOS. If a
memory resident program or the regular software took over a
few interrupts to itself, this option will allow you to get
back to DOS and to act as if nothing bad happened. However,
any memory resident program you loaded after LASTRESO will
no longer pop up and will be dormant, just using up memory.
If you type "K" or "k" now, LASTRESO will do the same as
above. However, the interrupts are reset back to the way
they were. This is a less reliable way to get out of your
locking softeware, but this method will free all memory back
to the system.
This method is the best choice if you are not using
memory resident programs or using only those highly
unlikely to lock up your computer system.
If you're debugging a program in Basic, C, Prolog or
other high level languages and you got a lock up, this
option may be the ideal option.
If your word processor or data base's macro feature's
bug caused a lock up, this is also the ideal option.
If you use assembler to make terminate but stay
resident programs (TSR's), then the "X" option may be
the better of the two. However, with the "X" option,
there will eventually be not much active memory left if
you keep loading the TSRs and "X"iting them, and you
will eventually have to warm reboot.
If you type "C" or "c" now, LASTRESO will allow you to
selectively copy files from volatile RAM drives.
Whether DOS is busy or not, this will copy files. However,
if DOS was busy with something critical, typing at
this menu afterwards to get back to your software will
cause a lock up. The "X" and "K" options may behave
THE COPY OPTION "C"
Once you use the copy option, the screen will clear and a
box will appear asking you which subdirectory to copy files
Type the diskette drive and any subdirectory you want to
copy from. Do not type the names of files or groups with
wild card asterisks. A cursor based selection will appear
with full parameters display afterwards.
The colon ":" is only allowed after the drive letter.
Any semicolon ";" is translated to the colon.
Any regular slash "/" is translated to the backslash "\".
The wild card asterisk "*" and single letter substitution
letter "?" are not allowed.
Type the location and end with . Mistakes may be
erased with the backspace.
If you type or do not type any letter, then you'll be
taken back to the above menu again.
If the source path did not exist, then you'll be taken back
to the above menu again after you type the destination path.
If the source and destination paths were identical, then
you'll be taken back to the above menu again also, since
copying a file to itself causes a truncation error to occur.
Once you type , then another box will appear prompting
you for the destination path/diskette-drive the files are
to be copied to.
NOTE: The next time you use the copy option, the boxes will
contain the last two source and destination names ending
with a backslash, even if you did not add it. The cursor
will be placed after the end of the string.
When you finish, the screen will once again clear and the
list of files will be displayed, along with the file size in
bytes or thousand (1000) bytes if more than 65535 bytes
long, date of creation or last update using month words and
other useful information to help you decide whether to copy
any one file or not.
At this point, move the cursor up/down to the file you
want to copy and type "C" or "c".
The cursor will move to a location after the file name
while the file is being copied to the destination, and
a capital letter "C" will appear to the right side
telling you that this one is now copied.
Once you're finished with the list of 24 displayed
files, type and you'll get another 24 files.
Repeat the process until you're automatically back in
Now is the time to decide whether to use "X" to exit or
"K" to exit while keeping the interrupts alone.
My choice is "K", unless you're into memory resident
While LASTRESO menu is in place, the shift-prtsc key
combination will dump the screen.
The format of the file parameters display is in a way which
differ in many ways from the way DOS will display them. The
difference is clearly easier to understand.
MESSAGES AND PROMPTS
LASTRESOrt is already in place
There is no need to run LASTRESO. You already ran it.
The keyboard interrupt will NOT be used to keep checking if
shift-prtsc still points to here or not
The default for LASTRESO is to keep checking to see if
another software stole the screen dump interrupt away from
LASTRESO or not.
This is the safest way to ensure that everything will work
as planned. But if you suspect that this may be the cause
of some incompatibility with another of your programs, this
will help you find out.
There is a parameter which I do not understand here
Something other than RUN or KEY was used in the command
MESSAGES FROM WITHIN THE LASTRESO MENU
These are messages which appear to the right of each file
which you try to copy. These are accompanied by a short
No such path exists
You typed a destination subdirectory which did not exist.
Try getting back to the menu by typing a few s and look
at the name you typed in the second box again.
Too many files open
Even LASTRESO can't take it past this point. Sorry. Try
the "X" option and see if you can get back to DOS. If you
can, then copy files and eventually reboot. At least you
can warm reboot, as opposed to turning off the computer and
then waiting 30 seconds before turning it ON again.
No access allowed
Shouldn't get this message, but if you did, then try the "X"
option as above.
Unknown disk error
I cannot open file
The source file cannot be read for some reason.
The destination diskette is full. This file to be copied
did not fit in the available space left in here. The
partial file will be deleted. Insert another pre-formatted
diskette and try again.
Programs are not improved upon unless you ask for them. We
admit that there is a definite prejudice, since priorities
are given to people who contribute as mentioned below;
since they are the ones who obviously want improvements,
and not just trying to kill time with us. But no matter
which side you're on, you have to ask for improvements.
Like, how about a file view feature to see if a file is
worth saving? or may be you have hidden files which need
All products and names mentioned are Trademarks or
Registered Trademarks of their respective corporations or
All enclosed programs, documents and other files are
provided AS IS, without any warranty, expressed or implied,
including but not limited to fitness for a particular
If you find that this does not work in your machine, we
would like to know exactly what happened. With enough
information, some of which you may consider useless, we may
be able to make it work in your computer as well.
A contribution of $10 US/Canadian is appreciated if you
find this useful, or $20 for an improved one as soon as one
Unless you specify otherwise, the diskette sent to you is a
5-1/4" 360 kb diskette.
Your negative criticisms are as welcome as your positive
PURPOSE OF THIS PROGRAM:
A program to get you out of locked up computer or to copy
files from virtual (RAM) disk to real diskettes,
irregardless as to whether DOS is busy or not.
my old forwarding address was
Dr. Masaaki Sawada & Assoc.
University of Waterloo, Faculty of Science
Waterloo, Ontario Canada N2L 3G1
the new forwarding address is
Dr. Masaaki Sawada & Assoc.
Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research,
Sir M. B. Davis Jewish General Hospital,
3755 Chemin Cote Ste-Catherine,
Canada H3T 1E2
(you'll find it a lot easier to cut this address out with
your word processor and print it on an envelope, rather
than trying to write it by hand)
The institute name is given instead of home address to
lower the chances that any mail is delivered to a wrong
address (a common occurrence). However no institute time
nor equipment was used to write this program or document.
Software Library Information:
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with the author in any way other than as a distributor of the
program in accordance with the author's terms of distribution.
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