Dec 232017
Text file explaining how to run Word Perfect 5.1 off a Ramdisk.
File 51NRAM.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
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Text file explaining how to run Word Perfect 5.1 off a Ramdisk.
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Contents of the 51NRAM.TXT file

The following will give you an idea of how you might want to configure your
system. It is copyrighted, but it may be used freely. I have taking the
"liberty," however, to update all (former) references to the WP 5.1 interim
release dated 8/20/90 to 12/31/90, including the file sizes, and the
reference to Office 3.0 to Office 3.01.

This "ideal" will work on any PC, with at least 2 MB of memory. IMO, if
you're now running WP 5.1 with less than 2 MB RAM on board, you should
seriously consider increasing your memory to **4 MB.** I know that this
appears contradictory -- that I've stated 4 MB -- but memory is roughly only
$50-60/MB these days, and if you're using WP Office or Windows 3.0, 4 MB is
precisely the amount of memory you ought to have. (The more ram you have,
the larger the ram disk you may create, but 2 MB is better than 4 MB.)

You will need to create a ram drive of at least 1.2 MB in size to load all
necessary files. (Using the 12/31/90 interim release, these "necessary"
files total 1,171,611 bytes.) As is the case with any disk, the larger the
ram disk, the larger the spill files it may contain; else you'll have to
redirect such spill files to, say, your hard disk.

The following is one of my CONFIG.SYS files. What I'm attempting to show you
is Line 3. The purpose of this line is to add a ram disk to your computer's
configuration. for a ram disk is required for ideally running WP 5.1.

5 FILES=60
7 FCBS=16,8

Note that RAMDRIVE.SYS may not be one of the files that came with your
copy of DOS. If not, VDISK.SYS should be. Substitute "VDISK.SYS" for
"RAMDRIVE.SYS" in Line 3 above. Note that while "1536" in the listing above
represents a ram disk in excess of 1 megabyte (MB), a ram disk of AT LEAST
1.2 MB in size must be created. (The number "1024" would represent 1 MB.)

Adding LASTDRIVE shown on Line 8 above to your CONFIG.SYS may become
necessary should Drives C, D and E not be available for RAMDRIVE.SYS
(VDISK.SYS) use. The ram drive assigned by DOS when it finds RAMDRIVE.SYS
(or VDISK.SYS) in your CONFIG.SYS will be the next letter available through
Drive E only. If all drives through E are logical or physical disk drives,
affected by a SUBST command or some other program, LASTDRIVE=F must be added
to the CONFIG.SYS file. If Drive F is already listed in the CONFIG.SYS, then
the line itself must be modified to LASTDRIVE=G instead.

To your computer's AUTOEXEC.BAT file must be included the drive letter that
will be assigned by DOS to the ram disk. On my system, that would be Drive E.
So I could have just added "E:\;" (without the quotes) to the beginning of my
PATH statement. I elected, however, to use "PATH E:\;%PATH%" (see below)
which does the same thing, provided the line occurs AFTER an existing PATH

6 cls
8 PROMPT KMR $B $D $B $T $B $P$_$G

Take note of Line 7 above. WP runs faster with a cache. I use a 640K cache,
run from expanded memory. More than 640K is overkill, but 10% of this (64K)
is better than no cache at all.

I use the WordPerfect Office 3.01 shell program to run WP. Others may not.
This procedure is best with shell, but it works without it. From the
Program Information screen, create a submenu. I call mine "RAM51.MNU."
From the Program Information screen of the submenu, assign to one of the
letters "WordPerfect 5.1 (Ram Drive)." Skip entering a "Default Directory"
and enter "wp5.exe" as the "Program Name." That's "WP5.EXE," NOT "WP.EXE."

At "Startup options," enter "/ps-c:\wp51/d-e:/m-ramdrive." For your system,
substitute the path to your computer's "WP{WP}.SET" file for "C:\WP51" and
substitute the drive of your computer's ram disk for "E:." If WP is in
the "C:\WPERF" directory and your ram drive is F, then the startup option
is "/ps-c:\wperf/d-f:/m-ramdrive." Prompt for Startup Options** should be
set to "Yes," "Swap Shell out?" to "No," and "Allow switch at any time?" to
"Yes." (**Shell allows you to scroll through all the document launched
from Shell during any session with the up and down arrows.)

Again, from the Program Information screen of this same submenu, assign to
another of its letters "WordPerfect 5.1 Ram Setup." This is a "DOS/Batch"
"Menu Item type." Enter the directory from which shell was executed as the
"Default Directory" (e.g., "c:\office") and enter "ram.bat" as the "Program

The following batch file called "RAM.BAT" is the key to this whole system.
I will show later on how non-shell users can use this procedure where the
macro RAMDRIVE.WPM is described.

@echo off
if exist e:\wp.fil goto preagain
if not exist e:\wp.drs goto start
if not exist e:\wp5.exe goto again
goto exit
copy c:\wp51\wp.fil e:>nul
copy c:\wp51\standard.* e:>nul
copy c:\wp51\wp.qrs e:>nul
copy c:\wp51\wp.mrs e:>nul
copy c:\wp51\keys.mrs e:>nul
if exist e:\wp.drs del e:\wp.drs>nul
if not exist e:\wp5.exe copy c:\wp51\wp.exe e:\wp5.exe >nul

Substitute the paths to the above-named files as they are set on your
computer for "C:\WP51\" and "C:\WP51\PRINT" within the batch file.
RAM.BAT creates a file for your ram drive called "WP5.EXE." Also
substitute for "E:" the appropriate ram drive letter for your computer
within the batch file.

The following macro, called "RAMDRIVE.WPM," must both be created and saved to
the directory normally designated or set aside for macros.

{Down}{Del}y{Page Up}{Enter}

After creating the above file and rebooting your system, you will be set up
to run DOS "faster than a speeding bullet" from your ram disk.

From DOS, enter the following from the command line from the directory
where RAM.BAT can be found:


From shell, simply press the letter designated as "WordPerfect 5.1 Ram
Setup" (Ram Setup) which sets the computer up to run WP from your ram disk.
After doing this, just press the letter designated as "WordPerfect 5.1
(Ram Drive)" (Ram Drive) to run WP.

From DOS, Ram Setup is run from the command line from the directory where
RAM.BAT can be found by entering the following:


Ram Drive can then be run by entering the following:


When entering WP, RAMDRIVE is automatically invoked. It's purpose is to
delete the file WP.EXE (which is only needed as a "turnkey" to start WP)
and to reuse the space it temporarily occupied in the ram disk to copy
the driver resource file, WP.DRS, to the ram disk. The reason behind
renaming the copy of WP.EXE as "WP5.EXE" is to assure either that an error
message will be returned from shell (or DOS) or that WP will run from the
ram drive and not one's hard disk. Also, changes made to one's *.SET file
are always updated on the drive specified by the "/ps" switch, not the ram

If you're using shell, you may switch to any other program with ease.
However, if you should exit WP, you will not be able to run Ram Drive without
first running Ram Setup. (Shell returns an error message "ERROR: Program not
found: WP5.WPM," indicating the need for the user to run Ram Setup first.)
Likewise, the Ram Setup batch file ("RAM.BAT") must be run before the Ram
Drive string (shown above) will permit you to run WP.

Karl M. Rowe
==> K=M=R <== January 21, 1991

 December 23, 2017  Add comments

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