Windows 3.x is an operating environment that runs on top of MS-DOS.
Windows uses a GUI (graphical user interface) instead of the command line interface of MS-DOS.
In addition to the MS-DOS configuration files, Windows uses .INI files.
WIN.INI, SYSTEM.INI, and CONTROL.INI are the primary configuration files for Windows.
Sysedit is used to modify system files.
Windows also uses DLL (dynamic-link library) files to configure and run applications.
MS-DOS applications will run in Windows, but might require special settings to run properly. A .PIF file is used to create these settings.
Windows uses protected mode to allow the multitasking of applications.
General Protection Faults (GPFs) occur when an application tries to use resources allocated to other applications.
The following points summarize the key concepts in this tutorial:
Operating System Basics
MS-DOS is considered synonymous with the term DOS, even though there were other disk operating systems produced.
The three programs that constitute the core operating system of MS-DOS are IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, and COMMAND.COM.
CONFIG.SYS loads extra hardware and device drivers that are not built into the IO.SYS file.
It is important that you are familiar with the steps involved with the boot process.
Windows 3.x is not an operating system, but provides a common user interface for applications written to its standards.
It is important that you are familiar with the different modes of Windows and how (and where) they function.
Windows runs on top of MS-DOS. It is an MS-DOS-based program that provides a graphical user interface (GUI).
It is important that you know the different areas of memory.
Windows provides three types of fonts: vector fonts, raster fonts, and TrueType fonts.
There are three methods for managing or configuring Windows: the Control Panel, Windows Setup, and Windows .INI files.
Sysedit is a program for editing the system files (AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, WIN.INI, and SYSTEM.INI).
PROGRAM.INI controls the settings for the Program Manager Group files.
Virtual memory allows the processor to use the hard drive to simulate RAM.
A popular disk cache is SMARTDRV.EXE. It is provided as part of MS-DOS and is activated by entering it into the CONFIG.SYS file.
Windows uses a .PIF (Program Information File) to hold the necessary data to set up the virtual machine.
Windows 3.x problems can be divided into three distinct groups: lockups, GPFs, and erratic behavior.
What does DOS stand for?
What was DOS created to do?
Which version of MS-DOS is bundled with Windows 95?
Describe the core operating systems within MS-DOS.
What are the two MS-DOS startup files?
Which MS-DOS command is used to determine the amount of free space left on a disk?
Describe the difference between real mode and protected mode.
Windows provides a GUI for the user. What does "GUI" stand for? What is its advantage over the older MS-DOS system?
Describe the three kinds of fonts used in a Windows environment.
Name five settings that can be changed from the Windows Control Panel.
Which wildcard character can be used to replace a single character in a search string?