If you are already familiar with operating systems, see ``Features of DRDOS'' on page 1-5, and then go straight to Chapter 2, ``Installing DRDOS,'' for an introduction to the installation process.
What is DRDOS?
DRDOS is a disk operating system (DOS) that coordinates the
different parts of your computer to make them work as a single system.
The operating system is the link between the physical parts of your
computer such as the screen and the keyboard (your hardware) and the
applications you run on the computer (your software).
The operating system uses memory to make multitasking possible on
computers with a 386* processor (or later). When you enable the operating
system's multitasking capability, your computer can run more than one
What is a Network?
A network consists of several computers with network interface boards
linked together by special cables. When you have a network of computers,
you can share software and resources, such as printers, with other computer
In a client-server-based network, the server is a computer dedicated to
managing the network resources. The server is the central part of the
network, holding many resources in one place. Other computers (known
as clients) access this central server for applications, data, and hard
disk space. The server manages the sharing of application and data files
among the clients using these resources. Servers also handle printing by
storing print jobs until printers are available, and then directing the
print jobs to their respective printer destinations.
A Client-server Network
In a peer-to-peer network, any computer with a hard disk drive is a
potential server. Any of the computers on the network offering
applications, files, printers, and disk drive space to other computers
is a server. A computer that makes a request for network resources is
called a client. In a peer-to-peer network, resources are not located on
a central computer but they are shared by the computer where the resources
A Peer-to-Peer Network
Personal NetWare, the networking system that is included in DRDOS,
provides the server and client software that enable you to set up a network,
and to connect to Novell(R) NetWare(R) and IntranetWare servers as well.
Features of DRDOS
The following sections provide an overview of some of the important
features in this operating system.
DRDOS is supplied with a complete online manual, DOSBook. The
online manual contains detailed information about all of the features of
the operating system including the basic commands, and the advanced utilities.
The memory management features include a set of device drivers and
commands that enable you to manage memory efficiently and make as much
memory as possible available to your applications. There are various
device drivers available; the one you need to use depends upon the type
of hardware you have. Refer to Chapter
10, ``Managing Memory,'' for an introduction to memory and memory
DOS Protected Mode Services
A new DOS Protected Mode Services (DPMS) interface has been added to
allow specially-implemented device drivers and TSRs such as disk
compressors and disk caches to operate in extended memory on computers
that have 286* microprocessors and above. This makes more memory within
the first megabyte available to applications and other conventionally-written
drivers and TSRs. Both Stacker* (the disk compression program), and
NWCACHE (the disk cache) use DPMS. More detailed information about DPMS
is available to system developers in the DOS Protected Mode Services
API guide which is available in HTML format on DRDOS's web site at
The disk compression component enables you to keep more information on
your hard disk by compressing the data on it. Once you have installed and
run this component, it automatically uncompresses and compresses data
read from or written to the disk. Refer to Chapter 12, ``Disk Compression'' for more information about disk compression.
There are two components of the operating system that improve the
performance of your hard disk: NWCACHE and DISKOPT.
The operating system network component, Personal NetWare, allows you
to set up your computer as a server so that you can share your data,
programs, and printers with other users on the network. You can also share
application files if you have the necessary license agreements.
When you install the client software on your computer, not only can it
act as a client of a Personal NetWare server on the network, but it can
also be a client of a NetWare server. Thus, creating a Personal NetWare
network does not conflict with existing NetWare server-based networks.
You can also add NetWare servers to your Personal NetWare network to
increase the network services available.
Security allows you to use a single username and password to log in to
both your machine and the network.
Multitasking allows you to run tasks in the background simultaneously with
a task in the foreground. For example, you could run a document comparison
tool in the background and switch to a foreground process such as text
editing. The document comparison continues to run while you edit another
The DELWATCH and UNDELETE commands enable your computer to keep track of
deleted files, and recover them if you accidentally delete them. The
backup component, Fastback Express, allows you to save files to any
logical DOS device regularly and recover them later if you need them.
MS Windows 3.x Support
Many of the operating system commands are also written to run under MS
Windows. You can load the MS Windows versions of these commands if you
run MS Windows on your computer. These commands are placed in a MS Windows
program group when you install the operating system.
If you select Windows 95 when you start your computer, the original CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files are executed, but if you select DRDOS, DCONFIG.SYS and AUTODOS7.BAT are run instead.
Note: In this manual, wherever, you see the file AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS mentioned, if you have a machine with both DRDOS and Windows 95, replace these with AUTODOS7.BAT and DCONFIG.SYS.
Note: If you have Windows 95 on your computer, never use the following commands
on disk volumes accessed by Windows 95: STACKER, DISKOPT, CHKDSK, DISKMAP,
DELWATCH or UNDELETE. Use Windows 95 management tools only because they support
Running DOS from ROM
Your computer may have DOS in ROM (read-only memory). In this case you will
find that the operating system is already installed on your computer and
starts automatically when you switch it on.
Year 2000 Support
DRDOS version 7.03 is Year 2000 compliant. The DRDOS kernel will correct
the system date even if your BIOS does not.
Year 2000 support works in the following way:
Note: Although DRDOS corrects the system date, this does not prevent
problems with all software applications. You must check all the software
on your PC for Year 2000 compliance and load required updates to ensure that
no problem occurs.
Extending Your Computer System
You may wish to extend your computer system by adding extra hard disks,
memory boards, or diskette drives. You should consult your dealer about
what you can use with the operating system if you are in any doubt.