Changed the shell, now trapped

Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

I have an old PC with the keyboard plug prior to PS/2 and a serial
mouse (which I can't find, so I am using a USB mouse).

I changed the "shell=explorer.exe" to "shell=[a batch file to jump into
Game Launcher]". When the computer is booted, it processes autoexec
and config, calls win[windows], and goes into Game Launcher frontend.
Great, it works.

Now I want to change it back to "shell=explorer.exe" to tweak the
machine some more, but when I run edit at the DOS prompt, I can't open
a file (or access the menu bar) - it seems the ALT keys are not working
in the DOS environment! The mouse is USB, so forget about using it to
get to the menu.

Any clues?
12 answers Last reply
More about changed shell trapped
  1. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    pakupakuman@hotmail.com wrote:
    > Now I want to change it back to "shell=explorer.exe"...
    >
    > Any clues?

    One thing you might try from the DOS prompt is rename/backup
    autoexec.bat to autoexec.bak. Then, rewrite autoexec.bat with the new
    shell line. Since EDIT doesn't work, you will have to revert to the
    most basic editor in DOS. Once you have renamed your original
    autoexec.bat, type the following at the command prompt (the <keys> are
    keyboard keys to press, and not text to type):

    copy con autoexec.bat <enter>
    shell=explorer.exe<enter>
    <Ctrl-Z><enter>

    This should have created a very basic autoexec.bat with the desired
    shell. Now, reboot. This should load the proper shell. Then, you can
    delete the basic autoexec.bat, rename autoexec.bak to autoexec.bat, and
    finally edit the original autoexec.bat, with EDIT, to be what you want.

    Hope that helps.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    Thaks to all for your replies. I gutted the machine out and have no
    floppy, and the Windows 98SE CD seems to have a physical error (it may
    require just a cleaning).

    To Adam, what does the <Ctrl+Z> do? Will it be accepted at the command
    prompt with no problem?
  3. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    Once I have fixed this, should I consider removing my shell and editing
    msdos.sys to not have a gui? Would you guys recommend this? Why or
    why not? Thanks once again.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    pakupakuman@hotmail.com wrote:
    > To Adam, what does the <Ctrl+Z> do? Will it be accepted at the command
    > prompt with no problem?

    The <Ctrl+Z> is just a control character that let's the copy command
    know the input is done. When you do "copy con <filename>", it actually
    runs the COPY command, but tells it to copy the info from the CONsole
    to the file. I guess you could say the <Ctrl+Z> is an End Of File
    marker for the COPY command; the <Ctrl+Z> is not actually added to the
    file itself. It should be accepted at the command prompt as long as
    you can still run the COPY command from DOS.

    After you get control of you system back, I would do something like
    Wolfram suggested and have 2 autoexec files in your C:\. One called
    autoexec.gml, with the Game Launcher batch file for the shell, and one
    called autoexec.exp, with explorer as the shell. Then, whenever you
    want to change your shell, just go to the DOS prompt and COPY the
    desired file to autoexec.bat. Then, no more editing of files.

    - Adam
  5. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    Yes - I totally forgot about the backup files and COPYing back the
    originals. What a doofus!
  6. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    On Thu, 07 Jul 2005 08:02:11 -0700, adam_albert wrote:

    > I guess you could say the <Ctrl+Z> is an End Of File marker for the
    > COPY command; the <Ctrl+Z> is not actually added to the file itself.

    That depends on the DOS version (and editor, if any) involved.

    CTRL-Z is chr$(26), decimal. Almost all older DOS programs (and many new
    Windows programs) recognize chr$(26) as end-of-file and will refuse to
    read past it.

    This is a semi-common problem with corrupted text files (log files and the
    like) where a large portion of a file that you can still "see" on the disk
    suddenly disappears due to an errant chr$(26) being inserted into the file
    somewhere before the actual eof occurs.

    Many DOS editors will automatically append a chr$(26) to the end of a
    text file when you save it to disk; many others will preserve an existing
    chr$(26) in an already existing file. A very few will give you a choice
    of whether you want to include it or not.

    There are numerous trivial DOS programs that will remove ctrl-Z characters
    from text files, strip_z.exe being one of the best known.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    pakupakuman@hotmail.com wrote in news:1120736090.972343.218320
    @g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

    > I have an old PC with the keyboard plug prior to PS/2 and a serial
    > mouse (which I can't find, so I am using a USB mouse).
    >
    > I changed the "shell=explorer.exe" to "shell=[a batch file to jump into
    > Game Launcher]". When the computer is booted, it processes autoexec
    > and config, calls win[windows], and goes into Game Launcher frontend.
    > Great, it works.
    >
    > Now I want to change it back to "shell=explorer.exe" to tweak the
    > machine some more, but when I run edit at the DOS prompt, I can't open
    > a file (or access the menu bar) - it seems the ALT keys are not working
    > in the DOS environment! The mouse is USB, so forget about using it to
    > get to the menu.

    Try booting another operating system from CD, like Knoppix or Windows PE.
    I do that all the time to bring by cab PC back to "normal" Windows mode.
    Also, I recommend you save two copies of your system.ini file, one for
    Windows and one for Frontend mode, so you just have to copy one of these
    into \windows in order to switch modes (no need to do any editing).
    This makes switching even easier.

    HTH
    Wolfram
  8. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    * Wolfram Roesler Wrote in alt.games.mame:

    > Try booting another operating system from CD, like Knoppix or
    > Windows PE.

    Overkill, use a Win9X boot floppy. Shorter boot time :)

    --
    David
  9. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    SINNER <arcade.master@googlemail.net> wrote in
    news:Xns968C6111CEAC3Louiscypherhellorg@140.99.99.130:

    >> Try booting another operating system from CD, like Knoppix or
    >> Windows PE.
    >
    > Overkill, use a Win9X boot floppy. Shorter boot time :)

    That's a nice idea. How can I create such a boot floppy? I can't
    remember that my PC came with one, I have the Windows 98 CD
    only.

    Thanks
    Wolfram
  10. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    Wolfram Roesler wrote:
    > SINNER <arcade.master@googlemail.net> wrote in
    > news:Xns968C6111CEAC3Louiscypherhellorg@140.99.99.130:
    >
    >
    >>>Try booting another operating system from CD, like Knoppix or
    >>>Windows PE.
    >>
    >>Overkill, use a Win9X boot floppy. Shorter boot time :)
    >
    >
    > That's a nice idea. How can I create such a boot floppy? I can't
    > remember that my PC came with one, I have the Windows 98 CD
    > only.
    >
    > Thanks
    > Wolfram

    http://www.bootdisk.com/
    --
    MCR
    MAME(tm) - History In The Making
  11. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    pakupakuman@hotmail.com wrote in news:1120747684.693510.307620
    @z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

    > Once I have fixed this, should I consider removing my shell and editing
    > msdos.sys to not have a gui? Would you guys recommend this? Why or
    > why not? Thanks once again.

    Don't know about msdos.sys but I run MameWAH by setting "Shell" in
    system.ini. Details in: http://www.roesler-ac.de/wolfram/klax/#sw
    This is on Windows 98. Don't know if it'll work with your frontend.

    HTH
    Wolfram
  12. Archived from groups: alt.games.mame (More info?)

    <pakupakuman@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1120736090.972343.218320@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    >I have an old PC with the keyboard plug prior to PS/2 and a serial
    > mouse (which I can't find, so I am using a USB mouse).
    >
    > I changed the "shell=explorer.exe" to "shell=[a batch file to jump into
    > Game Launcher]". When the computer is booted, it processes autoexec
    > and config, calls win[windows], and goes into Game Launcher frontend.
    > Great, it works.
    >
    > Now I want to change it back to "shell=explorer.exe" to tweak the
    > machine some more, but when I run edit at the DOS prompt, I can't open
    > a file (or access the menu bar) - it seems the ALT keys are not working
    > in the DOS environment! The mouse is USB, so forget about using it to
    > get to the menu.
    >
    > Any clues?

    I assume you're running Win95 or Win98, and that you've got another
    computer, since you've posted this message.....

    Is it F5 or F8 to boot to a command prompt in those old Windows versions?
    One of the two... hit it when the box is just starts to load windows.
    That should load up COMMAND.COM. Just type in "copy C:\WINDOWS\WIN.INI A:\"
    (or whatever INI file you've edited). Take the floppy disk over to your
    working PC, edit the bastard, save it back on your floppy, and copy it back
    to C:\WINDOWS.

    29A.
    Brett
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