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Partition Shuffle

A spate of new utilities, including Quarterdeck's Partition-It or PowerQuest's PartitionMagic, lets you do nifty things with disk partitions that NT's Disk Administrator can't. These programs let you safely move and resize NTFS and FAT partitions. But be warned that reordering an NT system partition can render NT unbootable.

If you've changed the order of your NT system partition, check the BOOT.INI file in the root directory of your system and look at the following line:


X is the number of the NT boot partition. If you've moved things around to make it the third partition on the disk, for instance, then x should be 3.

Command-Line Purge

A fast way to purge all TMP and BAK files from a drive is to launch a command line NT session and type:

del \*.bak \*.tmp /s /q /f nul 2&1

You can add your own file types to the beginning of the statement as well. The command switches also force the deletion of all hidden files.

Fix Batch File Overflow

Sometimes a DOS application will come with a BAT file that runs the app recursively, meaning it calls itself over and over again, and causes a stack overflow error. The same thing can also happen if you run a whole slew of DOS applications from a batch file. If this happens, try renaming the *.BAT file to *.CMD and make sure it's run from the NT console CMD.EXE program instead of from COMMAND.COM. Also make sure that DOSONLY isn't specified in the CONFIG.NT configuration file, and that NTCMDPROMPT is specified. That should cause the DOS subsystem to exit and reload between each and every execution of the EXE you run, and clear the stacks problem.

Four Reasons For Tears

If you've been trying to get a 16-bit Windows application to run under NT and get nothing but crashes, check the following:

  1. The NT PATH variable has an entry pointing to the WINDOWS or WINDOWS\SYSTEM directories of a Windows 3.x or Windows 95 installation.

  2. The COMMAND.COM used by Windows NT is not missing, damaged or replaced by another version.

  3. The VER.DLL file in the WINDOWS\SYSTEM or WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directories is not corrupted or replaced by an invalid version. (You can always extract a fresh copy of VER.DLL or COMMAND.COM from the NT CD-ROM or from your latest Service Pack.)

  4. SHARE.EXE is being loaded by your AUTOEXEC.NT or substitute file.

NT 4.0 Plus Pack?

If you're a Win95-NT 4.0 dual-booter, you can use Plus Pack desktop themes with NT. Copy THEMES.CPL and THEMES.EXE from your Win95 SYSTEM folder to your NT SYSTEM32 folder. The next time you start NT, you'll find a Desktop Themes icon in Control Panel.

Get a Settings Report

A printout of your system configurations can save the day when you have a problem. To print the system configuration summary, go into Windows NT Diagnostics and select the print button on any tab. Under Scope, click on the All tabs radio button, select the detail level (summary or complete) and make Default Printer your destination. Click on OK to print the report.

Consistent Settings

When re-installing NT on a system, you can run Setup with the previous installation's settings by typing WINNT32 /U. You won't be prompted for any more information.

Relocate the Log

If you've got your swap file located on a different drive or partition than your main directory, you can get an additional performance boost by moving NT's log files to the swap file's drive or partition. Run the Registry Editor (regedit) and change the following keys:


Edit the "File" STRING value in each key to reflect where you want to put the new logs. Reboot for the changes to take effect.

Got a hot tip? Send it to melgan@cmp.com or Mike Elgan, Windows Magazine, One Jericho Plaza, Jericho, NY 11753.

Windows Magazine, October 1997, page 96.

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