You are currently offline, waiting for your internet to reconnect

Usage Questions & Answers for Windows 3.1

This article was previously published under Q93363
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
  1. Q. How does holding down the SHIFT key affect Microsoft Windows startup and exit?

    A. When you start Windows, if you hold down the SHIFT key after typing WIN and pressing ENTER, the applications in the startup group do not load.

    If you hold down the SHIFT key while you double-click the Control-menu box in Program Manager (as if you were trying to exit Windows), the Program Manager layout is saved without actually exiting Windows.
  2. Q. When I exit Windows on my IBM(R) PS/2(R) computer, or another computer that uses a mouse connected to an IBM PS/2-style mouse port, there seems to be a long delay before the MS-DOS prompt appears. How can I correct this problem?

    A. This delay occurs most frequently on PS/2 models 56 and 57; however, it may also occur on models 70, 80, 90, and 95. To correct this problem, use the following two steps:

    1. Open the SYSTEM.INI file with a standard ASCII text editor, such as Microsoft Windows Notepad.
    2. Locate the [386Enh] section and add the following line:
    This line prevents Windows from attempting to reinitialize the PS/2-style mouse port prior to exiting to MS-DOS. While this does correct the initial problem, it may cause problems with some older MS-DOS-based applications that use the mouse.
  3. Q. When I try to start Windows, I receive the error message "Error Loading PROGMAN.EXE." What is causing this error and how can I correct it?

    A. The following three conditions can cause this error message:

    1. The first cause is an incorrect or missing SHELL= line in the [boot] section of the SYSTEM.INI file.

      To correct this problem, edit SYSTEM.INI with a standard ASCII text editor. Locate the SHELL= line in the [boot] section and make sure it reads "SHELL=PROGMAN.EXE". Make sure you have only one PROGMAN.EXE file, that it is dated 3/10/92 or later, and that it is in the WINDOWS directory. If the correct PROGMAN.EXE is missing from the WINDOWS directory, use the EXPAND utility, which is installed in the WINDOWS directory on your hard disk during Setup, to expand the correct version of PROGMAN.EXE to the WINDOWS directory. To do this, type the following:
      You should also make sure there is a line in the [boot] section that reads "SYSTEM.DRV=SYSTEM.DRV." If you have Adobe Type Manager(R) installed, the line should read "SYSTEM.DRV=ATMSYS.DRV."
    2. The second cause of the "Error Loading PROGMAN.EXE" error is an incorrect version of the SHELL.DLL file.

      To correct this problem, make sure you have only one file called SHELL.DLL, that it is dated 3/10/92 or later, and that it is located in the WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory.

      If SHELL.DLL is missing or damaged, use the EXPAND utility to expand the correct version of SHELL.DLL to the WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory by typing the following:
    3. The third cause of the "Error Loading PROGMAN.EXE" error is the presence of the VSafe virus-protection program in the CONFIG.SYS file.

      To correct this problem, remove the VSAFE.SYS file from the CONFIG.SYS file and VSAFE.EXE from the LOAD= command in the WIN.INI file.

      For more information on the VSafe virus-protection software, please contact Central Point Software.
  4. Q. My Novell(R) NetWare(R) NWPOPUP.EXE messaging utility doesn'tseem to be working correctly. I do not receive any messagesuntil I exit Windows. What is causing this problem?

    A. If you are running Windows in 386 enhanced mode and you have aversion of the Novell NetWare NWPOPUP.EXE file dated earlierthan 3/10/92 in your WINDOWS directory, the utility is loaded,but it cannot initialize properly under Windows 3.1. Thisproblem also occurs if NWPOPUP.EXE is located in a directorybefore the WINDOWS directory entry in the PATH= statement inthe AUTOEXEC.BAT file. In either case, you may need to add thefollowing line to the [386Enh] section of your SYSTEM.INI file:


    This command increases the amount of time (specified inmilliseconds) before the critical section is timed out.
  5. Q. I am the system administrator for a Novell NetWare network.Most of my workstations run without any problems, but two ofthem cannot run in 386 enhanced mode; they run in standard modeonly. However, if I do not log these workstations on to thenetwork, they do run in 386 enhanced mode. What is causing thisproblem and how can I correct it?

    A. This problem can be caused by incorrect network softwaredrivers, an IRQ conflict, a RAM address conflict, or a baseaddress conflict. To troubleshoot this problem, use thefollowing four techniques:

    1. Read the NETWORKS.WRI file to determine the steps necessary to upgrade your current versions of IPX and NETX. Ifnecessary, contact your network card manufacturer for newlow-level drivers.
    2. Most machines do not support having two devices using thesame IRQ simultaneously. Therefore, if you are using yournetwork card on IRQ3 or IRQ4, you must either disable COM2or COM1 (because COM1 uses IRQ4 and COM2 uses IRQ3) orreconfigure the network card for an available IRQ. On mostmachines, IRQ5 and IRQ2 are available (that is, no otherhardware devices are attempting to use them).
    3. Many network cards use a RAM address in the upper memoryarea between 640 and 1024 kilobytes (K). If your card isusing this range, exclude use of this range with EMM386.EXEor by adding an EMMEXCLUDE statement in the [386Enh] sectionof the SYSTEM.INI file. Some cards do not function correctlyat the D000 address and need to be reconfigured for D800.
    4. Many hardware devices have base memory addresses that mayconflict with an existing device, such as a COM port. Tryreconfiguring the network card for an address of 300hexadecimal (h) or greater.
  6. Q. My network card does not register in the memory area between640K and 1024K; therefore, I know I must manually exclude thisrange in the upper memory area (UMA). I placed an EMMEXCLUDEstatement in the SYSTEM.INI file, but this doesn't seem to haveany effect. How can I correct this problem?

    A. If you are using an upper memory block (UMB) provider, you mustexclude it using its own exclude command because the providerhas priority in the UMB area and overrides the EMMEXCLUDEswitch. For example, if you are using EMM386.EXE and need toexclude the 32K of memory from D800 to DFFF, use the followingcommand:
    If you are not using a UMA manager or UMB provider, theEMMEXCLUDE statement in the [386Enh] section of the SYSTEM.INIfile should work correctly.
  7. Q. I run numerous batch (.BAT) files on my computer. When I runsome of these files from Windows, I receive the error message"Out of Environment Space." The same .BAT files run correctlyoutside Windows. What is causing this error?

    A. Windows 3.1 contains a switch called CommandEnvSize= thatallows you to control the size of the MS-DOS environment forMS-DOS-based applications run from within Windows. Your .BATfile probably has overrun the available environment space. Toincrease the size of the MS-DOS environment, use the followingtwo steps:

    1. Edit the SYSTEM.INI file with a standard ASCII text editor,such as Microsoft Windows Notepad.
    2. Locate the [NonWindowsApp] section and add the lineCommandEnvSize=. Assign avalue between 160 and 32,768 following the equal sign. Formore information on this switch, please refer to theSYSINI.WRI file.
  8. Q. Why is the Advanced button in the Ports dialog box unavailablewhen I choose the Ports icon in Control Panel?

    A. If the Windows 3.1 COMM.DRV file is installed incorrectly, theAdvanced button in the Ports dialog box is unavailable. If youupgrade from Windows 3.0 to 3.1 and you were previously using athird-party communications driver with Windows 3.0, the Windows3.1 Setup program does not update the communications driver. Toensure your COMM.DRV file is installed correctly, do thefollowing:

    1. Make sure you have the following setting in the [boot]section of your SYSTEM.INI file:
      If this does not correct the problem, check the COMM.DRVsize and date in the SYSTEM directory. The file should bedated 3/10/92 and have a file size of 9280 bytes. If thedate or size is incorrect, proceed with the next step.
    2. Using the EXPAND utility, reinstall COMM.DRV from theWindows Setup disks to the WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory bytyping the following:
      Note: COMM.DRV is found on Disk 1 for 3.5-inch disks and Disk2 for 5.25-inch disks.
  9. Q. Can I set up a permanent or temporary swap file on a stackeddisk drive?

    A. Windows 3.1 does not support the use of a permanent ortemporary swap file on a stacked drive (that is, a drive onwhich you are running the Stacker[TM] utility).
  10. Q. I seem to be having some type of hardware or software conflictin my machine. What tools are available to help me determineinformation such as the BIOS version of the machine and whatCOM ports and IRQs are being used?

    A. Windows 3.1 ships with the Microsoft Diagnostics (MSD) program.This tool is normally installed in your WINDOWS directoryduring Windows Setup. You can use MSD from within Windows;however, the most effective way to use it is to quit Windowsand run MSD.EXE at the command prompt by typing the following:

Article ID: 93363 - Last Review: 02/20/2002 15:14:00 - Revision: 1.0

  • Microsoft Windows 3.1 Standard Edition
  • kbinfo win31 KB93363