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Installing ANSIPLUS

The ANSIPLUS package includes an installation and configuration program called INSTALL.exe, which should properly handle most installations. INSTALL analyzes the runtime environment, CONFIG.sys and AUTOEXEC.bat of the target drive, locates the source files, copies ANSIPLUS to the target drive (or to any sub-directories of the userís choice), and updates CONFIG.sys and AUTOEXEC.bat.

Starting with MS-DOS 6.0, the CONFIG.sys file can contain menus and multiple configuration blocks. When a CONFIG.sys menu is being used, a new ANSIPLUS installation will require selecting a configuration block to receive the ANSIPLUS DEVICE= command, and an update will require selecting a block that either already refers to ANSIPLUS, or one to which it will be added. INSTALL makes an initial choice of configuration block, and this can be corrected by the user before copying the ANSIPLUS release files by using the "Revise Parameters" option on the Installation menu.

The INSTALL program also gives an opportunity (via the Installation menu) to set the destination directory for each installed file or for classes of files. If the directory is not specified for a file, the following assumptions will apply:

It is recommended that you put all of the ANSIPLUS utility programs (SETCOLOR, SETAPLUS, ANSICOM, NEWAPLUS and APLUSLIB) on your system PATH so that they can be used easily. It is critical that the execution library, APLUSLIB.exe, be located either in the same directory as the other utility programs or on the system PATH. If it is not, the utility programs will not run! You may also want to place the ANSIPLUS.exe device driver in the root directory.

For those who are not content to use default driver feature and other settings, after the release files have been copied to the target drive, the configuration section of the INSTALL program then lets the user set the startup (boot) driver table sizes, colors, and feature settings, as well as high memory loading options that affect CONFIG.sys. These configurations can be performed either at installation time, or any time later on an installed drive by using the NEWAPLUS.exe program. Context sensitive help (via the F1 key) is provided for all entries.

Before installing ANSIPLUS, or any other new device driver, be sure you have a bootable floppy or other disk as insurance against trouble getting your system to run after the device driver is installed.

International Usage

If you are using the MS-DOS KEYB program to set up your keyboard, the following command must be executed after you load KEYB, otherwise most ANSIPLUS keyboard related features will not work:


The INSTALL program will automatically add this command to your MS-DOS AUTOEXEC.bat file if it finds a reference in it or CONFIG.sys to KEYB. Relinking the key event interrupt is not necessary under Novell DOS with Novellís KEYB program, because it is directly compatible with ANSIPLUS.

If you are using the DISPLAY.sys device driver for code page switching, the ANSIPLUS.sys device driver must be installed before DISPLAY.sys in your CONFIG.sys file. The INSTALL program will automatically handle this in most cases. However, under DOS 6.0+, if ANSIPLUS is installed in a configuration block that will be processed by MS-DOS after the configuration block that contains DISPLAY.sys, this situation will not be detected by INSTALL. This must be corrected by directly editing CONFIG.sys.

Because of a bug in Microsoft Windows 3.1 that prevents ANSIPLUS (or any other ANSI device driver) from being localized when the DISPLAY.sys driver is also used, INSTALL will automatically add the following command to AUTOEXEC.bat:


Or, if both and DISPLAY.sys are used, the command will be:


If you are also using Windows, see International Usage for Windows for configuration changes you must make if you are using DISPLAY.sys with Windows.

The " LOCALCON " keyword in the above commands causes the ANSIPLUS "CON" driver in memory to be renamed as "CONAPLUS". Unfortunately, the MS-DOS CHCP command (to change code pages) calls DOS Int 21h function 6602h, which searches the DOS device chain for the "CON" driver installed before DISPLAY.sys, and because it was renamed, reports an "Access Denied" error. The best work-around depends on whether you will be using Windows:

Disk Compression Utilities

On systems using Stacker or similar disk compression utilities that can change the hard disk drive letters around, INSTALL should still be able to locate CONFIG.sys, AUTOEXEC.bat or the ANSIPLUS driver file if it was previously installed. When CONFIG.sys is not found on the (hard disk) target drive, other drives will be searched for it, starting with drive C:. AUTOEXEC.bat is then assumed to reside on either the target drive or the same drive as CONFIG.sys. And if the ANSIPLUS driver is not found where CONFIG.sys says it will be, the same path on other drives will be searched for it as well. In the event that these search rules still cannot locate the correct files, a system environment variable may be used to identify the drive ( SET ANSIPLUS=d: ), and this will override the search.

Memory Loading Optimizers

It is strongly recommended that ANSIPLUS be permanently excluded from automated memory loading optimizations, such as DOS 6+ MEMMAKER, QEMM OPTIMIZE, or 386MAX MAXIMIZE. There are three reasons for this:

ANSIPLUS can be permanently excluded from MEMMAKER by adding a line containing " *ANSIPLUS " to the file MEMMAKER.inf. Exclusion from QEMMís OPTIMIZE is accomplished by adding a line containing " ANSIPLUS " to the file OPTIMIZE.exc in the QEMM directory (create this file if it doesnít exist).

OS/2, DESQview and Task Switchers

Using ANSIPLUS with multitasking operating systems and task switchers is discussed in ANSIPLUS and Multitaskers or Task Switchers. This section includes special information about OS/2, DESQview and other task switchers such as DOSSHELL. Reading this section is especially important if you intend to use ANSIPLUS with DESQview. ANSI or other replacement CON device drivers generally will not work correctly in a DESQview window, but if the right procedures are followed, ANSIPLUS Release 4.00 or later should be compatible with DESQview.

Loading ANSIPLUS as a TSR

The Freeware or Registered ANSIPLUS driver, ANSIPLUS.exe, can be loaded as a TSR, and this is the only recommended Terminate-and-Stay-Resident method for loading ANSIPLUS. The ANSIPLUS INSTALL program will not automatically configure ANSIPLUS to be loaded in this manner, so the user must either modify CONFIG.sys to use an INSTALL= or INSTALLHIGH= command, or must change AUTOEXEC.bat to execute ANSIPLUS.exe as a program. Once this has been done, however, NEWAPLUS will be able to find and reconfigure the ANSIPLUS.exe driver referred to by CONFIG.sys or AUTOEXE.bat.

The older Shareware ANSIPLUS.sys driver cannot be loaded directly as a TSR. However, the Quarterdeck device driver loader can be used to load the Shareware driver as a TSR. But because loading ANSIPLUS changes the system console, does not completely install the driver, at least as far as, the MS-DOS command shell, is concerned. This can be corrected by entering a CTTY CON command after ANSIPLUS.sys has been loaded.

The device driver loader, supplied with the book Undocumented DOS, is also able to load ANSIPLUS.sys, but it can also cause problems loading a new console device driver. It changes all references to the old CON device in the DOS System File Table to point to the new console, which is correct under standard MS-DOS. However, if DEVLOD is used to load ANSIPLUS.sys under Windows 3.1, the System File Table changes can cause a Windows crash when a second DOS session is started.


The following examples illustrate using INSTALL to install ANSIPLUS:

  • If you received ANSIPLUS on a floppy disk and want to install it on your hard disk, use the following installation procedure:
  • (1) Set the default directory to the hard disk (i.e., get a C> prompt).
    (2) Insert the ANSIPLUS diskette in drive A: (or other floppy drive).
    (3) Enter the following command:
  • If you received ANSIPLUS as a ZIP file (named in this example), use the following procedure:
  • (3) Then enter the command:  
    After installation is complete, you may delete the files in the temporary sub-directory (but keep the ZIP file as a backup).
  • To install ANSIPLUS on bootable disk B:, from hard disk directory C:\APLUS, enter the command:

    © Copyright 2000-2007, Kristofer Sweger. All rights reserved.
    Rev. 10/16/07