Windows 95, DETH, and DOOM Logo

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Coping with DETH and Windows 95

The first tip for running DETH under Windows 95 is:DON'T! DETH isn't compatible with Windows 95 yet (but will be). You'll need to either boot to DOS (6.22 or 7.0 is fine) or define a separate DOS session shortcut. I prefer the shortcut method, and that's what I'll describe here.

I'm hoping you all know how to create a shortcut on your Windows 95 desktop. In short, open up Explorer, go to your DOOM2/DETH folder, find the deth.exe, and then using the right mouse button, drag it onto the desktop and drop it. A little menu will come up asking if you want to "Move, Copy, or Create shortcut here". Choose the latter. Later on you can choose a really spiffy icon like the one I have below:

How to Define a DOS Session for DETH

Your Desktop, with all the cool stuff:

Your Desktop

Right click on the DETH shortcut to access the shortcut menu…

Step 1

Step 1

… and then click on Properties to bring up the Properties dialogue box.

Step 2

Step 2

Click on the Program tab. Everything you see here is already filled in, so you don't need to mess about filling in the "Cmd line" or any of that.

DO NOT check "Close on Exit" . (I'll explain why later.) You DO want to click on the Advanced button now though…

Step 3

Step 3

Okay. Advanced Program Settings. Make sure you check"MS-DOS mode",and then checkthe "Specify a new MS-DOS configuration".

Windows will throw in some stuff for you in both the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT boxes, but chances are it's not going to be everything you need. For one thing, your mouse driver and any CD-ROM drivers you have won't be loaded. Regardless, this is where you define your separate CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT for the DETH session only


The following CONFIG.SYS settings are generic and may conflict with certain devices in your machine. I assume no responsibility for damage to your machine, hardware, software, personal dignity, social life, etc. if something goes wrong. Use them at your own peril, and don't come cryin' to me if something blows up.

Now, I'm going to assume you have at least some basic Windows skills (which may be a mistake, but there it is) and that you know how to view the contents of your current CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files (hint: use Notepad) . The following setup assumes you are using MS-DOS' memory manager, or at the least, that you've got HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE loaded.

Here's what your basic CONFIG.SYS should look like, including the parameters that Windows suggested (in teal) in the above "CONFIG.SYS for MS-DOS mode" box. The ones I suggest are in bold red:

The SHELL= environment setting above of 384 may need to be increased if you get "Out of environment space" errors in DOS. This is the result of too many SET statements for the environment size. Try increasing the size to 512. Also, the exclusion setting of X=A000-C7FF may not be necessary, but at least removes the possibility of video memory conflicts. You can squeeze out a little more memory if you remove the exclusions; try it and see what happens. If you lock up, just put 'em back in.

Either type the above settings in the dialog box by hand, or pull them out of existing batch files, or whatever. Cut and paste all you like.

QEMM users: If you're using QEMM 8.0 (and you shouldn't be using any other version with Windows 95), I would highly recommend using the above settings, and then once you're in DOS, run QEMM's optimize process. This will configure this particular DOS session only and save the settings in your shortcut's Properties once you boot back into Windows, provided you exit DOS properly. When QEMM runs through its phases, I recommend in this case choosing F6 (6 - Command prompt only) each time QEMM reboots your machine.


The AUTOEXEC.BATsettings are actually trickier, I think. Try these.

Now, the SET statements above that Windows threw in came from current settings relating to my PATH and Sound Blaster sound card. Don't use mine if you have something different, naturally; Windows should stick in what you need.

The SET GO32 statements are extremely important for running DETH. You may need to adjust the resolution settings as defined by gw (graphic width), gh (graphic height), and nc (number of colors).

For more on using GO32 with DETH, click here. For info on setting up the video settings in the DETH.INI file, click here.

Don't be too afraid to play with these settings if you know what you're doing. I wouldn't delete any of the stuff Windows sticks in, though some of it can be safely modified. While you're simply defining a DOS session, there are some parameters that Windows will add once you get to DOS that Windows needs to get back to Windows 95. So don't remove anything unless you're absolutely sure you can. If you've already got a session defined for DOOM II, you can use it - just make sure you stick in the GO32 settings above!

Now You're All Set

When you double click the DETH shortcut, Windows will warn you that all of your programs are going to be closed and ask if you want to continue. Say okay, and off you go. And not to worry: Windows 95 will reboot your computer. This is normal. Simply ignore the Boot Menu (if you defined one), and you'll go right into your DOS session.

I mentioned earlier to make sure that the "Close on exit" box is not checked. The reason for this is that if you want to test your levels in DOOM, you don't want DOS throwing you back into a Windows 95 boot as soon as you exit DETH, which is what would happen if you checked the box. So don't do it.

When you're ready to leave, simply type "EXIT."

Creating a Game Boot Session

One last note here:

To define a DOS session for playing some of your favorite (but fussy) games, simply follow the above directions using the same settings, with one exception:

Instead of dragging the DETH.EXE onto your desktop, simply drag a copy of onto your desktop. When you double click the icon, you will boot you straight to a DOS prompt instead of a program. Now you can play or do whatever you like. Be sure to adjust your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT accordingly if you intend to run a DOS network game, or if you plan on using your CD-ROM.

And remember: the proper way to exit a defined DOS session is to type "Exit". Don't just reboot or turn off your machine otherwise you'll end up back in DOS and be forever wondering how to get back into Windows 95.

Text Only

If you had trouble reading this page and would like these instructions and settings in ASCII text format (zipped), click here to download it. I'll also be updating this page a good bit, depending on the feedback I get, and other whims that pop into my head. I went to a lot of trouble doing screen-shots, doctoring them up, and the like - so if you think it was all worth-while, please drop me a line and say so. That, or tell me I'm wasting my time.

I'm quite the Windows 95 fan, actually, so flaming me about it - or warning me that Bill Gates is the Devil - will get you nowhere.

As usual, I'm available by e-mail for any questions or troubleshooting on any of the previous tips and instructions.

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id Software, Inc.