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Making INI changes that won't crash your system

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Posted: 26 May 1999
 

Here's an important Heads Up about how to avoid a problem we've seen from a couple of people lately. This was a tough one to troubleshoot, but it's a cinch to prevent. It has to do with adding and removing values from SYSTEM.INI, and if it hasn't bitten you yet, you can chalk it up to pure dumb luck.

Here's the problem, and the solution.

If the following entries exist in SYSTEM.INI:
device=cwbifs.vxd
DEVICE=VUSER.386

and an identical entry is added through NAL 2.7, the following happens:
device=VUSER.386
DEVICE=VUSER.386

As you will notice, the first entry is overwritten. It doesn't recognize there is already an entry there. Why? Well, it turns out that in the Application Object's INI page, the option was set to "Create Always." This option assumes that you want to force the INI change. It finds the first name, and writes the entry. This is not a good thing, because without this device driver the system could crash.

Solution:

  1. Locate the "device=vuser.386 in the Application Object's INI page.
  2. Set the option to "Create or add to existing section."

As a rule of thumb, remember that any time you make changes that are not unique to an INI entry name, you must set the flag to "Create or add to existing section."

Here's an example of how both flags would affect things, if you were to add a non-unique entry in SYSTEM.INI.

The following INI entry is in the application object

[386Enh]

device=newdevice (Flag)

Flag Before After
Create Always [386Enh]

device=cwbifs.vxd

device=*vshare

device=*dynapage

[386Enh]

device=newdevice

device=*vshare

device=*dynapage

Note: Previous entry was overwritten. This is not what you want to have happen. You want to add a new entry with the same name.

Create or Add to Existing Section [386Enh]

device=cwbifs.vxd

device=*vshare

device=*dynapage

[386Enh]

device=cwbifs.vxd

device=*vshare

device=*dynapage

device=newdevice

Voila: New entry is added.

One more gotcha to watch out for:

If you run snAppShot and capture all of these changes, and then create a new application, by default it will create this INI entry and use the incorrect "Create Always" option. You need to watch for that and correct it before pushing out the changes. It could cause problems on workstations when you are distributing the app.


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