You Asked Us October 1998

by Alan Zisman (c) 1998. First published in Computer Player, October 1998

Several readers wanted more information about previous YAU answers:

-- Sharon Carr wrote:

In July 1997, you mentioned to set DriveSpace3 to 0 percent compression to get rid of waste space. I can't seem to figure out where to find the place to make that change is.

-- Note that any disk compression eliminates cluster waste; setting the compression ratio to 0% compression (aka 1.0 compression ratio or 1-to-1 compression) minimizes the performance loss involved constantly compressing and expanding data.

First thing is to make sure you actually have DriveSpace 3 (DS3)... it?s only included with Win95B or the Microsoft Plus Pack add-on. It will be indicated by a little (3) on the DriveSpace icon in the Start Menu. Without DS3, you?ll be unable to set the compression ratio.

If you DO have DS3, then:

Run DS3 to compress the desired drive. Afterwards, run DS3 again, select your now-compressed drive, then, from the ADVANCED menu, choose ADJUST RATIO... this will let you set the compression ratio to 1.0 i.e. 0% compression.

-- Martin Evans wondered:

Last year I purchased the CD-ROM CLASSICS, gold edition, SSN-21 SEAWOLF. I had played the earlier version with the help of a EMS memory disk, created by a computer literate colleague. I have since lost that disk and I want to play my newest SEAWOLF version. I have tried, and retried to follow directions in making my own EMS memory disk and have been unsuccessful, not to mention frustrated.

Try this...

-- Open C:\CONFIG.SYS in Windows Notepad or DOS Edit... add the following three lines:


Save the file, and reboot... see if the game runs in a DOS window, from Win95... if not, use the Control Panel/Add-Remove Programs item-- go to the StartUp Disk page, and click the button to create a startup disk. On that disk, create or edit CONFIG.SYS to include those three lines, as well as whatever you need to make your CD-ROM work under DOS... (You'll also need an AUTOEXEC.BAT with MSCDEX.EXE for your CD, and potentially other drivers for mouse and sound card... but that's another story!)

Use that boot disk, and your game should run!

? Tony J wrote:

I just read your reply in "You asked us..."regarding the Duplex Dilemma.  In your reply, you say most recent sound cards support full duplex and the Sound Blaster 16 requires it to be specifically turned on using Win95 Control Panel.

I am running Win95  & SB16 PnP and I am trying to use itwith an Internet chat/phone program. I have looked in the Control Panel. Where do you change to full duplex for the sound card in Win95?

-- Make sure you have the newest Creative Lab drivers? if you have Web access, go to, and download and install their latest version? earlier driver versions lacked this feature. Then, open Control Panel... double-click on the System icon... choose the Device Manager tab.

Click once on the [+] sign next to Sound, Video, & Game Controllers to open this item up, and select: Creative Sound Blaster 16 Plug and Play. Click on the Properties button.

Go to the Settings tab... on my system, at least, there's a [x] Allow Full-Duplex Operation, along with an explanation. Make sure there is a check-mark for this item, and click OK.

? Al McKillop queried:

I read your answers regarding partitioning & the use of Partition Magic in particular, I have bought a copy of P.M. but am a little leery of running it. I have a 2.5 HDD. The supplier partitioned it as follows; Drive C: 2GB,Drive D: 393.51mb.Would you care to suggest what configuration I might install to lose the least space in larger clusters.

-- The dealer gave you two partitions because FAT16 can handle maximum 2 gig partitions... but 2 gig partitions use 32kb clusters, giving you maximum waste. Unlike the destructive FDISK included with DOS and Win95, Partition Magic is a safe way to repartition. The difficulty using Partition Magic is what happens if you want to make multiple smaller partitions, but you have, say, 1.5 gigs worth of programs/data on your existing partition? (Since I don't know how much stuff you have on your drive, it's hard to get too specific).

There?s no single right way to partition your drive. Smaller partitions are more efficient in using space, but may force you to reinstall software, that is suddenly on drive D: or E: instead of C:, and your CD-ROMs which are suddenly on drive G: (or something) instead of E: As well, unless you have a logical way of deciding what goes where, it may become more confusing about what is stored where.

If you created two partitions, each slightly smaller than 1 gig, you'd cut your cluster-waste in half; four partitions, each slightly smaller than 512 megs would cut 3/4 of the current waste; eight partitions, each slightly smaller than 256 megs would cut the waste by 7/8... but that's getting excessive.

Only you can decide what will work best for you... you could, for example, set up your system:

C: 400 meg  system files: DOS, Windows, Win95, whatever
D: 511 megs  applications #1
E: 511 megs  applications #2
F: 511 megs  applications #3 (games???)
G: 511 megs  data files

But there are lots of other ways you can go... like how to arrange your clothes in your closet and dresser, it's ultimately a personal decision, with no absolute right or wrong.

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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan