In last issue (Fall 91, page 17) I discussed a powerful file compression program, DIET.EXE that can as much as double the amount of your available file space. To gain full advantage of DIET.EXE it needs to be memory-resident, installed into the DOS startup AUTOEXEC.BAT file (see Fall 1991 issue, page 18).

Various readers reported problems with using System-Manager compliant (.EXM) programs in conjunction with DIET. (See page 18 in this issue for a discussion of System Compliancy.)

Based on my experimentation, I have come up with a number of rules for ordering DOS commands in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file (whether or not AUTOEXEC.BAT includes the DIET command). These rules increase the chances of System-Manager-compliant software working in conjunction with TSR's (memory resident programs such as DIET).

Order of Commands:

This is the general order the commands in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file must be in. All drive letters should be upper case.

  1. 1. SET and PROMPT statements
  2. 2. PATH Statement
  3. 3. DIET
  4. 4. Other TSRs
  5. 5. PAUSE
  6. 6. $SYSMGR
If you still have problems with DIET, try the following.

  1. 1. Do not DIET any .EXM files until DIET is resident and AP NAME.LST is working.
  2. 2. If you are going to remove DIET and reboot you must decompress all .EXM files first.
  3. 3. Start with the following AUTOEXEC.BAT file:
echo off



echo Press CTRL-C to enter DOS

echo Press any key to enter SYSMGR

pause > nul


Verify that your System Manager hotkeys work. You must use upper case in your drive/path statements. If the hot keys do not work, delete APNAME.LST and retype it. Try again.

  1. 4. Add the following as the third line (between PATH and CLS)
diet -z -p

Reboot (press <Ctrl>-<Alt>-<Del>) and verify hotkeys.

  1. 5. Add any remaining commands one by one (after DIET but before CLS). Check hotkeys after each one.
  2. 6. If you find a problem try changing the order but only between the PATH and CLS statements.
  3. 7. If you still have an offending entry try prefacing it with COMMAND /C.
command /c diet -z -p

  1. 8. Once DIET is resident and all your hotkeys are working with your desired startup files you can then DIET EXM files.
  2. 9. As a last resort, if your System-Manger hot keys don't work, remove all TSRs from your AUTOEXEC.BAT, including the command $SYSMGR. Reboot and at the DOS command line enter the TSRs one at a time starting with DIET and ending with $SYSMGR. All of your hotkeys should now work.
Mark Scardina

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