Q&A: Windows Basics – Part 2


Hi

Here I’m with 4 windows files which we generally go thorugh while dealing with build or application configurations.

I hope this post will help you to refresh your knowledge about these files.

1.What is Autoexec.bat.What is the use of this?

 AUTOEXEC.BAT is a system file found originally on the MS-DOS operating system. It is a plain-text batch file that is located in the root directory of the boot device. The name of the file stands for “automatic execution”, which describes its function in automatically executing commands on system startup.

AUTOEXEC.BAT is read upon startup by all versions of DOS, including MS-DOS version 7.x as used in Windows 95 and Windows 98. Windows Me only parses environment variables as part of its attempts to reduce legacy dependencies, but this can be worked around.

Under DOS, the file is executed once the operating system has booted and after the CONFIG.SYS file has been processed. Windows NT and its descendants Windows XP and Windows Vista parse AUTOEXEC.BAT when a user logs on. As with Windows Me, anything other than setting environment variables is ignored. Unlike CONFIG.SYS, the commands in AUTOEXEC.BAT can be entered at the interactive command line interpreter. They are just standard commands that the computer operator wants to be executed automatically whenever the computer is started, and can include other batch files.

AUTOEXEC.BAT is most often used to set environment variables such as keyboard, soundcard, printer, and temporary file locations. It is also used to initiate low level system utilities.

2.What is CONFIG.SYS  file?

CONFIG.SYS  is the primary configuration file for the DOS and OS/2 operating systems. It is a special file that contains setup or configuration instructions for the computer system.

The commands in this file configure DOS for use with devices and applications in the system. The commands also set up the memory managers in the system. After processing the CONFIG.SYS file, DOS proceeds to load and execute the command shell specified in the shell= line of CONFIG.SYS, or COMMAND.COM if there is no such line. The command shell in turn is responsible for processing the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

CONFIG.SYS is composed mostly of name=value statements which look like variable assignments. In fact these will either define some tunable parameters often resulting in reservation of memory, or load files, mostly TSRs and device drivers, into memory.

3.What is System.ini file?

SYSTEM.INI was a basic INI file used in early versions of Microsoft Windows to load device drivers and the default Windows shell (Program Manager or Windows Explorer). Many of these settings were honored in Windows 9x, although the files had begun to be phased out in favor of the Windows registry. Windows XP still acknowledges some entries in the SYSTEM.INI file, to provide backwards compatibility with older 16-bit applications. However, when a fresh install of XP is performed, the SYSTEM.INI file created is initially blank.

Microsoft bundles two specialized editors for core configuration files (such as WIN.INI, SYSTEM.INI, CONFIG.SYS, and AUTOEXEC.BAT) with its operating systems. Sysedit is an MDI text editor that opens all of those files simultaneously, available in all versions of Windows since Windows 3.x. MSConfig is a simpler application that allows a user to enable and disable drivers and applications from being loaded at startup by the aforementioned files and the Run, RunEx, and RunOnce registry keys.

4.What  is WIN.INI file?

WIN.INI is a basic INI file that was used in versions of the Microsoft Windows operating environment up to Windows 3.11 to store basic settings at boot time. By default, all font, communications drivers, wallpaper, screen saver, and language settings were stored in WIN.INI by Windows 3.x. Many of these settings were honored in Windows 9x, although the files had begun to be phased out in favor of the Windows registry. Windows XP still acknowledges some entries in the WIN.INI file, to provide backwards compatibility with older 16-bit applications. However, when a fresh install of XP is performed, the WIN.INI file created is initially blank. Also there is a WIN.INI file in Windows Vista.

Prior to Windows 3.0, it was not uncommon for applications to store their configuration settings inside WIN.INI. With the release of Windows 3.0 in 1990, Microsoft introduced the concept of “private” INI files, and some new application programming interface calls so that applications could store their settings in their own files. Today Microsoft recommends using the registry for settings.

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