Daqarta for DOS Contents



Free Registration

Contact Us
Daqarta for DOS
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
Shareware for Legacy Systems
(Use Daqarta for Windows with modern systems)

From the Daqarta for DOS Help system:


NOTE: This section is normally part of the README.TXT file that comes with Daqarta, not part of the Help system, since it deals with what to do in the event that you can't even get Daqarta started.

If you have trouble getting Daqarta to run on your system, check these areas first:

When running from a Windows 9x shortcut, the screen goes blank and then the system immediately restarts.

If you are running with the "Standard" DOS configuration, the Windows 9x shortcut automatically does a complete system restart on exit from Daqarta (or any other DOS-mode program run this way). But if the program exits immediately with an error message due to some problem (see below), the system restart will overwrite the message and you won't be able to tell what's wrong.

To avoid this situation, make sure that everything is set up properly before creating the shortcut. Use the Restart in MS-DOS option from the Shut Down menu as discussed above under Windows 95/98 Installation.

An alternate approach is to create a batch file that actually runs Daqarta, with a PAUSE command as the last line in the file. Then create the Windows 9x shortcut to point to the batch file instead of to Daqarta itself. After Daqarta exits, either from a normal Quit or from an error, you will be prompted to 'Press any key to continue...', giving you a chance to read any messages before the system restarts.

SYMPTOM: Screen goes blank. No logo or error messages.

CHECK: Wait about 10 seconds, then hit the Q-key twice. If this restores the DOS prompt, you have a video system problem:

Daqarta will run on a VGA monochrome monitor, but NOT on an old original MDA-type monochrome monitor. Some EGA cards allow these old monitors to be used with other software by emulation: They present the appearance of an EGA to the software, but they convert the EGA signals to monochrome format. Unfortunately, they often utilize the Non-Maskable Interrupt (NMI) to do this. Daqarta turns off the NMI (despite its name, it CAN be turned off) to prevent these video operations from interfering with data collection, since the NMI would otherwise be given highest priority.

Daqarta may run perfectly fine on one of these systems, except for one small detail: No video! Hitting the Q-key twice just gives the normal Daqarta Quit command and confirmation.

Some systems, such as the ATI EGA Wonder, will work OK. Colors are shown as shades of gray (or green or amber depending on the monitor), but they are limited to only 8 shades (actually seven plus black) instead of the normal 16 colors used by Daqarta. If you wish to use one of these systems, you will need to experiment with palettes to get the best results.

If hitting the Q-key twice does NOT restore the DOS prompt, then there is some serious system incompatibility. Please contact Interstellar Research, describing your system as completely as possible: Processor, manufacturer, model, video card, etc. and send along your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files as well.

SYMPTOM: Error message shown, no logo.


'Protected mode not supported.'

This is the most common error. Daqarta will not run in protected mode, since that not only imposes a performance penalty, but also allows your data to be corrupted by incoming E-mail announcements, etc. The usual cause of this error is attempting to run Daqarta from Windows via the "MS-DOS" icon or equivalent.

If you are using Windows 95, the solution is simply to add a shortcut icon that goes directly to "real" DOS, as described above under Windows 95 Installation.

A more difficult protected mode problem arises if you try to use a memory manager like EMM386 or QEMM386. These normally allow you to free up memory in the lower 640K DOS memory region by "mapping" it to extended memory above 1 MB. Since they must run in protected mode to do this, Daqarta balks.

To fix this, you will need to remove (or REM out) the memory manager from your CONFIG.SYS file, and replace any subsequent DEVICEHIGH= lines with ordinary DEVICE= lines. Save the file and reboot. If this fixes the problem, you will need to consider if you really needed the memory manager in the first place: If your other applications run under Windows, you may not need it at all, since Windows provides its own memory management.

Otherwise, consider a commercial boot manager or a simple batch file which selects different CONFIG.SYS files and reboots. See the section on Network Incompatibilty for detailed instructions.

'WARNING: Corrupted program file!'

Indicates some problem in file transfer. Although file transfer problems can arise, it is very unlikely that you will see this message since bad transfers are usually caught by the transfer program.

'System timer failure.'

You may have a hardware timer problem on your mother board. Highly unlikely.

'EGA requires at least 256K video RAM.'

Some early EGA cards had only 64K or 128K of RAM. You must either upgrade the RAM, or get a new card. All VGA (and SVGA) cards have at least 256K.

'MDA / CGA video not supported.'

Sorry! You must have EGA or better.

In the unlikely case that you have a CGA monitor connected to an EGA or dual-connector VGA card, Daqarta may not be able to tell that it's not a true EGA system and will attempt to run... with disastrous video results. Wait several seconds for the "normal" start-up sequence to complete (even though it certainly won't look normal!) and then hit the Q-key twice to exit Daqarta. You must have at least EGA capability to run Daqarta.

Screen initially goes blank for a second or so and then starts in the middle of the logo animation sequence.

Your monitor may be slow to adapt to the initial video mode change... more likely with new Energy Star ("green") monitors.

If you want to see the full logo sequence, use a single digit parameter on the command line when invoking Daqarta to specify the number of additional seconds to keep the logo on the screen before starting the animation. For example:

 DQA 2
will add 2 seconds for monitor mode-change recovery time.
Logo displays and zooms away OK, but then the "return beam" doesn't dissolve into the Daqarta name and copyright text properly.

There may be a VGA compatibility problem. Set the V:v option on the INIT line of the DQA.CFG file to use the video BIOS functions for color palette changes, instead of Daqarta's own fast hardware-direct functions.

Logo and dissolve are OK, but then system hangs.

The first thing to suspect is something in your DQA.CFG file. Have you changed it from the default file that came with Daqarta?

Specific errors here should be reported by Daqarta, but if they are not, or the system hangs up, try running again with no DQA.CFG. (Rename it to CFG.BAK or something.) If Daqarta now runs, look at the entries in DQA.CFG, making sure they are on the proper lines. See the complete description in the Help system.

'No DAC or Dig Out support found.'

This message is given by the STIM3A (or STIM3) module if your .ADC driver doesn't support simultaneous DAC or Dig Out output along with ADC input (called "full-duplex"). The only drivers that allow this are SB16.ADC, LPTX.ADC (except with M:SAR), and drivers for various lab-type boards. (DEMO.ADC emulates DAC and Dig Out, so it works fine.)

In particular, you can't use STIM3A or STIM3 with SBPRO.ADC, since the original SB Pro never supported full duplex operation. Newer cards that claim 'SB Compatible' emulate the SB Pro (some of them well enough to run with the SBPRO.ADC driver), but even though they may also support full-duplex operation, that is a separate 'native' mode that is not part of the emulation.

ESS.ADC is an example of a driver that uses the SB Pro emulation mode, but does not allow full-duplex. It does, however, include some enhancements like 16-bit operation.

Try running Daqarta on a "clean" system for diagnosis only, with no or minimal CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. The simplest way to do this is to format a floppy using the /S option to install the operating system, then copy DQA.EXE to that floppy and boot from it.

If Daqarta STILL won't run, or if it now runs but you can't determine the problem in your normal configuration, contact Interstellar Research. Please indicate the machine you are using: Processor, manufacturer, model, video card, etc. and send along your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files as well.

We respond to ALL inquiries, typically within 24 hours.


Questions? Comments? Contact us!

We respond to ALL inquiries, typically within 24 hrs.
25 Years of Innovative Instrumentation
© Copyright 1999 - 2006 by Interstellar Research