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Running Census DOS Software in Windows

The following procedures are intended to be used in the event of runtime errors only.

Windows XP

The following modifications to GO.bat will need to be made. These modifications have been saved to a file named GOXP.bat in the updates on the 1990 census tech support page.

GO.bat before modifications:

echo off
STF3A %1 %2 //f:29 //swappath:'C:\' //e:0

GO.bat after modifications:

echo off
set clipper=e0
STF3A %1 %2 //f:50 //swappath:'C:\temp' //e:0

The set clipper=e0 command instructs the DOS software to not use any available expanded memory. The //swappath:'C:\temp' parameter instructs the DOS software to create swap files in an existing directory named C:\temp (the directory name C:\temp was chosen as an example). This needs to be done because Windows XP does not allow write access to the root directory. The files parameter as seen in //f:50 should match the value of files declared in CONFIG.NT. The last step is optional. If you do not get a "DOS error 4" message, you should not have to alter the files parameter.

Windows/NT and later versions

Add the following line to CONFIG.NT


The parameter value above is a guideline only.

CONFIG.NT is an ASCII text file in a subdirectory called \%systemroot%\System32 where systemroot is a enviornmental variable. Enviormental variables can be displayed with the set command in DOS.

Is the software creating empty output files (no records)?
Start the program with the command GO LAN.

Windows 95

Make sure that CONFIG.SYS contains the following lines:


The above parameter values are guidelines only. Only DOS programs are affected by the above settings.

Get a "reboot your PC in MS-DOS mode" message?
Right click on GO.bat to create a Windows shortcut to GO.bat. Right click on the new shortcut next. Select Properties and then click on the Program tab. Click on Advanced and make sure MS-DOS mode is not checked. Check Prevent MS-DOS-based programs from detecting Windows and Suggest MS-DOS mode as necessary.

More on Census Bureau DOS programs.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Administrative and Customer Services Division | (301) 763-7710 |  Last Revised: February 13, 2013