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Scheduling tasks after booting from FreeDOS FDD image

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#1 sambul61


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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:18 PM

This question is inspired by Wonko the Sane's "eat banana" advice. :D Try this banana...

I know, its a bit of topic, but there are almost no DOS forums left on the web. I need to use a DOS floppy to diagnose my hard drives with Victoria for DOS (since its Win version works only via API instead of direct drive access). One diagnostic task would presume starting Victoria, making unattended screenshots of the visualized tested drive geometry every "n" min with Victoria, exiting Victoria upon completion and shutting down the PC. Btw, is it possible to make screenshots with a PC monitor switched Off - since a 2Gb drive test time can be 6+ hours?

There is extreme shortage of effective task schedulers for DOS. More, its not possible to (directly) set a time interval (say 2 min) to make the screenshots. I'm trying to use Cron 1.9 for DOS for the task (its a 1994 release !), but it fails miserably to offer time intervals. Any ideas guys, how to approach the issue? Better yet, any "ready-to-go" code to set a time interval in DOS (or find out if the set time interval already expired, hence the Screenshot task is due again)?

Another question would be, how to find out from Cron 1.9, if Victoria is still working (testing the drive) or already stopped and waiting? And how to find out from Cron, if Victoria still open or exited (if it can exit on its own)?

Edited by sambul61, 22 November 2010 - 06:58 PM.

#2 Sha0


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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:40 PM

I don't get it. In DOS, how would you run a program when another program's already running? There are TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident) programs which I believe typically hook BIOS INTerrupts in order to get "a turn at the wheel"... Is this CRON such a TSR?

Also, just curious: Why do you want screen-shots? Does the HDD tester not yield a final summary report?

And yes, a traditional monitor's power setting (on/off) should have no impact on your ability to take screen-shots.

#3 sambul61


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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:53 PM

Thanks. That's an interesting undertaking to test your own hard drives, especially if one with important files has suddenly failed. Try this, and you'll feel the task better, and deficiencies of the existing tools. In short, visual feedback in Victoria provides a lot more info that simply total number of bad sectors, offered at the end of testing. In fact, the feedback itself helps to accurately access why failure happen, and what to do next.

Regarding using Cron 1.9, it does seems to work, probably just sitting in memory and intercepting scheduled events to intervene. Look at its Readme for details. The task however is to determine if a set time interval already expired. Another task is if a given program already stopped processing or exited.

Edited by sambul61, 22 November 2010 - 07:20 PM.

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