HTML'ized version of the ABMC.exe Readme file.
Using MCATEST to view Above Board MC ROM error messages
If the Above Board MC ROM displays an error or warning message, you can run
MCATEST to view the message at your convenience. MCATEST will automatically
display any Above Board MC ROM error or warning messages.
Installing an Above Board with an IBM Token Ring Adapter
A memory conflict may occur when an Above Board is installed in a system
with an IBM Token Ring board. The IBM Token Ring is compatible with the Above
Board 2, Above Board 2 Plus, Above Board MC, and Above Board MC32. The Above
Board MC32 and the Token Ring boards can be installed by following the normal
instructions. However, if your Above Board is configured as expanded memory and
you're installing a Token Ring, you must take steps to eliminate conflicts.
Once you've installed the Above Board, there are two ways to configure the
Token Ring and Above Board so they don't conflict. To decide which is best for
your computer, boot with your computer's Reference Diskette and select the
options to "Set Configuration" and "Change Configuration."
- Use option 1 if you have a board (other than the Token Ring) using
addresses that begin with "C".
- Use option 2 if you have a board (other than the Token Ring) using
addresses that begin with "D".
- Boot with your computer's Reference Diskette.
- Use the "Change Configuration" option to reposition the "Packet Buffer RAM
Address" from the default value D8000 to C4000 (or C8000 if there's a conflict
at C4000). Leave the "ROM Address" for the Token Ring board at CC000.
- Press F10 to save the configuration. Exit the Reference disk program, then
boot to a DOS diskette.
- Edit your CONFIG.SYS file and make these modifications:
- Add " ,C400" (or C800 if that's the address you used in step 3) to the
DXMC0MOD.SYS command line. You must add a space in front of the comma.
- Save the new CONFIG.SYS file.
- Reboot the computer and you're finished.
- Boot with your computer's Reference Diskette.
- Use the "Change Configuration" option to reposition the "ROM Address" for
the Token Ring board from the default value CC000 to DC000. Leave the "Packet
Buffer RAM Address" at D8000.
- Press F10 to save the configuration. Exit the Reference disk program and
About the Above Board MC ROM
The Above Board MC ROM configures the memory on all Above Board 2, 2 Plus,
and Above Board MC boards each time you boot your computer. The "ROM" is
actually an EEPROM that can be updated by the SOFTSET program. SOFTSET will
update the executable code in the Above Board MC ROM if there are future
revisions (all you need is a copy of the new ROM.DAT file). SOFTSET also stores
your Above Board configuration in the Above Board MC ROM so that the ROM knows
how to set up your memory.
Above Board Expanded Memory conflicts
The Above Board Expanded Memory Manager (EMM.SYS) can conflict with ROM or
RAM that is on another add-in board.
EMM.SYS searches reserved memory from C000 to DFFF to find unused pages. EMM
needs at least four 16K-byte pages of contiguous memory, but will use as many
free pages as it finds.
If your computer contains a ROM that isn't active at start-up, EMM may
assume the page is free for its own use and a conflict will occur. In this
case, you must use one of the exclude page parameters on the EMM command
You can tell EMM where to start its free page search, where to end its free
page search, or to exclude a specific page. The third option leaves EMM free to
search for any unused pages. Use this method when using Quarterdeck's QRAM, so
the extra pages can be used to load device drivers or TSRs into high
To exclude a page, use the EP parameter to specify the page or range of
pages that EMM should not use. For example, to exclude the pages from C000 up
to C800, edit your CONFIG.SYS file to add EP=C000-C7FF to the EMM command line
as shown in the following example:
Device = EMM.SYS MOD65 EP=C000-C7FF
To specify an address where EMM should begin it's free page search, edit
your CONFIG.SYS file and add the parameter EXPF=D000 to the DEVICE=EMM.SYS
line. Check your Above Board manual for other starting and ending
Microsoft Windows 3.0
Above Boards are compatible with Microsoft Windows 3.0.
For 386 enhanced mode in a 386-based machine, set your Above Board for all
extended memory. A minimum of 2MB of memory is needed to run Windows in this
mode. Windows 3.0 provides expanded memory for applications that run under
Windows. You can install Microsoft's EMM386.SYS to provide expanded memory for
your applications that need expanded memory but don't run under Windows.
For standard mode in a 286 machine, you can set your Above Board for both
extended and expanded memory if needed. A minimum of 256K of extended memory is
required to run Windows in this mode. Be sure EMM.SYS is BEFORE HIMEM.SYS in
EMM requires a minimum 64K-byte page frame to supply expanded memory for
applications. QRAM will use any extra 16K-byte pages (beyond the 64K-byte page
frame that EMM uses) to load device drivers and TSRs out of conventional
memory. The pages QRAM uses are dedicated to what is loaded into them. QRAM
will report "Nothing useful to do" if there are no extra pages.
If there are no extra pages available, you can configure QRAM to use EMM's
page frame. This page frame could then be used only to load drivers or TSRs
into high memory. In this case, there would be no expanded memory available for
applications, so a choice must be made between having more conventional memory
and any expanded memory.
If you have problems with a program that uses expanded memory, remove QRAM
to see if the problem persists.
Notes on MCATEST and CHKMEM
CHKMEM doesn't count all of the extended memory
When certain memory-resident programs (such as SMARTDRIVE, IBMCache and
PC-Kwik) are installed, CHKMEM reports less than the total amount of extended
memory in the computer. The difference between the total memory in the computer
and the amount that CHKMEM reports is equal to the amount that the resident
programs are using.
With Microsoft's HIMEM.SYS installed, CHKMEM will report 0K-bytes of
CHKMEM and OS/2
CHKMEM reports "no extended memory available" when run in OS/2's
compatibility box, even when the Above Board is working and providing extended
memory. This is because OS/2 reserves all extended memory for itself, so none
is available when CHKMEM looks for extended memory.
Check your OS/2 documentation for directions on how to see the extended
memory amount available in your system.
CHKMEM shows no expanded memory
This problem means another device driver or program is conflicting with EMM.
Check the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files for other device drivers. Other EMM
drivers, such as DEVICE=VEM.SYS for a program called Above Disk, are
incompatible with EMM.
Computer Type to select for non-IBM computers
If you have a non-IBM computer, select the "Model 70" system type option in
SOFTSET. Selecting the "Other" option will cause EMM to ignore all parity
errors and is not recommended.
Setting up the Above Board MC in NCR and Tandy computers
If you are installing the Above Board MC in an NCR or Tandy computer, use
the following installation instructions. Boot with your computer's Reference
Diskette. Select "Configuration" from the Main Menu, then "Automatic" so your
computer will recognize the Above Board MC. Select "Change" on the
Configuration Menu and select the Above Board MC to configure the board for
The Above Board ROM could not read drive C: to check for an Above Board iADF
The Above Board MC ROM displays this error message when it cannot read drive
C. This happens when the Above Board MC ROM address is lower than the disk
controller ROM address (for example, if the Above Board MC ROM is located at
C800 and the disk controller ROM is at DC00). Be sure you have run SOFTSET.
This will remove any unneeded Above Board iADF file, but you will see this
message as long as the Above Board MC ROM executes before the disk controller
ROM. You can use your computer's Reference Diskette to move the ROMs for these
two boards to eliminate this warning message. Use one of the following methods
(the method you should use depends on your disk controller type):
- If you can change the disk controller's ROM address using your computer's
Reference Diskette, move it to an address below the address used by the Above
Board MC ROM. For example, if the Above Board MC ROM is located at CC00, move
the disk controller ROM to C800.
- If you can't change the disk controller ROM address using your computer's
Reference Diskette but you have the option to disable it, then disable the disk
controller ROM and move the Above Board MC ROM to the highest available address
(usually DC00). Enable the disk controller ROM again. This should force the
disk controller ROM to an address below the Above Board MC ROM.
- If the disk controller ROM address can't be changed and you can't disable
the disk controller using your computer's Reference Diskette, then follow these
- Power down the system
- Remove the disk controller
- Boot with your computer's Reference Diskette and change the Above Board MC
ROM address to the highest available address (usually DC00 -- if there is a
conflict at DC00, choose the next lower Above Board MC ROM address until you
find a value which does not cause a conflict).
- Power down the system
- Re-install the disk controller
- Boot with your computer's Reference Diskette. Answer 'N' to the question
"Automatically configure the system? (Y/N)." Choose "Set configuration" from
the Main Menu. Choose "Change configuration" from the submenu. Verify that the
system setup shown is correct and press F10 to save the configuration.
The Above Board MC ROM should now execute after the disk controller ROM,
and the warning message should no longer appear.
DOS 4.0 BUFFERS /X and SOFTSET
If you are using the BUFFERS /X command under DOS 4.0, you may have a
conflict if SOFTSET needs to program the Above Board MC ROM. Remove the "/X"
from the BUFFERS command in your CONFIG.SYS file before running SOFTSET.