Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Workaround for Help bug

Updated so you don't need to hard-code your preferred language.

There's a bug in the HELP.EXE program on FreeDOS 1.2. If you try to run Help with the language set to anything other than English, it hangs. I don't know why, but I haven't looked at the code. (I'm not the maintainer. But if you'd like to fix this bug, email me.)

Here's a simple workaround to get Help working on your system, regardless of what language you use:

1. Rename the HELP.EXE program
C:
CD \FDOS\BIN
REN HELP.EXE HHELP.EXE
2. Create a new HELP.BAT program
EDIT HELP.BAT
3. Add these lines to HELP.BAT
@ECHO OFF
SET OLDLANG=%LANG%
SET LANG=EN
C:\FDOS\BIN\HHELP.EXE
SET LANG=%OLDLANG%
4. Save and exit

This workaround is a "wrapper" that always sets the language to English before running the Help command. Here, I've renamed the HELP.EXE program to HHELP.EXE, so it will show up next to HELP.BAT when you view the directory.

Note that in DOS, batch files (*.BAT) are just shortcuts to what you would type at the command line. So in HELP.BAT, you need to save your language so you can set it back to whatever you usually use, or it will remain English.

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