Going the Total Retro – Solving SQLPME V1.2.1 Problems with Oracle V5.1.17.4 on MSDOS

Did it. At last I managed to install Oracle V5.1.17.4 on MSDOS 6.22 under VMware Server 1.04. You probably think I am nuts. As someone said on our way home from Miracle Open World: “I would spend my time learning Oracle 11g”. Maybe. The person who said it, by the way, is an Oracle trainer, so what would I expect…

I / we (Bert Jan Meinders, an old colleague of mine) did our first attempt almost 1, 1 1/2 years ago. Our first attempt was based on VMware GSX software after we succesfully installed Oracle 4.1 on MSDOS. This was the first time (and until now the last time) I saw a total crash of VMware software. Oracle V5 was shipped under DOS with a memory manager called SQLPME (SQL Protected Mode Executive) V1.2.1.

This memory manager made extended memory available for use of Oracle software (database, forms etc), this way it could cross the 640 Kb boundary of conventional memory.

SQLPME was aggressive enough with its peeking and poking in memory that it crashed the VMware GSX environment at the time. Under VMware Server 1.04 it just hung itself up / nothing happened.

SQLPME crash

Click on the image to enlarge

VMware Server 1.04 been released a little while ago, so I thought, why not, maybe its time for another go…

What made my day, was a small post on the internet called: Toshiba, Technical Support Bulletin: T5100 Rom Rev. 2.0 or Earlier and Oracle

This mentioned a small setting about a special machine sqlpme setting: sqlpme -m2

I still have no idea what the “-m2″ really meant, but I guess this is / was a way to distinct between 286 and 386 architectures. There is also still documentation out there (to my surprise) regarding sqlplme settings. Most of it is based on Oracle 6 technology, though the following, in Russian written, documentation / piece of text looks actually like it contains Oracle V5 based information: ch-01-02 (ORACLE RDBMS for MS-DOS Getting Started Version 5.1B).

By setting this parameter hardcoded, that is I protected the “oracle.bat” file with an attrib +r command, this time the installation of the Oracle software almost went fluently (OK, not completely fluent but I have it working now).

Oracle.bat Content for Oracle Version 5

Click on the image to enlarge

OK, long story short. It works and all the available software to me, is installed, as the following pictures should prove.


PROTCHK Extended Memory Environment Check Program

Database warm started via “IOR WARM”

No UFI - SQL*Plus introduces itself

No UFI – SQL*Plus introduces itself

SGI - Reporting the SGA details

SGI – Reporting the SGA details

SQL*Forms V2.0.18.17 in full ANSI color

SQL*Forms V2.0.18.17 in full ANSI color

Expand - Adding a “TOOLS” datafile to the Database

Expand – Adding a “TOOLS” datafile to the Database

“Oracle Open World” beat this…

I know, I am nuts… and I hope I find the time to completely document the installation steps for Oracle V5.1.17.4 on MSDOS 6.22 in a VMware machine. For all those who want to ask… No, I can not and will not send you the software because it (still) is licensed. Sorry.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the pictures.



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