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KnowledgeBase (KB) Archived MedARKS Topic
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When a DOS program opens any file (a data file, an index file, a memo file, a text file or another program file), the operating system assigns an identifier called a 'file handle'. The number of file handles available to DOS is fixed at a value that you specify when your computer is started. If you fail to specify a number, then DOS automatically sets the maximum number of file handles at a value of 40. To specify a higher value, you must include a line in the file that determines the configuration of your computer when it starts. For Windows 95 and 98, this file is the CONFIG.SYS file. For Windows 2000 and XP, the file is the CONFIG.NT file.
Attempting to simultaneously open more files than the number of available file handles causes the operating system (DOS) to generate an error message. MedARKS receives this error from the operating system, reports that you have too many files open and then terminates. At times, MedARKS will have more than 100 files open simultaneously, so it is critical that you edit your CONFIG.SYS or CONFIG.NT file to increase the number of available file handles. Trying to run with the default number of file handles will cause MedARKS to shutdown with this error on a regular basis. It is recommended that your computer have 120 file handles available for the MedARKS program.
Editing the CONFIG.SYS or CONFIG.NT file:
As stated above, you specify the maximum number of file handles in the CONFIG.SYS or CONFIG.NT file by including the following line of text:
Files = 120
The easiest means to edit your CONFIG.SYS or CONFIG.NT file is with the Notepad program that is supplied with Windows®. With Windows 3®, open the accessories program group and start the Notepad program. If you are using Windows 95, ® 98, 2000 or XP®, click on 'Start', 'Programs', 'Accessories' and then start the Notepad program.
Once Notepad is running, click on 'File' (menu at top of the Notepad window) and then 'Open' on the drop down menu. To open CONFIG.SYS, in the 'File name' area, type in the entry:
If you are using Windows 2000, to open CONFIG.NT, in the 'File name' area, type in the entry:
If you are using Windows XP, to open CONFIG.NT, in the 'File name' area, type in the entry:
Click on the 'Open' button to open the file. Now look for a line of text that starts with 'Files =' and if the number that follows is less than 120, edit this text so that the number of files is 120. If your CONFIG.SYS or CONFIG.NT file does not have the 'Files =' line of text, then you will have to add the entire line. Go to the bottom of any existing text and add the 'files = 120' as a new line of text (without the quotes).
To save these changes to the CONFIG.SYS or CONFIG.NT file, click on 'File' (menu at top of the Notepad window) and then 'Save' on the drop down menu. The new file handle setting will not take effect until your computer has been restarted, so follow your normal shutdown procedure and then restart your computer. This should resolve the 'Too many files open' error in MedARKS.
Note for Novell® Networks:
If you are using MedARKS on a Novell® network, and you continue to receive this error message even though your CONFIG.SYS file is correct, then the problem may be with the network operating system, rather than with DOS. Older network drivers for the Novell® network operating system required that the number of file handles available to the network operating system also had to be specified in a separate file, rather than just in the CONFIG.SYS file. With an older Novell® system, you may need to also locate or create a SHELL.CFG file to allow the network operating system to open enough files to run the MedARKS program (the CONFIG.SYS file still needs to contain the 'Files = 120' line). The SHELL.CFG file needs to include the line:
File handles = 120
Unlike the problems with the CONFIG.SYS, a requirement for a SHELL.CFG file is a rare problem. It has only been seen with older Novell networks, so consult with your network administrator if you think that this is the cause of your problems when running the MedARKS program.
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