The US Census Bureau

Electronic Product User Note

Software downloads information

This site contains tips for running software on CD-ROM discs and software updates.

DOS software
Windows software
Networking information

DOS software

DOS software downloads, with few exceptions, consist of a self-extracting file that contains several compressed files. One of these files includes information about using the software and the reason(s) for the revision. You may want to verify that the software file(s) you download have a later date than the ones on your disc. This is especially true for discs that are issued frequently (monthly or yearly).

Make sure that you always start Census Bureau DOS software by invoking GO.BAT. The batch file GO.BAT passes parameters to the Application program.

Syntax for GO.BAT

GO CD-ROM drive letter LAN

The CD-ROM drive letter parameter is included when the software application file being run is not on the same drive as the data files being accessed. The version of GO.bat from the drive and folder where the software update or patch is copied should be run if you have downloaded a software update. The LAN parameter enables the software to run multi-user.


If GO.BAT and the updated DOS application file it calls up are on the C drive while the data files they access are on a CD-ROM disc in the D drive, the syntax would be


The LAN parameter is used to tell the DOS application to run in multi-user mode and open the data files for shared access. If you are not networking the software, do not include the LAN parameter unless you are running Windows/NT. An example is


DOS error 4 message

Edit a copy of the GO.BAT file as follows

Change f:29 to f:xx where xx is the number FILES is set to in the config.sys or config.nt file.

Use of conventional memory by DOS programs

Most DOS programs require at least 450K of free conventional memory. Some newer DOS programs such as County City Data Book and USA Counties require at least 520K of free conventional memory.

Installing Windows software

Click on Start, then Programs, then File Find and search for a file called SETUP.EXE on your CD-ROM and double click on it with the left mouse button.

To complete installation only for programs where an icon called BDE Configuration appears, execute the "BDE Configuration Utility" and set MAXFILEHANDLES to 255, DEFAULT DRIVER to DBASE and LANGDRIVER to DBASE ENU cp437 on the system page. On the drivers page, make sure that under Driver Name, DBASE is highlighted. Set LANGDRIVER to DBASE ENU cp437 if that is not the current setting. Click on File and then Save to save new configuration. This is a one-time only process.

Networking software

All DOS software programs can be run multi-user with the exception of 1990 STF1C. Most, but not all, Windows software programs can be networked. The Census 2000 Data Engine software on Census 2000 Summary File discs can not be networked.

You can copy DOS software or install Windows software to a central place such as a server. If you experience problems, make sure that each client workstation has write access to the folder or directory on the server where the software resides. If you still experience problems, make sure file as well as folder permissions are set to write access. For DOS software, remember to use the LAN parameter as described above.

Windows/NT server

Does the software run correctly on Windows/NT workstations but not Windows 95 workstations? Be sure all file permissions (in addition to folder permissions) allow the clients to use them. It is possible the user logged in to the domain via the NT WorkStation has rights to the files.

Only as a last resort, install software on each client machine. The data files can still be accessed by multiple users this way. There should be no noticable speed dropoff from exclusive use to shared use.

Electronic Products Development Branch
Administrative and Customer Services Division
U.S. Census Bureau

Last Updated: