NewDeal Technical Support Document 246


What to do if you get the error message, Critical Error: General Failure

If you are not using the newest version of our software and you are having trouble with "Critical Error: General Failure" error messages, call NewDeal customer service to order an upgrade.

What does the error mean?

The Critical Error: General Failure message has its roots in DOS. Your NewDeal software is trying to perform a DOS operation, such as reading or writing files to your disk drives, and DOS can't perform the operation before it "times out" and reports the operation has failed. If you receive the error, you can usually press "A" to abort and continue using New Deal. Although the error message is innocuous, it's annoying if you see it frequently.

The suggestions below are organized by the situation that causes the error. If you haven't noticed a pattern to the errors, try all of the suggestions.

Opening a New Document

If you get this error message when you try to open a new document, it is possible that NewDeal is trying to open an old, upgraded 1.x document when you click on New. Close all open applications and go to NewManager. Go to the Document directory. Delete or rename any files named "New Document," "New Drawing," "Draw Untitled," or "Write Untitled."


NewDeal may be trying to auto-save the file before DOS can finish opening the file. Launch Preferences, go into Look and Feel, and either turn Document Safeguarding OFF or change the interval to 5 minutes or more.

Smart Drive (SMARTDRV)

Some users have reported that turning off the SMARTDRV disk caching program eliminated the errors. Edit your AUTOEXEC.BAT file and put the word REM at the beginning of the line that refers to SMARTDRV (often the first line in the file). Also look in your CONFIG.SYS file for a line referring to SMARTDRV, and place REM at the beginning of that line, too. Reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.

Share Table problems

SHARE.EXE is a program loaded in either your AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS files that may cause the error messages. Some programs, particular network software, require that you install SHARE. If you don't think you need to use SHARE.EXE for any of your other software programs, try placing the word REM at the beginning of the line that refers to SHARE.EXE in your CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

If you do need to load SHARE.EXE, try decreasing the /f: parameter in the Share line to /f:2048 and then reboot your computer.

If you don't have a /f: parameter in your SHARE.EXE line, add /f:2048 at the end of the line. If you still see the errors, try lowering the /f:2048 value to /f:1024 or /f:512.

The lower you make the number, the fewer errors you will get. However, certain programs require a minimum setting. You may need to experiment until you find a good balance.

MS-DOS 4.01

If you are using MS-DOS 4.01, you must load SHARE.EXE because DOS 4.01 automatically loads it. You may be able to decrease the frequency of the error messages by editing your CONFIG.SYS file and changing the /f: parameter in your SHARE line to /f:2048.

If you don't have a /f: parameter in your Share line, you are already loading SHARE.EXE with /f:2048, which is the default setting. Try adding /f:1024 or /f:512 to the end of the line. The lower you make the number, the fewer errors you will get. However, certain programs require a minimum setting. Experiment until you find a good balance.

If you don't see a SHARE line in your CONFIG.SYS file, add this line:

and experiment with lowering the /f: number.

If nothing helps, you may need to upgrade your DOS version, and then disable SHARE as in the above section, Share Table Problems.

Disk Compression

Using disk compression software, such as DoubleSpace or Stacker, may cause the error messages. Run any utilities you have to check the integrity of your compressed drives.

If you compressed the hard disk after you installed NewDeal, try re-installing the program onto the compressed drive.

If you are using DR-DOS SuperStor, read the section Older Versions of DR-DOS below.

Reading and Writing to Drives

Edit your GEOS.INI file. In the [system] section, add lines for your floppy drives as follows:
drive x = nnnn
where x is the drive letter and nnnn is the drive type, as follows: After adding lines for each of your floppy drives, add the following lines:
drive c = 65535
waitpost = false


Don't tile your windows in NewManager

Some users have reported fewer error messages when NewManager is displaying only one subdirectory at a time.

Try using NewManager's "Minimize on Run" feature. From the Options menu, select Minimize on Run. If this helps the problem, make the setting permanent by choosing Save Options from the Options menu.

Swap File too Small

Open Preferences and click on the NewDOS button. Under Page Size, increase the number 2048 to 4096. Under Max File Size, increase the number 2048 to 4096.

Older Versions of DR-DOS

If you have DR-DOS 6.0, make sure you are using the May 1992 Business Upgrade release of DR-DOS 6.0. If you are, most of the files in your DR DOS directory are dated 4/92. If you are using a different release, obtain the May 1992 Business Upgrade release of DR-DOS 6.0 or consider upgrading to a newer version of DR-DOS (available from Caldera's web site).


Some customers report that adding the following line to their CONFIG.SYS file helps.
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Last Modified 17 Feb 1999