The description below is from the book DOS the
Easy Way by Everett Murdock Ph.D.
for information about downloading the book.
Type: Internal (2.0 and later)
Purpose: Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the number of disk
(a number from 1 to 99) that will be available for use during data
used to set a value for the number of sectors to be read in advance
during data input operations.
While conducting input and output operations, DOS stores information in
buffers so that it will be readily available when requested by an
The more buffers set in the CONFIG.SYS file with the BUFFERS command, the
DOS will be able to access the information requested. You should
determine the most efficient number of buffers for your computer and the
applications you are running. The same is true for determining the
number of read-ahead buffers. The read ahead buffers determine the
data DOS will read from the disk in addition to the data requested by the
For more information about the BUFFERS command, see Chapter 6, Tips for Advanced Users, in the downloadable book DOS the Easy Way.
number - Sets the number of disk buffers DOS should use (1 to 99). If
value is provided the default value (determined by the amount of memory
computer) will be used. Generally, if you have 512K of memory, the
read ahead - Sets the number of buffers in the secondary or read-ahead
DOS 5.0 allows values of 1 to 8 with 1 as the default. In DOS 6.0 you
can specify 0 to 8 with 0 as the default.
To set buffers to 20 and read-ahead buffers to 2 enter the following line
in your CONFIG.SYS file