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Windows doesn't want to set the screen buffer size

5 posts in this topic

I am trying to write some simplified wrappers around the Windows console functions in D. However, for some reason, whenever I try and use SetConsoleScreenBufferSize(), I keep getting error 87, which a quick look up under MSDN reveals to be "ERROR_INVALID_PARAMETER".

I have, pretty much, the simplest version of my test code that doesn't run:
module sample;
import std.c.windows.windows;
import std.conv;
import std.format;
import std.array;
import std.stdio;
alias HANDLE handle;
void main(){
throw new Exception("Unable to create new screen buffer. Error: " ~ text( GetLastError() ) );
COORD c = {60, 30};
// get the console window dims, to make sure this screen buffer is as large or larger
GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo( buff, csbi );
short width = cast(short)(csbi.srWindow.Right-csbi.srWindow.Left);
short height = cast(short)(csbi.srWindow.Bottom-csbi.srWindow.Top);
c.X = width;
c.Y = height;
// set the screen buffer size !!!<= THIS IS WHAT DOESN'T WORK!
if(SetConsoleScreenBufferSize( buff, c ) == 0){
auto err = GetLastError();
throw new Exception("Unable to set buffer dimensions. Error: " ~ text(err) );
SetConsoleTextAttribute( buff, defineAttr( Color.White|Color.Intensity, Color.Blue ) );
setCursor( buff, 2, 28 );
enum Color{ Black = 0, Blue = 1, Green = 2, Red = 4, White = 7, Intensity = 8 };
ushort defineAttr(Color fg = Color.Red|Color.Green|Color.Blue, Color bg = Color.Black){
ushort val;
if(fg & Color.Red)       val |= FOREGROUND_RED;
if(fg & Color.Green)     val |= FOREGROUND_GREEN;
if(fg & Color.Blue)      val |= FOREGROUND_BLUE;
if(fg & Color.Intensity) val |= FOREGROUND_INTENSITY;
if(bg & Color.Red)       val |= BACKGROUND_RED;
if(bg & Color.Green)     val |= BACKGROUND_GREEN;
if(bg & Color.Blue)      val |= BACKGROUND_BLUE;
if(bg & Color.Intensity) val |= BACKGROUND_INTENSITY;
return val;
void setCursor(handle n, short x, short y){
COORD c = {x, y};
SetConsoleCursorPosition( n, c );
I don't understand what this "invalid parameter" might be, so if anyone could shine a light on this, I would very much appreciate it.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, I have factored out nearly every function here, but the code is otherwise exactly as written. Also, I have tested on both a brand new screen buffer, as well as on the default, both to the same effect.

SOLVED: I ended up stealing the DOSBox code linked by aqrit.
The original link: http://sourceforge.net/p/dosbox/code-0/HEAD/tree/dosbox/trunk/src/debug/debug_win32.cpp

My implementation:
/// Shamelessly ripped from the DOSBox sources and adapted for D
void setBufferDims(handle n, short w, short h){
	assert(n != INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE, "invalid handle passed to setBufferDims()");
	COORD window_dims, win_coords;
	if(!GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo(n, &csbi))
		throw new Exception( "Unable to retrieve console screen buffer data. Error: "~text(GetLastError()) );
	// get console window size in cols and rows
	win_coords = GetLargestConsoleWindowSize( n );
	if(win_coords.X == 0 && win_coords.Y == 0)
		throw new Exception( "Unable to retrieve largest possible window coordinates: "~text(GetLastError()) );
	window_dims = csbi.dwSize;
	rect.Right  = cast(short)(min(w, win_coords.X)-1);
	rect.Bottom = cast(short)(min(h, win_coords.Y)-1);
	rect.Left = rect.Top = 0;
	win_coords.X = w;
	win_coords.Y = h;
	// if console is smaller than or equal to requested size
	if(csbi.dwSize.X * csbi.dwSize.Y > w * h){
		SetConsoleWindowInfo( n, true, &rect);
		SetConsoleScreenBufferSize( n, win_coords );
	if(csbi.dwSize.X * csbi.dwSize.Y < w * h){// otherwise
		// resize console, then buffer
		SetConsoleScreenBufferSize( n, win_coords );
		SetConsoleWindowInfo( n, true, &rect);
Is it wrong that I find it really cool that the D code is almost identical to its C/C++ origins? Edited by webwraith

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Have you tried printing out the values of c.X, c.Y, srWindow, dwSize, dwMaximumWindowSize, and so on? Obviously there is some kind of assumption you are making here that is not holding, I am guessing that it's not correct to take the width and height of the console viewport (srWindow) but that you should probably be using dwSize. In any case, what I would start doing is immediately feeding back the value of dwSize obtained by GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo back into SetConsoleScreenBufferSize which should, hopefully, succeed, as a sanity check. Then start tweaking parameters a bit to see what works and see if the results match your expectations.


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I don't know anything about D calling conventions, but according to Windows calling conventions, the COORD parameter should be passed in as a single LONG parameter (or LONGLONG for x64), because it fits in a single stack element, and it is not a reference/pointer parameter. If the above suggestions don't help, you should look into this.

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I was being confused by the fact that SMALL_RECTs specify, according to MSDN, the "rows and columns of screen-buffer character cells". I had thought it meant the number of columns and rows visible in the window, but apparently not


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