I want to install MS DOS 6.22 as a guest os under VMWARE. I have a bootable msdos.iso file. When I try to create a new guest using this image file VMWARE successfully boots from this file and gives an A:\ prompt. Doing a DIR shows all the expected files. I then run FDISK which runs successfully. When finished it says system will now restart and to insert MSDOS disk in drive A: The guest os then boots but tries to boot from the new C: drive which hasn't yet got an os as it hasn't been formatted using FORMAT c: /s.

How can I install MS-DOS onto the hard disk of the guest. How do I make VMWARE boot from the msdos.iso image file again so that I can format the C: drive. What am I missing here please.

  • 2
    Is this about using VMWare or installing DOS? DOS never came on install CDs so you don't have an official copy and no one knows which CD image you have and how to use it.
    – Justme
    Commented Jun 4 at 15:02
  • I have 'official' MS-DOS floppy disks - but no physical floppy drive with my laptop! So I downloaded an MS-DOS .iso image which is the format required by VMWARE for an install file. This allows VMWARE to create a new guest MS-DOS and gives an A: prompt. But when you need to reboot after using FDISK you need a bootable MS-DOS disk in A: In VMWARE to attach a file to floppy A: (if no physical floppy drive) you need an .img file (which I also downloaded). When you have both the .iso and .img files you can then successfully install MS_DOS without having a physical floppy drive.
    – hptsb
    Commented Jun 5 at 9:19
  • 1
    That does not seem to make much sense the last time I tried that. And VMWare does not "require an ISO image for an install file", whatever you mean by it. But you also pirated a random ISO file from the net and we don't know how it works and how it is expected to be used. When I made my own bootable CD-rom from the MSDOS install disks I own, I made it so that one can boot, partition the disk, format it, and transfer enough files such as CD drivers so DOS can see the files o CD and you can install the rest of it.
    – Justme
    Commented Jun 5 at 9:58
  • Yes - If I had a floppy drive which I said I don't. I should get an external USB one so that I can use my qemm, xtree gold, norton etc disks (if they're still OK after about 25 years in the loft!).. When creating a new virtual machine with VMWARE you either specify the location of the physical installer disk or the location of an .iso installer file. As I currently can't use my physical floppy disks my only option was to install from an .iso file. Then associate the a: drive with a .img file
    – hptsb
    Commented Jun 5 at 12:31
  • 1
    In that case VMware may not be the right tool. The last time I used it, it worked with floppy disk images just fine. Why are you installing DOS under VMWare, what do you need to do with it? Also, if you value your floppy disks, don't buy a USB floppy drive, they basically are fixed with 1.44MB support and may destroy disk contents if e.g. laptop goes to sleep and unpowers the drive while floppy is inserted. Buy an old machine with a functional floppy drive, or an adapter where you can put your own drive from old machines.
    – Justme
    Commented Jun 5 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


Ok. Got it. You need a MSDOS bootable .iso file to install from initially and a bootable MSDOS .img file assigned to the floppy a: to boot from following the install after using fdisk. You can't use the same file for both!! This gives you an a:\ prompt with a c: drive so that you can then use format c: /s to get a bootable c: drive.

  • 7
    Actually no iso file is needed for dos. You should work with floppy images, not CD images, if you want things to happen as they did back in the 1990s.
    – TeaRex
    Commented Jun 4 at 15:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .