5

I currently only have 11 disks available. One of the disks is a reserve, so I will not use it unless I have to. That brings us down to 10 disks.

Disk 0 - Blank, I will use this for the installation of Windows 3.1
Disk 1 - MS-DOS Setup Disk 1
Disk 2 - MS-DOS Setup Disk 2
Disk 3 - MS-DOS Setup Disk 3
Disk 4 - MS-DOS Setup Disk 4
Disk 5 - MS-DOS Setup Disk 5
Disk 6 - MS-DOS Setup Disk 6
Disk 7 - Blank, Will use for setup of Windows 3.1
Disk 8 - Blank, Will use for setup of Windows 3.1
Disk 9 - Where MS-DOS 4.x is installed on

Is it okay to format disks 1-6 and use them for the Windows 3.1 setup? (it requires 8 disks)

  • 1
    You may need them if you have to install it again. Also, while you may still be able to read them, sometimes you can't write/format them. You can still buy new floppy disks e.g. on Amazon, both 5.25 and 3.5 inch, so there's no need to format them. – dirkt Jun 18 '17 at 12:07
  • 1
    I wouldn't recommend using MS-DOS 4.x. Depending on which version it's either completely broken or just very buggy. Use MS-DOS 5.0 or 6.22, both of which are actually more memory efficient (not mention less buggy) than previous versions because they can make use of extended memory in various ways. – Ross Ridge Jun 18 '17 at 16:12
  • I seem to remember that you needed to take a copy of disk 1. If it was write disabled, The system complained. It wrote something to disk1 what only allowed the user to do 3 installations. If you took a copy and used the copy, then you could do as many installs as required. – cup Jul 1 '17 at 6:14
  • What version of MS-DOS are you trying to install that requires six setup floppies? All the ones I've ever run across have either but a single floppy (MS-DOS 1.x-3.x) or a set of three (for MS-DOS 4.x-6.x). – Sean Aug 18 '18 at 21:57
8

Assuming that you will only use the MS-DOS 4.x installation on one machine configuration, you will not require the setup disks for use. The extra data that requires multiple floppy disks (on 6.2.2) contains:

  • An interactive setup program with lots of text.
  • Keyboard Layouts[1]
  • Help files[2]
  • Optional Windows Programs (e.g. MSAVIRUS, taking up much of the third 6.2.2 disk).[2][3#1.1]
  • Alternative versions of drivers.[2]

I recommend keeping an image of the MS-DOS installation disks should the need arise, but it should be fine to erase them to install Windows 3.1. However, there is a better way than using six floppy disks and supervising the installer as it copies if you have a hard-disk.


[2]: The result of DIR performed on the DOS 6.2.2 install disks.
[3]: README.TXT included on the first DOS 6.2.2 install disk.

  • @riku Accepting an answer is the equivalent of closing the thread, but it allows other people to continue to post answers to help others with the same issue if there's more information to be shared. – wizzwizz4 Jun 20 '17 at 6:58
2

You go right ahead and overwrite the physical floppies. No worries. The internet still swarms with copies of the old DOS boot disks, which you can download at need and recreate the version of DOS you need.

Here's my favorite site -
http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm

Get a decent disk imaging program to write image files to floppy:
http://www.winimage.com/winimage/winima61.zip

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