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Questions tagged [boot]

Bootstrapping (booting) process, utilities and customisation.

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29 votes
2 answers
4k views

How did an IBM 5150 with 16KB RAM work?

I keep reading that when it was first released, there was a variant of the IBM PC model 5150 that had only 16KB of RAM installed. From a hardware perspective, this would clearly work - the 5150 ...
Jules's user avatar
  • 13k
33 votes
6 answers
32k views

Windows 98 with 2GB of RAM

I have assembled a retro-gaming PC out of an old Shuttle SN45G with a Windows 98/Windows XP dual boot. The motherboard can handle 2GB of RAM, but apparently Windows 98 can only handle 1 GiB. Windows ...
Informancien's user avatar
  • 2,657
26 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why do old computers (PCs) perform a long memory test on every boot?

Basically any computers from the mid 90s and earlier perform a slow memory check on every single boot. The more memory there is present, the slower that process becomes, for example: https://www....
Andreas Hartmann's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
995 views

Booting from SD card on a Compaq LTE 4/75 – DOS 6 works, Windows 95 doesn't

I'm in the process of restoring an old Compaq LTE Elite 4/75 laptop, which was missing its hard drive, so I thought I'd try booting using an SD-to-IDE adapter. On my main workstation I created an ...
Dmitry Brant's user avatar
64 votes
1 answer
12k views

Why didn't Windows 98 need the "Starting Windows 98..." screen?

In Windows 95, when you start up your computer, you see this message: Starting Windows 95... But in Windows 98, this is replaced entirely by the boot logo. Was this just for a better appearance, or ...
no ai please's user avatar
  • 1,123
49 votes
9 answers
12k views

Why weren't bootable game disks ever common on the IBM PC?

While for other platforms of that era (primarily, Amiga), putting a game on a bootable disk was quite a normal practice, this approach never taken off on IBM PC. Why not? I do remember people having ...
DmytroL's user avatar
  • 2,172
25 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why does DOS ask for the current date and time upon booting?

In most versions of DOS, when they are started from a medium that lacks an AUTOEXEC.BAT file, the very first thing COMMAND.COM does is ask the user to confirm the current date and time: Starting PC ...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 23.1k
2 votes
3 answers
929 views

386 laptop: reads MBR, cannot boot DOS 6.22

I am trying to boot 386 laptop from a CF card. I've prepared image by installing DOS 6.22 in VirtualBox, and then burning image to a CF card. Image boots just fine in VirtualBox. CF card with the ...
BarsMonster's user avatar
33 votes
3 answers
13k views

Why do PCs boot in 720x400 resolution?

Using my 21" Trinitron OSD, I can see that the resolution at boot is 720x400. From memory, this weird resolution is extremely uncommon if ever to be seen as a choice on software that supports ...
aybe's user avatar
  • 7,092
26 votes
5 answers
8k views

What makes a floppy disk bootable?

A lot of web sites describe how to create a bootable floppy disk using an existing image (via dd). But what about the image makes it bootable? I'm interested in making my own bootable floppy images ...
Sydius's user avatar
  • 2,594
17 votes
4 answers
4k views

Booting an Amiga 1000 directly to the hard drive without Kickstart floppy

The Amiga computers such as the Amiga 1000 required a Kickstart floppy to be able to boot directly into a hard drive. I have a Amiga 1000 as well but missing the Kickstart floppy. I would like to ...
Anthony Pham's user avatar
  • 2,474
9 votes
1 answer
755 views

How can I tell if an Apple II disk image is bootable?

I have around 500 floppy disk images from an Apple II and IIgs BBS/usergroup that closed down recently. Some of the disks are bootable, but many aren't. Is there an easy way to tell if a disk boots ...
scruss's user avatar
  • 21.7k
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why did the BIOS load the MBR at 0x7c00?

The IVT is at 0x0000-0x03ff while the BDA is at 0x0400-0x04ff but boot sectors are loaded at 0x7c00. What was at 0x0500-0x7bff that caused this convention? I'm also curious why some MBRs relocate ...
Anthony's user avatar
  • 455
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

How to install System 7.5.5 on a Macintosh SE/30 using floppies?

I have a Macintosh SE/30 with a formatted Disk. I'd like to install the latest System 7 on it that will run. According to Wikipedia that should be 7.5.5. According to several sources Apple has made it ...
Andreas Hartmann's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

How does the Spectrum +3 know whether a disk is bootable or not?

I've been looking through documentation on The Sinclair/Amstrad Spectrum +3 which was the only Spectrum that came with a built-in floppy disk drive. The disk format was based on The Amstrad CPC and ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,654
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

How to get into Apple BASIC prompt on an Apple IIc?

I just picked up a used Apple IIc. For some reason all I get when I boot is Check Disk Drive on the screen, even with a bootable disk in the internal drive: I cannot even get the system to read the ...
Swisher Sweet's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
846 views

What is the process for TRS-80 Model I & III to boot from disk?

I can find enough mentions of bootable disks for TRS-80 Model I and Model III to be confident that they could boot from disk, but so far I'm failing to find much info on how that worked. In ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,654
-1 votes
1 answer
668 views

386 PC: reads MBR, cannot boot DOS 6.22 [duplicate]

I am trying to boot 386 laptop from a CF card. I've prepared image by installing DOS 6.22 in VirtualBox, and then burning image to a CF card. Image boots just fine in VirtualBox CF card with the ...
BarsMonster's user avatar