Questions tagged [ms-dos]

For questions regarding MS-DOS, the Microsoft Disk Operating System, and its batch scripting language. Do not use this tag for questions about DOS batch languages in general.

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3
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1answer
261 views

Disassembling Windows IO.SYS

In the question How did Windows ME "cripple" DOS? Ross Ridge's answer showed a section of his disassembly. I would like to know, a) what disassembler was used and b) what adjustment or ...
5
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1answer
328 views

Which were the best selling early MS-DOS PCs apart from the IBM PC?? [closed]

The IBM PC in 1981 was rapidly followed by a rich ecosystem of computers with x86 CPUs running MS-DOS, not all of which were compatible at the hardware level. There is a list of some early MS-DOS ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What was the second most common incompatibility in MS-DOS machines? [closed]

When the IBM PC was released, it did not take long for people to figure out that there would be a big market for compatible machines. The first wave relied on MS-DOS as the compatibility layer. The ...
4
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0answers
110 views

Are there any copies of ICL MS-DOS 4.1 available for emulation?

The first PC I ever owned was the ICL DRS PWS 300 as described in this press release. It was originally supplied with a copy of multitasking MS-DOS 4.1 (and Windows 1.0, which isn't mentioned in the ...
32
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4answers
5k views

Why was 'echo on' chosen as the default setting within batch scripts in MS-DOS?

In my experience, just about every single MS-DOS (and thus Windows cmd) batch file starts with the line @echo off, to silently switch off echoing of the commands in the batch file to the console. This ...
5
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1answer
190 views

What is the format of the static libraries shipping with legacy Microsoft C for DOS?

I have installed Microsoft C 5.10 on DOS 6.22. It created a 'LIB' directory with static libraries to link against. Now I need to extract the symbols and the code for the functions from them, but can't ...
3
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1answer
321 views

Is there any virtual hard disk driver over serial port?

NOTE: I'm not looking for a way to transfer files from Linux to DOS over Serial cable Is there any MS-DOS driver to enable a new hard-disk drive (let's say D:), using a disk image on another ...
4
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1answer
196 views

What is the memory layout in MS-DOS

I know that when an .COM file is loaded, DOS loads its contents into memory, sets the segment registers (CS, DS and SS) to point to the 64KB segment and then performs a jmp to the starting address. ...
16
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1answer
3k views

How did large .COM files work?

An MS-DOS .com file is just raw code/data without header, thus no linking information, and was limited to be loaded into just one segment (64kB). That's the reason corrupted binaries would print "...
2
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2answers
273 views

Are old Dos and Windows .com executable binaries real mode or protected mode?

Newer Windows and Dos binary executable files with the .exe extension have an MZ header in them and nowadays also a PE header. But before these there used to also be .com binary executable files and ...
2
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1answer
401 views

Looking for a strange DOS database gui that ran on 286+

I have recently been getting into older apps from when I was a kid; one of these was this strange DOS shipping(?) database gui that ran on at least a 286, but looked like Windows 3.1; however when you ...
2
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3answers
204 views

C/C++ UI library similar to Visual Basic for DOS

I'm looking for a UI library that offers a similar "experience" to that provided by Microsoft's infamous, Visual Basic for DOS RAD environment. I mean, it's such a compelling environment, ...
15
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2answers
1k views

How does Windows 9x determine which disk drivers correspond to which BIOS disks/DOS drive letters?

Windows 9x can employ two kinds of disk drivers: native protected-mode drivers and compatibility-mode DOS drivers, and the former are used in preference to the latter whenever possible. When Windows ...
10
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2answers
880 views

What physical size and density floppies are the intermediate-capacity options for the /F switch of the DOS/Windows/OS/2 FORMAT command meant for?

In MS-DOS 5.0 and newer, PC-DOS 5.0 and newer, Windows 9x, Windows NT 3.1-2000, and OS/2 4.x, the FORMAT command (present in some form or another in literally every single version of Q/86-/MS-/PC-DOS, ...
8
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3answers
746 views

How can I access/use memory outside of the standard 1 MB address range of MS-DOS?

How do you access more memory (above the 1MB) in DOS if the 640KB of conventional memory are not enough? I have read a lot about this, but I couldn't figure out how to do this in actual code. Is ...
5
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1answer
410 views

When will the copyrights on various versions of Windows and DOS expire?

Related to question What is the best way to obtain old versions of MS-DOS and Windows? When will the copyrights on various versions of Windows and DOS expire? Once they expire I presume one could ...
46
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1answer
10k views

What is the context of the button “Is MS DOS a feminist?”

I just saw this button in the Computer History Museum, and I'm wondering what is the context? Context removed, "Is MS DOS a feminist?" is about the most non-sequitur thing I've seen.
8
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4answers
1k views

Imaging a HDD from DOS over Serial

I have recently fixed an old IBM Clone, which has an MFM hard drive. The PC booted up fine, but then I saw, that a few years back, I have deleted a few important files (probably by mistake). The ...
2
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1answer
260 views

Kermit pauses when switching between apps in windows 3.1

I wrote a batch file which sends some files over a serial port in Windows 3.1, using kermit.exe. The problem is: when the user switches between apps, the kermit batch will freeze till the next time ...
53
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7answers
9k views

Why did the MS-DOS API choose software interrupts for its interface?

Access to the DOS API was done through the INT 21h x86 instruction. This was always counter-intuitive to me, coming from 8-bit systems that accessed system services by calling subroutines through a ...
2
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1answer
287 views

How to configure NETWORK and TCP on a DOS VM

I'm trying to install and use the Arachne broswer under DOS (6.22). I've DOS installed on VirtualBox VM (5.2.34) under Linux Ubuntu (4.15.0-88-generic #88-Ubuntu). I'm in trouble in configuring ...
5
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1answer
112 views

Why does MS-DOS 5.0 EDIT hang on my XT-class machine with a German 102-key keyboard?

Most times whene I call EDIT on my XT-class machine with MS-DOS 5.0 installed on the hard disk, the menus of EDIT appear, but the window that should contain the file contents stays blank and the ...
19
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6answers
2k views

Sound driver for DOS or Windows 3.x that used the PC speaker?

Long ago in a galaxy far far away, back in the early 90's, I worked for a crappy clone company as a phone technician. At the time, 386SX/25's were common for in-house technical support / customer ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Is it a Directory, a List, or a Catalogue?

There are three common CLI commands on microcomputers that all mean the same thing: "Show me the contents of a volume, disk, or sub-directory". I will mention that the noun "Catalogue", and the ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What DOS games used Mode X as described by Michael Abrash?

In Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book, many chapters are dedicated to fast drawing of primitives, fills and copies using the 320x240 256-colour Mode X. What MS-DOS games used Mode X? ...
-1
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1answer
483 views

Get himem.sys working on a AMI 1.06.09 bios (not on VM)

I tried many 98SE boot disks online, they all boot successfully on my mobile workstation from USB (C:\>), but all can't run the Windows 98SE Installer because of XMS Memory, giving an error like: ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Why are the out of bounds areas of doom distorted on MSDOS?

Why do the OOB (out of bounds) areas of doom look so unusual? As seen in the image above, the Doom engine not only incorrectly renders the scene, but also renders slices of other scenes that aren't ...
2
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1answer
235 views

Serial Braille DOS driver on XP or higher?

Friend uses old braille displays in his company, but their producer does not exist, they use serial port and there is problem with either drivers (Ethernet) for <= Win 98 or serial access on NT+ on ...
5
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3answers
424 views

64GB compact flash not booting up in DOS

I have purchased a 64GB compact flash UDMA card and am unable to boot up in DOS. The machine I'm running has a Pentium 1.6Ghz process in it just to give you an idea about how "modern" it is compared ...
11
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2answers
3k views

Running DOS, Windows 3, and Windows 98 from one FAT32 partition?

I'd like to setup a Windows 98 SE system that boots into the included MS-DOS 7.1 command line, and which can also run Windows 3.11. I've seen various disjointed posts online that suggest this is ...
4
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1answer
290 views

Can't boot FAT32 larger than 2GB, unlike Fat16

Why can my PC not boot Fat larger than 2GB (Fat32) in legacy mode, but FAT16 and NTFS work fine? It just gives me a non-system disk error, while booting the same (Dos boot disk) files under Fat16 ...
25
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8answers
5k views

What other tricks were there to get more data onto floppy disks?

I remember using a utility back in MS Dos 3.3 days, called maxi-disk, that somehow magically managed to get 420K on a 360K 5 1/4" disks. I assume it managed it by destroying some redundancy like a ...
5
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1answer
185 views

Can't install El-Fish on MS-DOS 6.22

El-Fish is a fish tank "game", where you have virtual fish on your screen. The game has no goal, it's more like an interactive screen saver. I got my version from a number of different sources, one ...
7
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2answers
826 views

Were any DOS games (or software) known to use VBE/AF?

Were there any MS-DOS games or graphics software that were known to take advantage of VESA BIOS Extensions/Accelerator Functions (VBE/AF)? some of the functions defined in the standard are ... Bit ...
21
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9answers
6k views

Why does the single dot entry exist in file systems?

There is plenty of literature about its meaning, the current directory, but I would like to ask about why such thing do exist in first instance. While CHDIR .. usefulness is obvious, i.e. go to the ...
8
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1answer
333 views

What's the difference between the DOS HIMEM.SYS and the Windows 3.x version?

An installation of DOS (e.g. MS-DOS 5.0) will typically include a statement in its CONFIG.SYS such as DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS. When installing Windows 3.1, it's setup comments (REMs) that line out, ...
12
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1answer
1k views

What manages Upper Memory Blocks (UMBs) in MS-DOS?

I had always assumed that EMM386.EXE was responsible for managing the Upper Memory Blocks - UMBs - the memory space between 640KiB and 1MiB in real mode x86. For example, on MS-DOS 6.22, help emm386....
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there any way today to recover/dump 2M disks?

2M disks where formatted using 2MGUI to increase 3"1/2 & 5"1/4 DD/HD/ED disks' capacity. Is there any way today to recover/dump these disks to a file with modern hardware? Specially the 5"1/4 ...
27
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2answers
11k views

Looking for PC graphics demo software from the early 90s called “Unreal”

Back in the early 90's I remember downloading a graphics demo called, I think, "Unreal". This was on DOS on a standard PC and probably downloaded from a BBS. Identifying information: It ran for ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Was there an autocomplete utility in MS-DOS?

MS-DOS (at least 6.22) had optional features such as DOSKEY to remember the command line history, which is now standard on modern command prompts. However, I'm not aware of an autocomplete feature, ...
28
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the relationship betweeen MS-DOS and XENIX?

Browsing MS-DOS sources on GitHub, I often see mentions of XENIX: DOSSYM.ASM: ; XENIX calls all return error codes through AX. If an error occurred then the ; carry bit will be set and the ...
28
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1answer
3k views

Did DOS zero out the BSS area when it loaded a program?

As an example, say we have a DOS MZ EXE file that's around 20 KiB in size. The EXE header contains the value 0x1400 at offset 0x0A indicating that the program is requesting 5,120 paragraphs (or 80 KiB)...
5
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1answer
519 views

Old SCSI controller won't boot on certain PC

I have an old Adaptec PCI SCSI controller from around 1995 (BIOS date, will get full model if needed). It's lived its life in an old 133 MHz Pentium from around 1995 as well. The controller is 50 ...
3
votes
3answers
878 views

What was this menu application in DOS?

My father's computer in the early 90s (probably 1991, or at the latest 1992) had a piece of software that acted as an application launcher. I think it was simply called "menu". Its graphics were ...
45
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8answers
10k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
334 views

Extracting files from a Windows 3.1 (16bit) install/archive (game)

I'm interested in doing some practice work around legacy systems out of pure recreation. I want to extract data or information related to a DOS game running on the 16bit arch of Windows 3.1 (1991 ...
1
vote
2answers
335 views

Parity error under DOS

I'm facing a Parity Error problem on my new 486er DOS Retro PC. Every now and then a running software crashes with a Parity Error output on screen. This happens for different software so I think the ...
6
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1answer
1k views

What was the first third-party commercial application for MS-DOS?

What was the first third-party commercial application for MS-DOS intended for IBM PC-compatible computers?
13
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1answer
6k views

What is the oldest commercial MS-DOS program that can run on modern versions of Windows without third-party software?

What is the oldest commercial MS-DOS program that can run on modern versions of Windows (such as Windows 8.1 or Windows 10) without third-party emulators?
6
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5answers
402 views

Getting Music Functioning for Raptor: Call of the Shadows (1994)

I can't get the music audio working for the 1994 version of Raptor. Does anyone know how I can remedy this? I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this question, but here goes. I have an ...