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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.

7
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6answers
3k views

Is there a reason why MS-DOS didn't use more English words for commands?

When using diskpart, I can list all the drives by typing LIST DISK or to select a specific drive I can type select disk 1. Is there a reason why MS-DOS didn't use more English words to do tasks, for ...
51
votes
4answers
9k views

Why did DOS use dollar-terminated strings?

According to a few tutorials I am seeing, DOS used dollar-terminated strings to write to the terminal. This seems to also be documented here on INT 21H. AH = 09h - WRITE STRING TO STANDARD OUTPUT ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

Name this PC DOS Combat Flight Simulator

I'm trying to remember the name of a PC DOS Combat Flight Simulator that I played around 1991/92. I can give the following details: It was named after a US fighter plane that would have been in ...
3
votes
2answers
322 views

Can DOS boot to a hard drive other than HDA1?

I would like to experiment with DOS and would like to create a bootable partition on my hard drive (SDA) SATA device. I created a 1G FAT32 formatted partition on my SATA hard drive (SDA) and tried ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

Copying disk images to Commodore 64 floppy disks

For some time now I have been on a mission to get back into playing games on a Commodore 64. I have bought an original Commodore 64C. I got hold of a original 1541 disk drive. I also got hold of a ...
11
votes
2answers
523 views

Why did MS-DOS choose percent symbol to designate variable?

I couldn't find anything but is there any reason for choosing % over $ like in *nix shells?
25
votes
3answers
7k views

Were 9.2 file names possible in MS-DOS?

In MS-DOS (and FAT16), you could only have 8.3 file names (like QUESTION.TXT) with only single-case letters and numbers (and a few symbols). The MS-DOS Editor also defaulted to 8.3 - typing edit ...
5
votes
1answer
299 views

“Your program is testing for optimal display performance” for older Windows/DOS games

I remember seeing the following a lot when I was younger, and recently saw it again in a DOSbox setting: For those that haven't seen it, the squiggly red lines shift and undulate quite a bit, and ...
6
votes
4answers
958 views

How do I create a boot menu to select between Windows and DOS?

I was not a PC user before Windows 98. But I remember one of my friends was using a boot menu in his 486 machine to select between Windows/DOS. The menu was like: 1. EMS 2. XMS 3. Windows If we ...
7
votes
4answers
339 views

An old DOS application that allowed to create cards, posters, invitations, etc

I remember an old (90's) program, run in DOS, that allowed its user to create posters, invitations, cards, etc. It had mouse support and its own GUI with windows, bars, fields, etc. The work started ...
2
votes
4answers
448 views

Smart computing into MS-DOS? Is it possible?

The building I work in has an MS-DOS computer that runs the building's air system. My boss has asked me to make it so that he can use smart devices to make adjustments remotely. How much would need ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What are my options for multitasking in MS-DOS 5.0 on an 80186 with EMS?

I've got an HP 200LX, which runs DOS 5.0 from ROM, and I'm using EMM200 to provide some EMS from the C: RAM disk (it uses the memory controller to directly map the "disk" blocks into memory, and thus ...
14
votes
2answers
478 views

What are these tiny TSRs doing?

I've been puzzled by this for a while now. The (very old) game Phantasie comes with three small TSRs that are run prior to running the main game executable. This is the content of the file PH.BAT, ...
1
vote
2answers
185 views

Mysterious things happening to stack when running a debug session

When I run a debug session using Freedos and debug.exe, I get a session like the following. I've added a description of what I saw as annotation on the image. Each step, I've printed out the stack ...
43
votes
2answers
8k views

Why is Windows using CRLF and Unix just LF when Unix is the older system?

Windows and MS-DOS use for new lines the control characters CR-LF (carriage return, line feed), while unix uses just LF. As far as I know CR-LF made sense for systems controlling an real teletyper, ...
5
votes
0answers
139 views

What DOS software can I test a QIC-02 tape drive with?

I got a Wangtek 5150EQ tape drive that connects to a dumb (made of a bunch of 74-series logic chips) 8-bit ISA tape controller card. The controller card has a bunch of DIP switches which I used to ...
1
vote
1answer
242 views

Can I install DOS version 6.22 straight from IBM BASIC?

I accidently deleted my previous version of DOS on my IBM model 8525. I was messing around with it, not knowing much of DOS, and now I'm back to using "IBM BASIC". Would I be able to install DOS 6.22 ...
8
votes
5answers
478 views

How to patch binaries in DOS?

In the late MS-DOS era, what were the state of the art software tools for reverse engineering and patching binaries, i.e. .exe and .com files? A simple list of the tools that were "state of the art", ...
2
votes
3answers
258 views

TSRs at top of memory conflicting with COMMAND.COM

I've seen that many TSRs installs themselves at the top of conventional memory. To do so they rely on the value at 0:413h/int 12h to tell how much conventional memory is available, and then update ...
7
votes
4answers
503 views

How did DOS know where to load itself in upper memory?

If I remember correctly, you could ask DOS to load in upper memory by writing something like... DOS=UMB ...somewhere in the CONFIG.SYS file. But the question is, how did DOS know what portions of ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Was OS/2 a viable alternative for daily DOS and Windows tasks?

After playing a bit with the OS, a question sparked my interest: Could it entirely replace DOS and Windows ? Let's restrict the scope of this question a bit since it's fairly broad, Was it ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

First commercial DOS game?

What was the first commercial game sold for use on IBM/MS/PC DOS after the IBM August 12, 1981 release.
0
votes
1answer
330 views

Where was MS-DOS used? [closed]

How widely was MS-DOS used? Was it globally, or just in some specific places? Were there any regional substitutes used more commonly, and if so, what were they?
1
vote
3answers
852 views

Why were teletype printers not used for DOS computers?

Prior to the introduction of DOS in 1981 teletype printers were probably the most common hardcopy printer being used - usually in govt, educational or research facilities. When DOS arrived, teletype ...
34
votes
8answers
10k views

Is DOS being shipped with or as an installed OS?

Given the very small size of DOS, it would seem it might still be ideal for some applications such as handheld games. Is any system manufacturer still shipping DOS with their machine? If no one is ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

Where did DOS store graphics fonts?

I remember using a wysiwyg print program called Fontasy for CGI graphics in DOS because of a lack of standardized graphics fonts. Companies were selling "font packs" for other type fonts. Prior to Win ...
59
votes
3answers
11k views

What character is the MS-DOS cursor?

The cursor used on my 486 (and Pentium 3) in MS-DOS 6/7 has a thick underlined character. I cannot find that in code page 437. The underscore character is the closest to it, but is thinner. Where ...
6
votes
3answers
451 views

How do you find information about your hard drive in MS-DOS?

Context: I'm running an original MS-DOS. I suspect the hard disk is failing, but don't want to shut it off for fear of not being able to get it started again if I can't swap the hard drive into ...
-1
votes
1answer
209 views

Run 8086 programs in dos using simple os other than any special software [closed]

I know to run 8086 using MASM & 8086 emulator, but how to run 8086 programs in dos without any special software.
22
votes
5answers
7k views

Are MS-DOS and Windows 9x vulnerable to Meltdown?

In an interesting crossover between current events and Retrocomputing, the vulnerability known as "Meltdown" was publicly disclosed on January 3rd 2018. The retro-computing tie-in is that this ...
7
votes
3answers
403 views

Is there a way to link object files for DOS from Linux?

I'm able to use NASM to assemble simple COM files from my modern Linux computer, but how can I create a DOS EXE file while still in Linux? Specifically, I am interested in a solution that will target ...
28
votes
7answers
7k views

Is there a reason to prefer earlier versions of MS-DOS over later?

I understand MS-DOS to be backwards-compatible, so is there a reason to run a version earlier than the last (6.22) on an old computer? The only reason I can think of would be for period-accuracy, but ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Transfer files to DOS over serial cable from Linux?

I have a modern Linux computer and a 286 computer running DOS. I would like to transfer files from the Linux computer to the DOS computer over a null modem serial cable. I know you can use INTERLINK....
7
votes
2answers
593 views

Custom keyboard layout in DOS?

Is it possible to customize the keyboard layout in DOS? I use a custom keyboard layout on modern computers and I am wondering if I can do the same on old.
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Invert LCD screen in DOS 5.0

Would like to run "black on white" software on a DOS machine with an LCD screen, so am wondering if there are any TSR tools, or similar, for inverting the screen. I believe it is grey scale VGA, not ...
5
votes
3answers
280 views

What to do about “Invalid media type”

I have an old PC with a HDD that was using Double Space. Since I do not need the extra space, and want to minimise the system use of RAM, I attempted to re-format the drive normally. After typing ...
8
votes
1answer
344 views

Which MS-/PC-DOS version was the first to allow multiple partitions to be used?

For IBM PC-DOS/Microsoft MS-DOS, which version was the first version to actually allow using more than one partition for data storage? How about using multiple primary partitions vs one primary plus ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Do you need to allocate memory before you use it in MS-DOS?

In modern operating systems (for example: Windows), you can't access a memory location before you allocate that memory location to your program (or else a segmentation fault will occur). I am ...
13
votes
1answer
469 views

Slash versus backslash as directory separator - what/who caused this rift?

MS DOS and derived systems use backslash \ for path separator and slash '/' for command parameters. Unix and a number of other systems used slash '/' for paths and backslash \ for escaping special ...
1
vote
2answers
209 views

Educational DOS game involving teddy bears

I remember when I was very young (mid-to-late 90s) playing a probably educational DOS game that was like a whole bunch of minigames. At least one of the minigames (perhaps all of them) was teddy-bear-...
8
votes
1answer
687 views

Why would a CD-ROM in an MS-DOS 6.22 system not allow file access?

I have an OS/2 Warp CD that I am wanting to use as the installation media on an IBM PC 350 Pentium system. I have already installed MS-DOS 6.22 and the IBMIDECD.SYS driver for the CD-ROM drive on the ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

How did Windows ME “cripple” DOS?

Windows ME includes the ability to create a bootable DOS floppy. This floppy contains versions of COMMAND.COM and IO.SYS that are "crippled" to remove real mode. This is done with only one changed ...
15
votes
3answers
944 views

How did DoubleDOS work?

Back in the MS-DOS days, there was a program DoubleDOS that you could run that would split your machine in half and multitask two separate DOS programs. While it didn't particularly work well for ...
5
votes
1answer
159 views

Insert a row, but only across some columns?

Yes, I still use Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2.4 on my HP 200LX. Anybody know of a good way to do something like insert row (/wir), but only across a subset of columns? In other words, kind of like inserting ...
14
votes
2answers
593 views

What is the difference between DriveSpace and DoubleSpace?

DriveSpace is the successor to DoubleSpace. Both are DOS systems that mount a Compressed Volume File as a drive, allowing ordinary programs to interface with a compressed drive without an intermediate ...
8
votes
1answer
289 views

How to alpha-sort MS-DOS 7.x directories

I maintain a Windows 98SE machine for lots of reasons (Star Commander, SIO-2-PC, ADTPro, 3.5" and 5.25" PC Floppies, RS-232 port, Zip, Jazz, CD-ROM, Ethernet, etc). It is a very useful box. I also ...
4
votes
2answers
537 views

Using the swap space of Windows 3.1 as a MS-DOS 6.2.2 temporary directory

I currently have a working installation of MS-DOS 6.2.2 with Windows 3.1. I can only use Windows or DOS individually so I don't see the point of having a swap-file for Windows taking up space that can'...
5
votes
2answers
502 views

Are floppy disks used for MS-DOS setup still needed after you install the operating system?

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
369 views

I have installed MS-DOS 6.22 on Virtual Box, do I have an ISA bus or a PCI bus?

I have installed MS-DOS 6.22 (released in 1994) on Virtual Box, and I want to know if Virtual Box is emulating an ISA bus or a PCI bus. The settings for my virtual machine don't show any information ...
15
votes
2answers
595 views

Who decides what is the memory address that the CGA video buffer will be mapped to?

In DOS, the memory mapped IO base address for the CGA video buffer is 0xB8000. So when you write to 0xB8000, you are actually writing to a buffer in the CGA card itself and not to RAM. What I want to ...