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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10
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
230 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 ...
23
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
630 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 ...
20
votes
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
votes
1answer
181 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
10k 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
votes
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
3k 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 ...
27
votes
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)...
3
votes
1answer
313 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
518 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 ...
42
votes
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
229 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
264 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
5k 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
votes
5answers
313 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
717 views

Why did scandisk exist?

As far as I can tell, chkdsk as been part of DOS and Windows since day one. However, in later versions of DOS, chkdsk was shipped along side scandisk. As of Windows 98, running chkdsk will result in ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Why the DOS extender and DPMI were unavailable to DOS programs on 286 standard mode of Windows 3.0

An old article on Windows 3.0 from PC Magazine (June 11, 1991, page 348) said that: Using standard mode, the Windows DOS extender and DOS Protected Mode Interface (DPMI) are available to Windows ...
6
votes
4answers
824 views

Set screen resolution in DOS-only PC

I replaced a failed CRT display with a LCD panel with a VGA controller board. There is no problem with the display when the PC boots up. However, if I switch the display off then I get an 'Out of ...
5
votes
1answer
257 views

XT IDE causes BASIC not to load properly on IBM 5155

I recently picked up an XT IDE. It works fine for the most part, but when I tried to load BASIC samples from the original IBM DOS 1.1 floppy(I was booting from it), the system hung up, only showing a ...
7
votes
1answer
189 views

Where to find QICStream software for reading old QIC-150 tape?

I'm trying to restore a backup from an old QIC-150 tape. While I'm able to read the raw data from the tape (using linux), I can't recognize the binary format of the data (the tape is not mine). There ...
15
votes
3answers
976 views

What order were files/directories output in dir?

In the version of command.com included with MS-DOS, DIR seems to print files in a random order, but if one runs multiple DIR commands, they all print the files in the same order. This order does not ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Did MS DOS itself ever use blinking text?

I know that it was possible to create blinking text, but did the operating system itself (I mean, in output from functions of command.com and similar executables) ever make use of blink formatting? ...
27
votes
4answers
4k views

Why wasn't DOSKEY integrated with COMMAND.COM?

Why did Microsoft make DOSKEY a separate command, instead of integrating it with COMMAND.COM? I don't think DOSKEY uses a lot of RAM or was useless in the '80s... Maybe there was another reason not ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

DOS/4DOS Prompt with animated characters?

I have a vivid memory of a guy I knew back in the day who had a custom prompt with a small character animation. The way I remember it there was a sequence like |,/,--,\,| in the prompt. This wasn't ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

DOS, create pipe for stdin/stdout of command.com(or 4dos.com) in C or Batch?

I'm working on a retro project and was trying to create a pipe of stdin/out/err in DOS, but I can't find any functions to to this? For instance the pipe() command from unistd.h isn't present in ...
9
votes
5answers
375 views

Alternatives for TurboVision on DOS

TurboVision was a library by Borland for developing TUI's (Text User Interfaces). It was included with their C++ and Pascal compilers. Were there any other TUI libraries that supported multiple ...
7
votes
1answer
354 views

What's the fastest way to ignore keypresses?

I'm writing a game for the IBM PC (running MS-DOS), complete with fancy cutscenes. Unfortunately, though, the keys pressed during those fancy cutscenes are carried out once the fancy cutscene has ...
5
votes
1answer
431 views

DOS networking (Ethernet)

Would like to use a Linksys "Etherfast PCMPC100" PCMCIA network card under DOS 5.0, for file transfer. Am planning to use the "XFS" package to share directories with Linux. Have found an archive file ...
-1
votes
2answers
314 views

Why can't BIOS be accessed in 64bit mode on Intel/AMD chips? [closed]

I was interested in a possible rewrite of dos to dos 64bit. In my research I found several references that state all current motherboard BIOS interrupts are not accessible from 64bit Long or 64bit ...
4
votes
3answers
504 views

Gotek drives for MS-DOS (plus few more constraints)

I have installed two gotek device instead of two old unworking floppy disk drives (in particular on an Olivetti PCS 86). And the result is something like this: (The one on the right should the the A:...
7
votes
1answer
512 views

qemu emulating MS-DOS cannot access CD-ROM

I am using qemu-system-i386 on a Windows 10 PC to emulate an MS-DOS system. I have installed MS-DOS 6.22 successfully from disk images from original Microsoft media. I am starting qemu using this ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Did CP/M support custom hardware using device drivers?

MS DOS Ver 1.0 did not have OS support for device drivers. DOS ver2 added support for device drivers in the config.sys file during boot with the "DEVICE=[path][filename][parameters]". Did CP/M have ...
3
votes
2answers
296 views

Figuring out size of Device Drivers and where they are loaded in High Memory

I'm setting up a 486 PC (aiming for around 1994 or so) and I have the following device drivers set up in DOS 6.22: HIMEM.SYS EMM386.EXE ANSI.SYS SBIDE.SYS CTMOUSE.EXE SMARTDRV.EXE DOSKEY.COM MSCDEX....
3
votes
2answers
717 views

How to convert .ttf to .fnt for use with M10_SCR.COM DOS font driver

I have a DOS program M10_SCR.COM that loads as a TSR and allows the use of fonts. It works with its own basic built-in fonts, so now I am trying to convert .ttf fonts into .fnt so I have more fonts to ...
21
votes
5answers
8k views

Will PC-DOS run faster on 4 or 8 core modern machines?

When I run PC-DOS on my 4 core AMD Phenom chip, does it take advantage of the extra parallel CPU's? If not, is there a way to coax DOS to use all available CPU's or does this require specific ...
3
votes
3answers
267 views

How to image a RLL or MFM hard disk on an XT class PC

I have an old XT clone which is fitted with a Seagate ST-238R RLL hard disk and an ST11R hard disk controller card. I have recently revived this old machine and it all appears to be working still. I'...
3
votes
2answers
411 views

Can DOS 6.22 recognize more than 504MB when the BIOS only supports CHS?

My CMOS setup correctly recognizes the geometry of the drive, (but does not support LBA). And FDISK in DOS 6.22 only recognizes 504MB. FDISK even shows the size of the primary partition as roughly ...
0
votes
2answers
488 views

Does anyone have an x86 EGA draw pixel routine?

So far, I have gotten by with using the BIOS draw-pixel routine here: http://stanislavs.org/helppc/int_10-c.html This works of course, but I can't imagine that commercial games used this BIOS call as ...
3
votes
2answers
485 views

USB ports for a 486 laptop (pccard 16bits)

I have an old laptop 486 with PhoenixBIOS which supports PC card 16bits( PCMCIA II/III). I am thinking about the possibility of adding a pccard 16bits with USB ports, mainly to read usbsticks or ...
12
votes
2answers
654 views

How to use the “darker” CGA palette using x86 Assembly?

For those of you retro developers out there, I am having a hard time figuring out how exactly to select the "darker" color palette in 320x200 CGA mode. Here's what I have so far: setup_cga_graphics: ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

For fast scrolling DOS games, when was Mode13h preferred over Mode X?

Back in the DOS days of gaming (more specifically, 80286 - 80486 era), developers typically needed to choose between using the chunky and easier Mode 13h or the more complex "Mode X" that provided ...
2
votes
1answer
377 views

Minimal DOS long filename driver

Am trying to run Latex + Emacs under DOS 5.0, and would currently seem to need long filenames. I have tried the DOSLFN driver but it prevents Emacs from running. I have 4 MB RAM in total. Is there ...
41
votes
2answers
7k views

Did IBM encourage Bill Gates to retain the rights over PC-DOS?

As is well-known, Microsoft's negotiations with IBM to deliver PC-DOS 1.0 with the original IBM PC resulted in: IBM licensing the OS from Microsoft, as opposed to purchasing it outright. Microsoft ...
33
votes
8answers
4k views

How to put a delay in AUTOEXEC.BAT

I have this MS-DOS 6.22 machine which maps a network drive to a SAMBA share on a Raspberry PI. The PI is powered by a USB lead from the DOS machine, so the two power up together. The mapping starts ...