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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.

1
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1answer
77 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
136 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
279 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
387 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
284 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: ...
1
vote
1answer
288 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 ...
34
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
8
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5answers
735 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", ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Where was the DOS cdd utility from?

I distinctly remember, on the computer I had in the 90's, being able to type cdd D:\bla\bla in the MS-DOS command prompt, to change both the current directory and drive (avoiding having to type D: ...
31
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

When was QDOS changed to MSDOS?

So a while back, I heard that MSDOS was originally named QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System), and that it was later changed is MSDOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System). This was probably a ...
3
votes
3answers
330 views

Allocate 64KB in Watcom C 16-bit DOS

I'm trying to allocate a 64KB buffer in Watcom C 16-bit DOS. I'm using the "compact" memory model as it states [1] that the code segment is limited to 64KB through a near pointer (just offset) but ...
2
votes
2answers
206 views

MS-DOS, save data from COM1: to file and display on console at the same time

I have a MS-DOS 3.22 laptop that will receive simple text data over serial COM1. I can make it save to file by doing TYPE COM1 >> data.log and I can make it show the data on the console with ...
8
votes
2answers
251 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
3answers
173 views

Was parsing or operating systems the first user of dollar sign as end of string/input?

According to the question Why did DOS use dollar-terminated strings? DOS uses dollar-terminated strings, inherited from CP/M which used them because DEC also used dollar as the string terminator. ...
4
votes
3answers
380 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
693 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
185 views

What 286 chipsets support UMBs?

I read in some forums that some 286 boards support UMBs and thus can load drivers and TSRs into the upper 384 KiB of conventional memory. What chipsets support this and do I need special drivers?
11
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
53
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
366 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 ...
-1
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1answer
234 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.
1
vote
1answer
282 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 ...
24
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 ...
14
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 ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

Where and what was Haunt.bat? A game pre-loaded on a c1992 PC

This doesn't belong on the gaming SE, so I'm trying my luck here. I'm looking for any info I can get on an old game that I simply known as "Haunt.bat". Here is the back-story: In the mid 90's a ...
5
votes
1answer
391 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
676 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?
7
votes
4answers
388 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 ...
60
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Building a DOS/Win95/98 computer from scratch [closed]

I'd like to build a DOS/Win95/98 computer in order to play old PC games I have without emulation. Here are a few games I'd like to run: Teranova: Strike Force Centauri; System Shock 1 and 2; Half-...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

How did MS-DOS assign drive letters in the case of more than two floppy disk drives?

The IBM PC BIOS had provisions for up to four floppy disk drives, by virtue of returning the number of floppy disk drives in a two-bit field plus a none/some flag (allowing for reporting values of 0, ...
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
354 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
2k 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 ...
69
votes
8answers
8k views

What key factor led to the sudden commercial success of MS Windows with v3.0?

Microsoft Windows was originally introduced in 1985, ostensibly to compete with the Apple Macintosh, and other computers shipping with graphical shells by that time. However, early versions of Windows ...
6
votes
3answers
542 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
480 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
514 views

Bootable floppies lock up with floppy drive connected via USB adapter

I am currently trying to mount a 3.5'' floppy disk drive in a modern computer. What I did is that I bought a 34-pin floppy drive connector to external USB adapter so that I can connect it to my ...
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
574 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
195 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 ...
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....
4
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2answers
632 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'...
43
votes
2answers
9k 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
1answer
163 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
481 views

VT52 emulation for MS-DOS?

I'm trying to run an old MS-DOS program that was written to use VT52 escape codes. Some Microsoft knowledge base items (such as Q101875) refer to a 'third-party console driver' called VT52.SYS. I'm ...
14
votes
2answers
700 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
663 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 ...