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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.

68
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 ...
8
votes
5answers
838 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", ...
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 ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

How can MS-DOS be installed on VirtualBox?

As part of the MSDN subscription I just got, I can download MS-DOS 6.22 (wow indeed). I want to install it to a VirtualBox VM so I can try old games and viruses (due to viruses, I can't install it to ...
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, ...
35
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 ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

How does the command.com shell work with MS-DOS?

On my systems that are running MS-DOS, I change the default command.com to 4DOS for more features. How was the shell system designed and how did it with the operating system in MS-DOS that it enabled ...
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 ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are Windows 95 installation disks not uniquely bound to a single product key?

I was installing the OEM version of Windows 95 on VirtualBox the other day for reminiscence sake, and for some reason I had two different product keys. I tested both of them to see which one mapped to ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
7
votes
4answers
734 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
973 views

Why the “jmp” instruction is not working?

I have written the following program in debug.exe: 1165:0100 mov ah, 09 1165:0102 mov dx, 107 1165:0105 int 21 1165:0107 db 'Hello World', 0A, 0D, '$' 1165:0115 jmp 1165:0100 However, when I ...
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-...
15
votes
2answers
851 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Can I run Windows 98 and games from the same era on an AMD Duron CPU?

I have acquired an old motherboard with a socket 462 and a AMD Duron (I think its a "Spitfire" model 3). The copyright on the CPU is from 1999 and it apparently doesn't require a dedicated CPU fan as ...
8
votes
1answer
441 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 ...