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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.

8
votes
1answer
411 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
696 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
240 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
784 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
2k 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
1k 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
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
704 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
324 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
634 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
549 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
429 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
757 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
934 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How to write directly to video memory in MS-DOS?

The base address for the video memory in MS-DOS is 0xB8000. I am trying to write to this address using debug.exe, but I am getting an error: 1165:0103 mov [b8000],ax ^ Error
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Why did CP/M and MS-DOS used the BIOS drivers instead of their own drivers to access hardware?

Modern versions of Windows (and other modern operating systems I suppose) have their own drivers to access hardware. But as I have read, in the old days, if CP/M or MS-DOS wanted to access hardware, ...
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, ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the best choice for DOS for a 1990 80386 PC?

I plan to install Windows 3.0 and PC/GEOS on top of DOS. Plus I will install numerous games from the 1984-1992 timeframe. Some of the later games will require >640K RAM and make use of an EMM driver. ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Was it Microsoft that started the war between Application and OS vendors?

I think there is a long history of application vendors going to great lengths to complain or litigate against Operating System vendors to compete fairly. Specifically, I am talking about "fairness" ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there a simple way to display ANSI art and animation files in a modern terminal window?

ANSI art and animations were prevalent on BBS systems in the late 80s and early 90s, and the ANSI art scene continues to thrive today. There are thousands of ANSI art files, with usual extension .ans, ...
88
votes
16answers
20k views

Does “Disk Operating System” imply that there was a “non-disk” Operating System?

In the 1980's at primary school we saw MS DOS and DR DOS competing before Windows 3.1 and subsequent releases took over that space. At home we had Apple II's which booted up to a BASIC prompt. On ...
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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How do modern .bat files differ from old MS DOS .bat files?

I'm wondering how modern batch files (.bat) are different from MS-DOS .bat files? There are some commands that feel more "modern" and don't seem like something you'd see in an older system. How do ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views

IBM PS/2 Model 53 Not Powering On

I bought a PS/2 with the intent of robbing it's case for a restomod project, but since that is on the backburner right now I decided to see if it would work. When I flip the power switch, the PSU ...
5
votes
2answers
392 views

Compaq Contura Aero 4/33C - moving data to CF/IDE disk - No operating system detected

I've got a Compaq Contura aero 4/33 laptop with original DOS system installed. As the HDD is old and dying, I've decided to copy the drive to a CF card on a CF/IDE adapter. After connecting the drive,...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
678 views

Timing interrupts on MS-DOS

On the ZX Spectrum, you get an interrupt every frame. As I recall, the operating system uses this to periodically scan the keyboard and probably other things also, but you can have your own routine ...
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-...
18
votes
1answer
532 views

Logo of a bow tie guy with a spoon

I was in the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley last week, and I saw this badge. I know I've seen that logo somewhere before, but I can't remember where! Does anyone know where it's from?
8
votes
1answer
173 views

Configuring MIDI on an AWE 32 in DOS 6.22

I recently got hold of an old Pentium based machine (IBM 340) and started with a blank slate by formatting the disk. I also added a Soundblaster AWE32 which is a value model, specifically the CT3910. ...
10
votes
2answers
518 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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

Is WinWorldPC legal? [closed]

I'm sure a lot of us have come across WinWorldPC online. With the valuable resources that it has for obsolete systems, is it actually legal? For example, I could download almost any Windows system I ...
65
votes
2answers
10k views

How did Windows 3.1 implement multitasking?

Windows in its earliest days was simply a shell that ran on top of MS-DOS, which means that Windows 3.1 itself was actually just a standard MS-DOS application like any other. Yet, MS-DOS is not a ...
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I emulate MS-DOS on OS X?

I am looking for a emulator for MS-DOS for OS X to run old games on. Are there any free emulators for MS-DOS that run on an Apple machine with OS X?
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
460 views

My Compaq Presario CDS 633 outputs color in Windows 3.1 but not in DOS. How can I get color in DOS?

My Compaq Presario CDS 633 outputs color in Windows 3.1, but not in DOS. How can I get color in DOS? I have tried the MODE setting, but it did not change anything. ANSI.SYS also has a LOADHIGH line ...