Questions tagged [ms-dos]

MS-DOS, the Microsoft Disk Operating System, its OEM-branded versions, and x86 DOS clones in general.

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How do you start a minimized MS-DOS session on Windows 98 SE?

How do you start a minimized MS-DOS session (i.e., launch a Command Prompt window that is in the minimized state) for Windows 98 [version 4.10.2222]? I thought the solution would be: start /min But ...
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2 votes
0 answers
237 views

MS-DOS Bear/Teddy Bear Spooky Halloween game?

In about 1993-4 I played a (probably free or shareware) MS-DOS game about a bear/teddy bear entering a house which was "spooky", I believe related to Halloween. Graphically it was primitive, ...
cheeto_pasta's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
507 views

"GAZE" GUI Organizer program?

In the early-to-mid '90s there was a GUI-based DOS organizer-like program, called GAZE, from which you could launch software and games which had an eyeball in the corner that followed the cursor as ...
cheeto_pasta's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
319 views

Are there any other historical traces of the earlier versions of the Alternate Multiplex Interrupt Specification by Ralf Brown?

I'm a fervent user of the Alternate Multiplex Interrupt Specification for 86-DOS systems, a method using a common set of multiplexer interfaces over interrupt 2Dh. It was originally developed in the ...
ecm's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
549 views

Spin HDD up/down in DOS App?

Is there a register I can write to using a DOS based C app to spin the IDE HDD down after the app boots then back up upon the app close? Specifically I want to just put spin down/up commands in the C ...
Gusser's user avatar
  • 101
25 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is 'Adaptive Tile Refresh' in the context of Commander Keen?

The question Did John Carmack really invent "Adaptive Tile Refresh"? asks about the origins of the scrolling and drawing techniques used to allow an MS-DOS PC to provide a NES console-like ...
knol's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
416 views

Identify QuickBASIC Game involving launch, navigation, and landing of rocket on the moon

I recall playing a game that I had from source in QuickBASIC (probably 4.5, but maybe it was earlier QBASIC) during the mid-to-late 90s that I keep wanting to revisit. Unfortunately, due to the ...
James D's user avatar
  • 151
32 votes
6 answers
7k views

Why did the monsters have "infinite invisible pillars" of hitboxes vertically in all versions of the DOOM engine?

Even in the last version of the DOOM engine, v1.9, used for Final DOOM, there is this strange limitation in which all the monsters have an invisible, infinitely tall "pillar" above and ...
Farrad's user avatar
  • 329
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

Name of MS-DOS program that shows realtime update of light/dark map of whole planet

Years ago (circa 1996-1997 maybe?) I ran a MS-DOS program that showed a map of the whole earth, updated once a minute with the time, timezones, and light/dark areas of the planet, taking up the whole ...
Steve Sether's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to use "AND," "OR," and "XOR" modes for VGA Drawing

I've been trying to implement a blitter in MS-DOS, but before I do that I wanted to test the various graphics modes of the VGA graphics card. (I'm emulating using DOSBox.) According to this paper on ...
puppydrum64's user avatar
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15 votes
5 answers
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Commodore Mouse not recognized by a Commodore PC30-III 286 machine

I have Commodore PC 30-III 286 machine with a serial port at the back labelled "mouse". If I plug my Commodore mouse 1900 serial mouse then execute mouse.com at the DOS prompt then I get the ...
Peter Szanto's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
233 views

Looking for MS-DOS clip art (possibly Lotus 123?) [closed]

As a kid, I was given a 286 with 640k of RAM and a 20MB HDD, that had Lotus 123 and WordPerfect (v5?) installed. MS-DOS (v3 or v5) only - No Windows. As the machine was very limited, I tinkered and ...
KERR's user avatar
  • 353
26 votes
7 answers
6k views

How did DOS games manage to have multiple background layers?

Seems like VGA only has one background layer, it appears to be a typical bitmap screen like most home computers of the 80s (Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 etc.) where each pixel's color is stored in a ...
puppydrum64's user avatar
  • 1,638
62 votes
7 answers
10k views

Why did some old MS-DOS games lack the ability to exit them?

While playing around in DOSBox-X, I'm reminded of some DOS games which appear to entirely lack the ability to exit/quit/close them. One prime example of that is "Paratrooper" from 1982. I've ...
Kenas's user avatar
  • 607
37 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why does Windows 1.01 crash at the splash screen?

When Windows 1.01 is started under DOSBox, FreeDOS or one of the later versions of MS-DOS, garbage characters are printed on the screen right after displaying the Microsoft logo. Here’s an example in ...
user3840170's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why can't I invoke the next interrupt service by incrementing the AX register after calling the same interrupt?

I have two snippets of 8086 assembly code, both of which are supposed to do the same thing: make the mouse appear on the screen. Show_Mouse: push ax mov ax,0 ;Reset Mouse int 33h ...
puppydrum64's user avatar
  • 1,638
19 votes
7 answers
8k views

Are there any good, non-abandoned PC emulators?

Mission: I'm trying to simulate a classic ~286/386/486/Pentium inside my modern PC (running Windows 10) in the most authentic way possible. Just a quick note to say that I (Sarah Walker) have decided ...
Gaije's user avatar
  • 215
5 votes
1 answer
537 views

Why does the ‘Get Next Selector Increment Value’ DPMI call exist?

In DPMI, interrupt 0x31 services 0x0000 and 0x0100 are capable of simultaneously allocating multiple protected-mode selectors in a single call. When that happens, both services return only the first ...
user3840170's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can a protected-mode Watcom C program access memory that a real-mode interrupt service returned in a segment:offset register pair?

I'm using Open Watcom 1.9 to write some 286 real mode, and 386 protected mode software for DOS in C. In real mode, I can retrieve a pointer to the system ROM character bitmaps in real mode using int ...
knol's user avatar
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29 votes
1 answer
5k views

Did the original MS-DOS Quake not have a menu item for freelook, and if so, why?

I know that Quake (the 1996 MS-DOS game) is a "full" 3D engine, and always had some kind of mouse support. However, even the original Wolfenstein 3D from 1992 also had mouse support from the ...
Faisal's user avatar
  • 307
7 votes
2 answers
634 views

Monitor can't display boot/DOS video mode making dual boot impossible

I have an HP ZR24w monitor connected via HDMI input to a newer custom machine running Win7, and via VGA input to an older Micron machine running Win98SE. I use the monitor's "source" setting ...
Javic's user avatar
  • 71
5 votes
1 answer
380 views

How can I output a blank line from a batch file on the Atari Portfolio?

I'm am trying to make a batch script on the Atari Portfolio which uses DIP DOS 2.11 (pretty similar to MS-DOS 2.11). I need to put a blank line in my file and it won't work. I have tried echo., echo/, ...
Anston Sorensen's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why can MS-DOS not read partitions starting at logical sector 0?

When creating a FAT file system, mtools and newer versions of mkfs.fat write a stub MBR partition table to the boot sector. This makes the file system accessible when written directly to media that ...
user3840170's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
850 views

Which MS-DOS program implemented the "Methinks it is like a weasel" evolutionary algorithm?

In the late 1980s I had a set of 3.5″ floppy disks which contained some games like Sleuth, Centipede, Space War, and Sopwith. Also present was a program that I think was called "weasel", ...
jl6's user avatar
  • 181
11 votes
1 answer
754 views

Is there any public documentation of the LapLink protocol?

Is the protocol used by the DOS Laplink software publicly documented? I seem to remember there were Linux tools that could use it. I cannot find anything useful on their website.
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 2,082
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

DOS serial printer formats

Assume a DOS machine with a serial cable, and a selection of one of Epson FX-80, HP LaserJet, IBM Proprinter. At the other end of the serial cable is a modern machine, e.g. running Linux. On the DOS ...
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 2,082
3 votes
2 answers
792 views

PS/2 Keyboard not working on Windows 95 and MS-DOS

I received a Packard Bell Multimedia 550 and it came with Windows 95. The problem is that keyboard input was not coming through. Before it attempts to boot into Windows 95, it shows the safemode ...
TaromaruYuki's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

What's the easiest way to change from MS-DOS 6.22 to DR-DOS?

I am trying to find a way to do task-switching/swapping (not necessarily multi-tasking) in a DOS environment. I have tried DesqView under DOS 6.22 but I don't have any real success. I hear that DR-DOS ...
Alistair Ross's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
392 views

What are the differences between MS-DOS and DR DOS FASTOPEN?

OS/2 Museum's history of DOS mentions the FASTOPEN.EXE TSR was introduced in DOS 3.3. Its entry on DOS 4.0 adds some implementation details. It reminded me of the DR DOS FASTOPEN=nnnnn directive in ...
Jim Nelson's user avatar
  • 3,773
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

How much of the Program Segment Prefix area can be reused by programs with impunity?

I am writing a tiny TSR program, and I want it to take as little memory while installed as possible. The memory footprint of every loaded DOS process, including a TSR, includes a data structure known ...
user3840170's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why did SMARTDRV have to be started with /x when DOS started?

In the default autoexec.bat for DOS 6.22, you see these lines: C:\DOS\SMARTDRV.EXE /X @ECHO OFF PROMPT $P$G PATH C:\DOS SET TEMP = C:\DOS According to this source, /X disables write-behind caching. ...
no ai please's user avatar
  • 1,123
14 votes
1 answer
524 views

Is there a way to cut idle CPU usage under Multitasking MS-DOS 4.0?

The operating system variously known as ‘Multitasking MS-DOS 4.0’ or ‘European MS-DOS’, to avoid confusion with the better-known single-tasking MS-DOS 4.0, has the mildly irritating flaw that it doesn’...
user3840170's user avatar
42 votes
3 answers
9k views

How do DOS games like DOOM benefit from a PCI graphics card?

The original DOOM and its derivatives (DOOM II, Heretic, Hexen) were early 90s 3D games released at a time when DOS PCs usually had ISA bus Super VGA graphics cards. In the following few years, PCs ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.5k
2 votes
1 answer
391 views

Microsoft C 6, far pointer, cast to int, warning C4047

Trying to access one byte in memory using segment/offset, like this union REGS in, out; struct SEGS segs; int v; char _far* p; ... int86x(...,&in,&out,&segs); p = (segs.es << 16) + ...
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 2,082
11 votes
1 answer
564 views

Assembler where output file was executable WHILE including the source code

I seem to remember using an assembler with the following interesting workflow: You'd write an assembly language file and assemble it. The output overwrote your source code by placing the executable ...
davidbak's user avatar
  • 6,249
37 votes
3 answers
3k views

How can I play QBasic Nibbles on a modern machine?

MS-DOS versions 5 and 6 come bundled with the QBasic interpreter and a handful of example programs written in that BASIC dialect. One of the programs is Nibbles, a variant of the well-known Snake game....
user3840170's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How 3Dfx Voodoo 1 Emulator works

reading of this question brings up 3Dfx Voodoo 1 Emulator in my memories. I always wandered how did it work so good time as any to ask... My memory is hazy on the details so I might miss remember ...
Spektre's user avatar
  • 7,238
12 votes
6 answers
6k views

How can I tell whether a DOS-looking exe. requires a 32-bit CPU to run?

Is there some simple method for determining if a DOS (or OS/2, or Windows etc.) binary (.exe or .dll) is 16-bit or 32-bit? The Linux file command just says "executable". I want to ...
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 2,082
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Use a USB mouse for DOS games

I have a Thinkpad T41 on which I installed Windows 98 SE. I installed an old DOS game, and was wondering if I could get a USB mouse to work with it ? (the PC doesn't have a PS/2 port) At the moment, ...
ThunderDev's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
245 views

How to get Terminate running in DOSEMU on recent machines? [duplicate]

When trying to run http://www.terminate.com/ under http://www.dosemu.org/, I get Runtime Error 200. I know that this is a well known issue with software compiled with Turbo / Borland Pascal and using ...
Torsten Knodt's user avatar
31 votes
5 answers
5k views

What really is a sound card driver in MS-DOS?

To my knowledge, neither MS-DOS nor BIOS offers any kind of API for sound cards. Therefore the concept of a "driver" is absent, as we know it today. Apart from accessories and sample files ...
Dercsár's user avatar
  • 675
0 votes
1 answer
562 views

How were console games ported to DOS?

Many popular DOS games were ported from video game consoles: Earthworm Jim Mega Man The Lion King The Lost Vikings Turrican 2 Rayman Oscar Zool Video game consoles generally have wildly different ...
Jaap Joris Vens's user avatar
13 votes
6 answers
1k views

What software used Turbo Vision back in its prime time?

Turbo Vision, Borland’s text-mode widget toolkit, is fairly widely known by those old enough to remember it, and apparently quite influential: it gave rise to a number of ports and reimplementations (...
user3840170's user avatar
26 votes
3 answers
14k views

Why was "C:" chosen for the first hard drive partition?

I was reading this answer, as the question came to my mind: why does C: indicate the first hard drive partition? The usage dates back to CP/M (as noted in a comment), was embraced by MS-DOS, and ...
wizclown's user avatar
  • 403
2 votes
1 answer
645 views

How to remove Virus:DOS/V_Sign from a DOS 6.22 system

Fresh install of dos 6.22, unfortunately there appears to be a virus in MBR, each time I get Virus:DOS/V_Sign when re-using floppy from this machine. I can't connect HDD to modern PC, any idea how I ...
Bartek Malysz's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Difference between INT 0x20 and INT 0x21 (0x4C)?

Checking the MS-DOS interrupt list we see INT 0x20 "Terminate the program" (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOS_API) but if we check the same page we see INT 0x21 with function 0x4C will &...
cprieto's user avatar
  • 233
3 votes
1 answer
470 views

Does there exist a MPU-401 to OPL3 TSR for MS-DOS?

There are a few games for MS-DOS with music only through MPU-401, like the platformer Abuse and the RPG Avalon. Is there a TSR available that intercepts MPU-401 port accesses and transforms them into ...
knol's user avatar
  • 11.9k
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

SSH for DOS / Win 3.1

Is there an SSH client for DOS 6.22 or Windows 3.1 that supports certificates and could be used to connect to AWS or Azure instances, or any other server for that matter? I have another laptop ...
Bartek Malysz's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does changing a DOS/Windows EXE cause it to not run? [closed]

If I hex-edit an EXE for DOS or Windows, by adding or removing some text for example, it will no longer run. If I just change a single char around to a different one, it may run. Is this some anti-...
Majdi Hasting's user avatar

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