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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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 ...
2 votes
4 answers
659 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 ...
18 votes
6 answers
3k 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, ...
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22 votes
2 answers
1k 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, ...
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5 votes
2 answers
319 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 ...
75 votes
4 answers
25k views

Why is Windows using CR+LF and Unix just LF when Unix is the older system?

Windows and MS-DOS use the control characters CR+LF (carriage return, line feed) for new lines, while Unix uses just LF. As far as I know CR+LF made sense for systems controlling a real teletypewriter,...
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7 votes
2 answers
578 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
750 views

Can I install DOS version 6.22 straight from IBM BASIC?

I accidentally 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 ...
17 votes
5 answers
3k views

What tools were used in late MS-DOS era for reverse engineering and patching binary executables?

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", ...
3 votes
3 answers
577 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 ...
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10 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
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19 votes
2 answers
7k views

Was OS/2 a viable alternative for daily DOS and Windows tasks?

After playing a bit with the OS, a question sparked my interest: Could it entirely replace DOS and Windows ? Let's restrict the scope of this question a bit since it's fairly broad, Was it ...
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18 votes
2 answers
6k 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.
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1 vote
1 answer
615 views

Where was MS-DOS used? [closed]

How widely was MS-DOS used? Was it globally, or just in some specific places? Were there any regional substitutes used more commonly, and if so, what were they?
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5 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
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43 votes
9 answers
12k views

Is DOS being shipped with or as an installed OS?

Given the very small size of DOS, it would seem it might still be ideal for some applications such as handheld games. Is any system manufacturer still shipping DOS with their machine? If no one is ...
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26 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
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67 votes
3 answers
14k 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 ...
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8 votes
3 answers
4k 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
1 answer
412 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.
29 votes
5 answers
9k views

Are MS-DOS and Windows 9x vulnerable to Meltdown?

In an interesting crossover between current events and Retrocomputing, the vulnerability known as "Meltdown" was publicly disclosed on January 3rd 2018. The retro-computing tie-in is that this ...
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12 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is there a way to link object files for DOS from Linux?

I'm able to use NASM to assemble simple COM files from my modern Linux computer, but how can I create a DOS EXE file while still in Linux? Specifically, I am interested in a solution that will target ...
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35 votes
10 answers
9k views

Is there a reason to prefer earlier versions of MS-DOS over later?

I understand MS-DOS to be backwards-compatible, so is there a reason to run a version earlier than the last (6.22) on an old computer? The only reason I can think of would be for period-accuracy, but ...
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10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why might I get "drive not ready" when formatting a floppy?

I have a 3.5" floppy drive in an IBM XT 286 (5162). I can boot DOS from the floppy just fine but when I try to run FORMAT, it always says that the disk drive is not ready. Specifically: A:\>...
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13 votes
7 answers
5k 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....
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Custom keyboard layout in DOS?

Is it possible to customize the keyboard layout in DOS? I use a custom keyboard layout on modern computers and I am wondering if I can do the same on old.
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11 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

What to do about "Invalid media type"

I have an old PC with a HDD that was using Double Space. Since I do not need the extra space, and want to minimise the system use of RAM, I attempted to re-format the drive normally. After typing ...
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8 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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19 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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23 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
2k 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-...
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14 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
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21 votes
2 answers
8k views

What is the best way to obtain old versions of MS-DOS and Windows?

I'm wondering what the best way obtain old versions of Windows would be, specifically: DOS Windows 95 Windows 98/SE Windows 2000/ME Windows XP Professional Windows 7 Professional Microsoft Office for ...
39 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
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17 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
201 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 ...
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17 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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10 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Using the swap space of Windows 3.1 as a MS-DOS 6.22 temporary directory

I currently have a working installation of MS-DOS 6.22 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'...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
882 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 ...
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15 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
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16 votes
1 answer
6k views

How to write directly to video memory using "debug.exe" 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
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25 votes
12 answers
5k views

Why did CP/M and MS-DOS use the BIOS 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, ...
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29 votes
2 answers
5k 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, ...
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17 votes
5 answers
6k views

What is most appropriate 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. ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k 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" ...
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33 votes
5 answers
11k 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, ...
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