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102 votes

Why didn't Windows 98 need the "Starting Windows 98..." screen?

The message hasn’t gone anywhere. What actually changed is something else. The text message first appeared in MS-DOS 6.0 and said ‘Starting MS-DOS...’. It served two purposes: first, it confirmed that ...
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  • 16.6k
94 votes

Why weren't bootable game disks ever common on the IBM PC?

Bootable game disks do exist for the IBM PC. Conflict in Vietnam is an example of such a game. As can be seen on page 8 of the manual, the game boots directly without loading DOS first. The main ...
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93 votes
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Why do PCs boot in 720x400 resolution?

This is historically not uncommon at all. Before starting an Operating System and initializing a graphics mode, your PC operates in the simplest display mode available, 80×25 text mode. The original ...
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  • 1,455
64 votes
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Why does DOS ask for the current date and time upon booting?

Because it used to be necessary. While a battery-powered real-time clock is standard today, this wasn’t always the case. The very first IBM 5150 did not include an RTC chip; the system clock was ...
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  • 16.6k
58 votes
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How to put a delay in AUTOEXEC.BAT

Since you are using MS-DOS 6.22 you can abuse the CHOICE command to introduce a set timed delay by piping the output of a REM statement to the choice command, leaving it with no way to complete other ...
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  • 4,032
50 votes
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What makes a floppy disk bootable?

The notion of a bootable-vs-non-bootable floppy is a little odd. It's worth noting that almost all floppies you're likely to have are actually bootable: it's just that they boot a program that isn't ...
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  • 12.3k
34 votes

What's the deal with Commodore's RESTORE key?

TL;DR: There is no fundamental difference just because a different interrupt is used. For all practical purpose the Restore-key works like the Apple II's Reset-key or the PC's Ctrl-Alt-Del key ...
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  • 168k
31 votes
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Why do old computers perform a long memory test on every boot?

Why are they doing that? The most important reason is that IBM introduced that check as part of the BIOS startup code, so everyone copied it to be compatible. The PC did differ from many other ...
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  • 168k
31 votes

Algorithm for Apple IIe and Apple IIgs boot/start beep

What is algorithms use for boot/start sound (when turn on computer) Algorithm? Well, yes, technically everything is an algorithm. In this case it's simply executing the beep subroutine during reset, ...
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  • 168k
30 votes
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How did an IBM 5150 with 16KB RAM work?

What Boot Code? With 16 KiB it was pitched against the Apple II or the Commodore/Tandy/Atari with BASIC, nothing else. Remember that the PC (!) had a the cassette port? That's the intended mass ...
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  • 168k
30 votes
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What init system was used in early Linux distributions?

Early Linux distributions, including MCC and TAMU, used Miquel van Smoorenburg’s sysvinit package (which was originally written for Minix in February 1992 and ported to Linux in July 1992; it is now ...
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  • 95.7k
26 votes

Why weren't bootable game disks ever common on the IBM PC?

Well there were some PC booter titles (MobyGames lists 249), but most of these were quite early games, even before hard drives, XMS or EMS even existed. These were almost always self contained single ...
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  • 17.2k
25 votes
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Windows 98 with 2GB of RAM

I might have found a stable way to limit Windows 98 to use only 1 GiB of RAM with HimemX: Install Windows 98 with 1 GiB of RAM or less; Download himemxfrom https://sourceforge.net/projects/himemx/; ...
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  • 2,557
24 votes

Windows 98 with 2GB of RAM

The Windows 98 memory manager only supports a maximum of 1GB. This amount of memory was considered beyond huge for the time, and by the time people commonly had that much or more memory, Microsoft ...
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  • 968
22 votes

Why weren't bootable game disks ever common on the IBM PC?

The IBM PC was NOT a Game Machine Plenty of people played plenty of games on IBM & compatible computers. But the IBM PC was designed as a business machine, not a game machine. This is most obvious ...
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22 votes
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Is it possible to boot C64/C128 from floppy

On the C64, no. On power up, the drive is resetting and the motor may spin briefly, but the drive is not actually reading the disk. And even if it were, it is an IEC slave device and cannot initiate ...
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  • 4,348
21 votes
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Can a stock/original Atari ST boot from a hard drive?

All models of the Atari ST1 had code in ROM to attempt to read and run a boot sector from the first sector an ACSI2-attached drive. The bootloader3 contained in that sector would4 load the hard disk ...
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  • 8,882
19 votes
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What did the cassette bootloader in 8 Bit Ataris do?

De Re Atari describes the cassette boot protocol, which helps understand why bootloaders were (nearly) always used. In cassette boot mode, the operating system reads a record from the tape recorder ...
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  • 95.7k
17 votes
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What was the distinctive rapid clicking sound in late 1990s desktops?

Its hard to tell exactly from just that brief description, but I think you're probably referring to the sound of the hard drive head seek (repositioning to different areas of the disk) as data is read ...
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  • 4,032
15 votes

How did an IBM 5150 with 16KB RAM work?

The minimal version of IBM PC, also known as cassette version, was shipped with 40KB ROM and 16KB RAM as outlined in IBM 5150 Technical Reference (SECTION I. HARDWARE OVERVIEW in the reference): ...
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  • 251
15 votes
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I made a sector image of a Windows 95 partition, but it won’t boot. Why?

When you used dd, did you capture it from the first physical sector? Or did you merely grab the volume of interest? If you did it on \\.\Volume{$$$$$$$$-$$$$-....}, then you only got C:, not the ...
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  • 1,319
15 votes
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How Amiga A590 autoboot ROM and bootable floppy disk works?

In order to autoboot any Amiga hard disk, 3 things are needed. A version of Kickstart that supports boot from HD. This means >= Kickstart 1.3. A device driver that knows how to speak to the HD ...
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  • 56.8k
14 votes

How to put a delay in AUTOEXEC.BAT

If you do any programming, it would probably be trivial to create a small C executable that calls Sleep() to pause the thread for a specified timeout. However, it stands to reason you are not the ...
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  • 8,436
13 votes
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Why weren't bootable game disks ever common on the IBM PC?

There were three primary reasons: Space - PC games were at an awkward juncture in time where both the OS and the games had grown but floppy disks had not, so there was often too little space on the ...
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  • 262
13 votes
Accepted

How to make bootable CD with multiple games for CDTV

Well, a few users are creating compilation of games for the CD32 and the CDTV. The most prolific is AmigaJay. For instance here he released several compilations for CDTV including a lot of titles: ...
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12 votes
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Why does my Acorn RiscPC display the POST boot error?

What does "POST" mean? On the RiscPC, "POST" stands for Power On Self Test. The POST sequence is performed on computers running RiscOS 3, and ensures that the computer is working ...
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  • 17k
12 votes

Why weren't bootable game disks ever common on the IBM PC?

Games that were designed to be run from floppy were usually self-booting, and often could only be run by booting from floppy. In many cases, the game code could be stored in ways that would not be ...
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  • 27.4k
12 votes

Why do PCs boot in 720x400 resolution?

The PC boots in text mode, and on a VGA card the text mode indeed has a resolution of 720x400. As the text mode was the most used standard mode before GUI programs and operating systems were loaded, ...
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  • 17.2k
12 votes
Accepted

Why did the BIOS load the MBR at 0x7c00?

As the least amount of memory needed to boot from floppy was 32 kilobytes, the first sector of the floppy, the FAT volume boot record, is loaded to just before the 32 kilobyte end of memory. However, ...
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