How to install MS DOS

I installed an MS-DOS 6.22 on a VMWare virtual system. BTW – DOS = Disk Operation System. MS=represent Microsoft.

You can download the ISO file from this link – MS DOS 6.22 Bootable iso 

How to install MS-DOS on a new system?

MS-DOS was the operating system before Windows

I am going to use VMWare virtual machine to create an MS-DOS device. The next step is to set the MS-DOS ISO file as the CDROM

MS DOS Set the ISO as CDROM
MS DOS Set the ISO as CDROM

The next step is to boot the device. Please note that you may need to enter the VM BIOS, by pressing F2 before the boot process start and changing the boot order, setting the CDROM as the first boot device.

First Booting to MS-DOS
First Booting to MS-DOS

From the command line, we need to first configure our hard drive. Currently, the system does not know about it.

To do it we need to run the fdisk command line.

FDISK Step 1
FDISK Step 1

In our case we only have 1 hard disk, so we are unable to change the current fixed disk so we stay with the first (1) disk.

We need to create a new partition, please select number 1.

FDISK Step 2
FDISK Step 2

Here we need to select number 1 again, we want it to be the primary partition. If we had more hard disks we might create an extended partition, or split our disk into some drives.

FDISK Step 3
FDISK Step 3

We set this partition as active, so we can boot from this partirion.

FDISK Step 4
FDISK Step 4

After FDISK finish, it will ask for a restart. In case your BIOS is not configured to boot from the CDROM you will get an error message.

Missing operation system message
Missing operation system message

If so, restart the system and press F2 to enter the BIOS.

MSDOS BIOS
MSDOS BIOS

Go to the boot tab, set the CDROM as the first boot device, and go to the exit tab, select the Save and exit.

Now your system will restart and load the boot from the CDROM.

Making C drive ready
Making C drive ready

The next step is to format our new drive. One of the format command line parameters it to copy the system files to the formatted disk.

We will run the following command: format c: /s

Formatting our C drive
Formatting our C drive

When the format is completed your C hard disk is ready for use.

Now, let’s do some more steps:

Copy DOS files to HD:

  • Go to C drive
  • type: md dos – to create a folder name dos on the root C drive.
  • next type: navigate to the CDROM drive – in my case it R:
  • type: xcopy . c:/dos – this will copy all the files to your hard disk under the dos folder.
  • type: path=%PATH%;C:\DOS – This will tell the system that if I type a command to search it also in the C:\DOS folder

Create basic config.sys file:

To create a file you can use the copy con command or the edit command. The edit command is easier to use, in the need for changes.

The config.sys file allows us to load some drivers to our DOS environment.

Config Sys Example
Config Sys Example

type: edit config.sys

Add the following to the file:

DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\SETVER.EXE
DOS=HIGH, UMB
FILES=30
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\CD1.SYS /D:BANANA
STACKS=9,256

The first line loads the himem.sys device drive to memory, this will tell DOS to use the upper memory, more than the first 640K.

Next, we load the EMM memory management and the SETVER. Note we load it to the higher memory above the 640K.

We tell DOS to load itself to the HIGH memory as well.

Also, we load the CDROM driver – CD1.SYS

Create basic autoexec.bat file:

The next file to create is the autoexec.bat, this is another file that loads with the system boot.

Autoexec bat Example
Autoexec bat Example

type: edit autoexec.bat

Add the following to the file:

@ECHO OFF
PROMPT $p$g
PATH=C:\;C:\DOS;
SET TEMP=C:\TEMP
LH C:\DOS\MSCDEX.EXE /S /D:BANANA/L:D
LH C:\DOS\MOUSE.EXE
@CLS

We start with hiding the output of the command we run – ECH OFF, the @ is to hide the command itself to be shown in the command line during the Autoexec loading time,

The LH is Load High, we load the CDROM and the Mouse so we can use them.

It is boot time:

Now we can restart the system, we might need to remove the CDROM ISO file we use so that the system boot from the hard disk.

Here is the output of the mem command:

MSDOS Memory information
MSDOS Memory information

 

I hope this guide helps you, or take you back in time 🙂

Anyway…

Your MS-DOS system is ready to use.

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