VOGONS


First post, by swhockey98

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I need some help dual booting DOS and Windows 95 on the same hard drive, two partitions. I initially wiped out a WD 10.2GB hard drive. First, I installed DOS 6.22 and used FDISK to partition out two 2GB partitions, labeled drive C and D. DOS was installed on partition C.

After the installation completed, I ran FDISK again at the C:\ prompt to format partition D. Next, I inserted my Windows 95 CD, changed my BIOS settings to boot from the CD-ROM drive and restarted. When Windows Setup prompted me which directory to install Windows, I changed the destination directory to partition D and the setup finished successfully. After Windows 95 finished installing, I rebooted and Windows 95 loads by default. Within Windows, I tried restarting in MS-DOS, but it only let me go to D:\WINDOWS and I could not change directory back to the C:\ prompt.

Can someone please help me on how I can create a boot menu? Do I need to add some information to AUTOEXEC.BAT, MYDOS.SYS, or CONFIG.SYS? So far the only way I've been able to access those 3 files is within Windows and editing them in Notepad.

Reply 1 of 31, by kixs

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It can be installed on one partition as well. Windows 95 installation keeps previous DOS and you can select it via menu that you get after F8 key is pressed right at boot. It keeps all the settings - autoexec.bat and config.sys.

If you want to have a completely separated DOS 6.22 and W95. Then you can use some Boot Manager to install OS's and hide unwanted/unused partitions (this is done automatically) - I usually use GOG.

Here is an example of one custom boot menu:
http://ozzyfrank.150m.com/pages/pc/bootmenu.htm

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Reply 2 of 31, by swhockey98

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Thanks for following up. Through some more research and trial & error, it appears Windows 95 OSR2.x does not natively support dual booting. However, it does allow you to boot into a previous versions of DOS only once before a Win 95 startup disk is required to re-initialize. I tried Windows 95 OEM (Retail) and I successfully dual booted DOS 6.22 and Win 95. My only issue, however, was that my video card driver was incompatible with the earlier Win 95 versions so I am stuck using OSR 2.5. I tried using the resource below to dual boot OSR 2.5 and DOS, but was unsuccessful. I will try using a boot manager to see if I have any luck.

http://www.mdgx.com/osr2.htm (Scroll down to the Dual Boot section)

Reply 3 of 31, by kixs

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With Boot managers I would do like this - it's a bit complicated.

1st install DOS on C: after it is installed do a Ghost image of that partition. Than install Win95 on reformated C: and after install and configure also make a Ghost image of that partition. I it wise to move Ghost image files to another disk. Then make at least 2 partitions on the primary disk. Reghost the 1st partition with DOS and Win95 on the 2nd. Then use GOG to install a boot manager to start both OS's. Some boot managers can manage up to 100 OS's on one disk - GOG can boot only 10, but its usually enought (Acronis Boot manager is also good - but it isn't free).

Much easier is to configure the Win95 boot menu - Command Prompt to load all the DOS drivers and use DOS 7 over DOS 6.22.

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Reply 4 of 31, by Gamecollector

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Win95 OSR2 is the 1st MS OS with the FAT32 support. So - yes, it kill your's FAT16 partition at the first OS change, because IO.SYS is using FAT32 by default and MSDOS.DOS/IO.DOS are using FAT16. Welcome to M$ land, users!

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Reply 5 of 31, by Mau1wurf1977

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IMO there is no need as Windows 95 has MS-DOS 7 which is great.

BUT you need to know what you are doing as things can become confusing between DOS and Windows.

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Reply 6 of 31, by TheMAN

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OSR2.5 does not allow you to boot back into old DOS, but I'm pretty sure OSR2.0 and 2.1 does
the DOS 7 that's part of OSR2.5 is very stripped down just like the one in Win98, while the DOS in OSR2 is fairly complete

Reply 8 of 31, by blakespot

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swhockey98 wrote:

I decided to try system commander and it dual boots DOS 6.22 and OSR2.5 without an issue.

What is System Commander? I want to do exactly what you have achieved here.

bp

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Reply 9 of 31, by swhockey98

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Commander

I purchased an open-box copy of System Commander 8 on Amazon for less than $15 and it's been working great for 2+ months so far. I just checked Amazon and I don't see the 8th version anymore, only 9. However, I can't imagine why 9 wouldn't work though. You can ignore the negative reviews as they stem from users' inability to research which OS'es are supported in the first place.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Reply 10 of 31, by Mau1wurf1977

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So how does this work.

Do you create the partitions first? Then boot into one, install the OS, and the other ones are invisible? Sound pretty cool...

Can you access all partitions when you connect the HDD into another PC?

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Reply 11 of 31, by swhockey98

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Mau1wurf1977 wrote:

So how does this work.

Do you create the partitions first? Then boot into one, install the OS, and the other ones are invisible? Sound pretty cool...

I was using one hard drive and created two partitions, one for DOS 6.22 (C:) and the other for Windows 95 OSR2.5 (D:).

1. Install DOS 6.22.
2. While in DOS, create another partition (D:) using FDISK and format as FAT16.
3. Insert OSR2.5 installation CD and reboot.
4. During installation process, make sure it's pointed to D: when prompted.
5. After installation, reboot into Windows 95 first when prompted at the boot menu. I believe booting into "Previous version of DOS" (aka 6.22) only lets you do this once before the IO.SYS file is re-written and then you only have access to DOS 7 thereafter.
6. After you're booted into your new Windows 95 installation then install System Commander. You will prompted to reboot after it installs. After I did, System Commander automatically searched for partitions and configured my boot menu shown here without any intervention:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/107428333@N05/12087569314/

Like I mentioned above it's been working great for the past couple months. I can toggle between 6.22 and Windows 95. When I am in DOS I cannot see the D: partition, but when I am in Windows 95 I can access my DOS (C:) partition so I'm not sure what's going on but it doesn't really bother me.

If you're interested in not spending anything, apparently someone else wrote up a guide on getting an OSR2.x and DOS 6.22 dual boot configured without any third party software:

http://www.mdgx.com/osr2.htm#2BOOT

I read over it, but did not attempt it. For the little money I had to spend on System Commander, it was worth saving myself any frustration and time.

Let me know if you need any help or have any other questions.

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:

Can you access all partitions when you connect the HDD into another PC?

Unfortunately I haven't had an opportunity to try this yet so I can't comment on it.

Reply 12 of 31, by Mau1wurf1977

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Cool and thank you for the detailed explanation!

Might be worth checking out for me if I have the time 😀

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Reply 13 of 31, by Jorpho

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swhockey98 wrote:

When I am in DOS I cannot see the D: partition, but when I am in Windows 95 I can access my DOS (C:) partition so I'm not sure what's going on but it doesn't really bother me.

If your Windows 95 partition is FAT32-formatted (which it must be if it is over 2 GB), then DOS will never be able to see it unless you use a suitable FAT32 driver. (drfat32.sys, despite being made for DR-DOS, should work.) System Commander might also be hiding it.

If you're interested in not spending anything, apparently someone else wrote up a guide on getting an OSR2.x and DOS 6.22 dual boot configured without any third party software:

http://www.mdgx.com/osr2.htm#2BOOT

I read over it, but did not attempt it. For the little money I had to spend on System Commander, it was worth saving myself any frustration and time.

The big advantage to using the dual-boot capabilities of OSR2.x – once properly patched – is that it allows both DOS 6.22 and Windows 95 to coexist on a single partition.

Reply 14 of 31, by kixs

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Mau1wurf1977 wrote:

So how does this work.

Do you create the partitions first? Then boot into one, install the OS, and the other ones are invisible? Sound pretty cool...

Can you access all partitions when you connect the HDD into another PC?

Partitions that are marked as hidden are not visible on another PC. The last state is preserved.

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Reply 15 of 31, by blakespot

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swhockey98 wrote:

During installation process, make sure it's pointed to D: when prompted.

How is this done? It seems to just install on C: for me. I have a C: and a D: per your drill.

Thanks...

bp

:: Visit the Byte Cellar, my vintage computer blog (since 2004).
:: See a panorama of my own Byte Cellar (a.k.a. basement computer room)...
:: twitter: @blakespot

Reply 16 of 31, by blakespot

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Does Windows 95C, in fact, ask you where you want it installed?

Right now I have 511MB C: partition with DOS 6.22 fully installed - active partition.
I also have a 511MB D: partition with no files installed.

Do I need to boot from D: with DOS 6 setup to access CD-ROM and install from there? IF so, how do I boot from D:? Set it as active partition, will that make D: boot?

Thanks.

bp

:: Visit the Byte Cellar, my vintage computer blog (since 2004).
:: See a panorama of my own Byte Cellar (a.k.a. basement computer room)...
:: twitter: @blakespot

Reply 17 of 31, by Jorpho

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If I'm not mistaken, MS-DOS and Win9x will always need to boot from an active partition, which means they will always have to run from drive C. Specifically, at boot time, MS-DOS and Win9x will assign C to the active partition and change the letter for everything else appropriately, which means that your drive letters will not be consistent when you boot a different OS. I have no idea what Mr. Swhockey98 is referring to – but then, I've never used System Commander.

I still suggest installing them both to the same FAT16 partition.

Reply 19 of 31, by blakespot

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I am now using System Commander 7 to good effect in juggling my Win95C partition and my DOS 6.22 partition. And, it's free.

VCOM was offering System Commander 7, among other legacy apps, on their "Obsolete Releases" page, here:

http://www.avanquest.com/USA/aq-you/support/o … e_releases.html

Sadly, the dl link is dead. HOWEVER, I decided to give Archive.org a shake an - voila! There's the file!

https://web.archive.org/web/20110809022408/ht … e_releases.html

There was a System Commander 8 and 9 (and maybe 10), after - but 7 supports XP, so...it's just fine for my purposes. FYI.

bp

:: Visit the Byte Cellar, my vintage computer blog (since 2004).
:: See a panorama of my own Byte Cellar (a.k.a. basement computer room)...
:: twitter: @blakespot