Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby Jorpho » 2017-2-05 @ 04:25

jarreboum wrote:Wouldn't be 98lite (Windows 98 with the shell from 95) the best of both world? Support for more hardware without the iexplore integration?
There doesn't seem to be much talk of 98lite here. I guess it's not really worth the trouble.
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby notsofossil » 2017-2-07 @ 05:51

Just curious, for popular DOS games, what's wrong with running them from within Windows 95/98?
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby Jorpho » 2017-2-07 @ 05:57

Some games are known to be incompatible with such environments. There's an ancient MSKB article summarized in viewtopic.php?f=5&t=761&p=7674 – but of course, it applies to Windows 95 and further compatibility improvements were likely added in 98.
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-2-07 @ 08:00

There are quite a lot games mentioned in this article. I still can't determine if it's better to use Win95b/c or Win98/se.
Sometimes the SB-Emulation in Win98se-Dosbox is usefull if you have a PCI Soundcard in a Laptop or a PC.
Sometimes a fast Machine plays more Games/Demos when running Win98se, as using plain dos, or no gui in Win98se.
It's pretty freakin'
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby 95DosBox » 2017-5-23 @ 20:34

Sandi1987 wrote:Which is better for MS-DOS games?

Since you specify for MS-DOS games. Use 98SE and boot into pure DOS mode. That is the best environment.

Partition 1 will be 2GB FAT16

Partition 2 you can use a FAT32 Extended Partition. But make sure you copy the directory files to the Partition 1 if you are installing or running it directly to avoid any possible compatibility issues.
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby 95DosBox » 2017-5-24 @ 20:18

Sandi1987 wrote:Which is better for MS-DOS games?


As DosFreak also suggested as long as don't boot Windows. But both 95 and 98 Pure MS-DOS versions should run DOS games just fine and on par with probably DOS 6.22. The benefit of 98 would be access to FAT32 partitions. but for the sake of compatibility I recommend making a 2GB FAT16 partition as the primary partition on the boot drive as not all DOS programs would respect FAT32 partitions and possibly may not function properly. The best way for a beginner to bypass the Windows 95/98 Gui without any modifications is from within Windows restart the computer and then it when you start seeing the BIOS screen pop up like when you first turn on your computer constantly tap the F8 key at the top of the keyboard constantly until it enters the Windows 95/98 Boot Menu and gives you options. Windows 95 / 98 DOS loads in less than second so sometimes this is the only way to get in before it going into the Windows GUI and then you'll have to repeat the process.

One of the 95/98 Boot Menu options is "6. Safe mode command prompt only" if you want to avoid loading the Config.sys or Autoexec.bat. If you have created your own customized Config.sys and Autoexec.bat then there is another option for "5. Command prompt only" which would load those two DOS boot files first Config.sys then Autoexec.bat.

Here is an idea of how the Windows 95/98 Boot Menu looks like using the F8 key.
http://thpc.info/how/bootmenu9x.html

If you get advanced you can start modifying the MSDOS.SYS file to automatically go to this menu by default and run your Windows 95/98 at the Command Prompt by typing "WIN".

But the F8 bypass trick should work on all 95/98 systems.

And just for clarification as to why run DOS programs in pure Windows DOS rather than inside the 95/98 Command Prompt. Not every DOS program likes being run inside Windows which cause compatibility problems. And if you hit the Windows key for example sometimes this will also crash the program if it manages to run in the first place. Also some DOS games want the most conventional memory as possible so even using exiting from Windows 95/98 to DOS you're also going to lose the most conventional memory you can achieve then say booting straight to Windows 95/98 avoiding the Windows Gui. So if your goal is running DOS games you are better off modifying the MSDOS.SYS and configuring it to boot straight to Windows 95/98 DOS. Between the two I prefer 98SE DOS only because of it being the last official MS-DOS revision and it supports FAT32 in case you need to copy directories/files from a FAT32 partition onto the FAT16 partition boot partition for running it in the cleanest most DOS compatible state aside from running pure MS-DOS 6.22 and lower.
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby 95DosBox » 2017-5-24 @ 20:45

Jorpho wrote:
jarreboum wrote:Wouldn't be 98lite (Windows 98 with the shell from 95) the best of both world? Support for more hardware without the iexplore integration?
There doesn't seem to be much talk of 98lite here. I guess it's not really worth the trouble.


It wouldn't be worth the effort Jorpho. 98Lite actually had a well intended purpose. When space was a scarcity 98 Lite helped reduced 98SE size down to its fundamentals without sacrificing compatibility. However nothing beats bypassing the Windows 98 GUI entirely and just making a stand alone 98SE DOS Boot Drive minus the Windows files if it is just a matter of space which would be more efficient. But for simplistic reasons today and the abundance of hard drive space it is simply not worth the trouble as you stated. Also 98Lite's better purpose would have been to boot off a CD and load the entire 98Lite OS and run it entirely off a Ramdrive. That was one of the earlier projects of preferring 98Lite just for that purpose. Other than that I wouldn't waste the time 98Liting my setup today. It is much harder to accomplish this for XP since it was around 2GB in size on a computer of that era. Today I've seen a lot of effort in XPLiting to reduce its footprint to fit onto a CD so it could be loaded into pure Ramdrive since we now have computers with 32GB / 64GB we are at a time where that is now possible to consider this for offline HTPC or playing legacy XP games installed onto the Ramdrive. In case XPlite becomes of interest. http://www.litepc.com/xplite.html
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-5-24 @ 21:09

The option of using the Win95 explorer rather than the less efficient version included with 98 was also a big performance savings.
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby 95DosBox » 2017-5-25 @ 00:07

gdjacobs wrote:The option of using the Win95 explorer rather than the less efficient version included with 98 was also a big performance savings.


So you're just copying the 95A or 95B explorer.exe on top of the 98SE explorer.exe or was there more to this? Was there a difference between the 95A or 95B explorer.exe file to choose?

How much noticeable gains are we talking about? I'm trying to recall if 95A or 95B could install IE 4.0. This was were the best feature of Quicklaunch first appeared. I think I had installed IE 4.0 on 95A but I can't remember.

And when you're talking about explorer you're talking about the explorer for just browsing your files and folders or was there some other aspect you are referring to where 95 is faster?
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby Jorpho » 2017-5-25 @ 03:34

The advantages of 98lite should all be extensively documented on the 98lite website. As Mr. gdjacobs suggests, it is principally about having the faster, IE-free version of Explorer than it is about disk space or running the OS from a CD. (And back in the day there was a certain appeal in giving Microsoft the middle finger for obliging users to deal with their browser.)

I'm pretty sure IE4 will install on all versions of Win95; Quick Launch was part of the included "Desktop Update".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Desktop_Update
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby 95DosBox » 2017-5-25 @ 13:26

Jorpho wrote:The advantages of 98lite should all be extensively documented on the 98lite website. As Mr. gdjacobs suggests, it is principally about having the faster, IE-free version of Explorer than it is about disk space or running the OS from a CD. (And back in the day there was a certain appeal in giving Microsoft the middle finger for obliging users to deal with their browser.)

I'm pretty sure IE4 will install on all versions of Win95; Quick Launch was part of the included "Desktop Update".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Desktop_Update


Back then when IE actually worked or was required to view most websites it didn't bother me that it was embedded. The internet was still young. There wasn't really another option back then except Mosaic and Netscape and a few others which probably weren't as supported on most sites or later died off. I'm pretty sure IE4 would install on 95A or 95B because I always kept a copy of the IE4 setup file that asked if you wanted to install Quick Launch. But since it has been so many years since I last used 95 and moved on to 98SE as my go to legacy OS I would have to dig up my 95 floppy disk set or if I can find that old 95B CD somewhere to test it out again to confirm. Without Quick Launch it made navigating Windows less friendly on 95. I still don't get why Windows 7 officially removed it and tried to force upon users the Pin to Taskbar method. But usually I got the self contained IE installers from those free AOL online freebie discs they kept sending you in the mail and I primarily stuck with the older versions of IE since each new version added more bloat that was noticeable and slowed the computer down. I think I used IE 4.0 for the longest time and maybe used IE 5.0 when websites started requiring it and probably IE 6.0 at the end. I think I started to use IE 7.0 around the time of 2000 and XP and I don't think I really favored IE 8.0 and began experimenting with other alternative browsers going forward. Today I mainly hide the IE icon on my desktop and if necessary rename the iexplorer.exe file so it doesn't launch or get accessed by malware. :)

But since I wasn't a hardcore 98lite user I never really bothered with it much but maybe tried it out a few times to see how much I could shrink it but I only read about people using it for that purpose I mentioned earlier for putting it into a Ramdrive and the one you stated wanting to purge IE permanently from Windows I had forgotten about. You could customize 98SE during the installation process to a certain extent which programs you wanted installed to reduce its overall size if you wanted but I usually added all possible options that were not selected by default to prevent needing the 98SE CD later. I remember there was huge battle about IE being included with Windows as unfair back then and Microsoft was sued. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... osoft_Corp.
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby chinny22 » 2017-5-25 @ 13:52

You can easily bypass installing IE4 in Win95, During setup windows will setup the start menu or desktop, then auto restart.
Just take the CD out and once Windows starts it will ask for the CD, just hit cancel.
Cant remember the exact cab files name but they are easy enough to identify and can be deleted safely if you make your own CD/copy install files to the HDD.


486's early Pentiums I used Win95 I would probably used 98lite if I knew about it way back when.
P2'S and later Win98Se

Course for actual dos neither make a difference apart from FAT32 support
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby 95DosBox » 2017-5-25 @ 17:53

In W95 you couldn't get Quick Launch without installing IE4 because it was part of it. If you could remove IE4 post install and still retain Quick Launch feature that would be the best user interface for W95 lean. As for W98, Quick Launch is included with it so if you are able to use 98Lite to remove IE and still retain the Quick Launch user interface then that would be a leaner W98 to use. I think I also used an older 486 for 95A but it was painfully slow. Maybe it had 32MB of memory on that system.
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby leileilol » 2017-5-26 @ 19:08

You cannot have a "lean" UI and quick launch at the same time. Ever.
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby 95DosBox » 2017-5-26 @ 19:47

leileilol wrote:You cannot have a "lean" UI and quick launch at the same time. Ever.

:( If there was 95Lite that would be a fun little OS to play with on a Ramdrive. It would be quite tiny. :sweatdrop:
Looks like this is as close as you can get to that pipedream I think no chance of Quick Launch surviving just IE removal.
http://www.litepc.com/faq2.html
Windows 95 - Where is 95lite?
You can use IEradicator to remove Internet Explorer and desktop integration from Windows 95! We do not have plans to develop a fully featured 95lite.
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby jarreboum » 2017-5-27 @ 11:37

There is also a page for an "Embedded Windows 98" http://www.litepc.com/eos.html claiming super fast boots, smallest images. Unfortunately, the complementary site http://www.embeddingwindows.com/ is down. Anyone has information about it, or maybe knows how to shrink down windows to its absolute bare minimum? I'm considering having a drive dedicated to a single Windows game, so I'd just need need to have the audio and video drivers, and the software starting at boot (possibly instead of the shell?)
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby DosFreak » 2017-5-27 @ 11:55

95DosBox wrote:
leileilol wrote:You cannot have a "lean" UI and quick launch at the same time. Ever.

:( If there was 95Lite that would be a fun little OS to play with on a Ramdrive. It would be quite tiny. :sweatdrop:
Looks like this is as close as you can get to that pipedream I think no chance of Quick Launch surviving just IE removal.
http://www.litepc.com/faq2.html
Windows 95 - Where is 95lite?
You can use IEradicator to remove Internet Explorer and desktop integration from Windows 95! We do not have plans to develop a fully featured 95lite.


viewtopic.php?f=31&t=37637
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby Jorpho » 2017-5-27 @ 16:10

jarreboum wrote:There is also a page for an "Embedded Windows 98" http://www.litepc.com/eos.html claiming super fast boots, smallest images. Unfortunately, the complementary site http://www.embeddingwindows.com/ is down. Anyone has information about it, or maybe knows how to shrink down windows to its absolute bare minimum? I'm considering having a drive dedicated to a single Windows game, so I'd just need need to have the audio and video drivers, and the software starting at boot (possibly instead of the shell?)
There's probably something like that floating around on the torrent sites or wherever illegal software tends to be found. (The same goes for bootable Windows CDs.) However, I'd expect that you would find that your drive would have unexpected dependencies on other Windows components.

You should test your game with HX DOS Extender; that's as minimal as it gets.
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby 95DosBox » 2017-5-28 @ 02:04

DosFreak wrote:
95DosBox wrote:
leileilol wrote:You cannot have a "lean" UI and quick launch at the same time. Ever.

:( If there was 95Lite that would be a fun little OS to play with on a Ramdrive. It would be quite tiny. :sweatdrop:
Looks like this is as close as you can get to that pipedream I think no chance of Quick Launch surviving just IE removal.
http://www.litepc.com/faq2.html
Windows 95 - Where is 95lite?
You can use IEradicator to remove Internet Explorer and desktop integration from Windows 95! We do not have plans to develop a fully featured 95lite.


viewtopic.php?f=31&t=37637


I saw those researching for that 5MB 95 version but sites are long gone and there was mention of a Windows 3.1 that fit on a floppy.

That would actually be one that could work on almost any OS as a floppy boot disk with 98SE DOS. I haven't tested Windows 3.1 in ages but it would be a cool boot disk if you could install the After Dark Star Trek Screensaver and the PC SPEAKER Driver for internal PC Speaker digitized effects on it you wouldn't need a sound card to get a cool little DOS Screen Saver with sound effects. :)

https://remember.the-aero.org/speaker/i ... tm#drivers

Later it can be ported to a USB flash drive as a gimmick. Walk into a Best Buy reboot a laptop with it if it has USB boot order in it set you can load it into memory take your USB drive and walk away like nothing happened smiling as Spock is mind melding with a Horta.
Last edited by Stiletto on 2017-5-28 @ 18:42, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Replaced link.
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Re: Windows 95 or 98 for MS-DOS Games

Postby Jo22 » 2017-5-31 @ 06:40

95DosBox wrote:I saw those researching for that 5MB 95 version but sites are long gone and there was mention of a Windows 3.1 that fit on a floppy..

Wow, that reminds me of my childhood! :) In the 90s, I spent a whole evening when I tried to accomplish something like that. .
My goal was to make the mouse tutorial program runable off the floppy disk. Can't remember why I wanted that, though.
I guess I liked it, because it was so incredible cinematic (I was impressed by the animation).
Also have a look at this article at winhistory.de : Windows 3.1 on a bootable floppy disk
I think another person also managed to get a more complete version to run off a 2.88MB floppy. Can't find the link right now, though.

Edit: If you like the idea of a whole OS fitting on a single floppy, have a look at MenuetOS or KolibriOS.
They are both written in assembler and got a few SDL programs ported over. DOSBox is one of them.
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