VOGONS


First post, by StaffelGuard1917

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Hello, people ! Which OS selectors can you reccomend me for a 486 - p1 system - to choose between win9x / pure dos on startup, etc... I used Acronys OS Selector for many years but on some systems it doesn't find HDD or just refuse to install...

Reply 1 of 17, by Jorpho

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"Pure dos" really doesn't offer any benefits over MS-DOS mode in Win9x and I would strongly suggest forgetting the whole thing. You can always use a boot floppy if you really need "pure dos" for something or other.

Otherwise, if your hard drive is FAT16-formatted, then just install MS-DOS before installing Win9x. Then you can press F8 when booting (when the "Starting Windows ..." message appears) and select "Previous version of MS-DOS" from the menu.

If you are using multiple primary partitions on the same drive, then I suggest manually toggling the Active partition using a utility like gdisk rather than bothering with a boot manager.

Reply 2 of 17, by vetz

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I use BootMagic, but that is best when you have NT/XP mixed with Win9x/DOS

Last edited by vetz on 2020-11-26, 16:39. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 3 of 17, by Caluser2000

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XOSL was good back in the day. http://www2.arnes.si/~fkomar/xosl.org/home.html

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Reply 4 of 17, by keropi

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PLOP Bootmanager , I use it on my MMX builds and it's great:
https://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager/screenshots.html

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Reply 5 of 17, by gex85

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XFDisk has a simple but functional boot manager, too. It will allow you to create multiple primary partitions on one disk, and upon boot, it will set the primary partition that you want to boot from as active, making the others "invisible". This way you can have one partition for pure DOS, one for Win9x, and each OS will see its own partition as drive C: and won't interfere with the other OS. If you want to share data between the OSs, you can create an extended partition or throw in a second hard drive. It's a bit tricky to set up for the first time, but once you've figured it out, it works pretty well.

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Reply 9 of 17, by OzzFan

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I used System Commander back in the day as a paid purchase. I used it to multi-boot many versions of DOS, Windows 95, NT4 and OS/2 for application compatibility testing on a 486 system. Worked really well, too! I had purchased Boot Commander + Partition Magic, which was a competitor to System Commander, but I preferred System Commander's interface and ease-of-use.

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Reply 11 of 17, by schmatzler

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aleksej wrote on 2020-11-28, 10:48:

Boot-US. Not free but superb.

It's free for private use.

Can also hide partitions depending on the one you want to boot from, it's also my bootmanager of choice.

Needs at least Windows XP(/2000?) so you can run the installer for it, though.

Reply 12 of 17, by Errius

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I have always used MasterBooter. It's free for up to 4 operating systems IIRC.

(I see the website has gone offline. That's a shame. It was a good product.)

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Reply 13 of 17, by aha2940

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Errius wrote on 2020-12-07, 05:47:

I have always used MasterBooter. It's free for up to 4 operating systems IIRC.

(I see the website has gone offline. That's a shame. It was a good product.)

I also use it, it's a great boot manager. It was released as open source a couple years ago: https://github.com/nagydjol/masterbooter however I do not see binaries built. It is easy to build them though, it just requires the DOS version of borland C++ 3.

Reply 15 of 17, by Errius

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aha2940 wrote on 2020-12-13, 03:28:
Errius wrote on 2020-12-07, 05:47:

I have always used MasterBooter. It's free for up to 4 operating systems IIRC.

(I see the website has gone offline. That's a shame. It was a good product.)

I also use it, it's a great boot manager. It was released as open source a couple years ago: https://github.com/nagydjol/masterbooter however I do not see binaries built. It is easy to build them though, it just requires the DOS version of borland C++ 3.

That reminds me, I actually use the bundled EFDISK utility way more often than the boot manager itself. This is basically a version of DOS FDISK but with support for NTFS and other file systems. It's very useful. What other similar tools exist? Does FreeDOS have an equivalent?

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Reply 16 of 17, by aleksej

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schmatzler wrote on 2020-12-07, 01:37:

It's free for private use.

Can also hide partitions depending on the one you want to boot from, it's also my bootmanager of choice.

Yes but free non-registered copy lacks useful 'true hiding' feature.

Needs at least Windows XP(/2000?) so you can run the installer for it, though.

Atleast v3.7 (win32 GUI) works just fine in 9x IIRC (installer won't though). Anyway i use cmd-line DOS version in 95/98.

Reply 17 of 17, by Jorpho

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Errius wrote on 2020-12-13, 08:48:

What other similar tools exist?

GDisk, included with Norton Ghost, comes to mind. It's one of those things that is so powerful that you can easily trash your hard drive with a single casual typo - but it has its uses.