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First post, by Almoststew1990

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Hi everyone,

A couple of weeks ago I went away for the weekend and took my Windows 10 tablet thing. I ended up installing Dosbox and trying out The Oregon Trail, Doom and Wolfenstein3D (all for the first time!) and it was fun. But the screen is tiny and wobbly, the keyboard it comes with is terrible (it's a linx 1010b if you know your tablets), so I wanted to try them on my Windows 98 PC.

I remember playing (well, actually I remember trying to find the specific word in the manual to get past the copy protection) games like Aladdin and the Lion King on MS-DOS on either a W95 or 98 PC by 'reboot to MS-DOS', so I haven't used MS-DOS in 20 years or so.

1) is Windows 98 MS-DOS count as 'proper' DOS and does it matter in terms of installing, playing and saving games if it is not proper MS-DOS?
2) Do my Windows 98 drivers for my TNT2 and Soundblaster Live! Include drivers for MS-DOS if MS-DOS is 'included' in Windows 98? Do many DOS games use 3D acceleration?
3) Can Soundblaster Live even play or emulate adlib / Soundblaster 2 / pro etc sound?
4) I need mouse drivers I think. I have a "Dell" mouse (actually logitech M-SAW34), can I use pretty much any of the Logitech mouse drivers from the Vogon library?

Ultimately I could just install DosBox on my Windows 10 desktop but by that argument I could just as well dump most of my retro kit and only use my Windows 10 PC!

Ryzen 3700X | 16GB 3600MHz RAM | AMD 6800XT | 2Tb NVME SSD | Windows 10
AMD DX2-80 | 16MB RAM | STB LIghtspeed 128 | AWE32 CT3910
I have a vacancy for a main Windows 98 PC

Reply 1 of 10, by leileilol

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1) It's DOS as in DOS but doesn't ship with all the apps a standard retail MS-DOS would have (MEMMAKER, Smartdrv, Dosshell, Qbasic, etc)
2) No. The VESA bios extensions built-in tend to serve as "drivers" for advanced DOS games.
3) Depends on which model (and probably their drivers IIRC). Their emulation isn't that accurate and can lead to timing issues as well as some memory allocation situations.
4) Only if you're nostalgically inclined. A modern recommendation these days is CuteMouse (CTMOUSE.COM)

Last edited by leileilol on 2017-04-29, 23:50. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 2 of 10, by keenmaster486

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First of all I will say that Windows 98 will allow you to play 95% of DOS games directly within Windows with no problems.

1) Yes, Windows 98's "DOS" is just MS-DOS version 7.1, and the only effective difference between this and MS-DOS 6.22 (the last official boxed version) is that 7.1 supports the FAT32 filesystem so you can have drives greater than 2 gigabytes.
2) First of all, you don't need video drivers for DOS. If a DOS game supports your video card, it will support it directly and not require a driver. But very few DOS games do this, and most of those are meant for 3DFX Voodoo cards (if I'm not mistaken). Secondly, it's likely that the installer for the Windows drivers for your SBLive card has already installed drivers for DOS, which will load automatically when you "reboot into MS-DOS mode". But I don't know this for sure, so don't quote me on that 😜
3) Yes, it can. But the DOS drivers for the SBLive are notoriously bad, memory-hogging and buggy (as far as I know), so you're probably better off running your games directly within Windows because the Windows drivers already provide everything DOS games need for sound.
4) There should be a mouse driver already loaded when you "reboot into MS-DOS mode", if not you should be able to just type "mouse" and the standard MOUSE.COM driver will load. (it might be in C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND if the system can't find it). Otherwise use CTMOUSE, which almost never fails with any kind of mouse.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 4 of 10, by Almoststew1990

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Thanks for the help everyone. I'll give CTMouse a try. How do I actually install drivers in DOS? When I was looking for drivers for the soundblaster, I saw I should add Call C:\...\SBlive.bat to my autoexec.bat, which in theory dos runs automatically upon boot?

Ryzen 3700X | 16GB 3600MHz RAM | AMD 6800XT | 2Tb NVME SSD | Windows 10
AMD DX2-80 | 16MB RAM | STB LIghtspeed 128 | AWE32 CT3910
I have a vacancy for a main Windows 98 PC

Reply 5 of 10, by Jorpho

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Almoststew1990 wrote:

How do I actually install drivers in DOS?

There's not much to it. Drivers in the form of .sys files (i.e. "device drivers") need to be loaded in CONFIG.SYS, but there are utilities like DEVLOAD and DRVLOAD that will usually let you load those whenever you want to.

Anything else in the form of a COM or EXE file can generally be run whenever you want; putting them in autoexec.bat is merely a convenience.

I don't recall "sblive.bat" being generated by the Sound Blaster installer. I for one would prefer to copy the contents of sblive.bat and paste them at the end of autoexec.bat rather than relying on "call" statements.

Reply 6 of 10, by Azarien

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leileilol wrote:

1) It's DOS as in DOS but doesn't ship with all the apps a standard retail MS-DOS would have (MEMMAKER, Smartdrv, Dosshell, Qbasic, etc)

I'm pretty sure there's Memmaker and Smartdrv shipped with Windows 98.
No Dosshell. Don't remember about Qbasic.

I would say that Windows 98's DOS is the best MS-DOS there is, because of FAT32 support. Its compatibility is almost 100%.

Do many DOS games use 3D acceleration?

Not that many, and it's usually only for 3dfx Voodoo. Tomb Raider comes to my mind.
3D cards weren't compatible with each other back then.
I'm not aware of any DOS game that supported TNT.

3) Can Soundblaster Live even play or emulate adlib / Soundblaster 2 / pro etc sound?

Sort of. The card itself is not compatible. There are drivers that provide emulation. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.
SB Live is a post-DOS card. I know of one DOS application that supports it natively, without SB emulation - Mpxplay.

How do I actually install drivers in DOS?

Some are added to autoexec.bat, some are added to config.sys. But there are many nuances that affect available DOS memory. Memmaker helps optimize DOS configuration automatically. QEMM (third-party product) does it better.
And you should definitely have smartdrv enabled. Otherwise disk performance will be very poor.

Reply 7 of 10, by gdjacobs

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Azarien wrote:

Not that many, and it's usually only for 3dfx Voodoo. Tomb Raider comes to my mind.
3D cards weren't compatible with each other back then.
I'm not aware of any DOS game that supported TNT.

Rendition Speedy3D API as well.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 8 of 10, by Jorpho

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Azarien wrote:

I'm pretty sure there's Memmaker and Smartdrv shipped with Windows 98.
No Dosshell. Don't remember about Qbasic.

It varies. There's definitely a package called OLDDOS.EXE which may be obtained from Microsoft, which includes qbasic and memmaker, which are not otherwise installed.
http://www.fysnet.net/docs/olddos.txt

I thought DOSSHELL was in there, but I can't seem to find a reference for that, now that I look; I might have gotten that mixed up with the MS-DOS 6.22 supplemental disk (sup622.exe). Either that or there's a different version of OLDDOS.EXE included on some Windows 95 CD-ROMs.

This got me curious, so I decided to take a look at just what was on the CDs I had handy. My Windows 98 CD has a tools\oldmsdos folder which contains deltree, qbasic.exe, and smartdrv.exe, among others. My Windows 95B CD has an other\oldmsdos folder that just contains none of those except for qbasic.exe.

Do many DOS games use 3D acceleration?

There's a whole list of DOS Glide games over here.
DOS Glide Games List

SB Live is a post-DOS card. I know of one DOS application that supports it natively, without SB emulation - Mpxplay.

Apparently there are also now build of HX DOS Extender that have similar support.

And you should definitely have smartdrv enabled. Otherwise disk performance will be very poor.

Seems to me smartdrv causes more problems than it solves in some cases.

Reply 9 of 10, by Azarien

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Jorpho wrote:

And you should definitely have smartdrv enabled. Otherwise disk performance will be very poor.

Seems to me smartdrv causes more problems than it solves in some cases.

I never had a problem with smartdrv other than having to make the buffers smaller to run some memory-hungry games on a 4 MB machine.

Reply 10 of 10, by Davros

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iirc The sblive dos drivers were not installed under proper dos(restart in msdos mode not a dos box)
and I also had to use setver to tell the install program that I had dos 6.0

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