Starting PC with DOSBOX instead of Windows 7

Emulation of old PCs, PC hardware, or PC peripherals.

Starting PC with DOSBOX instead of Windows 7

Postby RabidClarkian » 2018-1-07 @ 05:34

Hello,

My father has been using the dos programs, Point and Shoot and QA Database since 1985. I had not touched a computer that could even use DOS since I was in middle school, but today, i figured out how to get both programs to run on my Dad's computer with Windows 10.

He also asked me to install these programs onto an older computer with Windows 7, but he wants it to boot up straight to DOS instead of booting up Windows 7. He has a laptop with Windows 98/Me that was setup to boot into dosbox instead of Windows 98/Me. Is there a way to get his Windows 7 computer to go straight to Dosbox when it boots up instead of loading Windows 7? I tried searching on the forums, but the search function doesn't seem to like the terms that I was using. Thanks!
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Re: Starting PC with DOSBOX instead of Windows 7

Postby leileilol » 2018-1-07 @ 05:51

Windows 7 doesn't have DOS (being NT-based and all) so no.


Also please be aware that a "DOS box" used to generally refer to MS-DOS running in a window (which Windows 9X could do) and DOSBox is the name of an emulator that tries to be the same (but is in no way representative or an actual DOS operating system to boot into)
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
386DX vs SX isn't about a missing FPU
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
Old PCs aren't 'aesthetic'
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Re: Starting PC with DOSBOX instead of Windows 7

Postby RabidClarkian » 2018-1-07 @ 05:55

Ok. Based on what you said, I'll just have to do an auto executable file so that when my Dad clicks on DosBox, his program will come up automatically. Thanks!
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Re: Starting PC with DOSBOX instead of Windows 7

Postby andreja6 » 2018-1-07 @ 06:07

RabidClarkian wrote:Hello,

My father has been using the dos programs, Point and Shoot and QA Database since 1985. I had not touched a computer that could even use DOS since I was in middle school, but today, i figured out how to get both programs to run on my Dad's computer with Windows 10.

He also asked me to install these programs onto an older computer with Windows 7, but he wants it to boot up straight to DOS instead of booting up Windows 7. He has a laptop with Windows 98/Me that was setup to boot into dosbox instead of Windows 98/Me. Is there a way to get his Windows 7 computer to go straight to Dosbox when it boots up instead of loading Windows 7? I tried searching on the forums, but the search function doesn't seem to like the terms that I was using. Thanks!


I have been experimenting with Dualbooting 98 and modern OS's (Okay, XP, still)
It should theoretically be possible, but windows 7 would have to be installed AFTER DOS, not before as DOS would fully wipe and format the drive (and give you a whopping size of 2GB). However, using the actual emulator DOSBox, it's not possible since it's not a bootable OS. (Although it is open source... that would be interesting to try and develop)
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Re: Starting PC with DOSBOX instead of Windows 7

Postby Expack3 » 2018-1-10 @ 00:48

RabidClarkian wrote:Ok. Based on what you said, I'll just have to do an auto executable file so that when my Dad clicks on DosBox, his program will come up automatically. Thanks!

Another alternative is FreeDOS. Unlike DOSBox, which is aimed more towards DOS gaming than applications, FreeDOS is a complete, free, and open-source MS-DOS clone. So long as your father's system supports BIOS (usually referred to as Legacy Boot if your motherboard runs UEFI by default), you can create an additional partition on your hard drive and create a FreeDOS installation. This way, your father's applications should work as they were intended.
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Re: Starting PC with DOSBOX instead of Windows 7

Postby Jo22 » 2018-1-12 @ 02:01

Hello, here are some more ideas:

You can also run Win98 or FreeDOS from an SD* or CF card, if the computer has got a card reader installed.
The BIOS of a PC from year 2000 onwards should handle it like an USB hard drive and then will provide int13h support for it.

Problem is the installation, though. USB-attached devices are usually not visible from MS-DOS (like when you boot DOS from floppies),
because the emulation is only enabled from the moment when you are booting from the USB media.

Workaround: Use a laptop or older computer that is running Win9x and has NUSB installed (USB driver for removable media).
You can then run FDISK, FORMAT and so on from within a DOS window of Win9x.
Most importantly, you can also use the SYS command from here to make the flash card bootable.
If that worked, you can even copy over the Win9x install/driver folders from CD and run the installation
(SETUP) from the PC with that USB card reader (in Win98SE, the folders are named WIN98 and DRIVERS).


Alternatively, it is also possible to use modern Windows software only and format an SD/CF card or USB pen drive
as a super floppy. That essentially is a huge fake floppy, without any partition data (just FAT file system).
Programs like the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool or Rufus can help you to make USB media bootable.

Anyway, these are just some other ideas, they do not have to be followed. :happy:
I just thought, if they worked well enough for you (or your father, dunno), you could skip all the 'headaches' with
dual-boot, multiple hard disks, CF-IDE adapters, SD-IDE converters, etc..
That is why I mention them. What the other users said are more professional approaches, of course.
If you can, give those tips a try first.

(*Note: Old card readers from the Win98/XP days often can not read SD cards larger than 2GB.)
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Re: Starting PC with DOSBOX instead of Windows 7

Postby Auzner » 2018-1-12 @ 02:17

Install something like virtual box in Windows 7 and run DOS in a VM. There are many guides and videos step by step: https://socket3.wordpress.com/2016/08/2 ... irtualbox/
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Re: Starting PC with DOSBOX instead of Windows 7

Postby Jo22 » 2018-1-12 @ 21:58

That is a good idea and certainly works for OP RabidClarkian.
Unfortunately, it is not certain if that works for his father, as well.
Parents can be, eh, very stubborn sometimes. Haha. :sweatdrop:
They often insist in having things working the way they want or how they used to.

If all goes wrong, a dual-boot with Windows 98 is still a possibility.
In case the hardware is a bit too new, there is at least an universal video driver named VBEMP 9x aka VBE9x.
Not that it would be required, though. It is just an example to prove that Win9x can be run on modern hardware.
The DOS programs are probably running in text mode, anyway. Maybe they require support for EMS, however.
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Re: Starting PC with DOSBOX instead of Windows 7

Postby Auzner » 2018-1-12 @ 23:18

There are narrated youtube VM setups. The manager is a windows GUI. There's no new element. Also on modern hardware, dual boot is rarely needed for anything. Bare metal is for when you can't pass a required peripheral driver through or time is money.
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