Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

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Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-12-27 @ 13:48

Video link: MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Memory Mouse CD-ROM Sound Blaster in Windows 95 98 MS-DOS Mode

What is this about?

This tutorial is to help users who have a working W9x Gaming PC and want to configure a fully working MS-DOS mode with boot menu for memory options such as XMS and EMS, working mouse, CD-ROM drive and Sound Blaster ISA card (SB 16/32/64 PnP and semi-Pnp cards).


Who is this for?

For users who are comfortable with building and configuring a W9x machine but encounter challenges when trying to run DOS games.


Why should I bother? Just use MS-DOS 6.22!

MS-DOS 6.22 will always have a special place in the Retro Community but it has some limitations, the biggest one being that it only supports FAT partitions. So four 2 GB partitions is as big as it gets. Windows 98 however can support hard drives up to 128 MB natively. Note that the MS-DOS command line utilities such as FDISK.EXE display incorrect values with anything larger than 64 GB. So my personal limit for MS-DOS mode machines is 64 GB.

The other benefit is that many users find Windows 9x much easier to use. Creating folders, copying files, USB storage support, Networking machines, Accessing the Internet and only occasionally run a MS-DOS game. For many users it isn't practical to build a dedicated MS-DOS machine but a machine that can handle as many tasks as possible, MS-DOS and Windows games.


Issues addresses in this tutorial

  • Have an easy-to-use start-up menu
  • Working Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster ISA (SB 16/32/64 PnP and sem-Pnp or software configurable cards)
  • Configure resources of PnP cards in Windows and apply changes to MS-DOS
  • Fixes issues with not being able to exit MS-DOS mode (Black screen or other lock-ups)
  • Ready-to-go copy-and-paste start-up files and all drivers required


Outstanding issues / challenges

The menu options for conventional memory only will still end up with XMS memory. This is a Windows 9x internal thing. If you know a workaround please let me know!

This has been fixed by adding DOS=NOAUTO to the command line. Thank you 5u3!


Introduction and Overview

A lot of users come to VOGONS for advice and I notice that many users need a bit of help when it comes to running MS-DOS games on their Windows 9x gaming machines. Most users are fairly comfortable with building a Windows 9x machine but might not have used MS-DOS before or give up on MS-DOS because of frustration with non working memory, mouse, CD-ROM or sound. I have to admit that Windows 9x doesn't make it easy and one can easily get confused between running DOS from within Windows compared to MS-DOS mode. But even MS-DOS mode by default isn't configured well and used the same CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT startup files that Windows uses.

While I have made a video showing all the steps there are many that prefer to read instructions and just "get on with it" in order to get up and running ASAP.

1. Change MS-DOS mode to use a New MS-DOS configuration

When we shut down the computer and choose "Restart in MS-DOS mode" the PIF file "Exit to DOS" gets processed. By default it is configured to use the current MS-DOS configuration. This is not ideal and we will change this so that when we shut down the computer and choose "Restart in MS-DOS mode", Windows will use separate CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files.

Right click on the PIF file "Exit to DOS" and select Properties:

Image

Go the the tab "Program" and click on Advanced:

Image

Change the radio button to "Specify a new MS-DOS configuration"

Image


2. Copy and paste ready-to-go startup files into the fields for CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT

You can copy and paste from below or from the CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT which are included in the attached MS-DOS Mode Starter Pack.zip

CONFIG.SYS

REPLACE the entire field with this:

[
COMMON]
DOS=NOAUTO
DOS=HIGH,UMB
FILES=30
BUFFERS=30
LASTDRIVE=H
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\SETVER.EXE

[menu]
menuitem=EMC, Expanded memory + Mouse + CD-ROM
menuitem=XMC, Extended memory + Mouse + CD-ROM
menuitem=CMC, Conventional Memory only + Mouse + CD-ROM
menuitem=EM, Expanded memory + Mouse
menuitem=XM, Extended memory + Mouse
menuitem=CM, Conventional memory only + Mouse

menudefault=EMC,10

[EMC]
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\VIDECDD.SYS /D:OPTICAL

[XMC]
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\VIDECDD.SYS /D:OPTICAL

[CMC]
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\VIDECDD.SYS /D:OPTICAL

[EM]
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM

[XM]
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF

[CM]


AUTOEXEC.BAT

First DELETE SET BLASTER line
Then ADD BELOW what is already in the field (All the SET lines and other bits)the following:

LH C:\DRIVERS\CTMOUSE.EXE /R2
GoTo %config%
:EMC
:XMC
:CMC
LH C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSCDEX.EXE /D:OPTICAL
:EM
:XM
:CM


Press OK on all Windows to save settings.

Unpack the attached MS-DOS Mode Starter Pack.zip and copy the DRIVERS folder to your C: drive to the root folder. So that you end up with C:\DRIVERS

Now click on the Start button and select "Restart in MS-DOS mode".

The machine will restart, rename startup-files in the background and you should see a start-up menu:

Image

You should now have fully working memory options, mouse and CD-ROM drive!


3.Configure Sound Blaster resources in Windows

Windows will configure the resources of your Sound Blaster card. In MS-DOS the resources you configured under Windows will be applied, just follow the steps outlined in part 4

To check the current resources of your PnP card go to the desktop and right click on "My Computer" and select "Properties":

Image

Go to device manager, expand Sound, Video and Game controllers and double click on the Sound Blaster card:

Image

Go to the resources tab and check the entries:

Image

99.9% of DOS games will work fine with the default configuration of:

IRQ 5 / Low DMA 1 / High DMA 5 /Address 220 / Address 330 / Address 388


IF you want / have to change resources untick the box "Use automatic settings" and choose a different Base configuration and / or change individual settings:

Image

Image

Important! Whenever you change resources in Windows you need to run DIAGNOSE.EXE in MS-DOS mode and let it update startup-files! This is covered in the next part but you might change resources after installing the MS-DOS drivers so you will need to run DIAGNOSE.EXE again


4. Install Creative Sound Blaster MS-DOSdrivers (SB 16/32/64 PnP and sem-Pnp or software configurable cards).

Restart into MS-DOS mode

Go to C:\DRIVERS\CREATIVE\CTCMBBS and type CTCMBBS.EXE to unpack them

Go to C:\DRIVERS\CREATIVE\SBBASIC and type SBBASIC.EXE to unpack them

The installer supplied by Creative doesn't want to run from MS-DOS mode:

Image

We can use SETVER to trick it in believing we are running MS-DOS mode.

Go to C:\DRIVERS\CREATIVE\SBBASIC and type

SETVER INSTALL.EXE 6.22


Image

Now restart the computer and run INSTALL.EXE! It will now trick INSTALL.EXE into believing the MS-DOS version is 6.22!

Ignore the Script Error:

Image

It is IMPORTANT that you CLEAR the Microsoft Windows 3.1 Path. It will stuff up your Windows 9x:

Image

Press ESC here:

Image

Press Y

Image

Microsoft Windows 3.1 path is now set to none:

Image

When it asks for the CTCM disk point it to this folder:

Image

Ignore this error and press Y:

Image

Answer prompts until you get to this screen. Press F10 to reboot:

Image

Now we need to run DIAGNOSE.EXE once to make sure that the resources we configured in Windows are applied in DOS.

Go to C:\SB16 and run DIAGNOSE.EXE. Always choose the "Auto Scan" Option

Image

Make sure DIAGNOSE.EXE updates the system / startup files but press ESC on this screen to skip Windows specific changes to occur:

Image

Restart your computer:

Image

The final step is to remove a line that start CTCU.EXE

At C:\ Type

EDIT AUTOEXEC.BAT


And remove the line that starts CTCU.EXE:

Image


DONE

You should now have a fully functioning MS-DOS mode with memory options, mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster sound.

To go back to Windows you need to type
EXIT
Attachments
MS-DOS Mode Starter Pack.zip
Contains CONFIG.TXT, AUTOEXEC.TXT, Mouse, CD-ROM and Creative Sound Blaster drivers
(2.18 MiB) Downloaded 471 times
Last edited by PhilsComputerLab on 2014-12-28 @ 07:35, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby Skyscraper » 2014-12-27 @ 14:03

Very nice!

Someone should make this a sticky thread.
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-12-27 @ 14:21

Skyscraper wrote:Very nice!

Someone should make this a sticky thread.


I really want to put it on the Wiki but found it a bit hard to use. I like it simple and used to Weebly because it's so easy :lol:
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby ReeseRiverson » 2014-12-27 @ 16:21

I'm curious about this one part you mentioned.

Note that the MS-DOS command line utilities such as FDISK.EXE "crap out" with anything larger than 64 GB.


How exactly does FDISK crap out? On my one machine, FDISK did fine in setting up on using my 160GB harddrive I installed Windows 98SE on. It just never really reported the size right in itself, but Windows 98 shown it was correct. I just haven't heard of any risks about it, really. :lol:
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby alexanrs » 2014-12-27 @ 17:40

Very nice indeed!
BTW does the "Conventional Memory" options work? I recall DOS 7.1 had a nasty habit of loading HIMEM.SYS automatically if XMS isn't provided after processing CONFIG.SYS... Or maybe it was just the DOS underneath Windows ME? Perhaps this behaviour is disabled when using stuff like "Restart in DOS mode" though.
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-12-27 @ 19:38

ReeseRiverson wrote:How exactly does FDISK crap out? On my one machine, FDISK did fine in setting up on using my 160GB harddrive I installed Windows 98SE on. It just never really reported the size right in itself, but Windows 98 shown it was correct. I just haven't heard of any risks about it, really. :lol:


I changed the wording :)

Yes it doesn't display the values correctly which can lead to possible confusion. But it does work internally just fine.

alexanrs wrote:Very nice indeed!
BTW does the "Conventional Memory" options work? I recall DOS 7.1 had a nasty habit of loading HIMEM.SYS automatically if XMS isn't provided after processing CONFIG.SYS... Or maybe it was just the DOS underneath Windows ME? Perhaps this behaviour is disabled when using stuff like "Restart in DOS mode" though.


A bugger, there is always something unexpected :dead:

You're right I just had a look. The behaviour is different to my Super Socket machine, on that I have a "manual" MS-DOS 7.1 Installation were I used a boot disk, partitioned and formatted it from that disk and then transplanted the DOS files from another Windows 98 SE installation.

Is there a workaround / fix?

I'm on a high powered Windows 9x machine the fallout isn't huge :blush:

PS: I've added it to the original post under Outstanding issues / challenges
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby 5u3 » 2014-12-27 @ 22:17

philscomputerlab wrote:You're right I just had a look. The behaviour is different to my Super Socket machine, on that I have a "manual" MS-DOS 7.1 Installation were I used a boot disk, partitioned and formatted it from that disk and then transplanted the DOS files from another Windows 98 SE installation.

Is there a workaround / fix?

The parameter DOS=NOAUTO in CONFIG.SYS prevents the automatic loading of HIMEM.SYS (and IFSHLP.SYS).

To be honest, I liked your video explaining the process for DOS 6.22 a lot better. This is just too complex. :dead:

Also I'd suggest using 95DOSAPP.EXE (called "Basic DOS-level utilties for use in Windows95 MS-DOS mode or a Windows 95 Command Prompt only boot" on Creative's website). These were made for Win9x and you won't have to use SETVER or install CTCM (it already comes with the Windows drivers).
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-12-27 @ 22:36

5u3 wrote:The parameter DOS=NOAUTO in CONFIG.SYS prevents the automatic loading of HIMEM.SYS (and IFSHLP.SYS).


Sweet! Will try it out shortly.

To be honest, I liked your video explaining the process for DOS 6.22 a lot better. This is just too complex. :dead:


Yes installing it in DOS 6.22 is a simpler process :) Maybe the many pictures make it appear like it's lot of work but it really isn't.

Also I'd suggest using 95DOSAPP.EXE (called "Basic DOS-level utilties for use in Windows95 MS-DOS mode or a Windows 95 Command Prompt only boot" on Creative's website). These were made for Win9x and you won't have to use SETVER or install CTCM (it already comes with the Windows drivers).


Yes I remember you mentioning this earlier. I haven't ignored it and there will be a video covering only PnP Sound Blaster installation with CTCMBBS and 95DOSAPP!

See I was torn because I believe that many W9x builders struggle not just with getting sound working but other things as well. So I wanted to make one guide showing everything.

The process with 95DOSAPP is slightly more manual when you follow the readme file. But as I said, I will make a dedicated video for just PnP Sound Blaster installation :)
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby ReeseRiverson » 2014-12-27 @ 22:54

Another question, since some of us really like to add network cards in our machines. It wouldn't be difficult to add networking options in the boot menu for DOS games that can use it, right? :happy:
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-12-27 @ 23:00

ReeseRiverson wrote:Another question, since some of us really like to add network cards in our machines. It wouldn't be difficult to add networking options in the boot menu for DOS games that can use it, right? :happy:


Not at all!

You modify the menu as you like. You can add another entry or change the menu all together. However you like :)
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby 5u3 » 2014-12-27 @ 23:20

philscomputerlab wrote:Yes I remember you mentioning this earlier. I haven't ignored it and there will be a video covering only PnP Sound Blaster installation with CTCMBBS and 95DOSAPP!

See I was torn because I believe that many W9x builders struggle not just with getting sound working but other things as well. So I wanted to make one guide showing everything.

The process with 95DOSAPP is slightly more manual when you follow the readme file. But as I said, I will make a dedicated video for just PnP Sound Blaster installation :)

Yay! I think when having Win9x with the Windows SB drivers already installed, 95DOSAPP is the only thing you'll ever need for DOS mode. CTCM and its config are already in the Windows folder. Installing it a second time is just calling for trouble IMO.
I may be wrong however, it's been ages since I installed any of these drivers, usually I just copy my drivers and edit all the config files manually.
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-12-27 @ 23:25

5u3 wrote:
philscomputerlab wrote:CTCM and its config are already in the Windows folder. Installing it a second time is just calling for trouble IMO.
I may be wrong however, it's been ages since I installed any of these drivers, usually I just copy my drivers and edit all the config files manually.


Hmm maybe when you install from the CD?

Interesting I never did that, always used the Windows 98 built-in drivers and there is no CTCM to be found.

Do you install off a driver CD when you install Windows 98? If so, what CD do you use? From Vogons driver archive?

See this is where it gets complex with so many options :)
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby 5u3 » 2014-12-27 @ 23:47

5u3 wrote:Interesting I never did that, always used the Windows 98 built-in drivers and there is no CTCM to be found.
Do you install off a driver CD when you install Windows 98? If so, what CD do you use? From Vogons driver archive?
See this is where it gets complex with so many options :)


I think I just used the built-in drivers from Win98 SE, maybe SBW9XUP.EXE from Creative's website, can't remember unfortunately. Maybe I'll find time to test a few things tomorrow...
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2014-12-27 @ 23:52

5u3 wrote:I think I just used the built-in drivers from Win98 SE, maybe SBW9XUP.EXE from Creative's website, can't remember unfortunately. Maybe I'll find time to test a few things tomorrow...


Ok I'll try SBW9XUP.EXE and also the installation CD from Vogons Archive.

EDIT:

SBW9XUP.EXE doesn't contain CTCM but the Installation CD does and puts it in C:\Windows.It also looks after MS-DOS mode, putting an entry to run CTCM.EXE into DOSSTART.BAT.

So yes, if you do it "your way" with Installation CD + 95DOSAPP would work very well. How odd for Creative to worry about CTCM in MS-DOS mode but omit AWEUTIL.
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby 5u3 » 2014-12-28 @ 11:17

philscomputerlab wrote:SBW9XUP.EXE doesn't contain CTCM but the Installation CD does and puts it in C:\Windows.It also looks after MS-DOS mode, putting an entry to run CTCM.EXE into DOSSTART.BAT.

So yes, if you do it "your way" with Installation CD + 95DOSAPP would work very well. How odd for Creative to worry about CTCM in MS-DOS mode but omit AWEUTIL.

That's strange... I swear I haven't touched any Creative driver CD/image for years! :confused:
Also, no AWEUTIL included? This would result in non-working FM sound in DOS mode. Seems like the 95DOSAPP method is not so straightforward after all.

Still hoping to find some time for testing later.
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby Megadisk » 2015-4-03 @ 18:42

Heya Phil!
What do I need to change if I have an external parallel cd-rom drive instead (in WIN 95) ?. After the DOS start-up option 1, its giving me the "No-cd rom drive found" error. Do I have to install the CD DOS driver once inside DOS?. The external CD-rom works fine in Windows 95 with the driver. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby vkcpolice » 2017-7-08 @ 14:26

Hi Phil i got the files have done everything but my cd rom drive is e: not d: i have a sd to ide driver that is my c: drive and a 40gb hard drive that is my d: drive. i have done everything in your vid. but i get a error saying illegal operation usage mscdex {/e/k/s/v} {/d:<driver>} {/m:<buffers>} please help
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby Dabombinable » 2017-9-08 @ 05:58

Brilliant! I haven't had working sound in DOS for a while now. BTW I didn't have any of the errors in the images show up. This is with a standard AWE 64 as well so that might be the difference.
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby 5P133 » 2017-9-23 @ 13:39

What is the expanded memory thing because I can't run anything in DOS with it.
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Re: Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode

Postby alvaro84 » 2017-9-24 @ 04:20

5P133 wrote:What is the expanded memory thing because I can't run anything in DOS with it.


EMS was a standard to have more than 640kB memory for standard DOS programs below the 1MB limit of the 8086 address space. MS-DOS handles any x86 CPU like an ancient 8086 and can address the lowest 1MB. There are ways, though, to use more. EMM386.EXE is a driver that simulates the old EMS standard via the paging mechanism of the 386+ CPU. It's basically a hypervisor and your DOS becomes a virtual machine and yes, there were software that showed incompatibility with it. Others, on the other hand, rely on this easy access paged memory. My favourite examples are real mode modplayers and trackers but there are games too.
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