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DOS 6.22 / Windows 95 dual boot.

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First post, by T4600C

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Hello there,

SO, I would like to be able to use MS DOS 6.22 and Windows 95 on my old Compaq.

Maybe I could install 6.22 first, then windows 95. And then modify sys/bat files in such a way that it boots 6.22, waiting for me to enter the 'win' command when I desire Windows 95. Couldn't tis be done with win 3.x too?

Or would a boot menu be easier?

it is a Compaq Presario 7212, I would like to do it without adding a second partion, but I could do it if need be with an other harddisk.

Thanks.

Reply 1 of 38, by Gemini000

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If memory serves, the way you do dual-boot with Win95 and DOS is you first install DOS, then Win95, then during boot, right after the BIOS tries to hand off control to the OS, you press and hold F7 or F8 (forget which) and you should get a message along the lines of "Starting your old version of MS-DOS..."

This might only be a Windows 98 thing, as I recall doing this all the time with Win98, but I never had Win95.

Two important things to keep in mind when dual-booting with DOS though:

1. Depending on the age of the system there may be IRQ conflicts which normally would be sorted out by Windows, but which DOS can't handle. When I had to replace the motherboard in my Win98 system I put in an SATA HD as well, only to discover that my SATA controller and PS/2 mouse support were using the same IRQ.

2. DO NOT PARTITION TO FAT32. If you do this and attempt to read/write to a FAT32 drive using DOS 6.22 or earlier, you're in trouble... Do not allow a pre-Win95 version of DOS to attempt to access a FAT32 partition and make sure it can only access FAT16 partitions.

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Reply 2 of 38, by Jorpho

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It is probably worth emphasizing that you should never, ever run pre-Windows 95 disk utilities on a drive with long file names. Bad things happen. Even just moving files around in MS-DOS can cause orphaned long file names, but those aren't particularly bad.

You may want to consider just using Windows 95's MS-DOS mode. There doesn't seem to be anything that works particularly better in MS-DOS 6.22 than in MS-DOS mode.

Gemini000 wrote:

If memory serves, the way you do dual-boot with Win95 and DOS is you first install DOS, then Win95, then during boot, right after the BIOS tries to hand off control to the OS, you press and hold F7 or F8 (forget which) and you should get a message along the lines of "Starting your old version of MS-DOS..."

This might only be a Windows 98 thing, as I recall doing this all the time with Win98, but I never had Win95.

That is also my understanding. It doesn't quite work correctly with Windows 95 OSR2, but a third-party patch exists to fix it.

Reply 3 of 38, by KT7AGuy

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Jorpho wrote:
Gemini000 wrote:

If memory serves, the way you do dual-boot with Win95 and DOS is you first install DOS, then Win95, then during boot, right after the BIOS tries to hand off control to the OS, you press and hold F7 or F8 (forget which) and you should get a message along the lines of "Starting your old version of MS-DOS..."

This might only be a Windows 98 thing, as I recall doing this all the time with Win98, but I never had Win95.

That is also my understanding. It doesn't quite work correctly with Windows 95 OSR2, but a third-party patch exists to fix it.

Do you have a link to that patch?

It's been over 15 years since I dual-booted with the built-in MS stuff, but I seem to remember that Win95 was able to do it OK, but Win98 and Win98SE had bugs with the dual-boot system. Maybe I've got things backwards? Either way, the reason I stopped using the built-in method of dual booting is because I wanted to keep my operating systems completely separate on different primary partitions. They can't mess each other up if they're completely isolated from each other. If you still want to share files between the two systems, then set up a logical/extended partition with a compatible filesystem.

For awhile in the early 2000s, I used Partition Commander for dual-booting. Nowadays, I use Plop Boot Manager. It can be a little confusing to get it set up and working correctly, but once you do it works extremely well. It's also free, so ya can't really complain.

Note that DOS and Win9x systems can be isolated from each other by using separate primary partitions, no matter which boot manager or method you use. If you're dual or triple booting with NT-based systems, you'll need to use something like Plop Boot Manager because NT/2000/XP can access primary partitions that are in addition to the active/boot partition.

Reply 4 of 38, by brassicGamer

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I am literally performing this very task tomorrow (if my serial mouse turns up). I'm pretty sure the first time I did it, it worked exactly the way you want it to but I'll have to try it again to be sure. I can't use my recent win98 build as a reference because I kept DOS on a separate partition (to avoid file system issues like those mentioned). That works perfectly.

Unless you've cracked it yourself, I'll let you know how I get on (hell I night even document the whole thing)

Check out my blog and YouTube channel for thoughts, articles, system profiles, and tips.

Reply 5 of 38, by leileilol

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Jorpho wrote:

You may want to consider just using Windows 95's MS-DOS mode. There doesn't seem to be anything that works particularly better in MS-DOS 6.22 than in MS-DOS mode.

Only thing I can recall that does are some really fussy Mindscape/Software Toolworks installers.

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Reply 6 of 38, by Jorpho

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KT7AGuy wrote:

Do you have a link to that patch?

http://www.mdgx.com/osr2.htm#2BOOT

See previous threads at Post 3394942 and Re: Trying to dual boot DOS 6.22 and Windows 95 on same drive .

Reply 7 of 38, by PhilsComputerLab

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KT7AGuy wrote:

For awhile in the early 2000s, I used Partition Commander for dual-booting. Nowadays, I use Plop Boot Manager. It can be a little confusing to get it set up and working correctly, but once you do it works extremely well. It's also free, so ya can't really complain.

Note that DOS and Win9x systems can be isolated from each other by using separate primary partitions, no matter which boot manager or method you use. If you're dual or triple booting with NT-based systems, you'll need to use something like Plop Boot Manager because NT/2000/XP can access primary partitions that are in addition to the active/boot partition.

If you ever get around to writing up a guide, that would be greatly appreciated. I struggled getting it to work.

This one worked quite well: http://gag.sourceforge.net/

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Reply 8 of 38, by Maraakate

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I've been using the Windows 98 SE verison of DOS as my main DOS for years and never had any issues. Editing your msdos.sys to disable automatic booting into windows is trivial and then you can setup a custom config.sys boot menu.

Reply 9 of 38, by tayyare

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A practical and free solution. It's shareware, but free version is only limits bootable partition number to 3 (registered version has eight) and no other (relevant) limitations.

http://www.masterbooter.com/main/news.php?lang=en

I'm using it for virtually every retro rig I have since 2010, and never had any issues and really love its practicality.

Last edited by tayyare on 2015-08-25, 19:56. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 10 of 38, by Sammy

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i would create a fat16 partition smaller 2 gb and install dos 6.22 and win 3.11.

then create a fat 32 partition and install windows 95/98.
It should detect dos 6.22 and make a boot Menue.

install 3.11 to C:\win311 and 95/98 to D:\win98

Reply 12 of 38, by Jorpho

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This has also been discussed before. It is in some ways preferable to do without a boot manager entirely, since a corrupted boot manager will keep your computer from booting entirely until you dig out a boot floppy and figure out what went wrong.

If you have two hard drives, then you can just toggle which is the boot drive in the BIOS one way or another. If you have two primary partitions, then you can select the bootable one by toggling the Active tag, which is easy to do with most partitioning software. (Norton GDisk is especially handy, since you can do it with a single line on the command prompt.)

Reply 13 of 38, by PhilsComputerLab

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Jorpho wrote:

If you have two hard drives, then you can just toggle which is the boot drive in the BIOS one way or another.

Hmmm, how would you go about doing this?

I was able to do this with one drive on the IDE and another drive on a PCI SATA card, selecting between C and SCSI. But with two IDE drives? You could disable the drives in BIOS I guess?

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Reply 15 of 38, by brassicGamer

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I've been researching this all day because I know I did it without a bootloader back in the day. I found this site, which says the critical factor is to use an upgrade version, which explains why neither of my OEM versions work. Windows 98 does this so much better.

Check out my blog and YouTube channel for thoughts, articles, system profiles, and tips.

Reply 16 of 38, by keropi

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I use PLOP bootmanager in my builds. Free and REALLY REALLY powerful and cool. You can't go wrong with it.

http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager/screenshots.html

...did I mention it has animated starfield background? 🤣 🤣 🤣

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Reply 18 of 38, by Jorpho

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brassicGamer wrote:

I've been researching this all day because I know I did it without a bootloader back in the day. I found this site, which says the critical factor is to use an upgrade version, which explains why neither of my OEM versions work.

That seems to be about getting Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 to cooperate. Compatibility is indeed broken in Windows 95 OSR2, but another fix (named OSR2FIX.EXE) is available.

Reply 19 of 38, by chinny22

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+1 for just using Win9x's version of DOS.
I have a shortcut on the desktop to command.com with the "force MS dos mode" or something like that and the autoexec and config.sys entered there.
Even if you turn off the PC it will boot back into dos until you finally type exit.

if you also want Win3x installed I wouldn't recommend the above though