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Windows 98 and DOS Question

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First post, by Grayshazzle

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Hello everyone, so I have a couple of questions. I am working on my first Windows 98 build and I grew up with XP so I don't know much about DOS sadly and want to learn. When I install Windows 98, do I need to install Pure DOS to begin and then install Windows 98 over? I know that Windows 98 comes with a MS-DOS boot mode so is there even a point to installing pure DOS, I know that MS-DOS loads the drivers such as sound blaster stuff but pure dos not so much so is there even a point. Also, I want FAT32 support so does the MS-DOS version that comes with Windows 98 support that or do I need to install the unofficial DOS 7.1 and then Windows 98 over it? Very confused as you can see 🤣. If I could have a clarified answer for the simplest solution that also involves FAT32 support, that would be great.

And also if I do end up installing the pure 7.1 version (if that is what I have to do), I heard you may have to adjust the system variables to match 6.22 for compatibility, I do not understand this as much and would like some clarification/how to do it in a case when I have to.

Also I know I had this answered in another thread but I wanted to go more into the CuteMouse program for DOS, is it for pure DOS or MS-DOS, also how do I run it, I think there is an AUTOEXEC file in the bin folder of the program so do I edit the sys config and set that as a launch program. Like I said very new to all this so some clear up would be nice.

Thank you guys, have a good night and I hope to hear from you all soon 😀

Reply 1 of 23, by Azarien

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Grayshazzle wrote on 2020-11-24, 08:12:

Hello everyone, so I have a couple of questions. I am working on my first Windows 98 build and I grew up with XP so I don't know much about DOS sadly and want to learn. When I install Windows 98, do I need to install Pure DOS to begin and then install Windows 98 over?

No.
After you install Windows 98, you can edit the c:\msdos.sys file and set BootGUI=0 there.
Windows will stop starting automatically, you will be booted to DOS instead. You can then start Windows by running win command.
Some tweaking in config.sys / autoexec.bat would be helpful for better memory management, and you can even set a boot menu for DOS and Windows.

Also, I want FAT32 support so does the MS-DOS version that comes with Windows 98 support that

Yes.
It's the LFN (long filenames) that are supported only when Windows is running, on all FAT variants.

or do I need to install the unofficial DOS 7.1

No need to install any kind of unofficial DOS 7.1.

Reply 2 of 23, by chinny22

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As your just starting out I'd recommend keeping things simple and just install Win98 and using it's inbuilt dos mode.
In fact even if your been doing this for years a lot of us just use 98's dos mode, for gaming it's perfectly fine.

To answer your other questions
Unless you have some program that has compatibility issues, their is no benefit of 6.22. I don't know of any games that care, some app's have issues, but this is more due to FAT32. and some drivers. But its very rare and wouldn't worry about it unless you come across it.

Pure dos 7.1 is just a copy of Win9x with windows stripped out for you, only worth it if you don't want to ever boot into windows, otherwise you've just installed 2 versions of the same OS

Cutemouse or any other dos driver is for when you boot into dos. What I think you mean by pure dos.
If your getting a command prompt my going start, command prompt (and don't see the windows shutting down screen) then windows will look after this for you.

Autoexec.bat and config.sys are the files dos uses to load everything. I wouldn't worry about that until you have windows installed.
Windows will crate the basic entries for you, installing drivers will add their bit then you can see how its formatted and get an idea of how it works or ask here about how to get xyz working.

Reply 3 of 23, by mirando_flynn

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If you have any DOS compatibility issues you can try Win95. It is more compatible with DOS software. Anyway, I suggest first play in the pure DOS 6.22 and then to try running the DOS software under Windows.
If the program refuses to run because it detects Windows, try to use SETVER command (but it's tricky too).

Reply 4 of 23, by Azarien

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mirando_flynn wrote on 2020-11-24, 11:37:

Anyway, I suggest first play in the pure DOS 6.22

But in 6.22 you are limited to FAT16, which is annoying. On FAT32 you can have a partition as big as you want, subject to mainboard limitations.
About 120 GB should be safe as long as it is properly recognized, beyond that you get into LBA48 territory which can result in silent data loss if not properly supported by the BIOS.

Reply 5 of 23, by jesolo

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As Azarien has stated, you can just create a boot menu configuration under Windows 98, which will then allow you to either boot straight into MS-DOS 7.1 (with different configurations) or into Windows.
Refer this topic for more detail on how to achieve that: How to create a boot (start up) menu under Windows 9x/ME

Reply 6 of 23, by Jorpho

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mirando_flynn wrote on 2020-11-24, 11:37:

If you have any DOS compatibility issues you can try Win95. It is more compatible with DOS software.

Is there some DOS software in particular you're thinking of that runs in Windows 95 but not Windows 98..?

Reply 7 of 23, by ShovelKnight

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I don't remember any huge issues with running DOS programs in Windows 98's DOS 7.1. I think there were a couple of games where built-in copy protection couldn't calculate the checksum of a FAT32 partition or something like that, but this was not a difficult problem to solve (nudge nudge wink wink).

Reply 8 of 23, by Grayshazzle

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Awesome! Thank you guys very much for all the info. My choice will be just plain installing Windows 98 SE which comes with 7.1 (FAT32 Support) and then end up configuring the system to display to either enter Windows 98 SE or DOS 7.1 on startup. Thank you all, take care 😀

Reply 10 of 23, by jakethompson1

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Grayshazzle wrote on 2020-11-24, 08:12:

Also I know I had this answered in another thread but I wanted to go more into the CuteMouse program for DOS, is it for pure DOS or MS-DOS, also how do I run it, I think there is an AUTOEXEC file in the bin folder of the program so do I edit the sys config and set that as a launch program. Like I said very new to all this so some clear up would be nice.

Thank you guys, have a good night and I hope to hear from you all soon 😀

The one thing I do think is worth mentioning is that there were certain commands that were in DOS 6.22 but dropped from Windows 9x, the most useful of which is, well, HELP. Once you get your system set up, there is a self extracting archive out there that Microsoft published called OLDDOS.EXE. Of course it's dropped from their web site, but if you search for it, it was pretty easy to find on archive.org. If you install those utilities, the HELP from back then is very good, much better than nowadays where "help" is some forum on the ms website. It has complete documentation of all the config.sys and autoexec.bat syntax you'll need.

Reply 11 of 23, by Grayshazzle

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jakethompson1 wrote on 2020-11-26, 04:52:
Grayshazzle wrote on 2020-11-24, 08:12:

Also I know I had this answered in another thread but I wanted to go more into the CuteMouse program for DOS, is it for pure DOS or MS-DOS, also how do I run it, I think there is an AUTOEXEC file in the bin folder of the program so do I edit the sys config and set that as a launch program. Like I said very new to all this so some clear up would be nice.

Thank you guys, have a good night and I hope to hear from you all soon 😀

The one thing I do think is worth mentioning is that there were certain commands that were in DOS 6.22 but dropped from Windows 9x, the most useful of which is, well, HELP. Once you get your system set up, there is a self extracting archive out there that Microsoft published called OLDDOS.EXE. Of course it's dropped from their web site, but if you search for it, it was pretty easy to find on archive.org. If you install those utilities, the HELP from back then is very good, much better than nowadays where "help" is some forum on the ms website. It has complete documentation of all the config.sys and autoexec.bat syntax you'll need.

I found the website: https://archive.org/details/olddos , what do I do, rename the olddos to current and replace the dos installed with 98? Also when I open the torrent, do you just replace the files as well?

Reply 12 of 23, by Grayshazzle

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Grayshazzle wrote on 2020-11-26, 06:10:
jakethompson1 wrote on 2020-11-26, 04:52:
Grayshazzle wrote on 2020-11-24, 08:12:

Also I know I had this answered in another thread but I wanted to go more into the CuteMouse program for DOS, is it for pure DOS or MS-DOS, also how do I run it, I think there is an AUTOEXEC file in the bin folder of the program so do I edit the sys config and set that as a launch program. Like I said very new to all this so some clear up would be nice.

Thank you guys, have a good night and I hope to hear from you all soon 😀

The one thing I do think is worth mentioning is that there were certain commands that were in DOS 6.22 but dropped from Windows 9x, the most useful of which is, well, HELP. Once you get your system set up, there is a self extracting archive out there that Microsoft published called OLDDOS.EXE. Of course it's dropped from their web site, but if you search for it, it was pretty easy to find on archive.org. If you install those utilities, the HELP from back then is very good, much better than nowadays where "help" is some forum on the ms website. It has complete documentation of all the config.sys and autoexec.bat syntax you'll need.

I found the website: https://archive.org/details/olddos , what do I do, rename the olddos to current and replace the dos installed with 98? Also when I open the torrent, do you just replace the files as well?

Actually I just checked out the torrent file and there doesn't seem to be anything but just olddos.exe, just that one file? Thanks.

Reply 13 of 23, by Grayshazzle

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Also another question, for the CuteMouse directories, do I only need the bin folder and not doc or source, those are not needed I am pretty sure, it seems that the bin has the important stuff like ctmouse.exe and a couple .com files.

Reply 15 of 23, by Jorpho

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Grayshazzle wrote on 2020-11-26, 06:21:

Actually I just checked out the torrent file and there doesn't seem to be anything but just olddos.exe, just that one file? Thanks.

As noted above, it is a self-extracting archive. The easiest thing to do would be to just open it with 7zip and copy the files where they need to go. Or just copy olddos.exe to an empty directory on your DOS computer and run it, and it will unzip itself.

Grayshazzle wrote on 2020-11-26, 06:22:

for the CuteMouse directories, do I only need the bin folder and not doc or source, those are not needed I am pretty sure

What else do you think you would do with them?

Reply 16 of 23, by Grayshazzle

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Jorpho wrote on 2020-11-26, 06:37:
As noted above, it is a self-extracting archive. The easiest thing to do would be to just open it with 7zip and copy the files […]
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Grayshazzle wrote on 2020-11-26, 06:21:

Actually I just checked out the torrent file and there doesn't seem to be anything but just olddos.exe, just that one file? Thanks.

As noted above, it is a self-extracting archive. The easiest thing to do would be to just open it with 7zip and copy the files where they need to go. Or just copy olddos.exe to an empty directory on your DOS computer and run it, and it will unzip itself.

Grayshazzle wrote on 2020-11-26, 06:22:

for the CuteMouse directories, do I only need the bin folder and not doc or source, those are not needed I am pretty sure

What else do you think you would do with them?

Delete 😒 maybe

Reply 17 of 23, by Grayshazzle

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jakethompson1 wrote on 2020-11-26, 04:52:
Grayshazzle wrote on 2020-11-24, 08:12:

Also I know I had this answered in another thread but I wanted to go more into the CuteMouse program for DOS, is it for pure DOS or MS-DOS, also how do I run it, I think there is an AUTOEXEC file in the bin folder of the program so do I edit the sys config and set that as a launch program. Like I said very new to all this so some clear up would be nice.

Thank you guys, have a good night and I hope to hear from you all soon 😀

The one thing I do think is worth mentioning is that there were certain commands that were in DOS 6.22 but dropped from Windows 9x, the most useful of which is, well, HELP. Once you get your system set up, there is a self extracting archive out there that Microsoft published called OLDDOS.EXE. Of course it's dropped from their web site, but if you search for it, it was pretty easy to find on archive.org. If you install those utilities, the HELP from back then is very good, much better than nowadays where "help" is some forum on the ms website. It has complete documentation of all the config.sys and autoexec.bat syntax you'll need.

Wait so is this file for the Windows 98 version of dos, not pure dos, I am not installing pure. Also if I overwrite the files with the ones you sent me, isn't there a chance that I won't get the FAT32 support since some of the files are 6.22?

Reply 18 of 23, by Grayshazzle

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kolderman wrote on 2020-11-26, 06:32:

Might want to search for Phil's msdos stater pack.

Sadly only for pure DOS, I am using the Windows 98 built-in one 🙁 I rather keep it simple honestly but thank you.