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I'm not sure what forum to put this in, so I put this in the Linux forum because people here would be more knowledgable about duel-booting.

I recently discovered I still have IBM DOS 5.0 install diskettes, and I would like to install DOS on my computer. Currently, I have two physical drives. The first partition on the first one is 60gigs with Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 on it, and the second partition is 20gig storage/transfer partition. SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional is on the second 80gig drive.

What I want to do is use my partition magic to create a 2gb FAT Primary Partition on the first hard disk, and install DOS to that. My bootloader is on a floppy, so I should still be able to load Linux, even if Windows has now been moved. When in Linux, I want to modify the Grub bootloader for the new setup (Which I assume is possible). I should then be able to access XP again, and evething SHOULD work without reformatting XP and Linux.

Would all this work successfully?

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Last Post by John A
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Hello,

Why you wish to do this could be an interesting discussion, but here are some technical things to think about.

* Your Linux should remain fine if you do nothing to the second disk. If you do adjust anything on the second disk, you will need to modify settings on your boot floppy (because your kernel may no longer reside on /dev/hdb1) and you will need to modify settings on /etc/fstab as the rest of your partition numbers may have changed.

* Your XP will need to be changed, as you are adding a partition to the first drive. You will need to adjust C:\boot.ini This file looks like this:

[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

You will need to change that partition information before you reboot, and that could be risky. Remember that if your XP is NTFS, you will not be able to get to it easily at all from DOS.

What would I do?

I would find an older used laptop, say a 386 / 486 with 16 MB of RAM or so, and use that for your DOS 5 missions. You are asking a lot of work for your computer, and if partition magic fails, a lot more work rebuilding it.

You must make backups before trying this.

Christian

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Microsoft operating systems have a dislike for multiple installs on the same system and where they do handle it you have to install the earlier operating system first. To set up a DOS/Windows XP dual boot you need to have DOS installed before installing XP and then the XP install can set up the dual boot. If you install DOS after XP you will lose access to XP.

There are ways around this such as setting up multiple primary partitions (C: drives) that can't see one another and having DOS in one and XP in the other. You will need a decent partitioning tool to do this since the ones supplied with Microsoft operating systems can't resize partitions without wiping the content. You may be able to do it with your Linux partitioning tools otherwise a third party program such as Partition Magic can do the job. Once DOS is installed into a new C: partition you can then set up your Linux boot manager to select between the various operating systems.

The other way around this is to use a third party boot manager such as System COmmander that allows you to install multiple operating systems on the same drive.

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Well, what I'm going to do is use Partition Magic to create a primary 2gb fat partition on the beginning of the drive. If I do this, will it still try to format the rest of the drive?

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Ok, I've almost got this down. Everything is installed and working, but my DOS has no sound. A site said I should type SET and it will tell me what driver is installed. There is none installed. How do I get my drivers installed in DOS?

ESS 1969 PCI AudioDrive (WDM) is my sound card.

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Hello,

Your question is now shifting to the DOS / Windoze forums. Might want to call this topic done, and open a new question over there.

glad this all worked for you.

Christian

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I don't know about Linux, but I have PC DOS 5.0 installed on a Dell Dimension 4600. I used System Commander which did it in an instant. It works fine. At boot up you have a choice: DOS or Windows XP. A little awkward but OK.
MY ISSUE: I would like to go to a MAC, and get away from all the Windows BS and crashes. (No, the crashes are unrelated to the Dos partition). The Apple store says no way to install DOS. I don't believe it. Anybody have ideas?

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I bet you could do it with FreeDOS. Unfortunately it doesn't support Extensible Firmware Interface, so you would probably need something like rEFIt to even get close to booting it. That's a complete maybe. I might try installing it on my MacBook sometime and see how it works.

As an alternative, consider using an emulator like Parallels or VMWare. They would run FreeDOS extremely fast, there would be virtually no problems getting it running, and you don't have to reboot to switch back and forth between operating systems.

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