Booting from DOS

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by PRS, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. PRS

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2008
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    I have a modern computer with a Windows Vista OS. I would like to boot from an old DOS 3.3 disk if that's possible. But is it possible? I don't as yet have a floppy drive, but I'm going to get one soon. Any suggestions will help!
     
  2. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    2,803
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    No idea, but you can boot from usb flash drives these days so if you can transfer DOS to one that might be worth a try.
     
  3. PRS

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2008
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    35
    Thanks. But I was thinking of buying an external floppy drive that plugs into a USB port.
     
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
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    Dos 3.3 is pretty hopeless. ROM BIOS is likely to be very different from back in the XT days. A more modern DOS is FreeDOS, which just might work. Here is a link to the info on making a boot thumb drive - http://wiki.fdos.org/Installation/BootDiskCreateUSB
     
  5. Norfindel

    Active Member

    Mar 6, 2008
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    9
    You could do it with some virtualization software, like VirtualBox. Most are free to use.
    No idea if running inside a virtual pc will allow you to do what you want, however. What are you up to?
     
  6. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
    1,571
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    A couple of Dells I use at work won't let me boot with anything but Windows NT. A couple of home machines will boot DOS 6.2

    I can't imagine the need to boot DOS 3.x
     
  7. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    1,585
    141
    I'd like to hit myself in the foot with a hammer. But most people are gonna ask why would you want to do that? (excluding my wife -- she'd be gone for about 15 seconds and come back with all the hammers in the house and ask me which one I wanted.) :p

    DOS 3 and before were, well, pieces of steaming horse dung. The DOS 5 and 6 versions were better (kinda like having the clap is better than HIV).
     
  8. tr_escape

    New Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    3
    1
    Hello ,

    If you want to use a old program, you can use virtual pc (microsoft,dosbox ect).
    In virtual pc generally operate dos functions and softwares.

    Sorry for broken English.
     
  9. PRS

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    989
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    I can see I kind of mystified all of you. And I thank you for your answers. Here's my story:

    10 years ago I walked away from a personal project, which was to build a complete PC from a M6800 uproc. I built a "Black Box" that interfaced with my IBM PC through its printer port. The Black Box programmed the memory connected to the 6800 and then got off the bus. That way I developed the software for its operating system and programs. Once I could program RAM I started to try programming ROM. But at about that time, I got depressed and walked away from it all.

    Now I want to do it again, but I'm not sure how to proceed. I'm thinking that, rather than using an old computer, I could buy a serial port for my modern computer and use that to develop an EEPROM programmer, then use an EEPROM to develop a boot loader so I can copy in the operating system from the host computer.

    After looking around at old computers I don't like the idea. I like the second method described above. One thing I'd like to know, if anyone can tell me. I can't find any EEPROM manuals that tell me how to develop the timing signals, as yet. My hunch is that it's just like programming RAM. Is this right?

    I'd sure appreciate any input.
     
  10. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  11. davebee

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
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    I can understand the desire to just hack around for fun - I feel the same way.

    Some people go home after work and sit on their sofas and watch television; I like to go home after work and try things that make people say "what do you want to do that for? That stuff is obsolete!" like learning how to get a microcontroller to read a DOS 5 inch floppy disk, or a hard drive, or to operate SIMM dynamic RAM.

    But I'd suggest that you get a modern microcontroller development system. They're much better than a modern PC for experimentation like learning the basics of tiny operating systems and programming EEPROMS and stuff like that.

    My personal favorite is the Parallax microcontroller, but there are many others.

    http://www.parallax.com/tabid/407/Default.aspx
     
  12. PRS

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    989
    35
    Hello, Dave. It seems we're on the same page. I don't like much that TV has to offer either, and I do enjoy projects most people can't even understand. I think it's like doing crossword puzzles and drinking coffee.

    I'm using the obsolete 6800 because I already have the chips. But I have given up on the old computer with DOS and GWBASIC plan. I'm going to buy a serial port for my present computer and use that to develop an EEPROM programmer, then use it to create a bootup program for the 6800, then via serial port again connect the 6800 to the host and write an assembler for the 6800 using C++. Now doesn't that sound like a lot of work for nothing? :)
     
  13. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
    1,571
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    sounds like a familiar story, and I'm sure for many, but for me it was more like 25 years ago. I still have a handwired 68000 board somewhere in my junk boxes.

    My early 'systems' had just enough UVeprom to support a brief POST and a boot loader that would load code from the serial port into high ram.

    Today, I'd probably do it all in software on a simulator. But I wouldn't, life's too short.
     
  14. davebee

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    539
    46
    I did something like that once.

    I've got an old microProfessor Z80 trainer board. I burned an EPROM (with my homemade PC parallel-port powered EPROM burner) for its spare socket that contained a simple bit-banging RS232 receiver and RAM loader.

    I'd start the microProfessor and manually issue a call to the EPROM to start the receive code.

    The receiver would loop until the first start bit arrived, then from then on, it would load every received byte into RAM. Once it started loading, it would keep a little timeout timer, so when bytes stopped arriving, it would jump to the location of the loaded code.

    (That sounds like a lot of code, but surprisingly, the entire receiver/RAM loader/timeout routine only took something like 30 bytes of machine code!)

    On the PC, I had an editor where I would develop Z80 code in assembly, then would run the TASM Z80 assembler on it, then ran RS232 transmitter code that would send the assembled machine code down the serial line.

    It worked great! I could edit a program on the PC, download it, where it would automatically run, and when the program exited, I could have it jump right back to the EPROM loader code for the next pass!

    I still have the microProfessor in my garage but I'm afraid the PC code is long gone.
     
  15. PRS

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    989
    35
    You guys make me realize I'm not alone in the world! LOL! A 68000 would drive me crazy. As it was my 6800 looked like light blue angel hair when you looked at the back of the board (wire wrapped as it was). As for the Z80, I, too, made my own unique way of loading my 6800's memory, and I, too, developed a method of writing code for my 6800 using MASM and an IBM computer and a printer port. It sounds like we're all belonging to a unique set of technologically-informed people, aka "geeks."

    I've found that it's all in the process, not in the outcome. It's only my way of entertaining myself, and in the end my brainchild goes to the dump and noone even knows what it is.
     
  16. bkochis

    New Member

    Aug 5, 2010
    19
    2
    PRS, just 2 cents from the new guy:

    If you want to get back into it all why not look at the latest PIC microprocessors? at $10-$14 a processor you can build something that is up to date and still get your "pound the head against the wall" time. :D

    I have looked at a training setup from brunningsoftware.co.uk to get started.

    I am actually more interested in working with the Atmel atMega wireless microcontroller (PIC MCU with builtin 2.4Ghz wireless) to do some stuff around the house.

    Specifically I want to build sensing units for the solar panels I built and keep an eye on their production, and the rest of the setup. I am running all of the computer stuff (cablemodem, router, printer and computers) directly from the 24vdc that the solar panels put out.

    As I say, just my 2 cents.
     
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