[Trlog] Dual Boot WindowsXP and FreeDOS - Alpha testers needed

John (KE5C) ke5c at hot.rr.com
Thu Jan 26 07:20:03 EST 2006

> I am working on the next version of a procedure to add FreeDOS or MS-DOS to
almost any WindowsXP computer in a dual-boot configuration and WITHOUT
destroying the WindowsXP installation.  When the computer boots, you can select
either WindowsXP or FreeDOS.

thanks mark!  i've been wanting for some time to have a dual boot xp and dos
machine, but i've been unwilling to do it from scratch, that is, reinstall xp
and hours and hours of software afterwards.  that has been the only way so far
as i know until this new procedure that uses linux utilities on a bootable
cd-rom to slightly downsize an existing xp partition without losing the contents
of that partition in order to make room for dos, and then installs a dual
(actually multiple) boot manager using another bootable cd-rom.  i had a little
trepidation about pulling the trigger on actually doing the resize, so i backed
up my 60 gb hard drive to an 80 gb, but all went well.  i was about to install
dos 6.22 since i had the disks, but mark advised that i use 7.1 since 6.22 has
problems with FAT32 partitions and large disks.  as it turns out, i didn't
realize 7.1 was simply the dos that comes with windows 98, which i also had
although the necessary files are in cabinets so it was easier to just download a
dos bootdisk per mark's guide.  a neat trick with this approach is to use the
dos boot disk to "sys" - install the three system files on - your hard drive,
then boot to xp and using the windows file manager to copy the rest.  not much
is really needed to just run tr, and not much is wanted either in order to have
a lot of free memory.  for autoexec.bat and config.sys, i ended up with:

echo off


DEVICEhigh=c:\dos71\EMM386.EXE noems

this left me with 624K for tr:

Modules using memory below 1 MB:

  Name           Total           Conventional       Upper Memory
  --------  ----------------   ----------------   ----------------
  SYSTEM      29,792   (29K)     10,656   (10K)     19,136   (19K)
  HIMEM        1,120    (1K)      1,120    (1K)          0    (0K)
  EMM386       4,320    (4K)      4,320    (4K)          0    (0K)
  COMMAND      7,168    (7K)          0    (0K)      7,168    (7K)
  Free       672,784  (657K)    639,168  (624K)     33,616   (33K)

Memory Summary:

  Type of Memory       Total         Used          Free
  ----------------  -----------   -----------   -----------
  Conventional          655,360        16,192       639,168
  Upper                  59,920        26,304        33,616
  Reserved                    0             0             0
  Extended (XMS)    535,696,880       771,568   534,925,312
  ----------------  -----------   -----------   -----------
  Total memory      536,412,160       814,064   535,598,096

  Total under 1 MB      715,280        42,496       672,784

  Largest executable program size         639,152   (624K)
  Largest free upper memory block          32,608    (32K)
  MS-DOS is resident in the high memory area.

i've still not gotten the thumb drive approach to work, so maybe it's my thumb
drive or my bios, so this is finally a workable solution.

73, john

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