Dual Boot DOS and Debian Toughbook

Dual Boot DOS and Debian

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The Debian DosBook

Why ?

I wanted all the software that was better on the linux system. Particularly xmame, xmess and ScummVM. I also wanted to be ble to play many of the original DOS games at full speed. Sites like abandonia and Home Of The Underdogs has lifted my desire up to a frenzy.

My plan was to install Debain linux onto a large partition, leave some space on the drive, then install MS-DOS 7.10.

Easy Peasy.

Finding Stuff

Debian is *very* easy to find.

Search for MS-DOS 7.10 on torrent sites, or just google for it. Download the CD ISO image and burn it to disk.

I also used FreeDos CD ISO image.


Debian Installation

Read about it here

I installed Debian using the guide above. I used manual partitioning and set up a 3.9 Gig partition with about a 350 Meg swap partition. /dev/hda1 and /dev/hda2/.

I then set up the rest of the space as a vfat partition and set it to be mounted on /dos.

DOS Installation

This is from memory. I sadly was not taking notes.

  • MS DOS

I initially tried just booting up with the disk installed. Booted up fine. Told me it could not find any suitable disks to install on. I dropped down to a dos shell. It dropped me at the A: drive, which I suspect was some kind of RAM drive. The D: drive was the CD. All the files on the CD seemed to be compressed and not really accessible.

The A: drive did not contain the fdisk or format commands.

  • FreeDOS

I booted up with FreeDOS in the CD. And installed it. I can’t remember if I actually had to drop to the shell and go for the FDISK followed by FORMAT C:, I may well have done. The FreeDOS 1.0 release works very well. Is currently what I am using. Sound card was awful to set up though. Nick the relevant lines from my autoexec.bat file

I chose NOT to overwrite the Master Boot Record.

  • Debian

I booted into Debian and changed the /boot/grub/menu.lst to let me boot into DOS.

  title DOS
  rootnoverify (hd0,2)
  chainloader +1

It booted fine. For some reason I didn’t like FreeDOS though. I *wanted* MSDOS 7.10.

  • MS-DOS 7.10

Booted again. This time I ignored the message about failing the drive check. Just skip it and install to C:\DOS.

Install all the supplemental stuff. Except the chinese add on.

Away you go.

One response to “Dual Boot DOS and Debian Toughbook

  1. Pingback: DOS Toughbook « Doug’s Devices & Desires

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