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  1. #1
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    Need help running DOS

    I'm an outboard technician. Some of the programs we use run on DOS. Luckily I have an old 386 laptop that runs one program using DOS 5.0.
    One of the programs I need to run needs DOS 6.0 or higher.
    I have laptops running XP, XP Pro and Win 7.
    None of these laptops will run the program! I tried using the Command Prompt, will not open the Com port.
    I then tried using DosBox, it opens the program but will not communicate with the engine ECU.
    I am desperate to get this program running. The program is on a 3.5 floppy as well!
    So what I need to do is to use the XP laptop to run the program as it has a floppy drive.
    What the heck can I do? The program was put out in 1999! Yet only runs in DOS.
    I can't tell you how behind the times the industry is!
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Do you have a DOS copy?
    I think DOS is bootable from a floppy. Have a look here. Create a boot disk, maybe even add your program to the disk, then boot from the disk and run the program.

  3. #3
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    1. WinXP and later do NOT include DOS. Thye 'Command Prompt' is an emulator (CMD.EXE) which is preobably the reason your program won't run on the laptops with those OS's.

    2. Ask around if someone has a copy of DOS 6.x. You might be able to find it at a flea market or yard sale. I still have my copy.

  4. #4
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    I found a couple of old floppys with 6.22 but how would I get them to work on my XP? Would I need to partition? I've never done that. I also have a 6.22 boot disk.
    All I want to do is load the dos based program and run it from a laptop, you would think it is simple, not! Thanks

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    Maybe the solution would be to dual boot MS-DOS and Windows XP or MS-DOS and Windows 7.

    DOS and XP: http://www.k1ea.com/hints/fdinst095.pdf
    DOS and Windows 7: http://thpc.info/dual/win7/dualboot_...0_on_win7.html

    You should image your disk before undergoing any of the options. Hope this helps.

  6. #6
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    Simple!
    Format a Flash Drive, using the three DOS files from, lets say Windows 98 or ME.
    Then put your DOS program on the bootable flash drive and boot up and run your program in DOS.

    I do the same thing for Ghost 2003 (runs from a floppy) or Ghost 11.5 (too big for a floppy, so I run it from a flash drive)
    Both versions of Ghost run in DOS only and will not run from a Command Prompt in Windows. Too many people get confused, and think a Command Prompt is DOS.... NO, it's not.

    We've discussed making a Flash Drive bootable to DOS, several times.
    Can't find it..... PM me. I'll be glad to help.

    The Doctor

    PS: Since some computers cannot boot from a Flash Drive, I make a bootable CD, using the contents of my DOS bootable flash drive.
    Last edited by DrWho; 2011-11-10 at 10:58.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  7. #7
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    I think we're over complicating this a bit. The OP suggests he has DOS 6.22 on floppy and the program to be run on floppy. He also suggests the XP machine has a floppy drive. Unless I'm missing something, the simplest solution is to boot the PC from the DOS floppy and then launch the program from its floppy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjaustin2 View Post
    I think we're over complicating this a bit. The OP suggests he has DOS 6.22 on floppy and the program to be run on floppy. He also suggests the XP machine has a floppy drive. Unless I'm missing something, the simplest solution is to boot the PC from the DOS floppy and then launch the program from its floppy.
    Think you missed my first suggestion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Gr View Post
    I'm an outboard technician. Some of the programs we use run on DOS. Luckily I have an old 386 laptop that runs one program using DOS 5.0.
    One of the programs I need to run needs DOS 6.0 or higher.
    I have laptops running XP, XP Pro and Win 7.
    None of these laptops will run the program! I tried using the Command Prompt, will not open the Com port.
    I then tried using DosBox, it opens the program but will not communicate with the engine ECU.
    I am desperate to get this program running. The program is on a 3.5 floppy as well!
    So what I need to do is to use the XP laptop to run the program as it has a floppy drive.
    What the heck can I do? The program was put out in 1999! Yet only runs in DOS.
    I can't tell you how behind the times the industry is!
    Thanks in advance.
    Some questions: 1. Does the 'old 386 laptop' have a floppy drive? 2. Do you have a copy of the one program that runs under DOS 5.0? 3. Do you have access to DOS 6.22 install disks or a system disk? You can get a DOS 6.22 boot disk (probably all you need) online. 4. Do you feel comfortable wiping the drive on the 386 laptop and installing DOS 6.22 on it? 5. Does the program currently running on the 386 laptop run under DOS 6.22?

    If you can answer yes to all 5 of these questions then install DOS 6.22 on the 386 laptop, install the new and old programs, and go from there.

    I also wonder if your other laptops even have a COM port. Most systems manufactured in the last few years do not.

  10. #10
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    I would like to use the newer XP laptop as it has internet capability something the old 386 did not. I will also use it with new programs that run under XP.
    The newer XP is an older Dell Latitude CPx.
    The program that does run on the old 386 is a different program entirely. It too needs DOS to run but I think will run under a later DOS than 5.0. It was made for 1998 engines.

    I have 3 floppys that say DOS 6.22 they are copies. When I put in disk one and reboot it does not boot from the floppy, defaults to XP.

    So basically what I "want" to do is to have one laptop to run all the diagnostic programs, those that run under Dos as well as XP.
    I have programs for Evinrude, Mercury, and Yamaha! I don't want 3 different computers to run them.
    Devise manager says I have Com port 1

  11. #11
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    You will need to change the bios to boot from the floppy. If the floppy is enough to boot and then run your programs fine. Otherwise, you may as well have to dual boot.

  12. #12
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    DOS does ship with XP - it runs in the NTVDM, just like any other 16 bit app. At the command prompt, type command, and DOS will start. The startup files, if you need to edit them, are autoexec.nt and config.nt, which reside in c:\windows\system32 by default.

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    Sorry for jumping in but that's interesting -- run command and then command again.

    Does it still virtualize the hardware? I think that's the other problem he's having. DOS Box is supposed to talk to the hardware, but I haven't had much luck with that when I tried to run a PLC with DOS Box.

    Also he can get around the serial port problem if he only has USB by putting a serial card in the machine. Adapters work, but sometimes give problems.

    There's also FreeDOS and some other DOSes kicking around, but I haven't had time to try them.
    Steve Doyle

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdoyle View Post
    Sorry for jumping in but that's interesting -- run command and then command again.
    Yes, when you run the command prompt you're using cmd.exe, which is just an alternative shell within WinXP. If you type command at the prompt, you're simply starting command.com, which is a separate app. As you know, in DOS, to start a program you don't have to type the extension of the executable file. (Bit of a turnaround there; DOS running under Windows lol.)

    Does it still virtualize the hardware? I think that's the other problem he's having. DOS Box is supposed to talk to the hardware, but I haven't had much luck with that when I tried to run a PLC with DOS Box.
    Well, yes, if the DOS drivers exist. You already have, for instance, the CD extensions, which you can evoke with mscdexnt (just type it at the prompt). When it comes to COM ports, they should work in the normal way, but the OP can just refer to it in the startup files, I suppose.
    Last edited by tonyl; 2011-11-13 at 07:00.

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