booting to A: DOS Prompt 8088

November 28, 2010 at 19:16:22
Specs: ms dos 2.0bios 2.32 , 8088
XT computer for a coil winder runs in an 8088 XT environment with one 5.25 floppy. It boots to the winding program and I can't escape to the A: Dos prompt. This is what I need: I need to get to the A: dos prompt. Any sugestions? next,
I need to make a copy of the the 5.25 floppy I have for a backup. I want to add another 5.25 or a 3.5 inch drive but I am not sure if the 8088 environment will operate a 3.5.

See More: booting to A: DOS Prompt 8088

Report •

November 28, 2010 at 19:23:00
As far as copying the floppy disk, I would suggest using a program called Winimage. It will copy the entire disk, even the boot sector if it has one, and you can store the image as a file on a server so you always have a safe backup. I use it for many legacy apps that run from floppies.

Report •

November 28, 2010 at 19:44:02
Boot with another bootable floppy and then just type Copy A: B: and follow the prompts. You will be prompted to insert source disk then the destination disk in drive B: which if you only have one floppy drive, will actually be drive A:. I don't think Winimage will run under MS-DOS.

Whether you can use 3.5" floppies is dependent on the version of DOS you are running and the BIOS. If you are running MS-DOS version 2.0 then I think you are going to be out of luck. MS-DOS 3.0 could certainly handle 3.5 disks.


Report •

November 28, 2010 at 21:07:44
If it's booting to a particular program then that program is bieng called from autoexec.bat. You can edit a REM ahead of that line:

command calling program


REM command calling program

to keep it from starting. Then just type in the command when you want to run the program.

Any 3.5 drive in an 8088 would need to be a 720 K and not a 1.44 M, unless you have a floppy card with its own ROM. The same is true for 1.2 meg 5.25 drives. They won't natively run on 8088 hardware.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

Report •

Related Solutions

November 28, 2010 at 22:07:51
I can probably find another 5.25 boot disk with dos somewhere so I can copy A: B:, However: is there a way to interupt the autoexec batch file during boot up before it loads the coil winding program? e.g ctrl/insert or F8. I should have never thrown my old Dos manuals out. Would a 486 computer with a 5.25 and a 3.5 floppy be the best solution? or...... a 286 or 386

Report •

November 28, 2010 at 23:03:56
Press both CTRL and C at the same time to interrupt autoexec.bat. Pressing the Pause/Break key should do the same.

Any PC from 286 on up will be able to handle 1.2 and 1.44 drives. The only problem might be that older dos programs sometimes run too fast on faster systems. There are some software solutions for that. If you plan on 'upgrading' you should probably go with whatever system is available. Probably don't go beyond a P-I as newer hardware is not as dos-friendly as the old stuff.

Well, check the specs for the program you're running for both CPU and DOS version. Although it's very unlikely a more recent CPU or DOS version will affect the program.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

Report •

November 29, 2010 at 02:37:34
I'd agree with DAVE on the speed issue you may (or may not) have with a newer machine. I've worked with some industrial equipment which used a '286 that simply wouldn't work properly with a '386 or higher.

Just out of curiosity, does the machine you currently own even have a hard drive? A lot of old 8088 (XT-class) machines were "floppy-only" and in that case, there may be a different solution to copying your disk. Also, it's possible the machine wouldn't support a standard 1.2MB (5.25") or 1.44MB (3.5") drive, depending on the machine and/or version of DOS running on it (as Stuart/DAVE mention). It would likely support a 3.5" 720KB drive irregardless; however, those are very difficult to find since they weren't produced for very long. I've got an XT which has a special card that allows it to support 1.2/1.44MB drives by bypassing the BIOS settings, but that card is near impossible to find now. Nevertheless, this may be of some assistance:

Also, since most floppies have long outlived their usefulness, I'd suggest backing up a copy of your coil-winding program (using the previously-mentioned WinImage or other program) to something more durable (Flash/Optical media). Stuff I consider vital is copied off to multiple CD's/DVD's and stored appropriately. If you discover that you can use a faster machine, it may even be cheaper in the long run to purchase an older 386/486/P1 with a CD drive and have your program boot from the CD.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

Report •

Ask Question