Installing MS Dos 3.3 on a Emachine Etower 500is 286

January 5, 2013 at 23:49:38
Specs: MS Dos 3.3, 286/1GB

I attached my old control card that operates a 5-1/4" drive and after setting bios for that drive I'm able to boot Dos 3.3 on that drive.
I could'nt get my old 20 MB Se-agate St 225s to run on the other Isa card so i gave up on them!
I re-installed my 4 GB ide and connected to the mother board connector.
Was able to use the Fisk in dos 3.3 to partition my hard drive starting with C as bootable then made several extended drives.
Formated C using the command Format C:/s
Coppied all the dos files on that drive.

My problem is the PC wont reconize C as a bootable drive only A
I changed the boot sequence and even removed floppy as an option the pc just stops.
One thing i did notice that was strange was when it started to read the drive it was drive 0 not drive 1 or C

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January 6, 2013 at 00:36:22

Check with fdisk to see that partition you used for C: is the active partition and try using the sys command to make it bootable. Also check the jumpers to make sure that the IDE drive is set to master, not slave.

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January 6, 2013 at 11:26:42

I did all of that! In bios i set the hard drive up as type 3 32MB LBA off 32bit off Block mode off Pio Mode 4 UDMA Mode 2.
C: was partitioned as active drive set maxmum for Dos 3.3 fdisk then formated with /s to load system files.
I used chkdisk to verify the hidden directory exist and it does with 4 files.
I also ensured is in root directory.
Then i used an old program i had backit to load the Dos sub directory.
Checked C: again to verify the sub directory and files exist and they do.
I found a old autoexec.bat file on one the old disks and copied it to root as well.
Having problems understanding the crude Edlin to view and or edit file so I will partition a d: drive to load my old PC tool ver 5 i think it had an editor to create and or edit the autoexec.bat and config.sys
Other than that im lost.

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January 6, 2013 at 14:00:11

Autoexec.bat and config.sys don't matter. The disk should boot without them as long as it has the correct mbr, the partition has the correct boot sector, and the necessary system files are there (and, I believe they have to be in the right place in MS-DOS 3.3). The most reliable way to do this is to format the partition then use the program to transfer the boot files from a floppy to the hard disk. After you have a bootable disk you can install the remainder of the files.

If you can't boot after doing that then there is something wrong with your BIOS configuration.

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Related Solutions

January 6, 2013 at 22:49:06

You may well need overlay software to access the drive correctly. I had to do this for my 286s, 386s and 486s to access all of a Bigfoot 4gig drive correctly. Look up the XT-IDE project over at VCF. If your've got an ISA nic you can put a bios chip into the boot rom socket and access the whole drive via that.

As an aside with that size drive personally I'd be using a later version of Dos. PC Dos 7/2000 don't use any more conventional memory than MS/PC Dos 3.3 does which is limited to 32 meg partitions.

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January 7, 2013 at 14:41:27

I gave up on DOS 3.3 so i then finally got my 3.5 floppy drive to work then used my microsoft dos 6.2 upgrade it worked my hard drive boots.
Now obviously my onboard sound and usb doessnt work so transfering files from my newer pc is out of the question sense its under vista.
Back when i had my old IBM clone XT8088 and a 286 running i was able to connect them via a 9 pin serial connection.
My asus board doesnt have a serial so im going to try and locate a pci card for that.
You think this would work to transfer downloaded drivers & files from a Vista PC to this dos machine?
I even still have windows 3.1 to load on the dos pc if that would help!

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January 7, 2013 at 15:27:25

Try fitting a nic in the dos machine with a dos packet driver, network the two together, grab hold of the mTCP suite and install a ftp server on the Vista box and use the ftp client in the mTCP suite on the dos machine. Job done.

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January 7, 2013 at 23:43:16

Does your Vista computer have an IDE interface? If so, just hook the drive up to it and transfer the files. If not, I suspect that an IDE interface card is probably as cheap as a serial one and the transfer process is simpler.

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