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Solved Can I stop memory test?

March 26, 2017 at 20:38:12
Specs: Linux x86_64
I haven't used DOS in a long time, but I've just installed Dos 6.22 on a USB flash drive, and I have 2 questions.

1. On boot-up I get a "HIMEM testing extended memory..." message. In the old days when memory was measured in Mbs, it didn't take long. At least, not that I recall. But if I run it in my modern PC with 4Gb of memory it takes up to a minute. Is there a way of stopping it doing that test?

2. I installed DOS from floppies, which set the partition size as 500Mb. But it's an 8Gb stick. Can I still use the rest for storage, via Windows or Linux?

Thanks in advance


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March 27, 2017 at 00:01:27
✔ Best Answer
You can edit the line in config.sys that loads himem.sys. For example, assuming himem.sys is located in C:\DOS then the line in config.sys would read:


Some application show a space between the command and the switch:


but in dos that space is optional; either way works.

Oh and about the partition size. 6.22 can accomodate up to a 2 gig partition. I don't know why it only set up at 500 meg on yours unless it has something to do with how you got it installed on a USB stick. You would have had to do a non-traditional install to get it on a USB drive. But yes, you can use the remaining space by partitioning it as separate drives--assuming there's not a problem with it being on a USB stick.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS

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March 27, 2017 at 03:43:01
Thanks. That HIMEM tip reduced boot-up time from about a minute to under 10 secs.

I don't know what you mean by an non-traditional install. I installed it with the original 3 floppies, and the USB stick inserted so it was recognized as the target drive for the install. Seems traditional enough.

Viewing it through Linux after I'd added some old DOS programs to it, it says,
"4.24 Mb used
485.8 Mb free"
So it looks like it chose 1/2 Gb space of its own accord.

As for partitioning the remaining space, (7Gb or so) would I do that from within DOS, or externally via Linux or Windows?

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March 28, 2017 at 00:13:40
I didn't think dos would recognize a USB drive but I've never tried it.

The first dos disk will run FDISK to partition the drive and then FORMAT to make it usable for an operating system. Fdisk should have asked about 'using the maximum space for the partition'. Answering 'yes' should have given you a 2 gig partition. Possibly the 8 gig stick was too large a capacity for dos to properly see. That was often a problem with old dos and large drives. I've never put 6.22 on a drive that large so I can't say for sure.

If your 6.22 FDISK can see the remaining space you should be able to add partition(s) that way. The partition will need to be FAT16 (often just called FAT) and not FAT32. I don't think a modern version of windows can make a fat16 partition. If it sees 6 gig of unallocated space it will want to set it up as FAT32 or NTFS. Linux may be able to do it though.

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March 28, 2017 at 02:47:35
I'm puzzled how you could make a USB stick a Dos-boot drive if your floppies couldn't recognize it. How have other people been making a boot drive? I'd like to know, because the Dell Optiplex machine I used is most likely the last I'll ever own with a floppy drive. When that goes kaput, I'll need some other way.

For the record, FDISK never asked me anything. My only input was choosing the keyboard and setting the date/time.

I've just checked the version; it's 6.20, not 6.22. Maybe that's the difference.

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March 28, 2017 at 18:55:03
I think rufus:

is the usual utility to make a bootable USB drive.

There was another utility--I can't remember who made it but for awhile you could download it from HP--that would write something to the flash drive that would cause windows to see it as a regular hard drive. I imagine that would make it much easier to set up a flash drive.

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