Solved please help choosing an OS for my dos PC/LAPTOP

August 13, 2016 at 16:42:25
Specs: Windows
ok so last weekend while at a local thrift store i managed to score a used but working i tested it before i bought it Compaq Armada SB 5200 Laptop. it came with the max 96 MB ram, with a fixed amount of 32 MB (non-removable) installed as well as a 64meg chip installed in the lone ram slot. it also came with a 4gig ide hard drive as well as a 200MHz Intel Pentium w/MMX CPU.

now from what i can tell by doing google research as well as browsing the hp website it looks like i can put DOS,WINDOWS 3.1,WINDOWS 95, or WINDOWS 98/98SE. my question is which os should i install on this old laptop and why? heres some more info to clarify a few things

I know that windows 98se has a full ms dos boot mode accessible via the shutdown menu

the few games i play are this

catacombs 3D commander keen duke nukem side scroller mechwarrior 2 jill of the jungle and a few other games

so which os should i install and why

edit i forgot to mention i do plan to upgrade the hard drive as 4gigs is not enough for me


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#1
August 13, 2016 at 23:36:17
✔ Best Answer
Windows 3.1 and dos go together as you install 3.1 after a dos install whereas 95/98 are a 'start from scratch' install.

I'd install 98 since that OS would take better advantage of the compaq's hardware.

If you do upgrade the drive make sure the laptop's bios can see it OK. With some of the older P-I and P-II's the bios wouldn't correctly see a drive larger than 8.4 gig.


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#2
August 14, 2016 at 07:13:06
Concur with DAVE. Win98SE is the best candidate for a laptop of that era. While you might have some fun with Win95 or earlier, there's little benefit in putting an OS on there that would likely have issues with the hardware. MS-DOS's RAM limit (without tweaking) is 64MB, and Win95 was released when 32MB of RAM was considered a lot (it still supports up to 512MB without tweaking). You could possibly try something like an nLited version of Windows 2000, but 96MB of RAM could make it a little sluggish, even with the "fat" removed. Plus your DOS-based games could possibly suffer as well.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#3
August 14, 2016 at 17:06:11
thanks for the tips

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#4
August 15, 2016 at 11:53:37
Hi, surely the best starting os is DOS 6.22?

Possibly a Disc Manager is required, from the hdd makers website.
However, that hdd seems very large for such a laptop..
Wonder if there has been a misunderstanding of this.

Good Luck - Keep us posted


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#5
August 20, 2016 at 12:37:29
"...surely the best starting os is DOS 6.22?"

Not for a machine with a 200MHz CPU and 96MB of RAM. That's too much RAM for DOS 6.22 to natively manage and few DOS programs (including games) would need such a (relatively) high-end CPU. DOS also can't manage more than a single 2.1GB partition or an 8.4GB hard-drive (i.e. four 2.1GB partitions). Win98SE could natively manage a drive as big as 32GB---137GB with patching; though both of those may be beyond the BIOS limits of the machine itself. It's a Win95/98-era machine from the late 1990's and was designed around those OS's.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


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