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mowts
October 1st, 2013, 09:34 AM
Hello,

I have a problem ... a big problem ...
I rebooted an old 8088xt "pro serie" clone ... with DOS 4.0

The "config.sys" was bad so I replaced it with a new found on the internet and "autoexec.bat"

Except that here it is, now I do not have access to C :/ and it shows me "Bad or missing Command Interpreter" ... My files are not good ...

How can I remedy to this problem?

Booting from a floppy disk back? I have one with dos "4.0.1" ... But I do not know how to boot it ... When i place the floppy disk, it nothing happens...

Otherwise, how recover data from this drive? (WD93038-X)
I tried to connect it via a USB IDE adapter but it doesnt mount on mac or pc ...

Could someone help me?

Thank you in advance ...

Stone
October 1st, 2013, 09:48 AM
I'm going to take a wild guess that your HD is hosed and needs to be replaced. That is consistent with all the errors you have enumerated.

mowts
October 1st, 2013, 10:19 AM
Yes, maybe, but I managed to start it two or three times before the problem "config.sys" and it worked perfectly. I could navigate back and start the graphical interface shell ...

The hard drive is not totally dead ...
I would really like to recover data from the disk, clone and install all this on a recent hdd......

k2x4b524[
October 1st, 2013, 10:32 AM
could be possible that command.com or the partition table got borked, if you can get to a command prompt, repartition the drive. but as a last resort

Stone
October 1st, 2013, 10:37 AM
I would really like to recover data from the disk, clone and install all this on a recent hdd......Then you will need to boot from a floppy. In fact you will need to boot from a floppy to do anything with that drive given its current condition.

Chuck(G)
October 1st, 2013, 10:40 AM
Wait a sec--you just said it shows you "Bad or missing command interpreter" but you said that you don't have access to C:. Can you elucidate a bit? Do you get the "Bad or missing" message when booting from floppy? If so, there's a problem with the floppy boot disk.

What does your current (replaced) CONFIG.SYS look like?

krebizfan
October 1st, 2013, 10:43 AM
Get a clean OS version on floppy preferably something other than 4. If the hard drive is smaller than 32MB, DOS 3.3 is perfect otherwise try DOS 5 or 6. Boot from that clean floppy. If you see the drive, you should be able to copy the files though at 360kB per disk you will need a lot of floppies.

Could you describe which drive and controller are in the XT clone? There might be a simple option specific for that hardware. Also, do you have an EMS card installed? DOS 4 had a lot of problems with EMS which could corrupt the hard drive.

Springbok
October 1st, 2013, 11:13 AM
Just a thought, but could you bypass the config.sys and autoexec.bat by pressing F5 or F8 at boot? Maybe it is a command in there causing the issue?

mowts
October 1st, 2013, 11:15 AM
To summarize,
The first time I turn it on, it tells me bad config.sys line 0
but I still manage to have the same C :/ and navigate back

After a few reboot and without touching anything, it makes me no errors and I can run the shell perfectly. All applications work.

And iagain this morning it says the error config.sys line 0

I decided then to try an another config.sys & autoexec.bat. But I must have missed something and since "Bad or missing Command Interpreter" line 15 and 16.

I tried booting with a boot disk back 4.0 but nothing happens. It does not boot from floppy ... I do not know how to do ...

The WD drive is an 93038-X. What is an EMS card?
The bios is a Phillips (ROM 3.**), Phillips graphics card and one "Inport" microsoft card. there is also a floppy disk 5'25

Does anyone know where I can find a clean version back and tell me the way to re-install? Or just help me put a config.sys adequate?

config.sys:
DEVICE = C: \ DOS \ SETVER.EXE
FILES = 30
BUFFERS = 20
Stacks = 8,128 (or 64)
DEVICE = C: \ DOS \ EGA.SYS
DEVICEHIGH = c: \ dos \ ansi.sys
SHELL = C: \ DOS \ COMMAND.COM C: \ DOS \ / p
Break = on

vwestlife
October 1st, 2013, 11:27 AM
config.sys:
DEVICE = C: \ DOS \ SETVER.EXE

SETVER was introduced with MS-DOS 5.0, so if you're using DOS 4.0, this command won't work (and wouldn't be needed even if it did work).


FILES = 30
BUFFERS = 20
Stacks = 8,128 (or 64)

For a typical XT, just use this:

FILES=20

The default values for BUFFERS and STACKS will be fine, so you don't need to specify them in CONFIG.SYS.


DEVICE = C: \ DOS \ EGA.SYS

No need for this unless you're using an EGA graphics card. And in that case, remove the spaces. DOS considers spaces to be delimiters, so when it gets to that line as written, all it'll see is "DEVICE = C:", which makes no sense.


DEVICEHIGH = c: \ dos \ ansi.sys

Don't use DEVICEHIGH, since on an XT there is no high memory to load things into, and the DEVICEHIGH command doesn't exist in DOS 4.0, anyway. And again, remove the spaces.


SHELL = C: \ DOS \ COMMAND.COM C: \ DOS \ / p

Remove the spaces in the path names, and assuming you actually have the COMMAND.COM file in the DOS directory, it'll work fine.


Break = on

Not really necessary, and slows down the machine.

So, to sum up:

FILES=20
DEVICE=C:\DOS\EGA.SYS (if you're using EGA, otherwise leave this out)
DEVICE=C:\DOS\ANSI.SYS
SHELL=C:\DOS\COMMAND.COM /P

Springbok
October 1st, 2013, 11:30 AM
To summarize,
The first time I turn it on, it tells me bad config.sys line 0
but I still manage to have the same C :/ and navigate back

After a few reboot and without touching anything, it makes me no errors and I can run the shell perfectly. All applications work.

And iagain this morning it says the error config.sys line 0

I decided then to try an another config.sys & autoexec.bat. But I must have missed something and since "Bad or missing Command Interpreter" line 15 and 16.

I tried booting with a boot disk back 4.0 but nothing happens. It does not boot from floppy ... I do not know how to do ...

The WD drive is an 93038-X. What is an EMS card?
The bios is a Phillips (ROM 3.**), Phillips graphics card and one "Inport" microsoft card. there is also a floppy disk 5'25

Does anyone know where I can find a clean version back and tell me the way to re-install? Or just help me put a config.sys adequate?

config.sys:
DEVICE = C: \ DOS \ SETVER.EXE
FILES = 30
BUFFERS = 20
Stacks = 8,128 (or 64)
DEVICE = C: \ DOS \ EGA.SYS
DEVICEHIGH = c: \ dos \ ansi.sys
SHELL = C: \ DOS \ COMMAND.COM C: \ DOS \ / p
Break = on

Is using a period in a goto tag or even a goto tag for that matter valid in a config.sys file?

Chuck(G)
October 1st, 2013, 11:35 AM
Not exactly a GOTO tag, but rather a menu tag. Again, this isn't part of DOS 4.0, but later.

To get something booted, you should not need a CONFiG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT. These two files allow one to adjust the setup, load other device drivers, etc. but are not strictly required to get to a DOS prompt.

Also, I assume that the spaces following the reverse slashes in your file text are not actually present--they shouldn't be. For example, the line "DEVICE = C: \ DOS \ EGA.SYS" should really be "DEVICE = C:\ DOS\EGA.SYS"

Agent Orange
October 1st, 2013, 11:35 AM
Is using a period in a goto tag or even a goto tag for that matter valid in a config.sys file?

Question: Are you using 'pipes' [ | ] or 'slashes' [ \ ] ? It makes a difference.

mowts
October 1st, 2013, 01:14 PM
OK, thanks for your solution :)
you look properly seated vwestlife...
but now, i have no access to replace the config.sys. when it says "Bad or missing Command Interpreter", i can't write. The C:/ doesn't appears :/
The pc boots until "bad or..." and after nothing.. i can't do anything ...

krebizfan
October 1st, 2013, 01:29 PM
One other problem is that SETVER.EXE is not part of DOS 4. Delete that line from the beginning of the CONFIG.SYS.

SomeGuy
October 1st, 2013, 01:52 PM
You are going to HAVE to figure out how to boot from the floppy disk to correct the config.sys now. If I recall correctly, DOS 4 does not have any way to bypass the startup files at boot.

Also, being such an early IDE drive, it is not surprising it is not compatible with IDE USB converters. (BTW, not really relevant but kind of curious what kind of IDE card is in that XT clone. IDE in 8088/8086 machines was very uncommon)

vwestlife
October 1st, 2013, 02:06 PM
Also, being such an early IDE drive, it is not surprising it is not compatible with IDE USB converters. (BTW, not really relevant but kind of curious what kind of IDE card is in that XT clone. IDE in 8088/8086 machines was very uncommon)

Probably an IDE-XT drive... in which case if it's a Seagate ST-351A/X, you can change a jumper to switch it into IDE-AT mode, and then use it with an IDE-to-USB adapter.

njroadfan
October 1st, 2013, 02:21 PM
Probably an IDE-XT drive... in which case if it's a Seagate ST-351A/X, you can change a jumper to switch it into IDE-AT mode, and then use it with an IDE-to-USB adapter.

Even if it is an ATA drive, the chipsets used in those USB adapters don't seem to work with small IDE drives. Both of the adapters I tried wouldn't see various drives I have here under 2GB or so. They work fine directly connected to an IDE controller.

fatwizard
October 1st, 2013, 04:02 PM
mowts states his hard drive is a WD93038-X. That's a Western Digital IDE/XT 8bit drive and isn't going to work with standard ATA/IDE

wesleyfurr
October 1st, 2013, 04:55 PM
My best guess is the shell= line in the new config.sys is causing the problem. And as others have noted, other lines in it are not correct for that machine and/or version of DOS. Unless a program you are running requires it, you shouldn't really need any of that stuff. If you can get booted in, I would just rename the config.sys to config.bak (ren config.sys config.bak) to get you by until you have a better grasp on what it all does and what you need (if anything).

The #1 problem here is you need to get access to the C: drive. In order to do that, you are going to have to boot from a floppy disk. When you turn it on to try to boot, does one of the drives light up for a moment before it begins booting into DOS? It may also flash the drive (or both if you have two) as part of the POST (Power On Self-Test) process...but then after that, it should try to read the A: drive before failing over and booting from the C: drive. With the aging stuff we are dealing with here, it could be that there is a problem with the disk and/or drive. Do you have any other DOS boot disks you can try? If you have two disk drives, you could try swapping them (remove them both and put them each where the other used to be both physically and connection-wise) and see if the other drive will boot from it. Until you get it booted from a floppy drive, there's not really anything we can do to help you...once you get booted in you can chance to the C: drive (just type C: and hit enter) and then rename the config.sys file and you should be set. Assuming the drive isn't failing...which it easily could be due to the age...and due to the odd situation you said it gave you when you first started trying to use it...

As for the drive, that does indeed sound like an XTA 8-bit IDE drive, which wouldn't work in a newer (286 and up) system that has ATA 16-bit IDE. Someone noted problems with a USB to IDE adapter on smaller drives...I found the same thing...couldn't get the one I bought to see anything under 2Gb. And of course such devices are going to be ATA and not work with XTA either...

Good luck!

Wesley

mowts
October 2nd, 2013, 01:06 PM
It works! Good job guys, thanks everyone !!!!! :D

I managed to boot with a floppy boot disk DOS 4 and delete config.sys.

I put a new config.sys, unfortunately, problem with EGA.sys
I tried to replace by display.sys but it makes me an error ...

So I decided to delete it and try again without the support of the screen.

Someone can help me to build an autoexec for 8088 with dosshell (windows 2 interface i know) ?

Another question, the config.sys should be in C: or C:/DOS back?

Now I would like to succeed to clone my hard drive ... But considering your answers, I think it will be complicated ...

Is it possible to copy everything in the C: with several floppy disk? disk01, disk02, disk03 etc ... ? Anyone know there is a method?
or just copy the DOS file on multiple disks?

Thank you in advance for your help ...
you are really strong guys :) :)

Trixter
October 2nd, 2013, 01:24 PM
Until you have a problem running a program or booting, it is best to not have any config.sys at all. Delete it. If you need one, it goes in c:\.

You don't need EGA.SYS or DISPLAY.SYS to run programs; those are for changing the onscreen font to match a non-english language.

As for autoexec.bat, try something as simple as this:

PATH=C:\;C:\DOS
dosshell

That will get you the DOS shell in 4.0.

It is possible to copy files off onto multiple floppy disks; there are very many ways of doing that. It's also possible to hook up a network card or a serial or parallel cable so that you don't have to use floppies. Try reading this information (it's for getting files ONTO an old system but it applies to getting them OFF as well): http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/transfer/transfer.htm