View Full Version : Dual Boot DOS/Windows system

April 24th, 2014, 05:51 PM
I have an old ODP MMX P1/166 with 65meg of ram thatís on the work bench that I have been using to run DOS programs. Itís a MESA tempested system that was built for the military back in the old days that uses a standard mother board and AMI Bios Ver 4.51PG and loads DOS 6.22 with the old MS DOS Menu program, and I am happy having something that functions as a terminal and talks to my old ROM programmer and the like that you can just hit the reset button on the front and have no issues when things go wrong.
The thing now is that I have decided that I would like to install Windows 98 for the occasions when file management and reading CD ROMs may be handy as opposed to using the more modern windows system on the other side of the room. So the question is how to I go about building a system that will allow you to start the system in DOS or Windows? I have plenty of IDE drives and can build two separate drives with one for windows and one for DOS but swapping drives can be a real drag when you want to go one way or the other. Back in the old days of Windows 3.1 it was easy to have an item on the DOS menu for running Windows but donít think thatís an option for 98
Is there an easy way to partition the system drive and select what drive the system boots from? Or can I install a second drive and easily select what drive the system starts from? And anyone have any ideas about installing XP on something as old as a 166? Think the dual boot option would be the thing but not cretin how to proceed with that.

April 24th, 2014, 05:57 PM
There is probably better ways, but for mine I installed Windows 98 on a hard drive - then swapped it out for another and install DOS 6.22/Win31 on that.
Then I put both drives in, booted from floppy and installed a free util I found called GAG - this sits in the boot sector and gives you a nice graphical interface (keys work too) - so I have a nice little icon for DOS and a nice little icon for Windows98. Loads up in under a second.

Windows 98 sees my DOS drive as "D" - so I can drop files on it then quickly reboot to DOS and use them.
I had trouble getting the different OS's to behave on different partitions - found it easier to use two drives.

MS did provide a "Boot previous operating system" option but I prefer a nice clean boot manager each time I start the PC.

April 24th, 2014, 06:15 PM
Why not use MSDOS 7.1 that underllies WIn98? Then you just modify the MSDOS.SYS file to say BootGUI=0. When you want to run Windows, use the "win" command. No reboot necessary. You can even get long filename support in DOS real mode if you use the DOSLFN driver.

April 24th, 2014, 06:39 PM
As Chuck mentioned use win98. It's quite good at running Dos program in it's gui as well and usually will shall out to dos with any funcky ones. There is a small program that allows you to run window3.x on a win9x system on the same harddrive 3xstart.exe http://www.conradshome.com/win31/ If you go the two hdd route you can use xosl which is a nice boot loader http://www2.arnes.si/~fkomar/xosl.org/home.html There are a few free disk partitioning tools ranish is one http://www.ranish.com/part/

April 24th, 2014, 06:42 PM
Check if your BIOS is new enough to switch the boot order between drives. Install one OS on one drive. Install second OS on second drive.

In theory, you could install XP on a Pentium 166 but it will be very slow and continually swapping. See http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?56888-XP-on-a-Pentium-MMX for someone that tried it.

April 25th, 2014, 09:47 AM
The more I think about it maybe the way to go is just to load Win98 and use that to run all the DOS applications. The thing that’s killing me now on this system is the inability to read CD roms that are generated on my other systems because DOS cannot make heads nor tails of the directories. Hope Win 98 can, been so long that I have used 98 don’t know if it can read a CD built on XP or 7? Also the big thing I will miss is the happy ability to just turn the system off and not have to close down anything.

April 25th, 2014, 10:54 AM
If you're in the DOS 7.1 real mode of Win98 (i.e. you either shutdown to DOS or booted into it with BootGUI=0), you can still just turn the system off.

Exactly which CDs do you have a problem with? Is it filename related?

April 25th, 2014, 11:43 AM
If you're in the DOS 7.1 real mode of Win98 (i.e. you either shutdown to DOS or booted into it with BootGUI=0), you can still just turn the system off.Indeed; unless you absolutely want/need to keep DOS6.22 then Chuck's suggestion of just using DOS7.1 and selecting W98 if you need it for anything (or vice versa, booting into W98 and dropping into DOS if necessary) is probably the simplest.

Unless/until you switch to W98, you probably would not be able to tell the difference between DOS7.1 and 6.22 except for a few enhancements and additions and the removal of the 8GB disk size limit; other than some low-level disk tools I haven't found any DOS =< 6.22 apps that did not run perfectly in (FAT32) 7.1.

IMO W98 is the perfect bridge between the old and the new; your box is probably too old for USB ports, or?

April 25th, 2014, 12:09 PM
I couldn't find any xcopy in WIN98 DOS so I'm running xcopy from v6.22 from a batch file that begins with DOSVER.COM, followed by xcopy %1 %2 and then I unload DOSVER.COM. I can't live without xcopy. I've even tried xxcopy and a couple of other clones byt there's nothing like the real thing. :-)

April 25th, 2014, 12:17 PM
XCOPY is definitely in Win98--and even supports more options, including long filenames. It's in WINDOWS\COMMAND.

However, XCOPY.EXE is just a stub--you also need XCOPY32.MOD for things to work--again in WINDOWS/COMMAND. It's much superior to the 6.22 version.

April 25th, 2014, 12:26 PM
I don't have WIN98 installed anywhere so I'm stuck using what comes with the system boot disk. :-) Wanna send me .EXE and .MOD? Or tell me what .CAB it's in in SE so I can extract it?

April 25th, 2014, 12:54 PM
You're not installing from CD?

PM me--I think I can help out.

April 25th, 2014, 02:12 PM
OK, I found a drive with 98 on it and I got the files you mentioned from it. Thanx.