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View Poll Results: Pleae vote for one DOS flavor and indicate if you use any of the three addons?

Voters
49. You may not vote on this poll
  • MS-DOS 5.00

    10 20.41%
  • MS-DOS 6.22

    31 63.27%
  • MS-DOS 7.1 (CDU or from MSDOS7 folder)

    8 16.33%
  • PC-DOS 2000 w/ 7.1 Kernel

    3 6.12%
  • ROM-DOS

    0 0%
  • DR-DOS

    1 2.04%
  • FreeDOS

    3 6.12%
  • I use 4DOS/NDOS as my command processor

    4 8.16%
  • I use the LFN driver

    2 4.08%
  • I use the DRFAT32 with a non FAT32 Kernel

    0 0%
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Thread: What DOS for your daily driver?

  1. #1

    Question What DOS for your daily driver?

    Hello all,

    As I have been in the process of (finally) getting the SW setup on some of my old HW to the point where it is optimized and readily usable I have come across the age old question of "which DOS to run"?

    Some background:

    In my collection I have three classes of machines:
    1. Stock
    2. Specific Purpose
    3. Customized


    The stock machines are generally original IBM models with all original IBM parts in configuration generally available from the dealer. For example:
    1. IBM 5150A w/ two SSDD 5 1/4" floppy drives and MDA adapter
    2. IBM 5160 w/ 1 DSDD 5 1/4" floppy, 10MB MFM HDD and CGA adapter


    For these systems I use "period appropriate" DOS (e.g. 5150A boots off of PC-DOS 1.0 floppy, 5160 has PC-DOS 3.3). These are mostly demonstration system to show the kids how "real men" computed back in the day

    The specific purpose machines are units I've built for something specific. For example I have Toshiba T3200SX that serves as a "portable" terminal, ADTPro Server, EEPROM burner, and a driver for an external 8" floppy. I run MS-DOS 6.22 w/ 4DOS 8.00, QEMM, Softerm, and various other utilities. This machine is networked with MS Client mapping drives from my servers. It is pretty well optimized so it boots quickly and has about 614KB of conventional memory free with ALL the drivers loaded.

    The customized machines tend to be from "brand name" clone makers (e.g. a Gateway 2000K 80386SX-16, or the Everex Step Megacube). These are the machines I fire up to play games, run old software (just because), or just to mess around with. They tend to be over stuffed with options (maxed out RAM, crazy big HDD - for the time, cached disk controllers, 100mb NICs, etc.). Choosing the right OS for these machines is a bit harder. My desire is to keep these machines as pure DOS or DOS/Win3.x machines. I also want to eek out the most performance out of these machines.

    I have looked at most of the DOS offerings out there and to me it seems that the best offering is still MS-DOS followed by PC-DOS. ROM-DOS has proven to be very buggy and incompatible for me. DR-DOS/Open DOS and their many iterations don't seem to provide much in terms of additional features. FreeDOS once stripped of its "utilities/additional programs" is pretty much MS-DOS 6.22. I don't think the kernel has any real extra offerings over MS-DOS. The one thing some of the clones do offer is FAT32 support. However, with out built in LFN support (i.e. not using a third party abandoned TSR) and updated network redirectors I question the value of FAT32 on a 486 or 386 class machine. Put another way by adding/substituting third party programs with MS-DOS 6.22 you get 99% of the benefits of some of these "newer" clone DOSes.

    Of course my experience is limited and I may have missed something hence the poll and the posting. Please note I am only looking at MS-DOS/PC-DOS and their clones not running *nix, or Win9x (other then using the included underlying DOS), NT, etc.
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  2. #2

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    My vintage driver (which unfortunately isn't daily) runs DOS 2.1 on the expansion unit hard disk, which thankfully runs everything I need it to with the 512K I have in the system unit. Now if I can get my hands on an IBM memory card to fill it to 640K, I might go DOS 3.3, because DOS 3.3 is what I need to run my Enable/OA installation.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lyonadmiral View Post
    Now if I can get my hands on an IBM memory card to fill it to 640K, I might go DOS 3.3, because DOS 3.3 is what I need to run my Enable/OA installation.
    Why does it need to be an IBM card?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Why does it need to be an IBM card?
    Because I'm a hard case and with the exception of the Intel 8/16 NIC that is in the expansion unit every card is IBM. I see there is a gent on eBay who has some, just a little more than I can pay right now, but I got plenty of patience and time.
    Daniel P. Cayea - The Lyon Mountain Company - Plattsburgh, New York 12901
    Vintage Equipment: IBM 5150 * IBM 5161 * ThinkPad 770ED
    Modern Equipment: MacBook Pro 13 * Alienware M15R3

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default

    IBM PC - stock - PC DOS 2.1
    IBM PC (modified) or IBM PC XT - PC DOS 3.2
    XT clones, MS DOS 3.3
    286's, MS DOS 5 (for HIMEM mostly)
    386 up, MS DOS 6.22 (EMM386/memaker etc)

    My general rule of thumb. It's not that they're the absolute best choices, it's just that they seem to fit the machines well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Tasmania, Australia
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Oops, I didn't think to tick DOS 7 for my pentium II machine... oh well, too late!

    I use 6.22 on various VMs.
    5.0 is going on my 386DX when I finally get it running. I know it can run 6.22, but I like 5.0 for the nostalgia.
    I've used FreeDOS a bit in the past, but currently don't have it set up on anything. I plan to get it dual-booting on something at some point.

    Where's the DOSBox option!?

  7. #7

    Default

    I couldn’t pick any one version, since I’ve got so many different machines from all eras, several of them I consider to be “daily drivers”.

    If you go back a couple of years, I used to put DOS 6.22 on EVERYTHING, even my 8088s. Now I’ve started putting more sensible versions of DOS on my older machines. For example, I used to run 6.22 on my Compaq Portable, but I recently downgraded it to Compaq DOS 3.31, which fits the machine much better.

    I also downgraded one of my IBM 5150s from 6.22 to MS-DOS 4.01 not too long ago. I actually like 4.01 a lot, despite it not being a well-liked version of DOS.

    My 5160 runs PC-DOS 3.30.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bworp View Post
    Where's the DOSBox option!?
    DOSBox is not an OS
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by compaqportableplus View Post
    I couldn’t pick any one version, since I’ve got so many different machines from all eras, several of them I consider to be “daily drivers”.

    If you go back a couple of years, I used to put DOS 6.22 on EVERYTHING, even my 8088s. Now I’ve started putting more sensible versions of DOS on my older machines. For example, I used to run 6.22 on my Compaq Portable, but I recently downgraded it to Compaq DOS 3.31, which fits the machine much better.

    I also downgraded one of my IBM 5150s from 6.22 to MS-DOS 4.01 not too long ago. I actually like 4.01 a lot, despite it not being a well-liked version of DOS.

    My 5160 runs PC-DOS 3.30.
    Any particular reason for the downgrades? I did the same thing back in the day (i.e. when all of this was current). All the machines ran 6.22. Upgrade cycles were so infrequent that when something new came out usually it was worth it. Unlike the disaster that is Win10 updates.

    MS-DOS 4.00 had a bad rep but PC-DOS 4.00 and MS-DOS 4.01 were both good OSes. Unfortunately the whole 4.00 line reputation was ruined by MS. That's why so many of us ran 3.3 until 5 came out. That and again the slower upgrade cycle. If you really weren't upgrading every few months your investment tended to last. Heck I had an XT w/ a 10MB HDD and one 360KB floppy until 1992 when I bought a 486-33 w/ 4MB of RAM and a 200MB HDD. I thought I was the bees knees .
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I generally install IBM PC DOS 2000 everywhere unless I have specific plans for a system. Why?
    • Y2K compliant (don't have to worry about dates showing up as "3-21-109"). Others are too, but this one is verified
    • Uses the least amount of low RAM since DOS 3.3 (there is a post somewhere on this forum that confirms it with numbers)
    • Comes with STACKER 4.0 which, if you need full-disk compression in DOS, is the best iteration overall of any such product
    • It's nice to run IBM-branded DOS on IBM systems (although I run it on non-IBM systems too)


    What are reasons to go with something else?
    • A handful of system utilities (most notably spinrite 5) require MS-DOS 6.22 (easy solution: put spinrite 5 on a 6.22-bootable disk)
    • Systems limited to floppy disks are best served by DOS 3.3 as it takes less space on media and in RAM
    • Systems limited to floppy disks and don't have 640K RAM are best served by DOS 2.x
    • Playing around with other OSes (DR DOS 6 is fun to play with, to see how they kept leapfrogging Microsoft in terms of built-in features and utils)


    Quote Originally Posted by compaqportableplus View Post
    I also downgraded one of my IBM 5150s from 6.22 to MS-DOS 4.01 not too long ago. I actually like 4.01 a lot, despite it not being a well-liked version of DOS.
    There's a reason for that -- it had many bugs that were never fixed, including bugs that could corrupt data in rare circumstances. You should run literally anything other than 4.x (or 1.x).
    Offering a bounty for:
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

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