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Installing MS-DOS onto 5150 & XF-CF-Lite v4.1 and I see snow

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    Installing MS-DOS onto 5150 & XF-CF-Lite v4.1 and I see snow

    I wanted to run through the full MS-DOS 5.0 installation process and get it loaded onto my XT-CF-Lite v4.1 card in my 5150. For some reason I see a snowy screen.


    When I take the XF-CF-Lite card out then I see the normal setup screen.

    The same snow occurs when I run the MS-DOS 5.0 installation with the /B flag - "setup /b" - to use a B&W screen.

    I take it that the MS-DOS 5.0 installation program, SETUP.EXE, is somehow conflicting with the XT-CF-Lite card. How is that possible?

    I experimented with different ROM addresses, like C8000, CA000, CB000, etc. Snow.

    I tried changing my I/O address from 300 to 320 but then my CF card can't be found. The XT-CF-Lite boot sequence is still looking at 300 and sees nothing.

    I also have the Lo-Tech 1MB card with C0000 segment disabled. With this card installed and the XT-CF-Lite card removed I do not see snow.

    Has anyone seen the XT-CF-Lite conflicting with MS-DOS installation? Is this a special scenario because I am doing this on a 5150?

    Last edited by 1200XL M.U.L.E.; November 4, 2021, 10:53 PM. Reason: Mentioned that I am doing this on a 5150.

    Did you perhaps answer "yes" when the setup asked you if you wish to use the DOS Shell? Because it seems like it's starting that. It will add it to autoexec.bat in that case. The DOS Shell starts in a mode that seems to be incompatible with your graphics.

    Remove the dosshell command from autoexec.bat and it should work.


      To understand the problem, it runs fine until you run the DOS Setup program, even with the CF-Lite installed?

      Looks more like a loss of sync from being run in the wrong mode than snow to me. When you say your monitor is B&W, what actually is your installed graphics card? in the PC world using 'monochrome' settings almost always means 'I have MDA or Hercules graphics'. If you have any other type of graphics card fitted, it is usually correct to use settings for a colour display, even if the monitor connected isn't colour. Also do your SW1 settings match what you have installed if you've replaced the graphics card (MDA/Hercules - switches 5 & 6 off, CGA - switch 5 on & 6 off, EGA/VGA/Anything else - switches 5 & 6 on).

      Have you tried running setup without using a command line switch?


        Thanks for the replies, everyone!

        A bit of clarification. My monitor is CGA and so is the card. I see the snow when I boot from the MS-DOS 5.0 installation floppies (disk 1). The snow also comes up if I boot from my XT-CF-Lite card first and then run the SETUP.EXE manually from the floppy. Adding the /B flag to SETUP.EXE disables the color and makes the screens look black and white on my CGA display.

        Maybe I need a different CGA card? Is there something I can run to test my CGA display?

        I would really like to try installing MS-DOS 6.22 or something else. Maybe those SETUP.EXE programs work just fine. Unfortunately, the packages I see on and have high(er) density images. No 360kB images. I want to run through the installation process to get all the tools expanded from the source disks and copied over.


          Oh boy, oh boy!

          What is it called when one thought leads to another that leads to another that leads to another ... and, every thought is completely unrelated to the previous one ... but somehow they all together lead you to a solution?

          cwathen - I was reading your post again about the SW1 switches and that made me think of the switches on my Lo-Tech 1MB card (even though I think you meant my 5150 switches). Then I loaded a picture of the PC memory map in Google to confirm the Lo-Tech board switches. You mentioned EGA and I saw that in the memory map image. CGA and EGA are mapped to B0000. My B0000 bank on my Lo-Tech card was enabled so I turned it off.

          Guess what happened next?

          My MS-DOS 5.0 installation disk loaded on my 5150 with the XT-CF-Lite card!!

          One other gotcha, completely unrelated to the snow problem. The MS-DOS installation disks are very picky about the disk label. I had to use label.exe to rename the disk label from "none" to "DISK 1". Yes, with all those spaces!

          Thank you to the forum for being a sounding board for me here.