re-doing an old computer

This is a discussion on re-doing an old computer within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; okay I have an old computer (486-33, 20MB RAM, DOS 6.2, Windows 95) and windows 95 doesn't work anymore (it's ...

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    Banned frenchfry164's Avatar
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    re-doing an old computer

    okay I have an old computer (486-33, 20MB RAM, DOS 6.2, Windows 95) and windows 95 doesn't work anymore (it's a long story) and I don't get any access to installing windows on it. There isn't anything important, so I am just going to reformat the whole thing and put DOS 6.2 back on it.

    I was wondering if I use format c: /s will keep DOS on the harddrive when it's done, or just command.com like it does with floppies? If so, will I be able to reinstall 6.2 with just command.com?

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    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    Re: re-doing an old computer

    Originally posted by frenchfry164
    okay I have an old computer (486-33, 20MB RAM, DOS 6.2, Windows 95) and windows 95 doesn't work anymore (it's a long story) and I don't get any access to installing windows on it. There isn't anything important, so I am just going to reformat the whole thing and put DOS 6.2 back on it.

    I was wondering if I use format c: /s will keep DOS on the harddrive when it's done, or just command.com like it does with floppies? If so, will I be able to reinstall 6.2 with just command.com?
    format c: /s will keep only the files needed to load command.com (IO.SYS....ect)...you lose all drivers and other essential stuff

    Your first disk of the dos set should be bootable and it will have its own set of command.com ect....so if you are putting dos on fresh, you may not find any need in using the "/s" param to format

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    I didn't know you could have dos 6.2 and win 95 together. Was it 95a?

    Also, I'm not sure format will let you do what you want. Anyway, your dos may still be entact. What do you see when you type dir|more at the prompt?

    If you tell the short version of the "long story" it might be helpfull.

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    Banned frenchfry164's Avatar
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    I want to reformat my c: and put DOS 6.2 on it.

    Also, what would be a good free OS that I could put on it with only a 200MB HDD.

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    Registered User JoshG's Avatar
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    Slackware or OpenBSD

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    The first thing you should do is make certain your install disk set for dos 6.2 is bootable. Some upgrade sets were not. If not you'll need to make a 6.2 boot disk with format.com and sys.com on it. Scandisk wouldn't hurt. Edit is a good idea too but then you need qbasic in 6.2 as i recall. The floppy can fill up fast. Also you should be carefull to use dos 6.2 versions of all these utils. Mixing 6.2 and win 95 causes all manner of trouble.

    It's also a good idea to rescue any dos mode drivers you need from the HD, like your cdrom driver and mouse driver, although often you can download these from the manufacturer's website.

    200 MB is awfully small for any linux distro. Maybe a minimal install of an early version of Red Hat but I wouldn't bet on it. Are there any computer shops with names like "Second Life Computers" or something along those lines. You can usually pick up a good used 1 or 2 G HD for 20 bucks or so. A Kingston Turbochip 133 would be nice too but you probably don't want to put too much money in that old a machine. About the only OS's I know of that will work with 200 MB are dos6.2/win3.1 and win 95, and win 95 is really slow with anything under the 528 limit as this forces fat16 installation.

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    Banned frenchfry164's Avatar
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    the problem is, the DOS 6.2 disk I have is just an update disk. I'm borrowing from my friend to update my other friend's computer.

    Can anyone give me a step to step tutorial of how I can get this thing re-formatted and still use DOS after the I reformat the HD. I don't want to pay any money to update this computer.

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    Re: re-doing an old computer

    Originally posted by frenchfry164
    I was wondering if I use format c: /s will keep DOS on the harddrive when it's done, or just command.com like it does with floppies? If so, will I be able to reinstall 6.2 with just command.com?
    the /s option will copy io.sys, msdos.sys (or the equivalent for earlier dos os's) and command.com to the floppy. yes, unlike windows, command.com is pretty much what dos is. you probably want all the system files, though... can't get far without himem.sys and emm386.exe, for instance. and what would you do without key elements like debug.exe, format.exe or attrib.exe?

    one thing to let you know: when formatting that drive, you will not have system files on the hard drive anymore, which means you can't expect format.exe to read the system files from the hard drive, format it, and copy the system files back.

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    Well, you have some major problems with what you want to do. A functional dos 6.x isn't just a fat16 formated HD that has been made bootable by transfering the system files with a sys command, although that might work as a foundation for a win 3.1 install with some tweaking. (installing cdrom and mouse drivers and the like.) A working dos also consists of about 6 or 7 mbyte of files, most of which reside in c:\dos .

    These are called the "external commands", things like fdisk, format, sys, xcopy. Really they are dos executables. If you format the HD without a way to reinstall them they are gone and an upgrade disk like you have won't do that. Upgrade disks are just difference patches against previous versions of dos.

    Also, actuall install sets perform some configuration of video modes and other things.

    Is it possible to do what you want. Yes, if you want to spend a month or two learning dos command language and if your current dos install is intact. Is it practical? No.

    What I recommend is to lay hands on a dos 6.0 install set (three disks). Ebay is a good place to start. Or find someone who has a set. Please note that just because dos 6.x is the most bootlegged os in history I am not suggesting using the diskcopy a: a: command to copy the disks one at a time. Or that it prompts for changing disks. Or that for safety you should physically lock the originals.

    The only other alternative (if your dos install is not corrupt) is to learn dos command language and to try to rescue the existing files from the HD to a series of floppies.

    I know this probably isn't what you wanted to hear but early on in my experience with computers I had a similar problem. That's how I learned dos.

    By the way, Que published a great reference "Using MS-DOS 6.2". Highly recommend if you can find a copy.

    Good luck.
    Kevin
    Last edited by kevinalm; 08-17-2002 at 12:35 PM.

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    I was just thinking of copying my DOS directory to floppies. I guess I'll try that. But, I don't know if it'll work, since Win95 may have messed with them and made them Win95 versions.

    That is one thing I hate about Win95.

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    Win 95 will do that. It depends how far along in the install process it got before crashing. ( I imagine that's what happened). Might be worth a try.

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    Banned frenchfry164's Avatar
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    no, I've had Windows on my comp for over 3 years. But then all the VXD files suddenly disappeared. And my first disk for Win95 is damaged. I was going to just go through manualing using the extract program to get the VXD files off the disk and put them into the correct directories, but some that I need to startup windows is on the first disk.

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    Just out of curiosity, try typing ver at the dos prompt to see what version of dos you have. I'm not familiar with 95a which is what it sounds like you have. Most of the people I talked to that tried it didn't like it so I never used it. I use 95b (osr2) myself which has dos7.1. Basically the same as 6.2 in terms of doing dos configuration, but there are a couple of weird syntax differences.

    Thankyou very much Mr. Gates, may I have another.

  14. #14
    civix
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    >>only a 200MB HDD

    Heh, there are some places where you can get a 1 GB HDD for 20 bucks; why stick with 200MB?

    OpenBSD if youre going to keep the 200MB Harddrive

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