Getting right version of MS-DOS tools

This is a discussion on Getting right version of MS-DOS tools within the Windows Programming forums, part of the Platform Specific Boards category; I'm playing around with an old laptop at the moment, maybe getting Linux on it or something. In the meantime ...

  1. #1
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    Getting right version of MS-DOS tools

    I'm playing around with an old laptop at the moment, maybe getting Linux on it or something. In the meantime however, I'm trying to format it from DOS. I booted off a system disk with all the standard tools on it, like format.com and fdisk.exe. However, when I run them, it says "Incorrect MS-DOS version". Typing 'ver' gives me the following" "Windows Millennium [Version 4.90.3000]".

    How can I get format.com and other dos tools to work with that version?
    benforbes@optusnet.com.au
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    It sounds like you booted from a Windows ME boot disk and that format.com and fdisk.exe are from a different version of DOS or Windows. They must be from the same version as the one you booted from.

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    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    The format.com and fdisk.exe utilities were in the folder C:\Windows\COMMAND, which I didn't find on any of my other XP machines. They may have been from a previous version of Windows installed on the laptop. Do those utilities come with Windows XP, and if so, where are they located?
    benforbes@optusnet.com.au
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    Windows XP has a 'format.com'. It is in 'c:\windows\system32'. It will format drives as FAT, FAT32 or NTFS. Windows XP does not have an 'fdisk.exe'.

    In Windows Explorer if you right-click on a file such as 'format.com' and select 'Properties' you can see what the version is.

  5. #5
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    I made a new system disk with the right version of tools on it, and booted up the laptop. Now however, for tools like format.com, attrib.exe, chkdsk.exe etc, it tells me "This program cannot be run in DOS mode". How am I supposed to format the computer if I can't run the format tool from DOS?

    I am thinking of maybe just going straight to a linux distribution. If I get the RedHat 9.0 CDs, will I be able to just boot up off them like with windows?
    benforbes@optusnet.com.au
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    If you want to use DOS install MS-DOS or equivalent, if you want to use Windows install Windows. Windows is not DOS and DOS is not Windows. Windows has a 'Command Prompt' which looks similar to DOS but it is not DOS.

    If the laptop is not capable of running Windows, Linux may be the way to go.

    I am not too familiar with Linux, I tried it, didn't care for it.

  7. #7
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    How do I actually install MS-DOS? Is there something you can buy?
    benforbes@optusnet.com.au
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    The last version of MS-DOS was 6.22. You can get it on eBay or places like that. There are some MS-DOS clones available and I think some are even free. Do a search for DR-DOS and OpenDOS.

    As far as installing DOS...

    1. Boot from the bootable DOS disk.
    2. Run FDISK to partition the hard drive.
    3. Run FORMAT C: /S to format the hard drive. /S makes the hard drive bootable.
    4. Make a C:\DOS directory.
    5. Copy the DOS files to C:\DOS.
    6. COMMAND.COM must be in the root directory.
    7. AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS go in the root directory.
    8. You should be able to boot from the hard drive.

    I may have left something out, it's been a long time.


    If you have Windows 95, 98 or ME and you can make a boot disk from one of those you may be able to use the files in C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND to do what I described above. But the boot disk must be made from the same version of Windows as the one that has the files that you want to use. I'm not sure this will work, it may be worth a try.

    If you have Windows NT, 2000 or XP, forget it, this won't work.
    Last edited by n7yap; 10-25-2004 at 07:42 PM.

  9. #9
    Yes, my avatar is stolen anonytmouse's Avatar
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    http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm

    You'll want the Windows ME or 98 boot disk.

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