How to dual-boot DOS & Vista?

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by Jo Ann, Jun 3, 2008.

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  1. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Can DDS10 provide the means to dual-boot DOS with Vista - is that doable? o_O

    I want to be able to boot into a DOS (FAT) partition (on my Vista PC) to run an old 'dBase' program & its associated DOS database - as needed.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

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    I googled (and Igreped) for an answer and have spent many hours that yielded not one instance of DOS and Vista dual booting easily.

    Some (programming sites) state it is easily done with added dos scrips and files (this is beyond most casual users [ I fall within this category]).

    Most other sites recommend VM ware as the answer and have claimed success with this method.

    Even Microsoft's support site had nothing to offer (perhaps I searched inefficiently).


    I have dual booted XP with Windows 95, ME and NT using Microsoft's boot loader always placing the older OS first ( only one instance of 95 or ME at a time). Finding Drivers is the real pain in booting up these legacy OS's.

    Perhaps with DOS and Vista it will take Acronis' OSS to pull off a dual boot.

    I would try it out only on a "testing" hard drive ( unless someone comes up with a solution that I have not been able to find).

    Either way an image of your Vista system is a good precaution.

    I am sure someone will come up with a solution to your problem, as it poses a real challenge it seems.

    If you find a solution I hope you will post your results here.
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    DD/OSS lists support back to DOS 5. However, you would need to make sure the FAT partition is physically located at the start of the drive (this is a DOS requirement - partitions at the end of large drives most likely won't work). This may require resizing or moving the Vista partition. Running a test on a spare drive would be good. Depending on the version of DOS, it may have problems if the drive is very large.

    Have you considered using a Virtual Machine for this job? I've run DOS in Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. No dual-boot is necessary and you have access to your DOS system in a normal window in Vista.
     
  4. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Hi guys,

    I wound up using a DOS emulator called DOSBox, suggested by another member (appster) in the Software forum. While not much different than using a virtual machine, it's a more specialized approach. Once properly configured, DOSBox has been satisfying all of my requirements. :thumb:
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    MudCrab,

    That's what I thought too and I was surprised to find it false. I'm booting two DOS partitions at the end of a 320 GB HD.
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Brian,

    It may depend on the chipset, BIOS and other factors. I tried Windows 98 on a Intel 945P board at the end of a 160GB drive and it couldn't seem to get any of the numbers right. fdisk values were wrong, the dir "free space" was wrong, etc. It did install, but I have no idea if it would work properly or cause corruption. (It was just for a test.)

    Straight DOS may behave differently. I didn't try installing DOS 6.22, for example. Also, any versions of DOS that are current and updated will probably do better as they expect large drives and more modern controllers.

    If a system is being planned, I would still recommend that any DOS partitions be placed at the beginning of a drive.

    Are you running standard MS DOS versions or something else? I'd be interested to know that and the computer's specs.
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Brian:

    Are your two DOS installations in primary or logical partitions?
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    MudCrab,

    Sorry to do this but it's all in here.

    http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1203371188/0#6

    There are many posts that are irrelevant but others outline how I resolved the DOS issue. If not for this thread I would have forgotten what I did.

    My main computer is a Dell 9150. Almost 2 years old.
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    k0lo,

    They are in primary partitions now but I think the above thread indicates I used logical volumes at one stage. I have 6 primary partitions on my first HD but when I started experimenting with booting from DOS partitions I had the conventional four primary partitions. Using more than four primary partitions has nothing to do with the ability to boot from a DOS partition at the end of the HD. I just needed more primaries.
     
  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Brian:

    I was asking only out of curiosity. With logical partitions you can set the "Sectors Before" value in the partition's boot sector to ignore everything before the partition, so I wondered if that had anything to do with your method. With conventional partition structures "Sectors Before" is set to 63 in primary partitions (or 2048 if created with Vista's Diskpart).

    I will go read the thread that you referenced.
     
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