Hi Jim,

> I have been using FreeDOS as a platform for a battery of human 
> performance tests for a few years... as the tests take 
> over system interrupts and do not work properly in a DOS window.

Yes, nice, huh? :-). But that is a problem of DOS *window*, not of
the brand of DOS. MS DOS would have worked, too, but only outside
a window. I hope you already enjoy TSC / RDTSC based super precision
timing for your tests and DJGPP GNU C to bypass all memory limits of
classic DOS programs? :-)

> However, it is becoming more difficult to maintain this as there are 
> hardly any PCs with VFAT partitions anymore. I have managed to keep up 
> so far by producing a bootable CD-ROM and writing the data to a 
> diskette...

There are several solutions for your problem. If you know that your
program will not crash, then you can store your data on RAMDISK and,
after the experiment, use a DOS FTP or SCP (e.g. ssh2dos / sshdos)
client to upload the data to a server. You can also store the data
on USB, but drivers (BIOS drivers or DOS drivers) will usually be
quite slow and the USB stack running in the background could mess up
your performance test timing - I recommend to avoid USB mice and
keyboards for the same reason, by the way. Of course you can again
store the data on RAMDISK and load the USB drivers AFTER the test...

> What I am wondering is if FreeDOS has developed the 
> capability to write to NTFS filesystems...

There are drivers for NTFS, like NTFS4DOS, but many are either read-
only or non-free. However, check our link collection on freedos.org,
as far as I remember there are now even free (for personal use?)
drivers which can write NTFS. However, NTFS is very complex and you
probably get the same timing problems as with USB flash memory sticks.

As you will probably want to run several test on the same PC, the very
best solution will be to create a FAT16 or FAT32 partition on the test
PC for DOS. You can do that after resizing NTFS partitions if you do
not want to delete Win completely: The free NTFSRESIZE tool is part of
many Linux based rescue / install CD-ROMs and of modern Linux install


PS: You can even do dual VGA display with DOS ;-).

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