Hi Bernd,

I've printed this out, I think I understand the important points and I'm happy to run some tests, but can you clarify the exact files I need to download. I currently have the latest "stable" kernel, command, and sys files. My kernel says it's 1.1.35 and my sys says it's v3.2 - I want to make sure I'm running compatible versions if I'm going to be using unofficial builds, because ultimately I'm building production systems.


One thing that stands out below, is that you appear to be saying there's no way to plant the MS-DOS 6.22 boot sector into a FAT32 partition? That's a shame because it rules out using FreeDOS format's /a switch for 4K clusters, but it's not the end of the world having to use FAT16. I guess the Win95/98 boot sector would fix this at a later date.

The thing about "does it boot into MS-DOS 6.22", that's something I won't know until I've run the tests.

If I can get the files today (Sunday) I can test around Tuesday. Monday is out because of multiple hard drive crashes on Dell systems that I need to fix first.

Bernd Blaauw wrote:

Gerry Hickman schreef:

In the above case, Windows will replace the DOS 6.22 boot sector and will not try to offer any "previous" o/s on the boot loader menu (BOOT.INI) when Windows has finished installing.


allright. This case was clear.
You've created a booting/working DOS6.22 system by whatever means,
then after that you start the Windows setup.

However, when using FreeDOS's [FDISK FAT32 FORMAT (not with /s)] to create the C: drive, Windows suddenly decides there's a "previous o/s" and backs up it's boot sector and then creates a "boot loader" menu with 30 second time-out (BOOT.INI). This is the last thing you need when creating automated hands-free builds! I think the reason is because FreeDOS's boot-sector from FORMAT is not the same as that of MS-DOS, so Windows does not recognize it as an "upgradable" Microsoft o/s.


MS FORMAT's bootsector is the same as that from MS SYS.
FD FORMAT's bootsector is a pure message which says: "this disk isn't bootable" FD SYS (v3.6)'s bootsector can be configured to work on multiple operating systems:
-FDOS : fat12, fat16, fat32
-MSDOS: fat12, fat16 (no MSDOS supports FAT32)
-DRDOS: fat12, fat16 (perhaps fat32?)
-Win9x: fat12 (fat16/fat32 not working yet)

Today I tried the following, note use of FreeDOS SYS

(hard drive already has an MBR, DellDiags are on first primary but are not an issue, they're always there)

1. FDISK /DELETE:2 (get rid of WinXP NTFS on second primary)
2. FDISK /PRI:2000
3. FDISK /ACTIVATE:2 (make new second primary active)
<reboot>
3. FORMAT C: /a (4k cluster size)
4. SYS a: c: BOOTONLY (put FreeDOS bootsector onto c: drv)
5. Start Windows real-mode setup program


check 'SYS /?' to see if you need
SYS A: C: BOOTONLY
-or-
SYS A: C: /BOOTONLY

this was changed in revisions, which is why SYS 3.6 isn't official yet.
Also between step 4 and 5 I would like you to check if MSDOS 6.22 boots properly from the partition. It doesn't matter which programs you use to create a working MSDOS 6.22 system, just make sure to get this working system before doing an attempt to see if dualboot will be created or not by Windows.

just copy IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS and COMMAND.COM to C:,
then do SYS A: C: /BOOTONLY /OEM:MS
and reboot system.
Then check if MSDOS boots first, and only when it does,
install Windows.

SYS A: C: /BOOTONLY /OEM:MS
installs a non-MS bootsector which actually works with MSDOS system files. I want to see if this tricks Windows in not creating a dualboot environment.

As an experiment (before this last step) I decided to use FreeDOS SYS to replace the "broken" NT boot sector to see if it would fix it. FreeDOS SYS has an option to grab a 512b boot sector from a file and write it to a drive (very nice), so I got an official Win2k boot sector into a file called bootsect.bin and told SYS to install it to the C: drive, and even told it to use NTLDR instead of FreeDOS KERNEL.SYS


SYS has a /BACKUPBS option, and probably a /SAVEBS and /RESTOREBS function.
bootsect.bin is usually a 2048bytes bootsector for creating a new bootable windows installation cdrom. harddisk bootsectors are 512bytes.

I might start testing myself if I'm bored enough :)

Bernd



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Gerry Hickman (London UK)


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