Test environment
.486DX4-100 w/32MB RAM 

.ATAPI cdrom drive 

.500MB hdd (with ~120MB of unused (no partition defined there)

.The hdd also contains 2 ~60MB primary partitions and a ~250MB
extended partition (which contains a few more (logical)
partitions).  All partitions are FAT16; some are hidden. 

.Smart Boot Manager 3.71 (SBM) on a floppy is used to boot from the
cdrom (because this PC's BIOS doesn't offer the option of booting
from the cdrom drive) 

.PART 2.37's compact boot manager is installed in the hdd's MBR 

Beginning the test
.Powered on the PC.  It boots from the hdd.  PART 2.37 gets control. 

.I select "A" (while PART 2.37 counts down) to boot from the SBM

.I select "CD-ROM" from SBM's menu. 

.The cdrom drive reads the FreeDOS CD and the CD presents its first

So far, so good. 

The first menu (these are all text menus, BTW)
The choices listed are: 

1) Boot FreeDOS from CD 


h) Boot from first harddisk (0x80) 

  I fell into this because of the timeout.  The next two lines on the
  screen are: 

  Booting from local disk...

  Later I tried this same option manually (by typing "h" and
  pressing enter) and got the same result.  I believe that the
  "Virus!!!" msg is coming from PART 2.37.  Fortunately, pressing
  enter at that point allows PART to continue booting (with no
  apparent ill effects). 

a) Boot from first floppy drive (0x00) 

  Works.  SBM boots again and it lets me choose to boot from the
  cdrom again. 

q) Skip CD-Rom boot (try next boot device) 


  Obviously this isn't an IBM PC.  FWIW SBM's "Quit to BIOS" option
  gets this result too.  Alt-Ctrl-Del will reboot from here. 

Editorial comment:
   Obviously, some of these results are not ideal. 

   Even the first option (though it works) may confuse users.  When
they see "1) Boot FreeDOS from CD", some users may ask, "Isn't that
what I just did?". 

   Perhaps this option should read, "Continue with FreeDOS
installation".  And if so, then perhaps there should be an
alternative option called "abort FreeDOS installation and reboot" -
for those times when this CD gets booted accidentally. 

   Or should this menu just be dropped completely? 

Second menu
After I press "1" on the first menu, I briefly saw a msg that said
something about data, memdisk, loading, etc.  Unfortunately, I
didn't have chance to read it before the screen cleared and the
second menu appeared.  I hope those msgs weren't important. 

Another countdown menu.  Hurry, hurry, hurry! 

The 5 choices vs. 2 choices discrepancy has already been explained.
Moving on. 

Pressing "1" leads to the screen clearing and about 7 lines of
text appearing.  But before I have time to read them all, the
screen clears again and presents me with another menu. 

Third menu
I press enter to confirm the "English (US)" selection. 

Fourth menu
Please select the drive you want to install FreeDOS on. 

Only two choices are offered - both wrong.  The choices are C: and
D:.  But I want to install FreeDOS into a new partition in the 120MB
of unpartitioned space available on the drive.  Apparently, I have
to do some prep work for that to happen. 

Fortunately, there is an escape option.  So I press Esc. 

Escape menu
9 choices here.  I tried three of them - 3, 5, and 9 (IIRC). 

.Read instructions on how to use this CD 

Is it possible to add this option to the first menu that the user
sees after booting?  Also it might be helpful to add this option to
some of the other menus too. 


see the next section 


 Option 9, "reboot", gave me a brief flash of the screen and then
 redisplayed the same menu.  I tried it several times. 

    I soon noticed that there was a short line of text being
displayed (ever so briefly) on the screen each time I pressed 9.
Eventually I was able to read that short line of text.  The text
read "No fixed disks present".  :-( 

I successfully created a new ~120MB primary partition in the empty
space using XFdisk. 

After I created that partition I selected it.  There I saw the
"Install Bootmanager" on XFdisk's "Options" menu.  I was curious
about it.  So I pressed F1 (hoping to get more info about it). 

Instead I got a dialog box entitled "File error".  It read, "WARNING
/ Error opening XFDISK.XFH."  I found that pressing F1 for each
option listed produced the same msg. 

That's all for now.  HTH. 


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