Hi John,

interesting that you install via a "fake VGA to COM" card.
But I think your crash is not from XCDROM. The last line:

> MORE$ driver by Eric Auer 2003 loaded. Use: ... > MORE$

... is the last thing that NORMALLY happens before the
kernel starts to use the HMA. That requires HIMEM to do
control of the A20 properly. As you have EMM386 loaded,
you can also trigger "virtual A20" and UMB problems at
that moment in FreeDOS 1.0. Your error message tells:

> CS=ES=CBE6 IP=5059 SS=9D62 SP=2134 DS=ESI=EDI=0
> EAX=0FFF5059 EBX=214C ECX=1079 EDX=CBE6 EBP=2140

This may mean that emm386 tried to use the area at
d000 (cbe6 plus 505.9) which then turned out to be
unusable (everything ff ff). A workaround might be
not to load emm386.

Another option is to update himem and emm386. There are
newer versions on www.japheth.de - I recommend the
stable jemm386 plus japheth's patched himem, not yet
the "himem and emm386 in one file" jemmx approach.

Updating himem and emm386 may help to automatically
avoid unusable areas and automatically get the a20
control right, but you cannot be sure that default
settings work everywhere. Jemm386 syntax and defaults
differ from those of emm386, consider reading the docs.

If you do not want to update himem and emm386, please
try to boot without emm386, with only himem loaded.

You can add the option /method:ps2 to himem, as your
screenshot shows that himem defaulted to kbc on your
hardware which might be part of the problem. Other
alternatives are /method:alwayson /method:bios
/method:fast and /method:port92.

You can even hit f8 when dos boots, then you are asked
for each driver whether you want to load it. Probably
not very pleasant for you, just yet another possibility.


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