Hi James,

> I just ran the boot disk as-is.

There should be some sort of boot menu which lets you
select whether you want to load the EMS / UMB driver emm386.
You can use F8 to single step over config / autoexec.
You usually do want to load HIMEM, but not emm386.

You can also update it to jemm386 from Japheth.de but all
emm386 can have the problem that they sometimes need manual
configuration to run stable, so they are not one size fits
all and should therefore be avoided in "universal default"
configuration options imho. On the other hand, UMBs are a
good way to have more DOS RAM free and automatic default
configuration often works, so "a good distro" will have a
non-default boot menu item with a "safe" emm386 config :-)

> I will play with the autoexec and see if I can narrow it down.

Do not forget fdconfig sys or - if none exists - config sys...
FreeDOS uses the former if present and the latter otherwise.

> Make the partition larger than 1.44KB so I can easily
> fit more stuff on it.

Ah then you probably do not want a diskimage distro. You
will instead want something like "take a FAT partition,
copy kernel sys and command com on it, and run SYS to make
it bootable / add a bootsector". That should work with


but if you formatted the partition with mkdosfs (dosfstools)
then you may need some extra manual settings for this tool.

If you want to make some USB stick bootable, the best choice
is to leave it FAT-formatted as it is, not reformat it. You
may also have to use fdisk to mark the partition as bootable
and / or add bootable MBR code, but this will depend on your
BIOS. It is quite normal that a modern BIOS can use the first
partition on some USB device (USB stick, ZIP, etc) to simulate
a large unpartitioned drive, making the "active / bootable"
flag and MBR code less relevant for USB booting.


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