On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM,  <peasth...@shaw.ca> wrote:
> From:   Rugxulo <rugx...@gmail.com>
> Date:   Wed, 19 Dec 2012 16:31:31 -0600
>> Do you also have a working floppy drive? Working CD drive?
> Both.  I had hoped to use the CD made from file fd11src.iso
> to install FreeDOS.  Isn't that the recommended procedure?

Yes and no. Bernd was very insistent on having things automated as
much as possible, and he worked very hard on it. But he didn't include
every old DOS package in the universe, even compared to older 1.0. So
it's not a super duper full install like some OSes (which give you
lots of pre-built third-party stuff).

Others of us (e.g. me) find it easier to manually install in minimal
pieces than go the automated route. So if you know what you're doing
or have specific needs, an automated installer may not be what you
want (though it's certainly nice to have both options, IMO).

>> FDISK creates at least one partition (primary, active, FAT, presumably
>> bootable) for DOS. (This is written into the partition table, ...
> OK.  If it damages the table in the process, there will be
> a problem accessing data on parts 2, 3 or 4.  Exactly what
> I wish to avoid.

Multibooting is so confusing for a billion reasons, not the least of
which is that all OSes do things differently.

As mentioned, you can always back up your MBR if you're worried. And
there are tons of external tools for these kinds of things.

If you're worried about any personal data, back it up to external
drive (USB?) before installing / reconfiguring anything.

>> Go back to Debian, or
>> even better use GParted (if possible) or SPFdisk, ...
> The FreeDOS 1.1 Base CD offers to apply fdisk;  but you
> recommend not using it?  An installer which should not be used?

FreeDOS traditionally comes with three "fdisk" tools. And plenty more
exist out in the wild. "FD FDISK" is Brian Reifsnyder's
"classic-style" version. Then there's XFDISK, written in Turbo Pascal
(IIRC). And SPFdisk supports SATA disks and various other niceties. I
think the latter two have custom boot sectors they can install (and/or
boot monitors, I forget exactly, lots of options).

>> ... make sure the partition ("drive") ...
> There's that ambiguity again.  Do you mean hard disk drive as
> in /dev/sda or part of a drive as in /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2 and etc.
> Ref. http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cups-horror.html

I was trying to separate the distinction. "Disk" is the whole
(presumably one) physical hard drive disk. "Drive" here is the primary
FAT partition which DOS is installed and attempts to boots from. (I
also vaguely recall auxiliary DOS FAT extended partitions being called
"logical drives".)

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