My advice to anyone trying to use a USB storage device on FreeDOS is to first 
using the BIOS.

First realize that USB drives will be FAT 16 for smaller devices (1G or less) 
and FAT32 for
larger devices.   So find a device which is small or make sure you are using 
the FAT32 enabled
FreeDOS kernel.  (You can check whether the device is FAT16 or FAT32 in Windows 

Second make sure the BIOS on your computer is up to date - if possible get the 
newest version and
flash it. 

Third, just insert the USB stick into the computer and boot FreeDOS.   See what 
happens, try to access
drive D: ... you may be pleasantly surprised.  The stories that you must boot 
from the USB drive
in order for the BIOS to see it are not true in my experience.

If this works, you are done, just realize you must boot the computer every time 
you insert the USB

If it doesn't work, you are going down the path of exploration that you're 
doing now.
There are some folks on this list that know quite a lot, you might try either 
Bret Johnson's 
drivers or Georg Potthast's.





-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Robins <>
To: Freedos-user <>
Sent: Sun, Feb 3, 2013 2:20 am
Subject: [Freedos-user] Newbie Q - How do I get a USB flash drive operating 

I'm stumped I'm afraid - how do include the requisite instructions in
fdconfig.sys (and? autoexec.bat) to have USBUHCI and USBDRIVE resident
and functional in a fresh Freedos 1.1 install?
I'm in the process of constructing small DOS games environment on a 2Gb
sd-card drive (IDE adapter). The eventual 'home' for the card is in an
old 430CDS Satellite Pro laptop (48 MB RAM), but I've housed it in a
desktop with an Asrock K7S41GX mbo and 2GB RAM, for testing of game
installs. The card is re-formatted with the freedos1.1 iso CD to FAT32,
and I performed a basic install of the OS without GUI and networking
extras. For installing games it occurred to me that I could test the
games that I downloaded on to my main Linux box straight to a flash
drive. But what I thought should be really straightforward, I'm finding
I see that Bret Johnson's USB drivers are included in the install, but I
can't seem to get it working...

UPDATE: OK I'm running in FreeDOS commandline and typing "usbhosts"
gives me 3 OHCI ports. Going to C:\FDOS\DOC\DOSUSB and editing* (see
below) READ.ME I see that I have backed the wrong horse and only UHCI
ports are currently viable. Seems like I might have to go with a 3rd
party like DUSE 4.4, if nobody would like to give me an alternative

So this little excursion has taken me quite a bit longer to get around
than I hoped. I have a couple of questions from a noobs perspective - 
1) I seem to recall (?) 'type' and 'write' commands in previous DOS
versions that could be used with a given switch to print to screen a
large document page-by-page. What is the trick to do this in commandline
FreeDOS? I find I have to use EDIT to read text over a page long - and
EDIT won't let me read large files like USBINTRO.DOC.  
2) How do I see error messages that flip off-screen during bootup? I had
a few memory allocation error messages when trying to get
and loaded in FDCONFIG.SYS using either "install
c:\fdos\bin..." or "device=c:\fdos\bin..." approaches. Had to film the
bootup with my smartphone and take a snapshot to read the apparent
memory conflict (? red herring- no uhci)  with JEMMX, EMM386 and XMGR
bootup options. Is there a log file generated somewhere for such error
3) rather than muddle from a commandline level, is there a file manager
that could be recommended to new users to DOS, for retrieving background
docs etc? I've tried DOSSTART and even Arachne seemed to have that
feature... what are the possible alternatives?
3) Are there any intentions to automate fdconfig and autoexec file
updates? When installing different modules from the options menu on the
FreeDOS CD, it would be nice to have the respective devices implanted at
the optimum position in the fdconfig.sys file... that is probably an
insurmountable wish, however..

Seems like I'll have to go with a 3rd-party option like USBASPI.SYS from
or DUSE 4.4 ( I seem to
recall that Eric Auer had packaged some likely prospects for USB in DOS
together somewheres, will have to back-track. Any suggestions on the
matter would be gratefully accepted - including perhaps some example
fdconfig.sys and/if autoexec.bat line inclusions that work for others in
the OHCI boat.


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