On Wed, May 8, 2013 at 9:15 AM, Pierre LaMontagne <plamo...@comcast.net> wrote:
> I'm fairly new to FreeDOS having discovered it (installed) only about a
> month ago.  I really love it as it has repurposed an older PC & a LOT of my
> very old floppies & associated software of yesteryear (1980's +).
> Anyway, I have 2 how-to questions that I'm hoping I can get help with...
> 1> How can I use my USB flash drives in FDOS?  I checked my CMOS settings.
> 'Legacy USB' support is enabled, but when I tried accessing the flash drive
> in FDOS, it wasn't available.  I'm assuming, once working, I would  be able
> to use it as a floppy?  This would allow me to put files on my modern PC.

Since you already mentioned "very old floppies", does this mean some
of your machines don't have (the appropriately-sized) floppy drives?

Usually you can insert a USB jump drive before turning on (booting)
and the BIOS should emulate it as a DOS drive for you, assuming it's
formatted as (some variant of) FAT (-16, -32).

If not, you have to try something like Bret's USB drivers (and your
machine must support UHCI) or (from modern Windows) try the RUFUS
(bootable DOS USB) installer.


> 2> I'd also like to be able to burn files to my optical drive as opposed to
> only reading from it. Is there an app to burn files to CD from FDOS?  This
> also would allow me to put files to my modern PC.

So from old machine to new machine? Old machine has floppy but new
doesn't? I assume you don't (or can't or won't) have networking on the
old machine (understandable! frustrating!). If you did (maybe even
with mTCP + packet driver), that'd be one way.

Otherwise, you have to have some drive (hard? floppy?) to install /
use with the other machine. In fact, if you can get USB drive working,
you can copy files to and from that with ease. This is probably easier
than constantly burning a CD-RW or whatever.

There might be unofficial (buggy?) builds of cdrkit for DOS. I can't
remember the name or version of that alleged DOS (freeware?) CD
burning program, and I'm not sure how well it worked. IIRC, the main
problem was lacking an ASPI.SYS driver, which is proprietary (closed
source, not free nor libre). Hence I don't think FreeDOS proper ships
with such a thing (maybe they had an optional .BAT to use wget to grab
it back in the day, dunnno ...).

> Other than these 2 things, FDOS has been very useful to me.  I'm so thankful
> for it.

A lot of peripherals depends on decent drivers. I think this is the
main problem (or advantage) with any OS these days. This is one big
reason why people stick to Linux or Windows. Unfortunately, DOS isn't
always supported (well, if at all) by hardware companies. Not trying
to be overly pessimistic, but it's the cold hard truth.

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