On Thu, May 16, 2013 at 8:03 PM, Rugxulo <rugx...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, May 16, 2013 at 6:48 PM, Marcos Favero Florence de Barros
> <fav...@mpcnet.com.br> wrote:
>> I got an old laptop with Windows 2000 Professional (NT). I will
>> now change the file system to FAT16, and install FreeDOS.
> Can't you dual boot?? I'm fairly sure you can. (Presumably some local
> Win2k expert like rr could give some advice, heh.) Search Google for
> "boot.ini" or such. I think all you need is a DOS boot sector (maybe
> "sys /bootonly" ??).

I have an ancient Fujitsu Lifebook p2110,  It came with WinXP SP2,  I
swapped the 30GB HD for a 40GB from my SOs failed laptop,
repartitioned, and installed Win2K SP4, Ubuntu and Puppy Linux, and
FreeDOS. Win2K got a 20GB slice, running on NTFS, Ubuntu and Puppy got
8GB slices on ext4, and FreeDOS got a 2GB slice formatted FAT32, with
a small "raw" partition shared between Ubuntu and Puppy as a swap
partition.  Ubuntu and Puppy mount each other's slices and see each
other's files.  I found an open source driver that lets 2K read/write
the ext4 slices the Linux installs live on.  2K and Linux can both see
and read/write the FAT32 slice.  FreeDOS can't see anything else, but
I don't care because it has no need to.

I *did* have fun getting FreeDOS to actually boot from Grub2, and had
to fiddle for a while before I got it to do so.  (Alas, I no longer
recall just what fiddle did the trick.)  It worked fine till I had to
reinstall 2K to fix Windows related issues.  That broke booting
FreeDOS from Grub.  I could still run all of the DOS stuff on the
FreeDOS slice in an NTVDM under 2K, so it was an annoyance but not

I went with 2K over XP because 2K is less resource hungry.  The
Lifebook has a whopping 256MB of RAM, of which 16MB are grabbed off
the top by the Transmeta CPU for code morphing.  On the 2K reinstall,
I was able to get what Win2K itself used booted to a desktop to about
85MB, and it actually booted with reasonable speed.  (The box as I got
it with XP Pro took 8 minutes to boot, and was frozen snail slow once
it had.)  2K was actually more or less usable, as were Ubuntu and
Puppy.  FreeDOS flew.

> BTW, I don't suppose you have install discs, but if so you could
> always reinstall it to boot atop FAT32. At least, any Windows before
> Vista could still do so. Granted, allegedly less security, less file
> system features supported, etc. But at least then you wouldn't be
> stuck rely on third-party stuff (TestDisk?) to read NTFS or having to
> reboot every time you want to copy a file.

I installed FreeDOS on FAT32 and had no problems.  I don't see a
reason to go FAT16.

> P.S. Actually, some people say that Win2k was pretty similar to XP,
> and thus it was "mostly" DOS friendly (NTVDM) re: DJGPP stuff. I know
> it's old and lots of Windows apps (cruelly) don't support it anymore
> (including MSVC), but some people (e.g. CWS) swear by it (lower
> footprint, no need to phone home, etc). Well, whatever, I guess it all
> depends on what you're trying to do, how much self-sacrifice you're
> willing to endure, etc.  :-))

See above.  All the DOS apps I use run in a console window under 2K
with NTVDM.  I am *not* a gamer, and don't run DOS games that use
graphics and write to video memory.  All of my stuff is character

Most of what I run under XP runs in 2K.  The biggest issue is that low
RAM and slow (UDMA 4) HD make running large apps problematic.  They
are slow to load and sluggish once up.  I don't even try to run a
current browser, but since I seldom try to browse from the box,
that;'s not a pressing concern.

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