Hi John,

>>> - InitDiskWARNING: using suspect partition Pri:1 FS 0b: with calculated
>>> values
>>>     81-194-63 instead of   75-254-63

BIOS and partitioning disagree about CHS geometry and
your partition type 0b is FAT32 CHS. You could switch
to FAT32 LBA where geometry is irrelevant. Note that
Windows does not show this warning, it just tries.

Also note that many fdisk-like partitioning tools can
delete partition boot sectors as side-effect of edits
which makes the partition look unformatted and empty.
What I meant was to ONLY change the partition type, a
byte in the partition table, from 0b to 0c. Or simply
ignore the warning from FreeDOS, of course...

>> Now that I think about it, it's not much of a difference. It may just
>> be your SuSE boot manager (stage 1.5? stage2?) hidden somewhere.

No. The geometry warning is from DOS itself. Stage 1.5 and 2
are something from GRUB boot manager, not specific to SuSE.
If you use some older SuSE version, it probably uses LiLo.

>> Since you say Win98, I'm assuming this is FAT32, which means you "may"
>> have a backup boot sector somewhere.

Win98 FAT32 typically does, but the message suggests that
you installed DOS on the partition. You can of course use
a Win98 DOS 7.x boot disk and just "SYS C:" again if the
rest of Windows is still there...

> I just tried to load Suse.  The functions key for Linux both were 
> ignored, staying in a loop asking for a function key press.  I think the 
> loader was Lilo.  This was installed several years
> ago  (5+).  The computer has 16 MB RAM.  I mainly use it as a DOS 
> computer.  I was running the DOS of Windows 98, yes FAT32.  That is why 
> I wanted to run the Fat32 version of fd.  I use 4dos as my command 
> processor.

You can install FreeDOS and Windows 98 on the same partition:

Use FreeDOS SYS or another tool to backup the boot sector of
Win98 and make backup copies of command.com, config.sys and
autoexec.bat before you SYS to FreeDOS. Use a boot manager,
maybe even the simple "metaboot" for FreeDOS, to select one
of the two boot sectors (FreeDOS or Win98) at each boot. You
have to use some careful configurations tricks to keep both
systems out of the way of each other. For example there has
to be fdconfig.sys for FreeDOS, which takes priority there,
so Windows can have config.sys for itself. This allows you
to let FreeDOS use another file instead of autoexec.bat,
because FreeCOM allows selecting another file in the SHELL
line in fdconfig.sys - if you want to use 4DOS, you have
to check if 4DOS can do the same. Also, make sure that if
Windows 98 uses c:\command.com then your FreeDOS shell, be
it 4DOS or FreeCOM, of course has to be somewhere else :-)

> So if this was not the right way, how am I supposed to install freedos 
> on a multipartitioned drive?  Can I write over the fd with lilo.  My 
> concern is that I have a lot of important data on this DOS computer.

If the computer has important data, doing a backup now seems
quite important: This thread mentions that the computer has
16 MB RAM and the last time I ran SuSE (6.x, maybe 5.x) on
such hardware was 10 years ago. The harddisk must be very
old unless you replaced it recently... Note that that SuSE
version ran Linux 2.2 which did not even support USB yet.

Regards, Eric

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