On Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 7:22 PM,  <caswellrie...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Which VirtualBox?
> VBox 5.0.12, 64-bit, host is 64 bit Windows 8.1

I'm still using 4.3.x ("active maintenance") atop Win7 (SP1) 64-bit
because I didn't want to be a first-adopter for VBox 5.x and run into
a bunch of bugs. Granted, that doesn't mean it's proven worse, but I
didn't want to find out. I prefer to let them iron out the obvious
bugs by themselves. (Besides, DOS is not high testing priority for
them, AFAIK.)

>> Which boot option?
> Default, #1.  I have since modified fdconfig.sys to auto boot into option 4.

I had to double-check just to see what that is. (I frequently use more
customized installs than just vanilla FD 1.1.) #1 is JEMMEX. #4 is
"without drivers". Honestly, I don't know why either of those would be
default for anyone.

I'd recommend XMS only as default, which is #3. But that's just my preference.

> Keyboard works, disk mounting works, everything works without those fancy
> drivers loaded.  I believe it’s probably a conflict with virtualbox and not
> something easily resolved.

EMM386 is often problematic, esp. JEMMEX. You can load HIMEMX (or
whatever) plus JEMM386 separately, even "(UN)LOAD" JEMM386 at cmdline
(without UMBs). I think it's safer to just use XMS only. That's what I
use, and I have no huge problems.

>> Are you using a wireless USB keyboard?
> Nope.  I am on a laptop, if that matters.

Dunno, maybe that's why. Well, I'm on my laptop now (sadly no VT-X),
so it just now occurred to me that I should try #1 and see what
happens.   ;-)

It does indeed seem slow (or even frozen), so that's not a good
choice, IMHO. Honestly, I don't think 99% of people need lots of UMBs
free, and certainly at least 50% of people don't need EMS either.
EDIT: Yep, definitely seems frozen. I just aborted the VM (RCtrl-Q)
and rebooted and used #2 (JEMM386) with no issues. So if you must use
EMM386, try that. I really wouldn't recommend bare boot (no drivers
loaded), e.g. no XMS, unless you *really* know what you're doing.

>> What language/keyboard…
> I chose English/US the first time. It only froze on the first attempt.

I'm not aware of what extras that explicitly "enabling" English/U.S.
would give you. Perhaps COUNTRY.SYS/nlsfunc (y/n, upcase tables)??
There just aren't that many apps that support that anyways. I'm not a
total i18n noob but close enough.  ;-)   I just really don't know what
it is you're enabling here or why (if you're only doing English).

Anyways, that's probably not relevant to the problem here.

> Anyway, I don’t need the extra drivers.  I have successfully installed a few
> packages (nasm, watcom, etc.) and have progressed to working on a text mode
> interface for a specific application (which is why I even tried to use
> FreeDOS).

NASM and Watcom are using DOS extenders, so they can usually (also)
work well with "raw" mode without any drivers. But XMS never hurts, so
you're not avoiding any problems (in fact maybe having new ones) if
you omit it. DOS extenders try to play nice in a variety of setups,
but there are still some rare gotchas. All in all, again, I would not
recommend "bare" (no XMS) at all, but hey, if you don't see any huge
problems, then don't worry about it.

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