1. OCAU Merchandise now available! Check out our 20th Anniversary Mugs, Classic Logo Shirts and much more! Discussion here.
    Dismiss Notice

Win 9x MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by philscomputerlab, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,843


    What is this about?

    This tutorial is to help users who have a working W9x Gaming PC and want to configure a fully working MS-DOS mode with boot menu for memory options such as XMS and EMS, working mouse, CD-ROM drive and Sound Blaster ISA card (SB 16/32/64 PnP and semi-Pnp cards).


    Who is this for?

    For users who are comfortable with building and configuring a W9x machine but encounter challenges when trying to run DOS games.


    Why should I bother? Just use MS-DOS 6.22!

    MS-DOS 6.22 will always have a special place in the Retro Community but it has some limitations, the biggest one being that it only supports FAT partitions. So four 2 GB partitions is as big as it gets. Windows 98 however can support hard drives up to 128 MB natively. Note that the MS-DOS command line utilities such as FDISK.EXE display incorrect values with anything larger than 64 GB. So my personal limit for MS-DOS mode machines is 64 GB.

    The other benefit is that many users find Windows 9x much easier to use. Creating folders, copying files, USB storage support, Networking machines, Accessing the Internet and only occasionally run a MS-DOS game. For many users it isn't practical to build a dedicated MS-DOS machine but a machine that can handle as many tasks as possible, MS-DOS and Windows games.


    Issues addresses in this tutorial

    • Have an easy-to-use start-up menu
    • Working Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster ISA (SB 16/32/64 PnP and sem-Pnp or software configurable cards)
    • Configure resources of PnP cards in Windows and apply changes to MS-DOS
    • Fixes issues with not being able to exit MS-DOS mode (Black screen or other lock-ups)
    • Ready-to-go copy-and-paste start-up files and all drivers required


    Outstanding issues / challenges

    The menu options for conventional memory only will still end up with XMS memory. This is a Windows 9x internal thing. If you know a workaround please let me know!

    This has been resolved by adding DOS=NOAUTO to CONFIG.SYS. The thread and ZIP archive has been updated!


    Introduction and Overview

    A lot of users come to here for advice and I notice that many users need a bit of help when it comes to running MS-DOS games on their Windows 9x gaming machines. Most users are fairly comfortable with building a Windows 9x machine but might not have used MS-DOS before or give up on MS-DOS because of frustration with non working memory, mouse, CD-ROM or sound. I have to admit that Windows 9x doesn't make it easy and one can easily get confused between running DOS from within Windows compared to MS-DOS mode. But even MS-DOS mode by default isn't configured well and used the same CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT startup files that Windows uses.

    While I have made a video showing all the steps there are many that prefer to read instructions and just "get on with it" in order to get up and running ASAP.

    1. Change MS-DOS mode to use a New MS-DOS configuration

    When we shut down the computer and choose "Restart in MS-DOS mode" the PIF file "Exit to DOS" gets processed. By default it is configured to use the current MS-DOS configuration. This is not ideal and we will change this so that when we shut down the computer and choose "Restart in MS-DOS mode", Windows will use separate CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files.

    Right click on the PIF file "Exit to DOS" and select Properties:

    [​IMG]

    Go the the tab "Program" and click on Advanced:

    [​IMG]

    Change the radio button to "Specify a new MS-DOS configuration"

    [​IMG]


    2. Copy and paste ready-to-go startup files into the fields for CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT

    You can copy and paste from below or from the CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT which are included in the MS-DOS Mode Starter Pack.zip which you can download from my website http://www.philscomputerlab.com/ms-dos-mode-tutorial.html


    CONFIG.SYS

    REPLACE the entire field with this:

    AUTOEXEC.BAT

    First DELETE SET BLASTER line
    Then ADD BELOW what is already in the field (All the SET lines and other bits)the following:

    Press OK on all Windows to save settings.

    Unpack the MS-DOS Mode Starter Pack.zip from my website http://www.philscomputerlab.com/ms-dos-mode-tutorial.html
    and copy the DRIVERS folder to your C: drive to the root folder. So that you end up with C:\DRIVERS


    Now click on the Start button and select "Restart in MS-DOS mode".

    The machine will restart, rename startup-files in the background and you should see a start-up menu:

    [​IMG]

    You should now have fully working memory options, mouse and CD-ROM drive!


    3.Configure Sound Blaster resources in Windows

    Windows will configure the resources of your Sound Blaster card. In MS-DOS the resources you configured under Windows will be applied, just follow the steps outlined in part 4

    To check the current resources of your PnP card go to the desktop and right click on "My Computer" and select "Properties":

    [​IMG]

    Go to device manager, expand Sound, Video and Game controllers and double click on the Sound Blaster card:

    [​IMG]

    Go to the resources tab and check the entries:

    [​IMG]

    99.9% of DOS games will work fine with the default configuration of:

    IF you want / have to change resources untick the box "Use automatic settings" and choose a different Base configuration and / or change individual settings:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Important! Whenever you change resources in Windows you need to run DIAGNOSE.EXE in MS-DOS mode and let it update startup-files! This is covered in the next part but you might change resources after installing the MS-DOS drivers so you will need to run DIAGNOSE.EXE again


    4. Install Creative Sound Blaster MS-DOSdrivers (SB 16/32/64 PnP and sem-Pnp or software configurable cards).

    Restart into MS-DOS mode

    Go to C:\DRIVERS\CREATIVE\CTCMBBS and type CTCMBBS.EXE to unpack them

    Go to C:\DRIVERS\CREATIVE\SBBASIC and type SBBASIC.EXE to unpack them

    The installer supplied by Creative doesn't want to run from MS-DOS mode:

    [​IMG]

    We can use SETVER to trick it in believing we are running MS-DOS mode.

    Go to C:\DRIVERS\CREATIVE\SBBASIC and type

    [​IMG]

    Now restart the computer and run INSTALL.EXE! It will now trick INSTALL.EXE into believing the MS-DOS version is 6.22!

    Ignore the Script Error:

    [​IMG]

    It is IMPORTANT that you CLEAR the Microsoft Windows 3.1 Path. It will stuff up your Windows 9x:

    [​IMG]

    Press ESC here:

    [​IMG]

    Press Y

    [​IMG]

    Microsoft Windows 3.1 path is now set to none:

    [​IMG]

    When it asks for the CTCM disk point it to this folder:

    [​IMG]

    Ignore this error and press Y:

    [​IMG]

    Answer prompts until you get to this screen. Press F10 to reboot:

    [​IMG]

    Now we need to run DIAGNOSE.EXE once to make sure that the resources we configured in Windows are applied in DOS.

    Go to C:\SB16 and run DIAGNOSE.EXE. Always choose the "Auto Scan" Option

    [​IMG]

    Make sure DIAGNOSE.EXE updates the system / startup files but press ESC on this screen to skip Windows specific changes to occur:

    [​IMG]

    Restart your computer:

    [​IMG]

    The final step is to remove a line that start CTCU.EXE

    At C:\ Type

    And remove the line that starts CTCU.EXE:

    [​IMG]


    DONE

    You should now have a fully functioning MS-DOS mode with memory options, mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster sound.

    To go back to Windows you need to type
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  2. badmofo

    badmofo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,240
    Location:
    Australia
    Nice one Phil!

    I don't have the patience to sit through video tutorials I must admit, but this format is fantastic - very easy to follow and really well presented. Hats off to you for all your efforts.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,843
    Fair enough :)

    I'm a very visual / auditory learner so I'll always do my videos :) But I found it quite easy to write up the guide once the video was done. Just snapping screenshots in VLC and a bit of typing.
     
  4. shane41

    shane41 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    6,570
    Location:
    dice que no sabe
    Bookmarked.

    Like this Phil, very handy :thumbup:
     
  5. OP
    OP
    philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,843
    Thanks mate!
     
  6. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    9,466
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Great tutorial. :thumbup:

    Will put this to good use when I get a Win9x machine up and running properly.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,843
    I'm working on an alternative to Part 4 so stay tuned. It's a bit more manual but I will provide files and copy - paste.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,843
    Updated the original post with the video that shows all the steps!
     
  9. Haxman

    Haxman Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,010
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Thanks for this. This tutorial video and your website is an amazing resource. :thumbup::thumbup:
     
  10. OP
    OP
    philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,843
    Thank you :)
     
  11. power

    power Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    63,548
    Location:
    brisbane
    love your work, I remember having mice not work on PC's they were such an afterthought - coming from Amigaland it was so baffling.
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: