Vintage Computers — 6

I chose a different tactic to brush away the cobwebs of MS-DOS. I decided to manually create and format a new virtual hard disk. I abandoned the idea of first creating floppy disk images and instead copy the files from the existing 486 partition to the virtual disk.

I removed the 486 hard disk. Using another computer I copied the C: partition files to a network share. I booted a different virtual machine and copied the files from the network share to the new blank virtual hard disk.

The virtual hard disk refused to boot.

Four letter words provided little comfort. The repeated malfunctions implied the problem might be between my ears.

I poked around the web.

Within several minutes I realized I had forgotten that MS-DOS required the boot files to be installed in a specific manner. To support booting the io.sys and msdos.sys files have to be placed contiguously in the first sector of a disk. Mere copying of files to a disk was not doing that. After I remembered that tidbit I was able to create a virtual hard disk and thereafter copy the remaining files of the original hard disk.

The new virtual hard disk booted fine.

I grabbed the original MS-DOS 6.0 floppy disks and with dd command created images of the disks.

So much for improving skills and knowledge.

More to come.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

Next: Vintage Computers — 7

Previous: Vintage Computers — 5