Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot? - Redhat

This is a discussion on Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot? - Redhat ; I have just installed Red Hat Professional Workstation on a Compaq PIII with a SCSI 18.2GB HD, using the automated install. It is a _mostly_ successful install -- it only took me 4 days to convince Linux and the modem ...

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Thread: Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot?

  1. Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot?


    I have just installed Red Hat Professional Workstation on a Compaq PIII
    with a SCSI 18.2GB HD, using the automated install. It is a _mostly_
    successful install -- it only took me 4 days to convince Linux and the
    modem (well, the third modem, really but who's counting?) that they could
    work together in peace and harmony, and I still can't get it to recognize
    a Logitech Pocket Digital camera on the USB, but that's not what I want to
    ask.

    Can I set up this box as a Linux/MS-DOS 6.22 dual boot machine? I don't
    mind reinstalling Linux from scratch. No need to back up as I won't lose
    anything but what's on the CDs.

    Before I get too deep into this install and have a bunch of stuff
    configured it occurs to me that I can eliminate two old MS-DOS boxes if I
    can establish a dual-boot on this machine. I want to keep DOS to support
    some legacy stuff that I routinely use for business purposes and to
    maintain access to old business files, and I can live with a partition
    that is well under 100MB. The two systems don't have to talk to each
    other for my purposes. I've tried Googling and DejaGoogling on the
    subject but everything I've looked at was aimed at Linux/Windows systems
    (remember, I'm running plain old vanilla DOS 6.22, not Windows) and,
    frankly, the warnings about FAT incompatibilities went right over my
    Luddite head.

    Is it possible, or no? Are there any pitfalls? Stability is important
    for this application.

    Thanks.




    --
    "I defer to your plainly more vivid memories of topless women with
    whips....r"
    R. H. Draney recalls AFU in the Good Old Days.


  2. Re: Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot?

    Lee Ayrton posted:

    > Can I set up this box as a Linux/MS-DOS 6.22 dual boot machine? I don't
    > mind reinstalling Linux from scratch. No need to back up as I won't
    > lose anything but what's on the CDs.
    >
    > I want to keep DOS to support some legacy stuff that I routinely use
    > for business purposes and to maintain access to old business files, and
    > I can live with a partition that is well under 100MB. The two systems
    > don't have to talk to each other for my purposes.


    I can't see why not. If you use something like GRUB to choose what to
    boot, it'll boot up something using DOS just as easily as Linux or Windows.
    From that point on, the booting system takes care of itself (if you can
    start it, it should run stabily).

    The hard part is putting a DOS partition where it can read itself (if
    there's any BIOS issues with large hard drives). The really simple
    solution, if you're killing off two other boxes, is to use one of their
    drives in this box, just for MSDOS, and boot from that drive. Otherwise
    I'd probably partition your drive first with the boot partition with the
    bootloader on it (GRUB), next partition for DOS, then follow it with the
    others for Linux.

    If you have a DOS partition already on the system, Linux should recognise
    it and include it when it configures the bootloader as you install.

    --
    If you insist on e-mailing me, use the reply-to address (it's real but
    temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

    This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.

  3. Re: Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot?

    While stranded on the hard shoulder of the information super highway layrton@panix.com typed:
    >
    > I have just installed Red Hat Professional Workstation on a Compaq PIII


    [snip]

    > Can I set up this box as a Linux/MS-DOS 6.22 dual boot machine? I don't
    > mind reinstalling Linux from scratch. No need to back up as I won't lose
    > anything but what's on the CDs.


    [snip]

    > Is it possible, or no? Are there any pitfalls? Stability is important
    > for this application.


    I've run a dual boot RH7.1 and DOS 6.2 for the last two years with no problems.
    I've recently upgraded the box to FC3 and I can still access my DOS files from
    Linux and box still dual boots just fine, so I can still run my DOS programs.
    This is a far easier solution to the DOS/Linux issue rather than going the
    Wine route. Just install your DOS and get it booting and then let Linux install
    on the rest of the disk. Grub (which I use now) and LILO (which I used before)
    both detected my DOS and set it up as dual boot automagically.

    --
    Trog Woolley | trog at trogwoolley dot com
    (A Croweater back residing in Pommie Land with Linux)
    Isis Astarte Diana Hecate Demeter Kali Inanna

  4. Re: Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot?

    Hello Lee!

    09 Jan 05 03:38, Lee Ayrton wrote to All:

    LA> Can I set up this box as a Linux/MS-DOS 6.22 dual boot machine? I
    LA> don't mind reinstalling Linux from scratch. No need to back up as I
    LA> won't lose anything but what's on the CDs.

    Have you considered installing FreeDos and Dosemu to allow you to run dos apps
    under Linux instead of dual booting?


    Vince



  5. Re: Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot?

    On Sun, 9 Jan 2005, Tim wrote:

    > Lee Ayrton posted:
    >
    >> Can I set up this box as a Linux/MS-DOS 6.22 dual boot machine? I don't


    > I can't see why not. If you use something like GRUB to choose what to
    > boot, it'll boot up something using DOS just as easily as Linux or
    > Windows. From that point on, the booting system takes care of itself (if
    > you can start it, it should run stabily).
    >
    > The hard part is putting a DOS partition where it can read itself (if
    > there's any BIOS issues with large hard drives). The really simple
    > solution, if you're killing off two other boxes, is to use one of their
    > drives in this box, just for MS-DOS, and boot from that drive.


    I hadn't thought of that option, thanks. This box came with the SCSI HD
    installed and has an unused IDE connector on the motherboard. Physically
    adding the IDE from the other box will be easy, getting it recognized
    might be more of a challenge to my long-dormant and antiquated tech
    skills.


    > Otherwise I'd probably partition your drive first with the boot
    > partition with the bootloader on it (GRUB), next partition for DOS, then
    > follow it with the others for Linux.


    Would you happen to know if the repartitioning something that I can
    perform from the Linux install disk -- obviously going back to (FDISK?
    I'll have to dig out and reread the manual) FORMAT/S the newly created DOS
    partition --, or do I have to do the MS-DOS operations first and let Linux
    take over the unused portion during the reinstall?


    > If you have a DOS partition already on the system, Linux should
    > recognise it and include it when it configures the bootloader as you
    > install.


    No such luck, I'm afraid. The box came with Windows loaded, when I
    installed Linux I told it to occupy the whole disk and take no prisoners.

    Thanks to all for the information.



    --
    "I defer to your plainly more vivid memories of topless women with
    whips....r"
    R. H. Draney recalls AFU in the Good Old Days.


  6. Re: Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot?

    On Sun, 9 Jan 2005, Vince Coen wrote:

    > 09 Jan 05 03:38, Lee Ayrton wrote to All:
    >
    > LA> Can I set up this box as a Linux/MS-DOS 6.22 dual boot machine? I
    >
    > Have you considered installing FreeDos and Dosemu to allow you to run
    > dos apps under Linux instead of dual booting?


    I was aware that such things were possibilities but, honestly and
    unabashedly, the learning curve on Linux is presenting what amounts to a
    fairly high technical rock climb for me right now and I'm unwilling to
    throw more challenges into the mix. The DOS version and apps that I've
    got on the other boxes work in highly predictable ways, I need them to
    continue to do that for a while yet. But thank you for the thoughtful
    suggestion.


    --
    "I defer to your plainly more vivid memories of topless women with
    whips....r"
    R. H. Draney recalls AFU in the Good Old Days.


  7. Re: Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot?

    Tim wrote:

    >> The hard part is putting a DOS partition where it can read itself (if
    >> there's any BIOS issues with large hard drives). The really simple
    >> solution, if you're killing off two other boxes, is to use one of their
    >> drives in this box, just for MS-DOS, and boot from that drive.


    Lee Ayrton posted:

    > I hadn't thought of that option, thanks. This box came with the SCSI HD
    > installed and has an unused IDE connector on the motherboard. Physically
    > adding the IDE from the other box will be easy, getting it recognized
    > might be more of a challenge to my long-dormant and antiquated tech
    > skills.


    Getting IDE and SCSI working can be a nightmare on some motherboards.

    >> Otherwise I'd probably partition your drive first with the boot
    >> partition with the bootloader on it (GRUB), next partition for DOS, then
    >> follow it with the others for Linux.


    > Would you happen to know if the repartitioning something that I can
    > perform from the Linux install disk -- obviously going back to (FDISK?
    > I'll have to dig out and reread the manual) FORMAT/S the newly created DOS
    > partition --, or do I have to do the MS-DOS operations first and let Linux
    > take over the unused portion during the reinstall?


    I've not used the version of Linux that you've mentioned, but on others it
    *is* possible to create partitions of different types, and mark them to be
    formatted, too. You can also format them once Linux is running on the
    system.

    Read the man files for the Linux fdisk, and mkfs.mddos, see if that helps
    you.

    --
    If you insist on e-mailing me, use the reply-to address (it's real but
    temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

    This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.

  8. Re: Linux and MS-DOS dual-boot?

    Just an update on my progress.

    On Mon, 10 Jan 2005, Tim wrote:
    > Tim wrote:
    >
    >>> The hard part is putting a DOS partition where it can read itself (if
    >>> there's any BIOS issues with large hard drives). The really simple
    >>> solution, if you're killing off two other boxes, is to use one of their
    >>> drives in this box, just for MS-DOS, and boot from that drive.

    [snip]

    > Getting IDE and SCSI working can be a nightmare on some motherboards.


    It proved to be beyond my meager skills. This particular Compaq box
    didn't want to know from SCSI drives with an IDE clipped in, and I decided
    that my time would be better spent in ways other than trying to convince
    it that it really _did_ want to work that way. Like by reinstalling the
    system.


    >> Would you happen to know if the repartitioning something that I can
    >> perform from the Linux install disk -- obviously going back to (FDISK?


    > I've not used the version of Linux that you've mentioned, but on others
    > it *is* possible to create partitions of different types, and mark them
    > to be formatted, too. You can also format them once Linux is running on
    > the system.
    >
    > Read the man files for the Linux fdisk, and mkfs.mddos, see if that helps
    > you.


    Non-destructive repartitioning was beyond my reach. What I ended up
    doing, after RTFM in both Linux and MS-DOS, was to use DOS's FDISK to
    carve two DOS disks out of my 18GB drive, FORMAT /S C: and FORMAT D:, and
    then did a mostly automated Linux install. The only hitch was in Disk
    Druid (and the supporting dead-tree documentation) which left me doing the
    "Wax on, wax off" character-building thing for an hour -- until I figured
    out that what it really wanted was for me to create _only_ a swap
    partition and a / partition -- the documents imply that you should be
    creating /boot, /var, /usr, and so on. The only other real snag was that
    GRUB ended up trying to use this line:

    rootnoverify (hd0,4)

    instead of:

    rootnoverify (hd0,0)

    And so gave me persistent "Non-system disk or disk error" failures, even
    though I could boot MS-DOS from a floppy and see C: and D: just fine.

    Thanks to all for your thoughtful suggestions and kind help.




    --
    "I defer to your plainly more vivid memories of topless women with
    whips....r"
    R. H. Draney recalls AFU in the Good Old Days.


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