Is MS-DOS, PC DOS and DR-DOS vintage enough to count?

Liam Proven lproven at
Sun Jul 31 12:18:19 CDT 2016

On 31 July 2016 at 18:23, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 08:57:08PM +0200, Liam Proven wrote:
>> I'm experimenting with some old DOS versions, notably PC DOS, in VirtualBox.
>> I have a PC-DOS 2000 system with DesqView and DesqView/X working
>> fairly well -- no networking yet but I'm working on it.
> Out of curiosity, because I am from time to time wet dreaming about
> having some kind of graphical frontend to the DOS, but with ability to
> run multiple DOS programs in parallel. Like one could run them in
> Windows 3.x (and this sucked a bit, but otherwise made it possible to
> run editor and something else and switch between them without quitting
> and starting like mad).
> So, could DesqView give me something like this? From all descriptions
> I have read so far, it could not. But I am not sure. Yes, I should
> have tried to check it by myself, but there is no time to follow every
> dream.

DesqView: yes to multitasking, no to graphics.

The only snag is that it is itself DOS based, so you don't get a lot
of free RAM in your sessions. But it works, and it's much lighter and
faster than even v3 of  Windows.

If you want an actual graphical GUI, DV/X can do that.

>> I am also trying to get a DR-DOS 8 VM up and running. DR-DOS 7.03 is
>> no problem, but I've had no joy getting DR-DOS 8.1 to install to hard
>> disk. It's reluctant to SYS a hard disk, and when it did, it
>> mis-diagnosed it as FAT-12 and wouldn't boot. Using Norton DiskTools,
>> I've managed to transfer the system files, but they display the
>> message
>> DR-DOS 8.1
>> ... and then it freezes.
>> Can this late version, mainly used for utility floppies, actually boot
>> from HD & be used like a normal DOS?
> I would not be surprised if they decided to cut every extra byte and
> maximise space available on the floppy. Or, given it recognises HD in
> some way, could you try with different HD size? Even very small one,
> like 20-32MB? Perhaps they were ok with running it from a pendrive,
> but decided it was not worth it to make it hd-installable, because
> nobody would want it anyway?

I suppose it's possible but it would be a bit odd.

I'll try with PC-DOS and report back.

> Other possibility is, can it work better in some other virtual
> machine? Qemu/KVM, VMWare?

I am running on OS X here, and I prefer VBox to VMware, but I could try...

> Those are just my wild guesses. I answer mostly because nobody else
> did. I do not really have that much to say about DOS, other than it
> was not as bad as some of its graphical cousins.

:-) Thank you!

Liam Proven • Profile:
Email: lproven at • GMail/G+/Twitter/Flickr/Facebook: lproven
MSN: lproven at • Skype/AIM/Yahoo/LinkedIn: liamproven
Cell/Mobiles: +44 7939-087884 (UK) • +420 702 829 053 (ČR)

More information about the cctalk mailing list