MsDos 7.0 from Windows 95/98

Exposing the DOS:

Microsoft would have you believe that Windows is now an operating system that no longer runs under DOS. It's not the case. There is almost no difference in the relationship between Windows 95/98 and it's hidden DOS 7.0 and Windows 3 and DOS 6. In fact, Windows 95/98 is much easier to deal with as DOS running Windows and it's not hard to separate the DOS 7 out so that you can run Windows 95 or Windows 3.11 under it when you're in the mood to play. And here's the secret trick Microsoft doesn't want you to know about.

There is a file in your root directory called MSDOS.SYS. This file used to be a binary file, but now it's a text file. First you have to get rid of the Hidden, System, and Read-Only file attributes.


Then you bring up an editor on this file and make two changes. Change the line BootGUI=1 to BootGUI=0. Then add a line LOGO=0. It's that easy! Here's my MSDOS.SYS file:


After this you reboot and it comes up in DOS. When you want to go into Windows 98, you just type WIN. Or, you can run your old Windows 3.11 if you still have it installed by going to your old Windows 3.11 directory and running WIN. You can even run Windows 95 on the same machine that Windows 98 is installed on, but not at the same time. I don't know what anyone would want to do that except for testing purposes, but it should work.

Microsoft themselves now provides a utility to allow you to boot dos without going into Windows 95. It's part of their PowerToys software and it's called TweakUI. This utility is great and installs in you Control Panel. After installing it you go to the control panel and click on the TweakUI icon. Then click on the Boot tab and change the boot settings any way you want. You can find TweakUI on the Windows 98 distribution disks or search Microsoft's site for it.

I like MsDos 7

cover As a DOS, MsDos 7 is just like MsDos 6 except that you have support for long file names. If you get Qemm you get a little more free memory under 640k than you did with MsDos 6. The MsDos utilities programs are hidden in two places. Most of them are in the C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND directory. The rest of them are on your Windows 95/98 CD in the \OTHER\OLDMSDOS directory. I just copy these two directories into a C:\DOS directory to be consistent with the way I set up MsDos 6.

If you want to get rid of the shutdown logos on exiting Windows 95/98, go into the C:\WINDOWS directory and get rid of the files LOGOS.SYS and LOGOW.SYS. You can just move then to another directory if you don't want to delete them. This will put you on an MsDos command line when exiting windows.

cover For those of you who are running Windows 3 on a network and are scared of running Windows 95/98 because you are used to running Windows from DOS, separating the DOS should make things easier for you. It allows you to run Windows 95 just like you run Windows 3 now and put you in an environment that you are familiar with. You can load up your VLM shells and run your network login scripts just like you are doing now. It allows you to upgrade to Windows 98 with less fear and loathing.

Some of you may be using a dual boot system so that you can boot your old MsDos 6 and run programs without having Windows loaded. This is no longer necessary. Once you separate out the MsDos 7 you can get rid of MsDos 6 and your dual boot. MsDos 7 will replace your MsDos 6.

About Windows 95/98:

I'm no Windoze fan, but I'm getting to like Windows 98. I find myself running it most of the time, which is a big step up from Windows 3 which I never ran unless I had to.

Windows 98 is more stable than 3.11. So yes, it's time to upgrade to it. You don't need to wait for it to be fixed because it's never going to be right. However, it is very usable. I like the fact that I only lock it up about once a day on the average instead of continuously. It's a lot faster than 3.11 especially on the web, which is what I really use it for.

Windows 95/98 has a feature that if you are running DOS under Windows and from the command line you run a Windows application, it actually works! This allows you to hunt for things with your handy dandy DOS utilities and when you find it you can just run it. I like that. You can also start Windows programs from a batch file.

To run Windows 98 you need at least a Pentium with 32 megs of ram. If you're going to surf the web with modern browsers then you really should have 64 megs. People running PhotoShop or other graphic editors might want to consider 128 megs of ram. Microsoft says it will run in 16 megs. But they have a different meaning for the word "run" than I do.

Windows NT is very different that the Windows 95/98 family. It does not run under Dos. Windows NT is it's own operating system. It runs Dos under it creating a Dos environment for your Dos programs to run in. The Dos emulation in NT isn't as good as running Dos in a Window under Windows 98. Windows 98 is more Dos compatible that Windows NT. Windows 98 supports, for example, Long File Names from Dos. Windows NT 4 does not. Windows NT 4 is however, more crash proof than Windows 98. Linux can also run Dos programs but not was well as Windows, but it continues to get better. Linux is more stable than Windows and for those of you who like the command line, you'll feel more at home with Linux. You can get Linux for free from various vendors including Red Hat.

I'm no expert in Windows so don't send me email asking me questions. Click on the Expert City banner below and let them give you the right answer.

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Even though I may seem knowledgeable about Windows 98, I'm not. Like you, I'm struggling with it and barely scraping by. When it works it works great. When it doesn't I have to fight the lack of documentation and Microsoft politics to force the computer to do what I want in spite of what Bill Gates wants to force me to do. What I'm trying to say is, I'm no windows expert and probably don't know the answer to the many questions I get.

Additionally, I do not have a copy that you can download. Nor do I have a copy of DOS 6.2 or any other copyrighted software product to download. So don't even bother to email me about it. The only place I know that sells DOS, and it's not Microsoft DOS, is Caldera who owns the old DR-DOS.

About the Author:

I'm Marc Perkel and I'm a geek. I'm the owner of a small software company called Computer Tyme. I write utilities for network supervisors such as MarxMenu and the Network Survival Kit. I'm also the Supreme Commander of the Nerd Liberation Movement. We're coming out of the Back Room!

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