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Which OS should I use?

bettablue

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IIRC, he's looking for (or has?) an XT-IDE card for the 5150. QUOTE]

Thanks for keeping up.... Yes, I'm still waiting for the next revision of XTIDE. I'll be installing it with an adapter so that when I'm done, my 5150 will have a CF card slot on the back. Since my primary Windows 7 computer has a great card reader, it will make for much easier file and program transfers.

Now back on to the Compaq... The Compaq has a 4 Gig hard deive installed. I don't know if the drive has been partitioned. And, I know DOS 6.22 will only read a partition of up to 2 Gigs, so, I'm thinking about doing as a few of you suggested. By setting up a dual boot, one partition running DOS, and the other running Windows 95; this will be a lot better for the sheer fact, that I can actually test some of the programs before making a diskette and finding out that it's something I either don't want, or need.

Also, there are 3 slots for memory, and all 3 slots are populated. Again, I won't know how much RAM is really installed until I get it set up.

I'll know what the final specs are this afternoon when I get it all set up and running. I'll also post my findings either later today, or tomorrow.

Last question before I get started. If I go into the BIOS, will I have the choice to set up the 5 1/4" drive as drive B, or do I HAVE to set the jumpers on the drive before going into the BIOS? Is there anything else I need to look at?
 

bettablue

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vAll went well with configuring the floppy drives. The 5.25" floppy is now drive "A", and the computers' original 3.5" - 1.44 Meg is drive "B" However, this computer hasn't really been used for some time and the CMOS battery is dead. I'll be making a trip to Wal~Mart tomorrow, so I can get a battery and a new mouse for it there. Once the battery is replaced, I'll configure the drives in the BIOS and install Windows.

This is really turning out to be a pretty nice old computer. Now I need to locate my old Windows 95 CD.
 

bettablue

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I tried installing Windows 3.1 on the computer last night. However, after inserting the CD, the computer seemed to hang. Although I could enter some commands, the computer wouldn't actually do anything but sit there. It would allow me to navigate to other directories, but it wouldn't run any executables with the CD in the drive. So, I'm heading to Fry's later today to get a new CMOS battery and a couple cables needed to install an additional drive into my Windows 7 computer. I'll try it again after I replace the battery and set up the BIOS. I haven't tried using the floppy drives just yet, because of the dead CMOS battery. But as soon as I can get something going, I am going to try copying some of the DOS programs off the machine before installing Windows. Since the drive is pretty old, I'm going to swap it out for a newer one. I have several in a box somewhere. I might even have a DVD writer.

Next: The computer has a Windows 98 sticker on the front of the case. But there are no Windows codes anywhere on it. I'm still thinking about installing Windows 3.1 or 95, and would love to dual boot this computer. Then I can set up a seperate partition on the 4 Gig drive for runnning straight DOS. Has anyone ever really worked with DOS 2000? I have all available versions of DOS, with the exception of 2000 and was wondering if getting a copy would be worth the effort.
 

Defiant1Dave

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It's a no-brainer in my opinion...... use Win98 SE. It'll do everything you've mentioned, plus it's about as stable as they get. AND unlike DOS, it'll easly support all of your hardware, like the USB ports.
 

bettablue

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It's a no-brainer in my opinion...... use Win98 SE. It'll do everything you've mentioned, plus it's about as stable as they get. AND unlike DOS, it'll easly support all of your hardware, like the USB ports.

I think I will do just that. But I'm still going to partition the disk and dual boot the computer so I can have a later version of DOS running on it too.
 

bettablue

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It's a no-brainer in my opinion...... use Win98 SE. It'll do everything you've mentioned, plus it's about as stable as they get. AND unlike DOS, it'll easly support all of your hardware, like the USB ports.

Windows 98 is now installed and working fine. It doesn't seem all that long ago that I upgraded my old Wingows 95 computer to Win 98. Time flies. Still, I like the fact that this computer has so many options for bringing data into it. Plus, having USB, parallel and serial ports available makes it easy to connect to my 5150 too. Thanks everyone for the recomendations. The machine is fine and making floppies as we speak.

There is one thing I'm not quite sure about though. Windows 98 has an option to boot into DOS. Is this true DOS or just a command shell?
 

modem7

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There is one thing I'm not quite sure about though. Windows 98 has an option to boot into DOS. Is this true DOS or just a command shell?
"When you select Restart in MS-DOS mode from the Windows 95 or 98 shut-down dialog, your machine rapidly boots into what appears to be a pure MS-DOS session. It may be closer to 'real' DOS than running a DOS window, but it still isn't true MS-DOS in the old sense of the word. When you select this option, your PC doesn't actually reboot. Windows simply unloads most of itself from memory, leaving behind useful segments of the shell, such as support for long file names - list a directory in this mode and you'll see that you still get the full rather than truncated DOS names. What happens is that your PC actually runs a shortcut called Exit to DOS, which you can customise yourself - but more on this later."
 

krebizfan

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The F8 startup menu will boot to the underlying Win98 DOS 7 version. This is modified from the older DOS versions to support Long File Names and FAT32 which can cause some DOS programs problems. I think there were a few other bugs specific to DOS 7. But yes, that is a full DOS; if you want to relaunch Windows, rebooting isn't needed just run WIN.COM (type "win").
 

Agent Orange

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bettablue:

This may make you feel a little better. This last weekend I revived one of my old 486 projects. About a year and a half ago I bought a 'NIB' 486 Premio motherboard and a 'NIB' Intel 86 Mhz POD w/64 MB 72-pin DRAM - all for under $75. The mobo was manufactured in 1995 and has a lot of advanced features, like its own mouse driver for the BIOS menu, onboard floppy, IDE, printer, and serial ports, etc. The best feature is the three PCI slots as well as five 16-bit ISA slots. Problem was I could never get it to setup properly - until now. While I was at my local Micro Center, I found a PCI IDE-RAID controller on clearance table for $6.95. The system has a 3.5 & 5.25 floppies as well as a CD-ROM. I purchased several 'NIB' Samung 4002H 40 GB hard drives a while back for $12 each and used one of them for this setup. The video is a PCI Matrox Millenium and the last PCI slot is a D-Link DWL-510 wireless adapter. The sound card is a run-of-the mill ISA 16-bit SB Vibra and there is also an ISA 8-bit NIC. So that's the hardware - nothing special or out of the way. Previously I had problems getting the BIOS to setup the HD, even though the BIOS supports LBA and BLOCK modes, the hard drive would always corrupt (I was using a Western Digital 80 GB partitioned down to 2 GB). Long story short - I parked it in my garage loft. The key to this project's rebirth was the ATA-133 PCI IDE controller. I booted my WIN98 setup disk in the A drive and the WIN98SE CD setup without a hitch. It installed all of the drivers except for the D-Link (takes a revised driver not available on the original setup CD). The PCI IDE controller doesn't require a driver execpt for the RAID function (RAID CD supplied). The BIOS is now happy with the 40 GB HD. I'm in the process of evaluating some games, like Doom and comparing the results to another 486 that runs a AM-X5-133ADW oc'd to 150Mhz. I believe WIN98SE is the best choice - solid and not too many 'gotchas'. Good luck with your project.
 
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bettablue

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Nice story Agent Orange. Thanks for the telling... Yes, now that I have the computer up and running, I am very pleased with it; especially since it directly supports the 5.25" 360Kb floppy. I was actually able to select it in BIOS. So far I have been way to busy with work and my wife coming home from the hospital after her back surgery, to do much else, but I am going through the programs and games I have. There must be over 2000 programs. Then there are the games, of which there are 3500 or so I got from Hargle.

Back on subject though. The Compaq was a good find for me. It came to me as a freebie after posting an ad on Craigs List. I was actually quite surprised at how many people had computers to give away. If I had the room, I would have close to 50 or 60 machines taking up space. Too bad none are really worth anything. I like the Compaq too for the simple fact that it takes up very little room. The bad part is that because it is so small, everything is so damned tight, it's hard to manipulate the ribbon cables, especially for the addition of the 5.25" drive. Then there is the hard drive. At 4 Gigs, it doesn't take much to fill it up. I have to be careful with how much I bring over to it for inzipping and writing floppies. Still, I think some of my old games, like Ripper, will finally see some use again. Lastly, I have it connected to a $5.00 17" CRT monitor. I am trying to find something much smaller to work with. Maybe a 15", or even a 9 inch would be great for saving some space. 9 inch displays aren't all that easy to locate.

This whole thing was a lot of fun for an old geek like me. Too bad the wife doesn't see it that way. All she sees is another computer taking up space. Oh well.
 

modem7

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The F8 startup menu will boot to the underlying Win98 DOS 7 version. This is modified from the older DOS versions to support Long File Names and FAT32
As an experiment, I booted my Windows 98 SE machine from a Windows 98 DOS diskette (as created from within Windows 98).
On listing the directory of C: drive, I saw no Long File Name support (e.g. "Program Files" showed up as "PROGRA~1").
That indicates to me that the DOS that underpins Windows 98 does not, by itself, support long file names.
 

bettablue

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As an experiment, I booted my Windows 98 SE machine from a Windows 98 DOS diskette (as created from within Windows 98).
On listing the directory of C: drive, I saw no Long File Name support (e.g. "Program Files" showed up as "PROGRA~1").
That indicates to me that the DOS that underpins Windows 98 does not, by itself, support long file names.

While looking at some of the programs that I had downloaded onto the machine, I ran a few from within Windows 98 directly. While some of the files did have more than 8 character names, opening the command prompt displayed these long file names. But when booting into DOS mode, these were trunkated. That verified Modem 7s experiment.

What I found especially nice nice about Windows 98 was the fact that I could run these programs while in the Windows environment. That is useful to me because I can test the programs before writing them to disk. My next little project is to put together a DOD 3.3 boot disk for my 5150 using one of the DOS shell programs. I have to look in my DOS 3.3 manual to see how to write an autoexec file that will automattically load certain programs when booting off the modified diskette. Some of the DOS graphical interfaces are pretty useful. Eventually, I'll be replacing the 4 Gig drive in this computer so I can dual boot the machine with Windows 98 on one partition and DOS with it's shell program on another. In that case, I want to create a DOS 2000 boot using the same DOS manager shell program. I guess then too, I'll really get into DOS more so I can learn to incorporate drivers for the DVD ROM and USB support.

Like I said previously, this old machine is definitely going to be a lot more useful than I originally thought.

I must say, this whole project was, and is, really a lot of fun to mess around with.
 

Agent Orange

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As an experiment, I booted my Windows 98 SE machine from a Windows 98 DOS diskette (as created from within Windows 98).
On listing the directory of C: drive, I saw no Long File Name support (e.g. "Program Files" showed up as "PROGRA~1").
That indicates to me that the DOS that underpins Windows 98 does not, by itself, support long file names.

You might want to check the Wiki out on that point - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_filename
 

kbit

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i know this is an older post but just wanted to add my two cents worth. a few years ago i set up a win98 machine with a 233mmx /384mb ecc ram {still use it} to boot to dos . i just used all the dos programs in windows 98 folder/disk { first put all your dos 6.22 files in c:\dos} and copy all newer 98 dos apps to c:\dos and say yes to overwrite any with same name. now just set up your config and autoexec . you boot to dos and can run any program { don't forget setver} in dos as it should be run and when you need windows just type win, win98 starts and away you go. {thats why you copy and overwrite}

as for floppys all but the very oldest { like 360kb and a few even more obscure early models} are factory set as "b" drive and it is their place on cable that determines whether they are read "a" drive . { the twist on cable changes "b" to "a" }. another factor to consider is that cables can differ and cause a seeming "failure" when trying to use floppys in different computers {never throw out a floppy drive unless you are sure it is "dead" , i keep a boxfull of floppy cables and try many before giving up on a drive}
two cents worth!
 

bettablue

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Sorry to revive this thread yet again, but I'm still having some problems with getting my 5150 to read anything created by the Compaq I rebuilt. The Compaq now has Windows 98 installed on a single partition, along with a few pieces of software like WinImage, WinZip and WinRar. I was successful at copying all of the programs I had in zip files to their own directories and have formatted a 100 Meg zip disk following modem7's instructions from his page. The issue I'm having is that for some reason I can't get the Compaq to set up any 16 bit partitions. It will only format them in 32 bit. My zip drive appears to be a later model, but it is still a 100 Meg drive, using 100 Meg disks set up into 3 partitions of 32Megs each. I then configured a bootable MS-DOS 3.30 boot disk and added an auto exec.bat file to load the correct driver from one of 2 parallel ports.

Another issue is that the single height 5.25" 360Kb DSDD drive I installed into the Compaq also seems to be out of alignment and out of synch with the drives on my 5150. (Remember Chuck G aligned both of the 5150s floppy drives for me a couple of months ago) Is there a tool to download to test floppy disks for alignment and possibly to see just how far off it might be? I know aligning a floppy drive is a PITA, so I'm just hoping to get SOMETHING working so I can start using all of the software I have for the 5150.


So, yes, I am very pleased with my 5150. And again, thanks to you all for your assistance. Once I can get access to my software library, I'll be a very happy Santa!
 

modem7

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The Compaq now has Windows 98 installed on a single partition, along with a few pieces of software like WinImage, WinZip and WinRar. I was successful at copying all of the programs I had in zip files to their own directories and have formatted a 100 Meg zip disk following modem7's instructions from his page. The issue I'm having is that for some reason I can't get the Compaq to set up any 16 bit partitions. It will only format them in 32 bit. My zip drive appears to be a later model, but it is still a 100 Meg drive, using 100 Meg disks set up into 3 partitions of 32Megs each.
I've seen similar issues. The answer for me was to partition/format the ZIP100 disk (using palmZIP's ZIPMAN tool) in the parallel port ZIP100 drive on my 5150.
I could then use that disk in the 5150 and older computers.

Is there a tool to download to test floppy disks for alignment and possibly to see just how far off it might be?
No, not for download.
See earlier thread http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?27844
The Kodak floppy shown in that thread will inform you how far off the alignment is.
 

kbit

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if you have serial ports or parallel ports on both machines try this

http://www.briggsoft.com/fmdos.htm - works with dos 3.0 and up - linkmavin for win32 to dos

of course getting right cable could be difficult { every "null" modem cable i ever bought was simply a straight thru cable } so i made my own. i believe you could then write directly to floppy on 5150 or whatever storage you have . just a thought, good luck!

p.s. here's one site for pinouts http://www.nullmodem.com/NullModem.htm
 
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bettablue

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Update:
I removed the 3.5" floppy drive and installed an internal 100 Meg Zip drive. I am still trying to get all of the software I need to configure a couple of the zip disks, but overall, the Compaq seems to accept everything I've thrown at it. As for the zip disk configuration, that is handled under another thread. I am making progress and have finally formatted a zip disk using my IBM 5150. Now I just need to get the Compaq to read the seperate partitions. I finally found the iomega software that came with the internal drive, but even it doesn't have the option to partition the disk properly. My 5150 was able to partition and format the disk OK though, so I guess I'm one more step closer.

Are there any other things I should be looking at while I'm doing this?
 

modem7

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I am making progress and have finally formatted a zip disk using my IBM 5150. Now I just need to get the Compaq to read the seperate partitions. I finally found the iomega software that came with the internal drive, but even it doesn't have the option to partition the disk properly. My 5150 was able to partition and format the disk OK though, so I guess I'm one more step closer.
When you write, "the seperate partitions", I presume mthat you are writing of the second and third partitions.

I don't have access to my ZIP100 stuff presently, but I seem to recall that my 'modern' Windows machines don't see the second and third partitions on the ZIP100 disk. Compgeke alluded to the issue in the other thread.

The Internet suggests that it's because of the way in which Windows treats removeable media. There is a fair amount of discussion in regard to the issue on USB sticks. Some of that discussion is about gaining access to the partitions by clearing the 'removable bit'. (e.g. http://www.ghacks.net/2009/04/17/partition-usb-flash-drives/)

For me, the first 32MB partition on my ZIP100 disks is enough spave to use for transferring files between my vintage and modern machines.
 
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