MS-DOS 2.0 and "semi compatibles"

Kelly Leavitt CCTalk at
Thu Feb 23 19:26:20 CST 2006

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chuck Guzis [mailto:cclist at]
> Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2006 8:23 PM
> On 2/23/2006 at 7:05 PM Kelly Leavitt wrote:
> >I just imaged a disk of an MS-DOS compatible computer (Tandy 
> 2000). Does
> >anyone here know the magic number of an exe under ms-dos 2.0? I had
> assumed
> >that it was MZ, like current exe files, but I only see 2 or 
> 3 occurrences
> >of this in the entire data stream from the disk. On the plus 
> side, I see
> >of strings that tell me I have actually read the contents of the disk
> (this
> >machine used DS/QD drives).
> Why does this surprise you?  I think that it'd be safe to say that the
> preponderance of executables in the old 2.0 and before days were .COM
> files.  But AFAIK, it's always been MZ--though I can check my 
> DOS 2.0 and
> DOS 1.1 docs for you.

Well, there are 8 or 10 programs on the disk in question. Shouldn't MZ then
show up 8 or 10 times. If I find a good hex editor I can read the DIR
structure and figure out where the files start and see what is there.

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