manually installing MSDOS...

Julian Wolfe fireflyst at
Mon Mar 13 20:50:48 CST 2006

Go here: 

It's a boot CD that creates a virtual floppy and boots from that, allowing
you to install a set of MS-DOS system files for boot.  You should then be
able to copy the other stuff over and run a setup.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk-bounces at 
> [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Jules Richardson
> Sent: Monday, March 13, 2006 4:36 PM
> To: cctalk at
> Subject: manually installing MSDOS...
> Another DOS question! :)
> I've got a laptop that currently has Win2k and Debian Linux 
> on it, along with a small FAT partition (it's actually FAT32 
> currently, but I can change that easily enough)
> I want to put MSDOS on the FAT partition and triple-boot the 
> machine - but the laptop has no floppy drive on it, so I 
> can't just boot from a DOS floppy and run SYS that way.
> So is there a way of putting the necessary files on there 
> from either Windows or Linux such that DOS will boot? Can't 
> remember how MSDOS does it's boot process now, but I assume 
> that certain files (io.sys for one) need to be in certain 
> locations on the FAT partition or something?
> At one point I would have known how to do this, but the 
> info's long since fallen out of my brain...
> (Currently I'm booting Debian / Win2k from Grub - it should 
> handle booting MSDOS too though).
> Before I shoot myself in the foot, are there any other 
> gotchas (like MSDOS needing to be the first partition on the 
> drive or anything nuts like that)? 
> The FAT partition is about 2GB into the disk - I seem to 
> recall that a FAT partition can't be more than 2GB in size, 
> but presumably providing the BIOS can see the whole disk DOS 
> won't care about the offset to the start of the partition?
> (All I actually want to do is put Slackware Linux on the 
> machine there in place of Debian, but the CDROM drive's too 
> flakey to boot from. If I can get MSDOS on there by copying 
> from a remote machine then I can boot the Slackware installer 
> from MSDOS and then install the rest of Slackware across the network
> - talk about complicated!!)
> Ok, long email - will shut up now! :-)
> cheers
> Jules

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