Install Floppies (Was: Compaq Deskpro boards/hard drives from

Fred Cisin cisin at
Fri Jul 23 19:43:43 CDT 2021

>> Some further questions BELOW to complete the distribution media database:
> }:-)
>> 1) Which ones were available on 5.25"?  (and how many disks?)
>>      A) "360K"?
>>      B) "1.2M"?
>>      C) "1.4M"?
>>      D) Microsoft non-standard crammed 3.5" HD? (1.7M?)
On Fri, 23 Jul 2021, Grant Taylor via cctalk wrote:
> Ugh ... I don't know and I don't have a good way to differentiate my disk 
> images.

Well, maybe similarly to how you did with AIX, by the total size divided 
by number of images.  Although what I was referring to was people's 
memories of the size of the box that they kept the install disks in :-)

>> First CD-ROM install media that I got was Windows 3.00, but it was an 
>> inclusion on a "tools" collection CD-ROM  (not quite a shovel-ware). Then a 
>> Multi-Language 3.00 CD-ROM from Microsoft (for international market)
> I would like to know more about, or better find a copy, of such a CD-ROM.

The "Tools" CD-ROM was a third party commercial product containing a large 
collection of CD-ROM drivers.

In August 1991, I attended a Microsoft Developer conference in Seattle. 
Bill Gates didn't show up, because he was in NYC on TV about the birthday 
of 5150 (August 11, 1981).  They gave us copies of Windows 3.10 (which 
couldn't load on the 286 laptop that I had brought along, because it 
didn't have A20 support, and gave those of us who asked that international 
distribution Windows 3.0 CD-ROM.  Never saw it before or since. It had 
Windows 3.0 installation with at least half a dozen different languages.

> I do wish that I could do an install of MS-DOS 6.22, CD-ROM driver + 
> MSCDExec, DOSidle, and Windows 3.x on a CD-ROM for simplifying installations 
> in virtual machines.
> I've not yet figured out how to put all of the install files for MS-DOS 6.22 
> in one directory, boot and do the install.  My minimal passes at doing so 
> don't work as well as I want or get stuck wanting to change the disk based on 
> the disk label.

Actually, you can, and easily.
MS-DOS 6 had an "INSTALL" program, which was demented.  It INSISTED on 
installing on drive C:.  But, some of my machines had four floppies, and I 
didn't want it to install on the 8" drive, or 3.25" drive, . . . 
Once you install it on SOME/ANY OTHER machine, then, with that OTHER 
machine booted up to DOS 6, just do a FORMAT A: /S of a boot floppy, and 
copy files onto that, specifically including FORMAT.
FORGET ABOUT THE "INSTALLATION" files.  with extreme prejudice.
Boot your target machine with the DOS 6 boot floppy;  it has FORMAT.COM 
on it (which IIRC was actually a .EXE file renamed .COM), and then use 
that to FORMAT C: /S .
Once that system format is done, and CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT are up, 
then all of the rest is just copying files, which can be COPY *.*.

>> The Chinese lady that I shared an office with was thrilled, because she was 
>> trying to teach herself Spanish, and that, along with the McCracken FORTRAN 
>> in Spanish were here preferred method.
> ~chuckle~

For learning any language, it helps a LOT to have a copy of something that 
you are familiar with in that language.  When she started to learn 
Spanish, I gave her a copy of McCracken FORTRAN in Spanish (she was 
familiar with, and had a copy of, the English edition), and loaned her the 
international Win3.0 disc.  She then setup one machine with Win3 in 
English, one in Chinese, and one in Spansish.
Win3.0 could run on an 8088, which were then a dime a dozen.

I don't know whether you could put more than one copy on a machine.  I 
think that you could - we had a copy of Win3.1 on a Win95 machine!

>> 3.10 Windows CD-ROM from Microsoft
> Interesting.

But, the Windows 3.10 BETA program sent us tons of floppies.

It had an even more demented problem: it installed Smartdrv first.  Then, 
if it hit any error, the installation would fail, without the usual option 
to IGNORE and manually copy the failed file later.  Instead, SMARTDRV cut 
out the options, and you could only R(etry)!  If the error wasn't 
transient, then you could only power down the machine!  But SMARTDRV had 
told DOS that stuff was ALREADY written that it hadn't done yet, so 
powering down wiped the whole installation.  I had one machine that had an 
error that neither SpinRite nor SpeedStor could find, but the Windoze 
installation consistently found it!  The work around was to put a lot of 
extraneous files on the disk, so that the sector with the error was used 
by something else.  I reported the problem to the BETA support; their 
response was "That's a HARDWARE problem, NOT OUR PROBLEM."  My comment 
that 1) any program should exit gracefully even from a hardware problem, 
not lock up the machine and 2) that SMARTDRV's actions would end up costing 
them substantially.  (It DID; DOS 6.20 was written primarily to deal with 
SMARTDRV causing problems!)  'course my comment also meant that I wasn't 
invited back for any other BETA programs; they only wanted cheerleaders, 
not critics nor actual testers.

>> When did MS-DOS come on CD-ROM?  Or did it?
> Does MS-DOS 7.x; read Windows 95 / 98; count?  ;-)


> I don't know if any of the other Microsoft products, likely NT Server, 
> included MS-DOS installation files buried on the CD-ROM or not.  There are 
> often interesting things if you know where to find them.

>> Microsoft C compiler Version 5.00 on CD-ROM
> #unknown

It eliminated another LARGE box of floppies.

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at

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