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Run DOS Games From Desktop

Posted on 1998-04-23
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
How can I set up an MSDOS icon on my desktop to shut down Windows95, go to DOS and load the drivers I need,  then return to Windows when I type exit. This would be used for DOS games that don't like Windows.
Question by:tlarson033098
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Expert Comment

ID: 1699633
First, Right Click on a blank spot on the desktop.
Click on New
Click on Shortcut.
click next.
Name it whatever you like.
Click next.
Next, Right Click on the Shortcut Just Created.
Click the tab labeled Program
click the button labeled ADVANCED

Check the box labeled MS-DOS MODE.
select the radio button labeled "specify a new MS-DOS configuration"

Now, put all the drivers needed in the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT boxes.

This should do it.
For more help, post a comment.


Author Comment

ID: 1699634
I know very little of constructing autoexec and config files. Should I use the ones already shown in the advanced window and copy drivers into them or do I need to construct an autoexec and config specially for setting up a DOS only application.

I know that I need a device= statement in config for my cdrom driver. I am assuming that I need the same type of line for my sound card but I'm not sure. I have an Ensoniq Soundscape and I know that somewhere along the way I have to use the SSInit.ini file to get sound (but I probably use it in the autoexec).

For auto exec should I include an mscdex.exe to enable the cdrom? I am kind of ignorant about stuff like "path"   "set"  and the other commands I see in the autoexec and config files.

As you can see, I am kind of in the dark here but I just got done successfully reformatting my hard drive and installing OSR2 FAT32 on it with a little help from Experts Exchange so I can take instruction.

Author Comment

ID: 1699635
I'm looking for assistance creating the right autoexec and config files. The response I got from jlove1 was good but only gets me part way there.
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Expert Comment

ID: 1699636
Yes, you'll need the DEVICE= statement in your config.sys for your CD-ROM.. You "may" need it for your sound card too (Some soundcards DON't require this).

You WILL need the MSCDEX line in your AUTOEXEC.BAT.

the SET statements and PATH statment you SHOULD be able to leave out.

The SET statement, simply sets up DOS VARIABLES (usually not THAT important)
the Path statement sets up "search directories".. so that when you type in a filename at the dos prompt, and the filename ISN'T in the current directory, it looks in all the directories listed in the path.
For games and such, the PATH statement is unnecessary.

You could do me a favor and post your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files.. I'll try to edit them to be appropriate.
Glad to help...

LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 1699637
Well let's look at this another more simpler way. List your autoexec.bat and config.sys files by using the edit command and then post the results of what you find in each file here as a comment. This way we know what your loading already and what you not loading. This way I will make your life very, very simple, because this is not as hard as you might think. Once you list those two files I will start from there and give you a detailed description of what to edit, how to edit it, and what to put into it. Not all editing will be done to just the autoexec.bat and config.sys files. Post your files and we'll go from there.


Expert Comment

ID: 1699638

what exactly do you want to do?...When in DOS mode you can't enter "exit" to return to the Windows GUI. This command is reserved for the simulated DOS mode in W95 itself.
Do you want to setup a program running Dos in Windows or shut down to DOS? (You will then have to wait until the machine has completely booted in windows (using command "win")

Author Comment

ID: 1699639
What I'm looking for is a way to run DOS games. Some of them don't seem to like running under the Windows environment. I would like to set up an icon on the desktop to go to DOS mode but I don't care what I type to get back to Windows. Also, I don't have internet access at home which is where I am trying to set up this DOS icon so there is a delay in my response time. I take suggestions home and try them, and report my results while on break at work. This project will require patience.

At this time I have no autoexec or config files setup other than those which windows has renamed autoexec.dos and config.dos

Accepted Solution

tylox earned 100 total points
ID: 1699640
   To create a shortcut desktop-icon that launches a dos program,
and automatically restarts the computer, right click on an empty
spot on your screen, select "new" "shortcut", left click again,
then enter the full path to the file that launches the program.
   Example: C:\sierra\kq5\kq5.exe or C:\intrplay\skulkeep\dm2
If you are not sure what this path should be, consult the game
manual/documentation...if it is a dos game, it will definately
supply you with the info, because you would have to know this
even if you simply wanted to just run it in dos-mode without
a shortcut.
   Next,select a name for your new shortcut(you can always re-
name it later)Then, pick an icon that you like, now, right-click
on the newly-created icon, select properties, click on program,
press advanced, check ms-dos mode box, press OK...when you
click on your new shortcut, your computer will now automatically
launch into ms-dos mode and launch the program in "pure dos".
You can also, at this point, specify wether you want your
usual config.sys and autoexec.bat files to load, or you can
create custom files just for this particular dos program, if
you wish.

Author Comment

ID: 1699641
As mikecr requested, here are the autoexec and config files on my system. These files have a dos extension as they were created by Windows after I upgraded to OSR2.



I know that I need to initialize my sound card (Ensoniq Soundscape) with SSinit.ini (I think the extension is ini) before I can get sound in the DOS mode.

Expert Comment

ID: 1699642
Uhm,...I DID answer your ORIGINAL question regarding setting up an icon that would automatically restart the computer in dos
mode and launch the dos program directly from your windows desk-
top;-)I`m getting the impression that you don`t want to restart
the computer in dos-mode to run a dos game because you`ve noticed
that while your CD-rom player works in dos, your sound card and
mouse-driver probably don`t? When you open a dos-Window while
running win95, your windows mouse-driver and sound card will
usually work just as they do in windows, but in "pure" dos, you
WILL need to set up a "dos-enviroment" for your soundcard and
mouse.You would need to do this regardless of wether you setup
a desktop-icon to launch a dos-mode-program, or simply restarted
the computer in dos, and CD`d your way to the game`s directory
and launch-file.BTW, win95 doesn`t need the autoexec.bat and config.sys files to run, but dos DOES.I`m not sure why your files
have a ".dos" extension on them, as I, too, have OSR-2, and my
files(after a fresh format/install)were still ".bat" and ".sys",
respectively.When I first got this computer fresh from the shop
that built it, my autoexec.bat and config.sys files were almost
completely devoid of anything, save the cd-rom thingie, the prompt $p$g, andd the "echo-off" thing...that`s ALL that was there, and it worked fine in windows.Pure dos-mode, however, was
another story.As it turned-out, the DRIVERS for both the sound card and mouse were never installed by the vendor, (neither were the video-card drivers)If you look at the first 5 lines below of
my autoexec.bat file, what you see is the dos-enviroment created
automatically just by taking the floppy disk with the sound card
drivers and installing it...it LOOKS complicated, but I didn`t
have to do ANY of that manually, just had to insert the floppy ,
and install the drivers...all you see below regarding my sound card was created automatically.VIOLA!! I had sound in Dos!!:-))
   The only OTHER thing that was missing from my dos-enviroment
was my mouse-driver...I didn`t get a disk with it, so I went to
the manufacturer`s website and downloaded the driver onto a
floppy, and then(lazy me;)clicked-on the auto-install option
for it to install both windows AND dos drivers...those two lines
you see with "MTMMOUSE"-thingies were automatically written by
the driver-installation program that came with the mouse-driver.
The only thing I did, was to add a "LH"(Load-high)statement in
front of a couple of the lines to load the drivers into upper"(641k-1024k)memory to free-up conventional(640K)memory for
older dos progarms that demanded it.In summary, load the drivers
for your soundcard and mouse, and pick either auto/install-all or dos-install options(or something like that)and you should hopefully find yourself with your dos-enviroment practically set
up FOR you by the drivers.

(My autoexec.bat)
 rem - C:\AUDIODRV\ESSCFG.EXE /A:220 /I:5 /D:1 /B:330 /J:D
rem - C:\AUDIODRV\ESSVOL.EXE /V:8 /L:8 /W:8 /M:0 /C:8 /S:8 /A:8
rem - C:\AUDIODRV\ESSCFG.EXE /A:220 /I:5 /D:1 /B:330 /J:E
rem - C:\AUDIODRV\ESSVOL.EXE /V:8 /L:8 /W:8 /M:0 /C:8 /S:8 /A:0
LH C:\MTMMOUSE\MOUSE /B /N /L=GB /M=8,16 /A1 /F /R=0
REM ======== Cyberdrive IDE BUS CD-ROM Install Modification - Begin ========
REM ======== Cyberdrive IDE BUS CD-ROM Install Modification - End ========
NOTE:See "EMM386.EXE" line...you won`t be able to make use of
upper memory unless this line is in your file!!You might want to change "RAM" to "NOEMS" or "EMS" if you have any problems, but
either way, "HIMEM.SYS" is useless without the "EMM386.EXE"-line
and you`ll also want to add "DOS=HIGH,UMB" in order to take advantage of the EMM386 memory-manager`s capabilities.You DO have
this EMM386 file on your OSR-2 CD, BTW, and most likely, it is
ALREADY on your HD, as well.
(My config.sys)
rem - DEVICE=C:\AUDIODRV\ES1868.COM /A:168 /I:C
rem - DEVICE=C:\AUDIODRV\ES1868.COM /A:0 /I:0
REM ======== Cyberdrive IDE BUS CD-ROM Install Modification - Begin ========
REM ======== Cyberdrive IDE BUS CD-ROM Install Modification - End ========

Let me know how you make out!

Author Comment

ID: 1699643
To tylox,
My appologies, I guess you did answer my original question as I stated it. It looks like I should have requested a way to set up a dos environment that would run games in pure dos. I just didn't have the working vocabulary to ask the right question. That is why I am looking for help. I'll try your suggestions.



Expert Comment

ID: 1699644
No problem:-)Yeah,...take those floppies that (should have)
come with your system and/or components and install them...
there are basically 2 ways(well,...2 1/2 ways;)to install
them, either through: "My Computer", then "control panel",
then "system", press "device manager", locate your device
(soundcard and/or mouse), press "properties", press "driver",
insert the corresponding floppy, and press "update driver".
That`s ONE way...another way is to insert the floppy, double-
click on "My Computer", highlight "3 1/2 Floppy", right-click
and select "explore"...you will see the programs available
on the floppy displayed for you.Usually, you will see a "set-
up.exe"-type of file, or a "dos-istall"-type of thingie.Just
double-click on it, and it should begin the driver installation
for you.A word of caution/advice/personal-experience...SOME
times the driver installation doesn`t go smoothly, and you
may get errors...if you look in your device manager, you may
get the dreaded "!", and, upon further investigation of the
properties of the hardware, you may get SCARY messages, such
as "system failure", "device failure imminent", "this device
has a problem", ect, ect....DON`T PANIC!! It almost ALWAYS
means the driver didn`t install properly.While in RARE cases,
selecting the wrong driver and/or configuration CAN cause an
actual hardware failure, 98% of the time, it`s just an improp-
erly-installed driver that merely needs to be re-installed.
My cheap-a** Mitsumi mouse/driver is a prime example...it
NEVER installs properly the first time...I always have to do
at least 2-3 driver installs before the "square-box"-icon
finally turns into a picture of a miniature mouse.Take things
one step at a time, one component at a time, and you`ll fin-
ally get your dos enviroment set up so you can play dos games
in "pure dos"(as most dos-games were MEANT to be played)
PS:It would also be helpful for you to look through any doc-
umentation that came with your soundcard, mouse, cd-rom, ect
for any driver-installation instructions/tips.Good luck, and
let us know how you make out!

Author Comment

ID: 1699645
I haven’t dropped off the planet. One of my immediate family members had an extreme medical emergency the day after my last message to you. That event derailed me for a couple of months but my schedule is evening out again and I plan to pick up the pieces where I dropped them. I still intend to implement your suggestions and see how things go.

Thanks. I hope all is well.


Expert Comment

ID: 1699646
   I hope all is well with you and your family.

                                  Best regards,

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