Restart in MS Dos mode

Posted on 2005-04-14
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
I would like to start the computer in MS DOS mode as I want to play a game which requires a startup in MS DOS.
I have Win XP PRO and there is no command or button which says "Restart in MS-Dos mode".

How do I do it without a CD or floppy?

Question by:Jetheat
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment


    I am not sure about whether this going to work, but you could try the Windows Compatibility Feature.

    Right Click on the Icon for the Executable,
    Go to the Compatibility Tab,
    and set the needed options

    More information can be found here ->


    Author Comment

    Unfortunately, the compatability is only for windows. This game was made for DOS. So it can't be done.

    Any more ideas?
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    There once was an OS called Windows 98, it followed an OS called Windows 95, and Windows 3.x, they all ran on DOS platform. DOS - Disk Operating System - was done after XP came onto the seen. The computer lords in Washington knew they couldn't completely rid the computer world of DOS at this time so they permitted XP to run a DOS emulator. However, the DOS emulator now runs on the NT platform and no longer the DOS platform.

    So in short, on a Windows XP machine, you can't boot into DOS, as DOS is no longer the operating system on an XP machine. Sorry to be the bearer of the bad news, but I'm only the messenger, blame the lords in Washington.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the info.
    Is there a way to do it with a CD?
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    I'm not sure what you mean by "do it with a cd"
    But if you mean boot to DOS, in a word, no.
    Like I said, DOS was removed.
    These are you only choices, I'm afraid;

    1.   Dual Boot: Set up a partition on your hard drive for DOS or an older version of Windows and dual boot it with Windows XP.

    2.   An Old Computer: Buy an older computer that has DOS on and use it just for your DOS games.

    If the game has a choice in to run in compatibility mode then you can choose that, but you still aren 't booting into DOS
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    >>Is there a way to do it with a CD?

    Yes. There are two ways that I can think of to "do it with a cd."

    1. Copy your game to a CD. Insert the CD. Boot off a DOS boot disk. Once in DOS change directorys to the CD and start the game from there. Depending on the game it might work or you may need to tweak the various configuration files. For what its worth I used to do this with Tomb Raider. I'd boot off a DOS floppy and then run Tomb Raider off of the CD.

    2. Do the opposite. Create a bootable DOS CD (I've done it with FreeDOS in the past so I know it is possible) and boot off that, then wither have your game also burned to the CD and launch it from there, or change directorys to your floppy drive and run the game from the floppy.

    I used to do this kind of stuff all the time and the only problem that I ever ran into was the inability to save games, game settings, scores, etc because you are running it off of a read only CD.

    I would try method one first, use the boot disk from here:

    If that doesn't work you can try method 2 although it would be more complex. I'd use FreeDOS for that.

    Expert Comment

    For what it's worth and although it is a little late, in Windows XP Pro you can make an MS DOS Boot Disk as follows:

    Right Click My Computer in the Start Menu, Click Properties, have formatted disk in the A:\ drive, right click on (A:), click on Format, and at the bottom of the Format 3 1/2 Floppy (A:) window check in the box next to Create an MS Dos start up disk. Then press start to create the MS DOS Boot Disk.

    Make sure in your BIOS set up (press DEL at restart to access this area) you have selected Floppy Drive as your first boot device before trying to reboot with the MS DOS Boot Disk.

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