I still use DOS for a couple of ancient applications. Before I installed Windows 7 on a fresh drive, I made a small partition (2 gigabytes) and formatted that partition with FAT32 using the Windows 98 version of DOS. That partition was bootable, it just came to a C:\> prompt.
Then I installed Windows 7, 32-bit version on NTFS using the remainder of the hard drive. Windows 7 can browse the DOS partition once I login, but the initial menu options it gives do not let me boot to the DOS partition. When I boot the PC, I get a Windows 7 boot menu with the following options:
"Unidentified Operating System on Drive C"
Obviously, the unidentified O/S is referring to my DOS partition, but when I select it, it will not load DOS anymore. It just gives a message that says Windows failed to start. Then when I hit enter to continue it takes me right back to the menu.
I tried booting off a DOS diskette and doing SYS C: Well, that fixed the DOS boot but then it would only boot to DOS, as if the Windows 7 option did not even exist. In an attempt to rectify that, I ran FDISK from the DOS floppy and tried to make the NTFS (Windows 7) partition active. It made NTFS the active partition, but once I rebooted, I didn't get any options at all, and neither DOS nor Windows 7 loaded. Just a blank screen after the POST was finished.
Luckily, I had backed up my hard drive before I started messing with it. I restored the drive image and now I can boot to Windows 7 again. But I still can't get the DOS option to work from the initial menu.
I would rather not use a menu/partitioning software from a 3rd party. I believe that the Windows 7 (Microsoft) menu can do what I want, I just need to know how to configure it.