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Dos 6.22 and Fat Formatted Hard Drive

Craig
Craig asked
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I have an old Windows 98 laptop and when I boot with a DOS 6.22 floppy disk I can't access the hard disk. The laptop boots to Windows 98 okay, but I want to run a DOS based program on the hard disk so I need to boot from a DOS floppy and then access the C: drive. All I get is "invalid drive" after booting to the DOS floppy. What am I missing or doing wrong?
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ste5anSenior Developer

Commented:
Just start your Win98,  copy/insert your floppy and start your program. Win98 is DOS based, so it should run.

Commented:
Depending on the drive and it's controller.  You might have to load drivers.

-saige-
CraigPresident

Author

Commented:
ste5an, thanks for your input, but that won't work. The program is on the hard disk and won't run under Windows 98. My question is how do I get a floppy disk boot to recognize the c: drive. I have to boot to DOS 6.22 in order to run the program on the hard drive.
Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
DOS 6.22 did not work with FAT32 drives.  Only FAT16.  Win98 used FAT32.  You'll need a different boot disk that supports FAT32 or run the program in a VM under a much new operating system.  Have you tried DOSBOX?
ste5anSenior Developer

Commented:
Well, either you run it under MS-DOS 7.1 or you run it under 98. btw, what error message did you get when trying it?
CraigPresident

Author

Commented:
Hi Lee,

I had just discovered the same thing you are saying after some more Google searches. I realize now that i should have formatted the drive as FAT16. The laptop is a 6Gb hard drive partitioned into three 2Gb partitions. I just installed Windows 98 on the partition without formatting it for FAT16. Windows 98 formatted it FAT32 as you mentioned.
The program I'm trying to run is an old custom written Oracle 6 database and will only run on hardware with 32MB or less of RAM and DOS 6.22 or lower. If Oracle sees more than 32MB of physical memory it won't run. I have another Windows 98 laptop already configured and working and I'm just trying to build this one as a backup in case the other laptop dies. Unfortunately, the other one is in Florida so I don't have access to clone the drive.

It is nice to hear from you again.
ste5anSenior Developer

Commented:
hmm, can you limit the RAM in MSCONFIG?
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
If you add DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS VERBOSE to config.sys that should cap available EMS memory at 32MB (Actually it's just that's the maximum that EMM386 can allocate!)

Commented:
Ahh the good old days of *limited* memory management and mapping via the config.sys and autoexec.bat.

-saige-
Just throwing this out there, but why not just install virtualbox on the Windows 98 machine (Version 5.2 supports 32 bit and is supported until July 2020)

and install dos as a guest
Never mind, you'll still have an issue getting to your software package
CraigPresident

Author

Commented:
I reformatted the drive to Fat16 and reinstalled Windows 98. I can now boot from a DOS 6.22 floppy with the required settings in the config.sys and autoexec.bat to allow my DOS based oracle database to run and still be able to boot to Windows 98 normally. Previously the DOS 6.22 bootable floppy disk was not recognizing the local C: drive because it was formatted Fat32. Lee's answer was the correct answer. Thank you all who participated.