[Solved] DOS install won't format disk

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[Solved] DOS install won't format disk

Postby TonyTS » 21. Nov 2017, 18:19

I am running VirtualBox under Windows XP using VirtualBox version 4.12.

I can run DOS from an image on the virtual floppy drive, but wanted to install on the virtual hard drive from the original disks.

I am trying to create a DOS 6.22 virtual machine using the three original DOS 6.22 disks.

The 1st disk starts off and creates the partition and then it says Formatting disk and starts at 0% and won't go any further. It was trying for almost an hour, but nothing happened.

I was wondering if I set up the virtual hard drive wrongly or if it can't format on the Windows XP file system.

Any idea what might be going on?

Any help on this would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Re: DOS install won't format disk

Postby mpack » 21. Nov 2017, 20:07

How large is the hard disk? It must be sized appropriately for the DOS era.

You booted from a system floppy, you did an fdisk followed by "format c: /s" right?

Also you should always do a quick format, since a low level format of a virtual drive is not useful.
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Re: DOS install won't format disk

Postby TonyTS » 22. Nov 2017, 17:22

<<How large is the hard disk?>>
I used the recommended size.

<<You booted from a system floppy, you did an fdisk followed by "format c: /s" right?>>
I was installing from a real 6.22 floppy disk. It started the install. It is supposed to do the formatting. That's where it stopped.
How do I format a virtual hard drive?
Where do you do that from?

I saw on one message VirtualBox doesn't want to install from real floppy disks. I'm going to create images from them and try that way.

Thanks.
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Re: DOS install won't format disk

Postby mpack » 22. Nov 2017, 17:32

VirtualBox doesn't format disks, formatting is entirely a guest OS matter. Formatting writes a guest OS specific blank filesystem to the disk which helps it manage disk contents and free space. Really old disks required a low level format as well, but virtual drives never need that, and trying it will max out the VDI size.

I suggest that you do as I said: (1) Boot from the floppy. (2) Run fdisk, partition the whole of drive 0 as one primary bootable partition. (3) Run "format c: /s". (4) Run DOS setup, or just create a DOS folder on the C drive and copy the floppy files into it.

Incidentally, this discussion has nothing whatever to do with "Windows Hosts". Moving the topic to "Other Guests".
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Re: DOS install won't format disk

Postby TonyTS » 22. Nov 2017, 21:11

Finally got it to work.
I found a DOS 6.22 image and got that to run.
Then I typed: FORMAT C:
C: was then formatted all right.
I found a program that created Floppy disk images and created the three setup disk images. Don't know if I had to do this.
I then went to Devices, picked the 1st disk, it skipped the Format, and it started installing DOS on the C: drive. Went through the other disks as well.
Went do the C: drive and there it all was under /DOS.
Happy day.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: DOS install won't format disk

Postby socratis » 22. Nov 2017, 21:16

Great, thanks for the feedback. Marking as [Solved].
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
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Re: [Solved] DOS install won't format disk

Postby mpack » 23. Nov 2017, 10:29

"format c:" is not at all the same as "format c: /s", which is what I suggested (twice) that you do. The latter form of the command puts system info on the drive, i.e. makes the disk bootable so that you'll no longer need to boot from the floppy.
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Re: [Solved] DOS install won't format disk

Postby TonyTS » 23. Nov 2017, 17:28

<<"format c:" is not at all the same as "format c: /s", which is what I suggested (twice) that you do. The latter form of the command puts system info on the drive, i.e. makes the disk bootable so that you'll no longer need to boot from the floppy.>>

The reason I didn't use the /s is because when you install DOS it becomes the operating system.
I just had to figure out why when installed in VirtualBox, the installation didn't format the C: drive.

After installing DOS 6.22 from the three 3 1/2" floppy disks, VirtualBox definitely boots from the C: drive with all the system files there, and C:\DOS.
I was there when DOS 1.0 came out.
My 30 year old son likes to go retro and just last week we installed DOS 6.22 on one of his old, old computers, and the DOS install partitioned and formatted the 2 gig hard drive, nice and easy, just like in the old days.

Thanks for your help.
CU
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