Set up a DOS VM with USB
This is about DOS 6.22 and USB; tried with VirtualBox 1.4.0 (with 1.3.8 I did not get this far).
My host system is a typical WinXP machine with 1280*1024 display.
The post builds on to my earlier one describing the setup of a DOS VM including CDROM and NIC drivers:
I got it working with some restrictions; the result depends on the drivers you can find. Be prepared for some rebooting of your guest !
What do you need apart from a DOS VM:
- a driver called usbaspi.sys (USB to ASPI)
- and an ASPI disk manager.
Both need to be loaded in config.sys. Both come in various flavors as well.
A hint for usbaspi.sys: a file (460,246 bytes) kxlcb45an.exe from Panasonic with version 2.20.
Get yourself familiar with the VirtualBox manual on USB.
Loading the drivers
First about usbaspi.sys: my best options are:
- usbaspi.sys 2.20
- usbaspi.sys 1.06
- usbaspi.sys 1.03
All from Panasonic, 2.20 beats the rest.
Next about an ASPI disk manager: my options are:
- ASPIDISK.SYS (Adaptec; Ver. 4.01b)
- nj32disk.sys (ASPI DISK Driver Ver. 1.06 by Workbit Corp.; will not work beyond 512MB ???)
- di1000dd.sys (if you can’t find anything else... )
Statement to add to config.sys may vary somewhat but this should do, as detailed below.
- device=c:\usbaspi.sys /w /v /o (the letter O, not the digit zero)
And for the ASPI disk manager (select the appropriate one)
- device=c:\aspidisk.sys /d
- device=c:\nj32disk.sys /r
The result depends on the drivers. Some rebooting may be needed to have the VM capture the USB drive.
A useful VirtualBox command is "vboxmanage list usbhost". It can return these states for a USB device:
- busy: host is using it
- captured: guest is using it
- held: intermediate state: host is recapturing after guest shutdown
Performance is usually slow (especially when compared to networking a DOS machine to you host), e.g. 25 s for a 3.5 MB file. Typically speed is limited to USB 1.x anyway.
Sometimes VirtualBox even quits - but always and only after apologizing. Just reminds me of how stable it is otherwise.
I used USB flash drives only; size from 256 M up to 1 G.
Just a few...
- http://www.toolsthatwork.com/bbdocs/usb.htm (ByteBack article; note the remarks about MBR and speed)
- http://www.usb.org (with the USB standards & more)