Guide Part 2: The Hard Drive

  • For those who wish to skip this part there are pre-created and pre-formatted virtual hard drives available. Please select either the 1GB, 2GB or 4GB variety.

    5) Obtain a Copy of a Boot Disk

    A boot disk is a recovery method. It also provides basic functionality for setting up hard drives.

    The boot disk we will be using for our install is a Windows 98 SE version, it sports DOS 7.

    Get your Boot Disk

    Boot Disk Website →

  • 6) How to Make the Hard Disk

    Start DosBox Daum and you will be met with the command prompt. The command we will be using to create the virtual hard drive is called imgmake.

    If you type imgmake and hit enter you will  be presented with the syntax of the command if you want to understand the proper formatting.

  • 7) Make the Hard Disk Image

    The proper syntax for imgmake is shown. imgmake (name).img -t hd -size (size) -nofs Notice in our example, we are creating a 4 GB hard drive image.

    Please notice that you can name the image whatever you would like. You may also vary the size as you wish. Since we are using Windows 98 SE we are free to utilize the maximum size supported by DOSBox currently - 4 GB.

  • 8) Verify the Disk Image

    Once the program has finished creating the disk image will be created and located in your DosBox root folder (with the executable) unless otherwise specified.

    NOTICE: Please be aware that the cylinder head and sector counts are important. You should make a note of these as you need to know what they are.
  • 9) The Boot Disk

    We will now extract the boot disk you downloaded previously into the same root folder as your DosBox executable and presumably your virtual hard drive.

    It should be named WIN98C.img as shown in the screen-shot. You will of course want to have it unzipped into the folder.

  • 10) Bringing it Together

    It is time to adjust our config file for ease of use. Simply open the dosbox.conf file in a text editor such as notepad to adjust it.

    You should add the lines shown to the autoexec section at the bottom of the config file. Be aware that the size and name of your hard drive are important. Particularly the -size parameter. The parameter should be entered as: -size 512,(sectors),(heads),(cylinders)

  • 11) Verify your Commands

    Once you start DosBox again, you should see the following lines appear.

    You should also verify the two images have mounted correctly by seeing that drive 0 was mounted as WIN98C.img (also known as the A: drive) and drive 2 is mounted as your hard drive image (also known as the C: drive).

  • 12) Boot Into DOS

    There is a reason it is called a "Boot Disk". Boot into dos using the command indicated, type boot -l a.

    It should state that it is booting from drive A into MS-DOS.

  • 13) Fixed Disk

    Once booted into DOS you should be met with a screen like this. You should also have an A: prompt.

    You may use the directory command (simply type dir) to see all the programs located on the boot disk. Alternatively simply type "fdisk" and hit enter, as shown.

  • 14) Partitioning the Drive

    Once fdisk has started, you will be met with this screen. You should see that you have one fixed disk drive which is our virtual disk we created a few steps ago.

    The choice we want is choice 1, to create a DOS partition. 1 is the default choice, simply hit enter to move on.

  • 15) The FAT32 File System

    Once fdisk has started, you will be met with this screen. It is asking you to verify that you understand the difference between FAT16 and FAT32, and that you wish you use it.

    Saying Yes to this prompt will format the hard drive as FAT32.

  • 16) Partition that Drive!

    Type Y into the prompt and hit enter.

    You should be prompted to restart. If the program does not automatically restart, simply exit it and start DosBox again.

  • 17 Formatting the C: Drive

    Once you have restarted DosBox and booted back into DOS, (by typing boot -l a) you should be ready to format the C: drive.

    Simply type "format c:" into the A: prompt. Agree that you want to proceed and format the drive.

  • 18) Verify the Format

    You should see a couple of messages. These will tell you things like the amount of space being formatted.

    After it has finished the format, you will be able to name your hard drive whatever you like.

  • 19) Confirmation

    At this point you should have a formatted blank hard drive and a boot disk.

    You will then want to move these to the same location as your java executable for the bulk of the installation process.

    Part 3: Installation