Dual-booting all versions of Windows and Linux
Dual-Boot MS-DOS 6.22 on a Windows 7 computer
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This guide shows how to create a natural dual-boot of MS-DOS 6.22 (FAT) and of any version Windows 7 (NTFS) by moving Windows 7. You then run either OS by selecting one from a Windows 7 menu during bootup. There's no loss of data in this method. However if you prefer to clean install Windows 7, then go to this page.
In all methods MS-DOS 6.22 must be installed on the start of the first primary partition of the first hard disk.
The Windows 7 partition(s) is moved to the right to make room for MS-DOS 6. Moving Win7 makes Win7 temporarily unbootable but that's easily fixed with any Win7 installation disk or even NeoSmart's free Win7 System Recovery Disk. Moving a partition is a very slow process on large hard disks (about 100GB/hour on faster computers). Spending a minute shrinking the partition first is a safe procedure and can save some hours when moving that partition.
On completing the procedure below, DOS 6.22 boots without being on an Active partition and the partition originally marked Active will still be in control. This leaves Windows 7 nearly exactly the same as before you started.
All versions of Windows 7 were used in testing. The computers used were:
(1) 64-bit Dell Studio XPS 8100 (2.93 GHz), Core i7, 8 GB RAM DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, 2x1 TB SATA hard disks
(the two hard disks, configured as RAID 0, were replaced with a SATA 1 TB disk and then RAID Mode was changed to ATA in the BIOS).
(2) 64-bit AMD Athlon (2.4GHz), 2.0 GB RAM, 1 TB SATA hard disk (no BIOS change required).
(3) 32-bit Dell Optiplex with Pentium 4 (2.26GHz), 2.0 GB RAM, 160 GB ATA hard disk
MS-DOS internal and external commands work correctly on both 64-bit and 32-bit computers. The USB keyboard and USB laser mouse do run from MS-DOS 6.22 on a 64-bit computer. However, MS-DOS 6.22 will not run from RAID configurations. Also, MS-DOS 6.22 device drivers are not available for 64-bit hardware devices so expect those devices not to work on 64-bit computers when DOS 6.22 is running.
When testing with 600+ MB of free Conventional memory, Space Quest 3 (1993), SQ4, SQ5 and X-Com2 were installed in DOS 6.22. All ran well on both 64-bit and 32-bit computers - exactly as would be expected for 1993/5 software.
The procedure is suitable for experienced computer users.
EasyBCD is a highly-acclaimed free utility that allows any user to easily enter a new OS option in the Windows 7 boot menu. The earlier 2.0 version of EasyBCD must be used as newer versions did not work in this specific situation.
Create a Windows 7 and MS-DOS 6.22 Dual-Boot without reinstalling
Installing other operating systems on your Windows 7 computer may invalidate your warrantee.
MS-DOS 6.22 must be installed on the first (Primary) partition of the first hard disk. It will NOT be Active!
Make your preparations
Install MS-DOS 6.22 on a Win7 computer without installing Win7
Congratulations! You have created a natural dual-boot of Windows 7 and MS-DOS 6.22, and Window 7 is unchanged.
Footnote: EasyBCD 2.0 creates an NST folder on the Windows 7 partition when it adds an operating system to the Windows 7 boot loader menu. This NST folder contains file(s) vital to booting an added OS. It must not be deleted.
Repair Windows 7 Startup
You will not have any problem if you follow the instructions as stated above. However you might encounter some freak occurrence like a power failure during an installation. Windows 7 will boot again if you execute the following procedure.
If still stuck for a solution, boot again from the installation DVD, select Repair your computer, highlight Windows 7, get to a Command Prompt, use DIR command (DIR C: or DIR D: etc.) to identify drive letter allocations (sizes and Labels will help), and type in:
Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.
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