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Steven W

DOS and WFW 3.11 -- Fresh install (unopened retail boxes)

22 posts in this topic

Hi all, I have unopened retail boxes of MS-DOS 5.0 and 6.22(upgrade) and Windows For Workgroups 3.11. I've read that that version of Windows may only install once or twice. I don't know about those versions of DOS. I want to make a backup copy of each disk (to other floppies) anyway and will be doing so with a USB floppy on a Windows 7 computer. Are there any special commands/software I should use so that the originals remain in a usuable state?

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First, make sure every Floppy is Write Protected before you even insert it into a drive. Beware some "lesser quality" USB FDDs sometimes do not respect this setting.

Then I would suggest WinImage for making RAW backups of the disks (and if it were me, I would actually use copies made from those backups to do the installs, rather than the originals).

But my experience in this area is limited, so let's wait for more input from others. :angel

Edited by LoneCrusader
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Nowadays the issue is all about "quality".

The quality of floppy discs is "very poor".

The quality of floppy drives is "very poor".

The original floppy discs for DOS or Win 3.x had not any particular "copy protection scheme", but in any case, what I would use (if the scope is that of making a set of backup floppy disc or floppy images) is a pure DOS program, one that would have been used at the time.

Winimage is not a particularly good idea, not because it is not a good program, but it would be like shooting at flies with a cannon :w00t:, Winimage is a tool to manipulate floppy images, in the hands of an unexperienced user it has the power to (inadvertedly) corrupt/change the floppy.

Under DOS, I would personally use Venus:

http://retro.icequake.net/dob/

or d.bosman's nice Dcopy program:

http://users.telenet.be/jbosman/applications.html

The dcopy program exists in a Windows (NT and later) version and though it won't be able to duplicate some "peculiar" formats under these OS's, it is "good enough" for "standard" floppies like the MS ones.

In any case there is a pretty much exhaustive thread dedicated to the "specific matter":

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/136856-how-to-archive-old-floppies-for-access-under-win98/

including some info on 720 Kb/1.44 Mb floppy discs.

jaclaz

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Thank you guys. I've checked and my USB floppy drive does respect write-protection. DCOPYNT it is. Think I'll use WinImage DCOPYNT to make images from the copies for backup to a CD.

Just noticed DCOPYNT can make images too!

Edited by Steven W
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...but in any case, what I would use (if the scope is that of making a set of backup floppy disc or floppy images) is a pure DOS program, one that would have been used at the time.

The OP specifically stated he would be performing the operation on Win7... :whistle:

Winimage is not a particularly good idea, not because it is not a good program, but it would be like shooting at flies with a cannon :w00t:, Winimage is a tool to manipulate floppy images, in the hands of an unexperienced user it has the power to (inadvertedly) corrupt/change the floppy.

Hence the Write Protect advice. And the fact that the OP is here "asking the right questions" so to speak would imply that he has sense enough not to alter the Floppies with WinImage. (And I know Steven W has been around here a while.)

I stand by my WinImage recommendation. :P

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...but in any case, what I would use (if the scope is that of making a set of backup floppy disc or floppy images) is a pure DOS program, one that would have been used at the time.

The OP specifically stated he would be performing the operation on Win7... :whistle:

Sure, but in the specific case, by "pure chance" Windows 7 is a suitable environment to copy those floppies, the fact that he stated what he would like to use is meaningless in itself (with all due respect), the mentioned thread gives some examples of formats used in the DOS era that CANNOT (please read as CANNOT) be copied under *any* NT based system, let alone 7.

If you prefer, in the DOS era, floppies were copied for years and successfully, with DOS programs, they DO WORK (because they DID work at the time).

On newer Operating Systems new ways to manage/interface the hardware may (or may not) make an old format be copyable or not.

Hence the Write Protect advice. And the fact that the OP is here "asking the right questions" so to speak would imply that he has sense enough not to alter the Floppies with WinImage. (And I know Steven W has been around here a while.)

... or more simply he is open to suggestions and not necessarily "immobilized" in a "windows 7 only" paradigm...

I stand by my WinImage recommendation. :P

Sure :), and I know Gilles Vollant since what? 1995 or so, and I have utter respect for him and for his work.

As well, I really do like Porsche 911's, still a Toyota Hilux (or a wheelbarrow) may be more suitable for a given use:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=24502&st=12

and:

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/158990-switch-from-windows-xp-64-bit-edition-to-anything-else/?p=1017763

Just for your interest learn here:

http://www.winimage.com/wimushlp/wini1a1y.htm

http://www.serverelements.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=64

WHY exactly Winimage (and/or any tool running under a Windows NT based system, unless particular drivers are used) is ABSOLUTELY NOT suited for some particular format of floppy (namely for a high capacity version of the DMF format), and however how (on the contrary) Winimage may have issues with the plainer DMF 1.68 format (which was actually used by MS for their "distribution" floppies, but that was "after" Windows 3.1) under Win9x.

Additionally, especially with "low cost/poor quality" floppy drives, forcing them beyond track #80 may mean (it has happened) breaking the actual disc drive.

To sum up, each tool (and OS) have it's own merits, advantages and disadvantages, the only thing that matters is getting somewhere (possibly where you want to arrive ;)), the path which you use to get there is not important.

jaclaz

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If you prefer, in the DOS era, floppies were copied for years and successfully, with DOS programs, they DO WORK (because they DID work at the time).

On newer Operating Systems new ways to manage/interface the hardware may (or may not) make an old format be copyable or not.

...

WHY exactly Winimage (and/or any tool running under a Windows NT based system, unless particular drivers are used) is ABSOLUTELY NOT suited for some particular format of floppy (namely for a high capacity version of the DMF format), and however how (on the contrary) Winimage may have issues with the plainer DMF 1.68 format (which was actually used by MS for their "distribution" floppies, but that was "after" Windows 3.1) under Win9x.

...

To sum up, each tool (and OS) have it's own merits, advantages and disadvantages, the only thing that matters is getting somewhere (possibly where you want to arrive ;)), the path which you use to get there is not important.

All true, I'm not "disagreeing" with you. ;) I simply regard WinImage as the most "user friendly" tool for the job, and the best "GUI tool" for the job, especially if the operation is to be performed on an NT-based OS.

If I were attempting this, I would only perform the operation on a 9x/DOS system to begin with.

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It's been so long since I've messed with Windows 3.1 or WfW. Can someone tell me if WfW setup should automatically set up a CDROM drive, add mscdex, etc to the autoexec? Should I just do it manually before installing WfW?

Think I should send in the registration cards to Microsoft? :whistle:

Edited by Steven W
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You need to add MSCDEX stuff yourself, it does not do it for you...

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If I were attempting this, I would only perform the operation on a 9x/DOS system to begin with.

Although I doubt it would be an issue in THIS case, I wouldn't use Windows 9x either, if I was worrying about the

Disk being written to. I had an Amiga SCSI Disk disabled by trying to read it in Windows 98SE. The Volume Tracker

in Windows 9x will overwrite unrecognized ID strings in the Floppies PDR.

I haven't seen DOS write to a disk unexpectedly, although I can't guarantee that if DOS crashes on the Disk.

FDISK 6.2 is another story. Don't even think about using it in anything with more than a few Partitions.

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AFAIK, the DOS5 will not "overwrite" with anything, but the WFW MIGHT!.

You could "risk" checking the DOS5 First Floppy to boot from (yes, it SHOULD boot to it) with Write-Protect and try a DOS-only vesion of a floppy-copy to-floppy (can't remember another one off-hand. If I'm not mistaken, there's a DiskCopy program already there(?).

http://www.computerhope.com/diskcopy.htm

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Just to confirm that yes, the Volume Tracker besides being one of the silliest thing EVER implemented in a OS :w00t:, it has caused more diskettes to die prematurely (beside making them not anymore an "exact copy") then you would think. :ph34r:

For anyone wishing to read more on the stupidities done over the years with the OEM name, this is a good article:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com./jonathan.deboynepollard/FGA/volume-boot-block-oem-name-field.html

jaclaz

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Yes, informative article.

If anyone's interested, Matthias Paul has created a registry patch that will prevent Windows from engaging in this "naughty" behavior. For documentation and zip-file download:

http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/win9x/

This is the latest version that i'm aware of (v1.37, 2004-08-25). Does anyone know of a more-recent version?

Reading thru the .REG-file entries is interesting in itself....

- Doug B.

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Yes, informative article.

If anyone's interested, Matthias Paul has created a registry patch that will prevent Windows from engaging in this "naughty" behavior. For documentation and zip-file download:

http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/win9x/

This is the latest version that i'm aware of (v1.37, 2004-08-25). Does anyone know of a more-recent version?

Reading thru the .REG-file entries is interesting in itself....

- Doug B.

A minor Patch eliminates this behavior entirely.

Another Patch stops Windows from doing the same to non-standard MBRs.

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Are there any known issues with applying these fixes? Can anyone think of any potential issues?

Edited by Steven W
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If you apply these fixes, you stand a greater chance of having two Disks with the same checksum, especially if you do raw copies of the Disks.

The same thing applies to Hard Drives if the second fix is applied. Duplicate Volumes will be melded into one and can crash if they are removed.

Duplicate Hard Disk MBR checksums can lead to the Disks being swapped, resulting in possible corruption.

This can also occur using the other alternatives described previously or if a Disk is Write Protected.

It is important when copying Disks or Partitions that you ensure they have unique Checksums. Some tools do this automatically, others don't.

I have added checks and fixes to my Copying, Partitioning and Formatting tools for this.

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Another Patch stops Windows from doing the same to non-standard MBRs.

Can you provide any detail/reference/whatever about this behaviour?

Are you talking of the "mistery bytes"?

http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/mystery.htm

From the above this can happen only if all six bytes at 0DAh-0DBh are 00's on the "non-standard MBR". :unsure:

jaclaz

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Another Patch stops Windows from doing the same to non-standard MBRs.

Can you provide any detail/reference/whatever about this behaviour?

Are you talking of the "mistery bytes"?

http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/mystery.htm

From the above this can happen only if all six bytes at 0DAh-0DBh are 00's on the "non-standard MBR". :unsure:

jaclaz

Yes. But they are no mystery to me.

I already had an Amiga SCSI Hard Drive disabled by this, simply by trying to read the Disk with an Adaptec Card.

It has far less data in Sector 0, so these addresses were unused. The problem is that the entire Sector is Checksummed.

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Yes. But they are no mystery to me.

Sure they are not (at the very least since 2004).

I already had an Amiga SCSI Hard Drive disabled by this, simply by trying to read the Disk with an Adaptec Card.

It has far less data in Sector 0, so these addresses were unused. The problem is that the entire Sector is Checksummed.

A very good real life example of what can happen :(:ph34r:, though, still - of course IMHO - not "an everyday occurrence" to connect a SCSI Amiga disk to a Win9x :unsure:.

jaclaz

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Never said it was an everyday occurrence.

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Never said it was an everyday occurrence.

Never said you said it.

I said how it probably was not one of them.

I will cite the already given link:

http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/mystery.htm

We purposely displayed a string of ZERO-bytes in the code shown above, because that's how these bytes are hard coded in all the FDISK.EXE utilities for Win 95B, 98, 98SE and Me. As a matter of fact, if you use the FDISK from one of these OSs with the /MBR switch on any drive, all of its "mystery bytes" will be overwritten with zeros! The FDISK program never writes anything but zeros to these locations. So, what does change these bytes? The Windows OS itself changes the last four of these six bytes whenever they are all zeros!

....

At first, you might think that an OS which overwrites code in any MBR sector might lead to some serious problems in Boot Manager software. But a bit of reflection will soon show that it'd be highly unlikely that any MBR code (or data for that matter) would ever place a string of six zero bytes at this particular location.

Possible? Yes :yes:.

Good example from the good MS guys of the worst possible approach (including arrogance, stupidity and a number of other attributes I am too polite to express) to "stamp" something within an OS or software? Yes. :yes:

Probable/likely to occur and cause havoc? No. :no:

The only issue is when you make a "dd-like" clone and BOTH original and clone are connected/mounted, and, to cite again:

So, an intelligent technician that needs to copy the same Win9x/Me drive contents to many physical drives, would be sure to start with an image copy that has all zeros in these six bytes!

To sum up, IMHO something that everyone dealing with these activities should know about but not something that one wouldn't sleep about.

Ooops :blink: , I gotta go , I am late for the daily check on my meteorite shielding device :whistle: ....

jaclaz

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