Creating A Windows 2000 or XP Boot Menu Choice For Windows 9X DOS or DOS

Please note that in order for this to work you must have FAT16 or FAT32 C: drive and it must be on a basic drive (dynamic drives can only be seen by Windows 2000 or XP).

Getting The Needed Files On Your Disk

  1. If your C: drive does not have a bootsect.dos file (created when installing Windows 2000 or XP as an upgrade to Windows 9X or DOS) see windosbf.htm and skip steps 2-4.
  2. Using another computer with the operating system you want to boot to (Windows 9X DOS or DOS) create a boot disk if you do not have one already.
  3. In Windows Explorer access the Folder Options dialog box from the tools menu and select the View tab.
  4. Ensure that the Show hidden files radio button is selected and that the Hide file extensions for known file types check box is not checked then click OK.
  5. Copy the files named command.com, io.sys, and msdos.sys from the boot disk to the root of your C: drive if they are not there (left behind when Windows 2000 or XP is installed as an upgrade to Windows 9X or DOS).

Modifying msdos.sys
(Windows 9X DOS Only)

  1. At an DOS prompt change to c:\ and enter attrib -h -r -s msdos.sys to enable editing of it.
  2. Modify msdos.sys using a text editor to have only the  following:

    [Paths]
    WinDir=C:\WINDIR
    WinBootDir=C:\
    [Options]
    LOGO=0
    BootGUI=0

    changing WINDIR to your old Windows directory if present (if not present remove 2nd line of file).
  3. At a DOS prompt change to c:\ and enter attrib +h +r +s msdos.sys to renable its hidden, read only, and system attributes.

Creating or Modifying autoexec.bat and  config.sys

  1. Create or modify c:\autoexec.bat to include commands for loading any DOS drivers, path entries, and default dir commands you want the DOS boot to have.
  2. Create or modify c:\config.sys to include commands for loading any DOS drivers you want the DOS to boot have and ansi.sys if any DOS programs you have require it.
  3. If these files already contain commands please note that as best I know Windows 2000 and XP will ignore all of them.

    Windows 2000 and XP use autoexec.nt and config.nt located in the system32 subdirectory of the Windows directory for  configuring DOS programs executing in the GUI.

Modifying boot.ini

  1. At a DOS prompt change to c:\ and enter attrib -h -s boot.ini to enable editing of it.
  2. Using a text editor add

    C:\="X"

    to the end of c:\boot.ini changing X to some text (I.E. Windows 98 DOS) that you want to appear on your Windows 2000 or XP boot menu for the DOS boot choice.
  3. At a DOS prompt change to c:\ and enter attrib +h +s boot.ini to renable its hidden and system attributes.

Once the above steps are complete selecting the second boot choice from your Windows 2000 or XP boot menu should take to you to a DOS prompt.  Please note launching the GUI of Windows 9X from this prompt is not possible.

To enable network access (needed to play with others in multi player games such as Duke Nukem 3D) in this boot (requires other computers engaging in play to have a Microsoft network client) see windosnw.htm.

If the FAT entry for your C: drive’s root directory which is fixed on FAT16 drives is moved by a defragmentation program you will receive an Invalid System Disk error when trying to boot to your DOS boot choice.

To fix this download the Boot Sector Restoration Tool from Raxco Software.  This utility when executed under a Windows 2000 command prompt will update your bootsect.dos file to point to the new location of the root directory allowing your DOS boot choice to function again.

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