Jump to content
bluejay

Your MS-DOS setup(s)

Recommended Posts

The IBM PC has to be THE most customized computer architectures ever made, and I think nearly all of us has some kind of "old school" MS-DOS computer setup. Show us your rigs! Don't forget to list your machine's specs, and perhaps how you acquired it and what parts you have installed on it.

I have 5 DOS computers. Two of them are Compaq Portable IIs, two are Compaq LTE 5250s, and one is a Compaq LTE 5280. A lot of them are broken in some way, but I use all 3 of them that work, especially one of my 5250s.

I don't have many pictures, and none at all of my LTEs. I'll take proper ones as soon as possible.

IMG_0022.JPG?type=w800

 

Here's a good pic of my Compaq Portable II. It has a 6/8 mhz Intel 80286, 640k RAM, CGA/MDA combo card with 9" monochrome green phosphor CRT. Sound Blaster Vibra 16 sound. It used to have a 20 meg MFM hard drive but it was dead, so I installed a CF-IDE adapter. It has the OEM 360k 5.25" floppy drive. This machine only has 4 ISA slots, and only 2 of which are 16 bit. This seriously limits the expandability of this machine.

 

Image result for compaq lte 5250

 

I don't think I ever took a picture of my Compaq LTEs, but they all look just like this. I use one of them as my main DOS machine. That one has a 120mhz Pentium, 48mb RAM (comes with 16mb standard but it has a RAM upgrade thingy installed), SVGA that uses some kind of Cirrus Logic chipset, internal ESS Audiodrive es1688, 800x600 Active Matrix TFT display, a multibay that can house either my 1.44mb floppy drive or my CD-ROM drive. It came with a 1.3gb HDD which still works, but I did replace it with a SD-IDE adapter. I still use that HDD though, since it's easy to pull out and change between the SD-IDE and HDD. My other two machines are pretty much identical. except they have 16mb RAM. One has a bigger LCD. One has a 810mb HDD while the other has none.

 

Well, there you are. Those are my DOS setups. What's yours?

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my_old_pc____by_dragongrafx_16_ddsccgj-fullview.thumb.jpg.756324fd2678593aba503e6217ffd827.jpg

 

200Mhz AMD K6

32MB RAM

Virge DX 4MB video card (PCI)

2GB HDD

52x CDRW

3.5" 1.44MB Floppy A drive

5.25" 1.2MB Floppy B drive

Sound Blaster Pro 2 (ISA) for sound

CH Products Gamecard 3 dual gameport card (ISA)

MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1 (does not boot into Windows uses command to start it)

 

Much of the hardware (everything but the motherboard, CPU, video card and RAM) was from my Gateway 2000 but it's motherboard stopped working so I bought this tower for $20 off of someone on the VCF forums.

Edited by DragonGrafx-16
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine is DOSBox, but I wish I could recover my dad's Pentium 133 from 1996-1998.

 

From 1985 to 1998, He threw away or gave to my uncle as a gift a ZX Spectrum, an Amstrad CPC 6128, an 8086, a 386 and a Pentium 133.

 

Some of these machines had malfunctioning parts (such as the Amstrad disk drive), but still... I would be trying to fix them like crazy today if I had them.

 

😭

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one I still have is a 5x86-133 in a generic PC case.  

S3-805 chipset

Soundblaster 16 ASP + Gravis Ultrasound Ace for sound

Goldstar 4X CD-Rom

Promise VLB I/O card

 

I recently put an SD-IDE in it because the original drive is rather noisy and might be on its way out., and re-installed MS-DOS 6.23 and Windows 3.1

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a whole shelf of old dos computers in various stages of repair, but the two I currently have set up are a 486 DX2-66 and an IBM 5155 XT luggable. The 486 has VLB video and IO and a Windows Sound System audio card. I just upgraded the ram on the XT motherboard to the whopping max of 640k last night. Sure takes a lot longer to boot up as it counts up to 640k compared to the original 256k. I have an RTC card on order so I don’t have to type in the date and time every time I turn it on.

 

 

D75AC8EA-A3B2-4A57-A8B6-EC98F0917A63.jpeg

14C4CF01-640B-4CBE-A459-065092C78FB7.jpeg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also need to figure out how to adjust the vertical height on the built in monitor in the 5155, as it is a bit squashed. All the adjustment pots are inside on the monitor circuit board.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, nice setups, everyone!  Love the IBM PS/2s and 5155s, and all the custom builds, of course. I dream of building a 486 machine someday. Parts seem ridiculously expensive though, especially considering they're all generic PC parts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like old PCs, but had to compromise due to lack of space and funds, so only have a non-period Pentium 4 + a few VGA monitors, with dual boot of 98SE and XP. This setup covers all the bases: from very early DOS (when slowed down) to Win games from the start of the 00s.

 

If I could get one classic PC it'd be probably something from the beginning (1982-84), seeing as some games from this period crash on my machine.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As soon as the Pentium II came out I build a system on the AL440LX Intel mobo. It was a decent system, and I gradually evolved/upgraded it to one built around the Abit BX-6 R2. This is the system as it stands right now.

 

Spoiler

 

Currently the system specification is:

 

OS
Windows 7 Ultimate (tested)
Windows XP Professional SP3 (installed)
Windows 98se (previously installed)
Windows 95 (previously installed)
Windows 3.1 (pending)
Dos 6.22 (pending)

 

Mainboard
Abit BX6-R2 motherboard, Slot-1, Intel BX440

 

CPU
Intel Pentium III Tualitin @ 1,403MHz, 100MHz FSB, 256KB full-speed L2 cache
PowerLeap socket 370 - slot-1 slocket adapter, with external power supply source

 

Memory
1 GB RAM (256MB x 4 SDRAM) non-ECC, PC-100/133 w/spd

 

Chipset
Intel i440BX
Winbond W83977EF-AW Super I/O

 

Expansion slots
2 ISA
5 PCI
1 AGP 1x/2x (3.3v)

 

Internal Onboard Connectors
2 x IDE ATA UDMA-33 connectors
1 5.25" & 3.5" FDD connector
4 x 168 pin DIMM connectors (data buffered)
SMI and instrument bus
Reset
Power
HDD indicator
Speaker
Keylock
BIOS reset
Wake-on LAN header
SB-LINK header
IR-1 IrDA TX/RX header
FAN x 3
RT2 thermistor
ATX power input connector

 

External Onboard Connectors
2 x serial 1650 UART
1 x parallel EPP ECP SPP
2 x USB 1.0
PS/2 keyboard
PS/2 mouse

 

BIOS
Award Modular BIOS v4.51PG 1984-1999
PnP ACPI DMI
4/26/2000
i440BX-W977-2A69KA1JC-QR (last version produced)

 

Graphics
Gainward GeForce 4 4600ti ultra PowerPack Golden Sample Ultra/750 XP
Dual DVI, Dual VGA, Video-in & Video-out, 128MB DDR, AGP 1x, 2x, 4x
1996-2002 NVIDIA 4.25.00.28.00 GFORCE 4600 TI 128.0MB

 

Hard disk drives
3 x Western Digital 120GB HDD (IDE PATA)

 

Floppy drive
Sony 3.5 Floppy

 

Optical drives
CD-ROM PlexWriter 24/10/40A drive (IDE PATA)
DVD52X Lite-On DVD reader SOHD 16P9SV (IDE PATA)

 

Auxiliary drive
Zip-100 Parallel port model

 

Modem
Supra Express 56.6k v.90 non-win-modem (ISA)

 

Sound
SoundBlaster AWE64 Gold CT4390 + memory module CT1930 (ISA)
SoundBlaster Live! CT4760 w/breakout box (PCI)

 

Additional expansion ports
Belkin F5U220 5-port USB 2.0 card NEC chipset (PCI)
Generic VT6306 based 3-port IEEE-1394 FireWire card (PCI)

Internal 1394 - ATA Bridgeboard
FW2IDE02D (Oxford FW911plus)

 

Ethernet Network NIC
3COM Fast EtherLink XL 3C905b-TX 10/100

 

Power Supply
Antec True 550

 

Fans
4 x dual ball-bearing Vantec & no-name generic

 

Fan speed controllers
3 x Cnps FAN MATE
1 x 3-speed controller and generic fan alarm

 

Front Panel Ports
1 Stereo line-in
1 Stereo line-out
1 Microphone in
1 CD audio headset out
2 x USB 2.0
1 x IEEE-1394 FireWire
1 x Compact Flash, SD, and multi-card reader

 

Additional audio expansion ports
2 x optical SPDIF In/Out
RCA optical SPDIF In/Out
RCA Aux-In
RCA Aux-Out
MIDI In/Out
1/4" Headphone Jack
4.1 analog surround out
1/4" line in jack
3 x 1/8" line in
6 Channel AC-3 SPDIF out
2 x RCA line out

 

Gameports
Standard analog PC gameports onboard the SoundBlaster cards
2 x DA-15 connectors
Multiplexed 4 x DA-15 connector box

 

Case
Generic beige-white in-winn desktop case

Keyboard
Lenovo standard usb keyboard
KU-0225 41A5100

 

Mouse
Micro Innovations
Optical
3 button & scroll wheel

 

Monitor 1
Samsung Syncmaster T260HD
1920x1200
16:10 LCD
VGA + DVI

 

Monitor 2

Chuntex Electronics VL-950

4:3 CRT

1600x1200

VGA

 

 

Sometime in the future I would like to put in a regular BX6, no overclocking tricks and one extra ISA slot, 1 less PCI slot. I plan on dumping the SB-live card as I rarely ever used its features. I also plan on redoing the drive arrangements and use a RIO multi-drive switcher. I also want a 5.25" floppy drive in there, too. And perhaps a new case to make it easier to work on.

 

Last time I changed anything it was 2007-2008. It is one of two legacy computers. The other one, 486, I'll detail later.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious about what happens when you install MS-DOS or Windows 95 in a 2005 (or even 2021) PC. What's the point where it's not possible anymore (maybe they require an x86 processor)? Do games run too fast? Do these operating system only recognize a fraction of the actual RAM, hard disk space or CPU speed of these machines?

Edited by IntelliMission
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2005 PC should work. MS-DOS 6.22 HIMEM would handle up to 64 MB which is enough to some simple testing. More than a single core was uncommon back then so DOS has no real problem. Win98 was the typical gaming OS back then; Win95 can have problems booting with more than 256 MB installed. 

 

2021 Intel or AMD processors can still boot in 32-bit mode so MS-DOS or Win9x will just use a single core and only a small amount of memory. Unless one finds the proper patches, the smallest DDR4 RAM stick available will have more memory than Win9x can boot with. It takes a rare computer these days to have backward support that MS-DOS or Win9x can boot from. Hard drive support is limited to 2 GB FAT16 or FAT32. 

 

Freedos does have the ability to boot off CD or USB on every recent system I have tried it with if the system can boot off CD or USB. Should boot off floppy drive too if one could find a system that still has a floppy controller. Freedos has a working NTFS driver so most hard drives can be read. Some of the hard disk testing and copying tools use Freedos for operation. 

 

Patches for CPU speed can be needed though last patches for Win9x were released when 3+ GHz Pentium 4s were available. Lots of applications may need CPU speed patches. Games will run too fast but most of the modern computers make it easy to slow down the CPU in the BIOS. Seems rather silly to run a multi-core multi-GHz reduced to equivalent to a 800 MHz Pentium 3 (which is about the slowest the configurations I have tried can be forced to run) but it still can be done. 

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Minus speed issues, the PIII rig I described above does MS-DOS beautifully. With all the incumbent legacy support for ports. It's how that e-waste earns its keep. I've not tried asking anything more than 32MB ram out of it, but I'm sure it will work with 64mb or maybe more. By turning off caches I can get down to Pentium and fast 486 levels.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In storage is my work computer from the 90s. A 486 I think, with a huge sandwich of Matrox display boards. 640x480, 256 color IIRC. We wrote our own WIMP application using PharLap DOS Extender and Matrox libs for our laser-scanning microscope. Haven't powered it up in nearly 20 years.

Edited by ClausB
On second thought it is an early Pentium with the divide bug.
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Sigh* I'd love to have my old p100 computer once more, 200mmx at a max as some form of laptop due to space concerns, but I'd be picky, want a good TFT not passive and a USB port I could run a powered hub off of.  I'd even take a double clocking of the old PC I had before those to a 486dx2-66(had a 33.)  There are things I really do like from the 16bit windows era which has select few stuck in purgatory on Win95/3.xx era stuff modern OS's can't handle.  Currently I'm running DOSBox (ECE) with a Win3.XX install within so I can fire up Sim Tower and Civilization for Windows which is a real pleasure at least.

 

I recall back in the day when I hit that p100 Wing Commander started showing cracks, had to get MOSLO which stunningly still is made today by the same dude which is still for sale like what 30 years later now.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the moment, my thread's poking up close to this one, so everybody's seen mine--but that won't be the case years from now when this thread's 50 pages long, so here it is again.

 

It's a PIII running MSDOS 7.10. I think my favorite part about it is that Dell-branded Trinitron.  Given how nuts people go over PVMs, it's odd these have exactly zero buzz.

 

I call her 'Beige4Daze'

OjGyIzQm.jpg

 

 

1 hour ago, Tanooki said:

had to get MOSLO which stunningly still is made today by the same dude which is still for sale like what 30 years later now.

Coincidently, I bought my moslo deluxe just today for the 'mode 3' that's supposed to work wonders on PIII's. It also has a few nifty features like providing 5 'pc generation' presets, and being able to disable L1 cache. Unfortunately, most, if not all, of the 'deluxe' features don't play well with emm386 or protected modes, which seriously limits their usefulness for 90's titles.  Should still work a treat for the oldiest of oldies, though.

Edited by Reaperman
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 1988 IBM P70 that uses DOS 6.22.  This unit can run in two different modes.

It's IBM's highest spec P70 with the 20mhz 386, math coprocessor, 8mb of ram and 120mb hard drive.

It uses a VGA red gas plasma display, 1.44mb floppy and full size keyboard.  These were crazy specs for 1988, and more impressive is that it's a portable the size of a large briefcase.  It also has a VGA port on the back so you can use a normal color VGA monitor.

 

It has a Kingston AOX MicroMaster upgrade board using one Micro Channel slot.  That brings it up to a 486 with 64mb of ram.  That AOX board has also been upgraded with a Kingston 5x86 133mhz Turbo Chip.

 

At startup I can press O to boot to its native 386 configuration or let it boot to the AOX 5x86 configuration.

I also have another twin of this, but with a 486 75mhz CPU.

 

p70aa.jpg

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tried a bunch of the slow down programs when I got that P4 (2.4Ghz) recently, Mo'slo included, but  I can't say I was too impressed. They really struggled with really old (early Eighties) soft and also some Nineties stuff too. Then somebody pointed me to CpuSpd, a modern, free utility by some Vogons dude. It's rather powerful and I think it trumps the competition. So far I saw it can handle even the proto GW Basic games from 1982. But only just! So I'm wondering if that 2.4Ghz wouldn't be a threshold for slowing (unless it works in some other way).

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 486 hooked up to a Roland MT-32 for early Dos stuff, a Pentium 133 for windows 3.11 and later Dos stuff, a Pentium 4 for Windows 98 stuff and an IBM 5150 with a monochrome monitor for the earliest Dos stuff.  I also have a modded PCjr for Tandy graphics/sound stuff.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Reaperman said:

At the moment, my thread's poking up close to this one, so everybody's seen mine--but that won't be the case years from now when this thread's 50 pages long, so here it is again.

 

It's a PIII running MSDOS 7.10. I think my favorite part about it is that Dell-branded Trinitron.  Given how nuts people go over PVMs, it's odd these have exactly zero buzz.

 

Coincidently, I bought my moslo deluxe just today for the 'mode 3' that's supposed to work wonders on PIII's. It also has a few nifty features like providing 5 'pc generation' presets, and being able to disable L1 cache. Unfortunately, most, if not all, of the 'deluxe' features don't play well with emm386 or protected modes, which seriously limits their usefulness for 90's titles.  Should still work a treat for the oldiest of oldies, though.

And good taste in game there, Screamer!  I had that back in the day.  I've got it wishlisted on gog for when the next sale rolls around as it cuts deep but not common to come up in sales.  And I do entirely agree I wish my Neo Geo had a CRT like even those off the rack maker branded monitors did like that Dell you have there.  The level of insane sharpness, clarity, crispness basically spits in the face of your arcade/home tv level quality of vaseline glow crap for sharpness.  If they had a 25" PC monitor out there I could force into my cabinet I'd take that. :D

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My main DOS computer is a Tandy 1000 SL. It has an Intel 8086 at 8/4 MHz, 640K RAM, ms-dos 3.30, 20MB hardcard (Seagate ST-325X) and a 300/1200 modem card. Deskmate gui.

 

 

Tandy-1000SL.jpg

Edited by ed1475
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can just see the Power Mac G3 and P4 on the floor:

 

 

dos.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoever thought these beigeboxes would become nostalgic? And in some cases even sentimental..

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Turbo-Torch said:

I have a 1988 IBM P70 that uses DOS 6.22.  This unit can run in two different modes.

It's IBM's highest spec P70 with the 20mhz 386, math coprocessor, 8mb of ram and 120mb hard drive.

It uses a VGA red gas plasma display, 1.44mb floppy and full size keyboard.  These were crazy specs for 1988, and more impressive is that it's a portable the size of a large briefcase.  It also has a VGA port on the back so you can use a normal color VGA monitor.

 

It has a Kingston AOX MicroMaster upgrade board using one Micro Channel slot.  That brings it up to a 486 with 64mb of ram.  That AOX board has also been upgraded with a Kingston 5x86 133mhz Turbo Chip.

 

At startup I can press O to boot to its native 386 configuration or let it boot to the AOX 5x86 configuration.

I also have another twin of this, but with a 486 75mhz CPU.

 

p70aa.jpg

 

That. Is my single favorite one I've seen so far. VGA gas plasma? That is ridiculous. Especially with a 133mhz 5x86. That's faster than my proper, late 90s DOS laptop! I love 80s portable machines, but was always depressed at how they all had CGA, 286's, sometimes awful passive matrix LCDs, and awful keyboards. That is *the perfect* portable DOS computer, except for perhaps the Compaq Portable 486. That one had an active matrix color TFT instead of gas plasma and was capable of VGA. But that came in the 90s.

 

Does the p70 have the clicky keys or are they the rubber dome ones?

 

Man, if I had one of those, I'd probably but a SD-IDE adapter (assuming it uses IDE) or some other form of hard drive solution, get an OPL3LPT, and run some DOOM! Maybe install Windows 95, or 98SE, even. Never used a PC with a gas plasma display though; can't imagine it would be terribly good for gaming.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, bluejay said:

Man, if I had one of those, I'd probably but a SD-IDE adapter (assuming it uses IDE) or some other form of hard drive solution, get an OPL3LPT, and run some DOOM! Maybe install Windows 95, or 98SE, even. Never used a PC with a gas plasma display though; can't imagine it would be terribly good for gaming.

It uses an ESDI hard drive and the expansion slots are Micro Channel.  The plasma display is red monochrome but it's like watching a plasma TV, razor sharp contrast and no motion blur.  If you plug in a VGA monitor, you have full color and the plasma automatically turns off.

The keyboard is one of the best.  It was made by Alps and uses plate springs...nice tactile feedback and clacking noise with each key press.

 

The big downside to this system is the Micro Channel slots.  The MCA Sound Blaster or ChipChat cards are incredibly rare and expensive...like in the $1,000 range when they turn up.

 

I see TexElec has an Adlib compatible card called Resound for $60 that I'm thinking of trying. Unfortunately no game port though.  I think Doom would look bad ass on that red display.  I'm gonna have to give that at try. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...