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Next Install MS-DOS 7.10 in this Windows Vista Dual-Boot

Last reviewed: June 2013

October 2013: This is the new location for this page on this site. Please update your link or bookmark.

Caution: You must have selected and then completed the first page before continuing here.

Now Install MS-DOS 7.10 and Dual-Boot with the installed Windows Vista

Installing MS-DOS 7.10 on the previously prepared FAT32 Primary partition on the first hard disk does not make any changes to Windows Vista which will continue to boot normally - the NTFS drives are totally ignored.

If you don't have a floppy drive, download win98se_bootdisk.iso and use Windows Vista to create the MS-DOS 7.10 bootable CD (in Windows Explorer, right-click the win98se_bootdisk.iso file and select Burn disk image). It pretends it's a floppy!

  1. Bootup from a Win98SE boot floppy or from a Win98SE or MS-DOS 7.10 bootable CD/Flash drive.
    • At the Prompt, type these commands and press Enter after each. Note the space before each /A.
      DIR C: /A    to prove C is the correct drive
      SYS C:    to create MS-DOS 7.10 boot sector and boot files for C:
      DIR C: /A    to show the new boot files on C:
      - sys c: creates a DOS boot sector for the doos partition and installs a very basic MS-DOS 7.10.
    • Remove the floppy or CD/Flash drive.
  2. Restart computer (CTRL-ALT-Del). Windows Vista will bootup normally (the Active flag has not been moved).
    Next use EasyBCD to add the MS-DOS 7.10 boot option to the Windows Vista boot loader menu.
  3. With Windows Vista booted,
    Install/Run EasyBCD (click Yes for "User Account Control").
    • Select Add New Entry in the left pane.
    • Select the Windows tab in the upper right pane.
      • In Type drop-down, select Windows 95/98/ME (not MS-DOS 6.x).
      • In Name, rename "Microsoft Windows 9x" to MS-DOS 710.
      • In Drive, you'll see it is "Automatically configured". That's correct.
      • Click the Add Entry button in the same pane.
      • Optional: You can now modify the timeout of the boot loader menu
        - click the Edit Boot Menu (left pane) and set the Boot default OS after to about 5 seconds.
        Optional: You can also change the OS to boot by default. Click Save settings when finished.
    • Exit EasyBCD.
    Restart computer. See if MS-DOS 7.10 will boot from the boot menu.
  4. Skip this part if MS-DOS 7.10 does start from the boot menu.
    If DOS does not boot, you should copy MS-DOS boot files to the Active drive.
    • In Win8, press Win+X keys > Disk Management and identify the Active drive on the correct hard disk.
      If this Active drive has no drive letter, then add one (right-click the drive > Change drive letters and ... > Add)
    • In Windows Explorer, make hidden files and folders on your computer visible to you (read how).
    • Copy Io.sys from root of the DOS drive to root of the Active drive.
    • Remove that new drive letter now if you added one. Also undo the 'hidden' changes you made.

    Note: An alternative method is to use EasyBCD to copy the Windows Vista boot files and Boot folder to the DOS drive and then make the DOS drive the Active boot drive (click BCD Backup/Repair, select Change boot drive and click Perform Action, select the drive letter currently allocated to the doos drive, click OK).

    Restart computer. Both Windows Vista and MS-DOS 7.10 should now boot from the boot loader menu.

  5. Add the rest of the MS-DOS 7.10 files at your leisure using the same file versions.
    Add/Edit Config.sys, Autoexec.bat, and perhaps Msdos.sys, to suit your own requirements.

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Repair Windows Vista 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 Vista will boot again if you execute the following procedure.

  1. Bootup from the Windows installation DVD or even from NeoSmart's free Windows Vista System Recovery Disk.
    It must be a 64-bit version if a 64-bit Windows is installed.
    • Press a key when you see Press any key to boot from a CD or DVD.
    • Select your Language and then Time....
    • Select Repair your computer (bottom left of the Install now screen).
      An automatic check of your system will run.
    • Click Repair and restart
      Windows Vista should boot normally (very likely). If not, continue here.
  2. Bootup from the Windows Vista installation DVD again
    • Select Repair your computer again.
    • In System Recovery Options, select Windows Vista, and click Next.
    • Click Startup Repair.
    • Click Finish when it's complete, and then Restart.
    • You must let CheckDisk run if requested.
      Windows Vista should boot normally.

If still stuck for a solution, boot again from the installation DVD, select Repair your computer, highlight Windows Vista, 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:
bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
bootrec /RebuildBcd
X:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 C:
  (where X: is your DVD drive letter, and C: is the installation drive for Windows Vista).
EXIT, and click Restart. Remove the DVD.

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