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Motherboards, processors and Dos

  1. May 29, 2012 #1
    I would like to buy a PC which is faster then my Pentium I,II, but can work under Dos 6.22.
    I have been told that a 32-bit pentium IV motherboard and processor could not be run under dos, is that true?
    If it is, can you tell me the fastest processor I can possibly use?
    Thanks a lot
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Wow - why?!

    Guessing you have a mission-critical DOS program? Or is this just for fun?

    Anyway - my experience is that this is correct.
    I've known people to run DOS on P III machines.
  4. May 29, 2012 #3
    It is very serious, I have thousand of precious files under oracle6 database that runs only with dos, and I have been told that it is to late to try to recover them with windows systems. I'd like to work on a faster PC.

    - I have a pentium II family 6 (I suppose it is called a Celeron , but I am not sure) 32-bit which runs both with windows 98 and dos.
    - If you are sure that any pentium III is good I can manage to buy one as long as they are avalaible on the web.
    Can you give some more details? Is any 32-bit processor good ?

    Thanks a lot, Simon
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  5. May 29, 2012 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    It's been too long ago for me to know details.
    If you google pentium III with dos you'll get a bunch of howtos.

    Naturally you will want to migrate the database and you'll accept a below optimum access method to do this considering the importance of the data?

    I have done sweet fa with oracle db.
    However, I have seen that it is possible to interact with a legacy oracle db using perl...

    That's on a shallow perusal of course. Migrating legacy dbs tends to be expensive, which is why it is so useful to use one that uses open/published formats. I had hoped oracle had published their legacy db but didn't find it.
  6. May 29, 2012 #5
    Thanks, Simon, for your help. I know nothing of hardware, but What I unterstood in a nutshell is that I waste my money if I buy a Pentium IV, and I have good chances of succeding if I buy a Pentium III.
    As they are avalaible from £100, I'll take a chance and risk that much.
    If anyone can add any detail, I'll appreciate that
  7. May 29, 2012 #6


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    All pentiums boot up into real mode, so I'm not sure why this is an issue for MSDOS 6.22. You may have a problem finding MSDOS drivers for newer hardware. A lot of motherboards have dropped support for floppy disks, and that could be an issue when trying to install MSDOS. The other issue is if the motherboard support IDE emulation mode for SATA hard drives.

    As an alternative, you could consider running MSDOS under virtual PC, but transferring files between virtual pc and your main operating system requires you also install the virtual PC additions, and enable folder sharing.
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  8. May 29, 2012 #7
    i would suggest using a virtual machine as well. You can use up to date hardware and run DOS virtualized. You will have all the speed but none of the hassle of hardware compatibility. I prefer using VMWare player over Microsoft's virtual PC
  9. May 29, 2012 #8
    Hi, rcgldr, that is not a problem as I happen to have Dos on a CD, the problem is the driver to the motherboard. Could you, please, explain what is a virtual PC?
  10. May 29, 2012 #9
    Microsoft Virtual PC
    VMWare Player

    Virtual PC and VMWare player are programs that you can install on your system which create a virtual machine completely isolated from your host system which behaves like an independent computer. Depending on what settings you use when you create the VM you can set it up to work with Linux, Mac, Windows, DOS, etc.

    This allows you to test new software in a safe isolated environment without affecting your whole system and in your case, allow you to run really old software on a new computer where drivers for the new hardware may not be available.

    You can build a new computer with windows 7 for example, install VMWare player and create a virtual machine configured to run MSDOS. Then install DOS on that virtual machine, install Oracle 6 on this VM and run it as if you had a brand new computer to run DOS. The good part is that the processor can be top of the line giving you a significant improvement in database performance. You can bridge this VM directly to your network allowing remote access to the database as well.
  11. May 29, 2012 #10


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    Note that Virtual PC and VMWare each emulate a specific set of hardware, and they include drivers for devices like cd-roms for that emulated hardware. (A generic driver for cd-rom should also work).
  12. May 30, 2012 #11
    That's great news! Before I download one, tellme : can I install them both?
    I couldn't install vmware, and Microsoft said I must upgrade to Professional or Ultimate 7
    which do you recommend?
    Thank you both, Routaran and rcgldr, you have saved my life! Of course I need to find an expert to help me.
    Could you give some advice on which motherboard to buy? I've been told that 3,2 GHz pentium IV have faulty cooling system, is that true?

    But probably I have the inverse problem now, can a Pentium IV motherbord support windows7 Professional?
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  13. May 30, 2012 #12
    I'm a little surprised that vmware player wouldn't install. What exactly was the issue?

    My personal preference is vmware player.

    In most cases, if your system can run windows xp, it should be able to run windows 7 (with the fancy stuff turned off) I would recommend that you look up your motherboard specs and install the max amount of memory you can (4gb for 32bit systems) to ensure windows 7 will run as smooth as possible.

    As for the stock cooling on a P4 chip, i honestly cannot remember. its been a while since i played with that series of intel chips. As long as there's good thermal contact between the chip and the heat sink and the fan works, it should be fine. The chip wont be under full load so will not generate very much heat. I seriously doubt if this will be an issue for you.

    That said, if you are building a new system, you want to build a newer system than one running a P4 chip. Windows will run better and your DOS VM will run even faster.

    I prefer buying my hardware from newegg. For P4 chips and mobo's i would suggest socket 775, they were newest in the P4 line and spare parts wont be as big a problem. But if you get a new AMD AM3 chip or an Intel 1155 chip, you will have a computer that will last you several more years and spare parts shouldnt be a problem.
  14. May 30, 2012 #13


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    Depends on how old the motherboard is, and the drivers available for the motherboard. For an older motherboard, you may find drivers for Windows XP, but not Windows 7, and vice versa for a newer motherboard.

    There are drivers for both Windows XP and Windows 7 for the Intel DP67BG motherboard, but you'll have to download some of the Windows XP drivers (the Windows 7 drivers should be included on a cd-rom that's included with the motherboard). The DP67BG doesn't have a floppy controller, but it does support some USB floppy drives in it's BIOS.
  15. May 30, 2012 #14
    I have to register, but the registration window doesn't work
    I do have windows7 already installed, but They asked me to upgrade it to Professional or Ultimate windows7, which should I choose?

    Sure, if I can run a virtual PC, the newer the faster, the better
    I was trying on ebay and amazon, but I'll try there.
  16. May 30, 2012 #15
    On my laptop (Sony VAIO) I have windows7 home premium, but could not install the Virtual PC.

    I read on wiki that most Pentium IV are 32-bit (from Xeon 64) systems, dont' you think it should recognize DOS? My 32-bit PII celeron does.
  17. May 30, 2012 #16
    You may be missing certain updates. Install the latest version of java or try registering from a different computer.
    Professional. Its cheaper.
    The problem isnt so much the computer recognizing dos, its dos having the correct drivers to communicate with the hardware on the computer. the newer the computer the less likely it is for an old OS like dos to be able to work. just because they are 32 bit doesn't mean it will work. There are significant differences from the original intel 386 to the new 32bit chips. The further away you get from the original, the less compatibility there is.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  18. May 31, 2012 #17
    Thank you, :smile: ,you have been very helpful
  19. Jun 2, 2012 #18


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    The processor isn't the issue, they all boot up in real 16 bit mode. Peripherals that are accessed via the BIOS (INT calls) should not be an issue for DOS either. The main issue would be the cd-rom driver if the BIOS does not support IDE emulation (for it's SATA ports). Virtual PC includes a cd-rom driver for DOS, and I assume VMWare would include one as well. Virtual PC also includes emulation of a sound card, I don't know about VMWare.
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