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The continuing saga of Windows 3.1 in enhanced mode on OmniBook 300
08-07-2017, 11:05 AM (This post was last modified: 08-14-2017 10:06 AM by matthiaspaul.)
Post: #9
RE: The continuing saga of Windows 3.1 in enhanced mode on OmniBook 300
(08-06-2017 12:03 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  QEMM was another pain, as Optimize usually ended up with awful and/or non-working configs.
I see. I always configured systems manually.
Quote:Haven't experimented with DR-DOS yet. MS-DOS 6.20 is the easiest to get installed without a floppy drive, since you can just FORMAT /S a new card, and copy over the DOS directory from 6.20 installed in a VM.
If you manage to make the DR-DOS 7.03 SYS.COM, IBMBIO.COM, IBMDOS.COM and COMMAND.COM files accessible from your MS-DOS system on the Omnibook (for example, by copying them to a C:\DRDOS\ directory on the CF drive on a PC), you could then try:


from the MS-DOS prompt on the OB300 to make drive C: DR-DOS-bootable using the files located in C:\DRDOS. (IIRC, the 7.03 SYS was already enabled to run under other systems (although with somewhat limited functionality possibly requiring some tweaking), however, if it doesn't, I could provide a much advanced 7.07 SYS which does for sure.)

The same method could be used running the DR-DOS SYS in the MS-DOS emulator under the Windows NT family if the target drive can be "locked" for the emulator by Windows, so that direct disk write access to that volume's boot sector from inside of the emulator becomes possible (this is typically not necessary for drive A: or B: - but I take it that you don't have these drives under Windows any more).

Or, if you'd manage to make the CF visible to a running DR-DOS VM on the PC (but not necessarily as boot drive A: or C: ), you could use the DR-DOS SYS to transfer the system to the CF. Again, you'd need to allow direct disk write access to the boot sector of the CF from the VM somehow.

Alternatively, if the C: CF drive is visible at BIOS INT 13h level on the OB300, you could also use the DR-DOS 7.03 FDISK.COM to prepare the C: drive - the DR-DOS FDISK does not only partition a disk, but can also format the freshly created volumes and initialize their boot sectors in one go, so there's no risk to accidently mess up the wrong volume and no need for FORMAT /S or SYS. Afterwards, you could just copy over the remaining DR-DOS files, including the system files. It is important to know that, in contrast to MS-DOS/PC DOS, DR-DOS has "smart" boot sectors which will actually "mount" the file-system to search for and load the system files in the root directory instead of expecting them to be placed at a certain location. Physically, the system files can be located anywhere and also can be fragmented. So, as soon as you find some way to replace the MS-DOS boot sector on the boot drive by a DR-DOS one, you've won.

If the CF drive is not visible on INT 13h level, you could use DEBUG to copy over the volume's logically first sector save the BPB (volume C: is logical drive 2 on DOS level). You'd just need a boot sector file for this, which you should be able to extract from a running DR-DOS VM on a PC using DEBUG as well. For this, the VM would need to grant read access to the VM boot drive's boot sector.

If the problem is getting the DR-DOS files off the DR-DOS distribution disk images, the normal way to use them is through the DR-DOS DISKCOPY or MAKEDISK utilities (which can also work with image files), but the images should be mountable by most third-party image mount utilities as well - they are just normal raw disk images with a short binary footer attached to them containing some extra data for DISKCOPY (which is (and should be) ignored by most other image mounters). In the worst case, this footer would have to be stripped off so that the files match the standard floppy image file sizes exactly in order to be recognized by raw image file mounters.
Quote:I'm sure the answer is "horribly", but has anybody seen how Win 95 runs on a 386 OmniBook with 8 MB RAM? Wink
Putting memory requirements aside, Windows 4.0 does no longer support Standard mode, so if you can't get Enhanced mode to work properly with Windows 3.1x already, there's little point trying to use Windows 4.0...
Also, MS-DOS 7.0 consumes significantly more resident memory than prior versions for features offering no advantage on the OB300.

If you want a Windows 95 look-and-feel, you could try PC/GEOS (actually New Deal Office or Breadbox Ensemble), which will run fast on a 386 with 8 MB, look a lot like Windows 95 by default, and come with a set of quite powerful office applications. Optionally you could even use it as a GUI for the DR-DOS task switcher or multitasker as well.



PS: I'm somewhat reluctant to go into better details, as I'm not sure this is the right forum for this topic. Wouldn't it be better to move this thread into the "Not quite HP Calculators - but related" sub-forum?

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RE: The continuing saga of Windows 3.1 in enhanced mode on OmniBook 300 - matthiaspaul - 08-07-2017 11:05 AM

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