DOS 5 weirdness

Open discussion for anything computer related

DOS 5 weirdness

Postby Vorticon » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:53 pm

Hi.
I recently saved a battered 386 desktop machine from the dumpster and have been rebuilding it. I installed IBM DOS 5.0, Win 3.1 and the drivers for a generic ISA sound card. The machine has 640K of base memory and 3megs RAM of extended. Everything is working perfectly, except for some of the DOS applications.
For example, trying to run EDIT, BASICA or QBASIC simply hangs the system. DOSSHELL works just fine and the core commands like DIR, FORMAT and such have no issues.
I have never encountered this kind of issue before and I am totally baffled.
I tried various iterations of the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS, disabling the sound card and mouse drivers, changing the FILES limit etc... without effect.
DOS gaming software seems to install and run normally.
Has anyone here encountered something similar in the past?
Vorticon
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:25 am

Re: DOS 5 weirdness

Postby Brutman » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:08 pm

Run a memory tester. There is a reason why the machine was discarded. ;-0
Brutman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: DOS 5 weirdness

Postby Vorticon » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:27 pm

I tried running Memtest86+ and all it does is reboot the system.
The motherboard on that computer has discreet socketed memory chips rather than the DIMMs, so replacing the memory is not an easy option.
I think I's just going to replace the entire motherboard with a 486 one and hopefully my problem will go away.
Vorticon
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:25 am

Re: DOS 5 weirdness

Postby Brutman » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:50 pm

Try another memory test program before you sacrifice the motherboard to the bit bucket, but yes, it's a bad sign if that won't run.

Look for one of the older programs like Ramtest; you used to be able to find these programs on the old FTP sites like SIMTEL.NET. Any old BBS shareware archive will have a selection to choose from.
Brutman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: DOS 5 weirdness

Postby Vorticon » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:58 pm

Tried Ramtest, and it hangs the system on Pass 1. I think you're right about the system memory being bad.
I guess I gave that board a good shot, but it's time to put it out of its misery...
Vorticon
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:25 am

Re: DOS 5 weirdness

Postby Trixter » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:26 pm

I don't think the board is bad. Rather, maybe it is the hard drive that is bad. You said yourself some games install and run correctly.

Try CHECKIT as a memory tester.
You're all insane and trying to steal my magic bag!
Trixter
 
Posts: 506
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: DOS 5 weirdness

Postby Vorticon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:53 am

Actually everything installs and runs correctly, including Win 3.1. It's just the DOS applications supplied with IBM DOS 5.0 that are giving me trouble, excluding DOSSHELL. When trying Memtest or Ramtest, I am doing so from a bootable floppy, so the hard drive is not in the loop, and they still hang.
I'll try CHECKIT and see if I have better luck with it. I'm also going to use a known working copy of EDIT (from my PCjr) in case there has been some corruption in the DOS files.
Vorticon
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:25 am

Re: DOS 5 weirdness

Postby Vorticon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:06 am

So I transferred all my DOS 5.0 system programs from the PCJr to the 386 PC, and now everything is working as it should... I also downloaded BASICA 3.0 from the internet and that works fine as well. So it looks like that either the original IBM DOS files got corrupted somehow (unlikely) or IBM DOS is having some difficulties with the hardware given that it's a clone. The motherboard is a not the standard AT board, but rather looks very proprietary. I can't seem to find a manufacturer's name on it either. The memory test programs are all having issues running on it still though but the general function is fine. It had an alkaline 4.5V CMOS backup battery pack that was dead, and I replaced that with 3 AA alkaline batteries in a holder without problems.
So I suppose the system got a last minute pardon :) Just need to add an internal CDROM drive then I'll button it up.
Vorticon
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:25 am

Re: DOS 5 weirdness

Postby Vorticon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:45 pm

Is there any significant advantage to installing DOS 6.22 over DOS 5.0? I found install disks for the former...
Vorticon
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:25 am

Re: DOS 5 weirdness

Postby Trixter » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:45 pm

The built-in utilities (mem.exe, etc.) are slightly better in 6.x than 5.x. Then again, 5.x takes up less space (the extra stuff in 6.x is mostly of benefit to 286+ systems). So it's a matter of preference. I run PC DOS 2000 (IBM PC DOS 7.0, essentially) on mine.
You're all insane and trying to steal my magic bag!
Trixter
 
Posts: 506
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Illinois, USA


Return to General Computer Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron