A new version of FreeDOS was released recently. I installed it on an old 32-bit machine with floppy drives.

floppy drives

The CDROM driver (UDVD2) was hanging. It did so when

  1. trying to start the Live CD

  2. trying to start the Installer

  3. trying to boot from the Hard Disk after install

Doing the install from "floppy" (on the CD) worked, so apparently it can use the CD just fine…it's just hanging for some reason.

I replaced C:\FREEDOS\BIN\UDVD2.SYS with ATAPI.SYS from this Collection of Useful DOS Drivers. Now it boots fine. It calls the CDROM the D: drive.

Because I installed from "floppy," it was a bare bones system. But I used FDIMPLES to install lots of other packages from the Live CD and from the Bonus CD.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with a FreeDOS box, other than read floppies, but that's enough (it's the last machine in the house that has floppy drives).

One thing that allows is installing DOS programs with janky security features (reading hidden files and whatnot). For example, sometimes I play DOS games in DOSBox on my Debian machine. But some games can't just be run, they have to be installed. For example, this old NIGHT HUNTER game.


When I try to run it, it wants me to insert a floppy. I can't do that in DOSBox (though, apparently, you can in some forks).

I installed it on the hard drive of the FreeDOS machine like so

C:\> md nh
C:\> cd nh
C:\NH> b:install b

and then put each of the four floppies in when asked. Then I copied the resulting NH directory to my Debian machine and now DOSBox can run it!

NIGHT HUNTER game running in dosbox