ARCADEOS SETUP



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The first job was obviously to format the drive so using a Partition Magic boot CD I created a single ten Gigabyte partition filling the whole disk.

Now there are three main options for installing a DOS system suitable for running M.A.M.E. on and I have tried all three;
  1. Install MS-DOS 7.10 from three floppy disks.
  2. Install a different version of DOS such as FreeDOS from a CD.
  3. Install Windows 98.
MS-DOS 7.10 installs surprisingly quickly, especially if you've ever installed MS-DOS 6.22 before, and short of a couple of questions that may catch out the unwary it is pretty seamless.

If you don't have install disks for MS-DOS then an excellent alternative is to use FreeDOS which comes in two flavours, a Base install and a Full install. The Base version will do just fine and again there are a couple of choices to make along the way but it is an easy install. What you need to be aware of is the fact that FreeDOS uses its own naming convention for certain files and folders, for example config.sys will be called fdconfig.sys and you will definitely need to edit this because by default FreeDOS has a boot menu which you don't want in your arcade cab. Other than that it is really a very good alternative.

Yes you did read it correctly, to run MS-DOS 7.10 you can install Windows 98.

Windows 98 is built on DOS and once you have installed it you can tell it not to boot into Windows but to boot into DOS instead. To do that you need to edit the file MSDOS.SYS which is in the root of drive C:\ but by default it will be hidden and read only so you will need to go into Folder Options and under the View tab tick the box to show Hidden Files and Folders and then right click on MSDOS.SYS and untick the box that makes it read only. Now open the file up in Notepad and check the following lines exist;

LOGO=0
BOOTGUI=0

Now save the file and make a new directory on C Drive called TEMP then check that the following lines appear in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file;

path=c:\windows\command;c:\windows
set tmp=c:\temp
set temp=c:\temp

Now reboot and you will boot straight into MS-DOS. If you want to boot into Windows 98 again just type the command

win

at the Command Prompt and Windows will start up.

Why go to all that extra trouble rather than just do a quick DOS install? Well, there are a couple of advantages to it actually;
  1. You can use Windows rather than typing DOS commands to copy all your M.A.M.E. files over from CD to the hard drive.
  2. You can use Notepad to edit your config files.
  3. You can defragment the drive from Windows which you can't always do in DOS if you have disabled long file name support for example.
  4. It is a more familiar environment for those not accustomed to using DOS commands.
Whichever way you choose to setup DOS on your system it will run just as well as any other so choose the one you are most comfortable with or the one you have access to.

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