With the help of some original MS-DOS ® files combined with the free software File Maven of Kent Briggs, it is possible to put together a relatively complete operating system on one floppy disk. With this, even a thoroughly crashed PC can be made to run again - even one with a completely bare hard disk.
The computer then runs on the floppy disk.
For this, the boot sequence in the BIOS must be set to start from A:, and one should have tried it out a few times before.
You can even write or edit simple texts, running on the floppy disk but saved to the hard disk, and who knows? maybe even print them.
NOTE: The MiniSystem runs on DOS. All software spoken about here, therefore, must necessarily be for DOS.
The system starts and runs on the floppy disk alone; it can, however, switch to an accessible hard disk, i. e. one can change to the C:\ directory while the system is running.
CD-ROM drives, however, are not accessed. For this, you need the MSCDEX.EXE ( see below ) and your specific or a general DOS CDROM driver ( such as AOATAPI.SYS; you may find these files on installation disks of CDROM drives ); put both on the floppy disk and note them in the autoexec.bat and config.sys. Copy all of this onto the hard disk via File Maven ( or leave it on the floppy if you have enough space there ) and it usually works.
But, anyway, should this be necessary, one should get an emergency diskette
from a Windows system elsewhere and look if Windows is still
available on the hard disk at all. This isn't always the case...
Some cleaners clean a bit too thoroughly.
It is, however, possible to re-copy Windows 9x off another PC or laptop via FILE MAVEN, even to access that one's CD-ROM drive, with the help of this MiniSystem and a special transmitting cable ( laplink-cable ), and so install it right onto the defunct PC; though this only in the 8.3 short file names format, which is usually enough for starters. If you want one to avoid this reduction you should pack files with long names into a ZIP - archive before transmitting them.
For reasons of copyright and transmission volume no MS-DOS files will be distributed here. In addition, it may even be possible by adaptation to the own operating system to expand the spectrum of application beyond Windows 9x. Trying things out is everything.
If one also puts the packers PKZip and PKUNZip from PKWARE for DOS (!) into the DOS - path ( here: A:\ ) then File Maven can not only open and view files in a ZIP - Archive, but can also pack and unpack them.
The prerequisite for use as a rescue system would be:
I. DOS - Files you would need to put on the floppy disk (taken from C:\):
AUTOEXEC.BAT very important CONFIG.SYS very important
- preferably stripped down to basics:
---- AUTOEXEC.BAT mode con cp prepare=((850) ega.cpi) mode con cp select=850 keyb gr,,keyboard.sys REM optional for cdrom mscdex.exe /d:idecd000 REM needs to be found there REM optional PATH=A:\ MKDIR C:\TEMP @ECHO OFF SET TEMP=C:\TEMP SET TMP=C:\TEMP ECHO. ECHO Beware! Not Windows was loaded, but DOS. ECHO. ECHO Momentary configuration: SET ECHO. ECHO. ECHO To copy files: type 'FM' ECHO Do not perform scans in File Maven. ECHO. ---- CONFIG.SYS device=display.sys con=(ega,,1) country=049,850,country.sys REM your country REM optional buffers=20 files=60 device=himem.sys dos=high, umb REM optional for cdrom device=aoatapi.sys /d:idecd000 /q REM needs to be found there ----
And then two hidden!! Files:
IO.SYS very important MSDOS.SYS very important
Files to be extracted from the running Windows 9x system from the directories C:\Windows\Command or C:\Windows\DOS:
ANSI.SYS important ATTRIB.EXE important COMMAND.COM important COUNTRY.SYS important DISPLAY.SYS important EDIT.COM important EDIT.HLP important KEYB.COM important KEYBOARD.SYS important KEYBRD2.SYS important MODE.COM important MORE.COM important MOVE.EXE important NLSFUNC.EXE important SYS.COM important EGA.CPI important HELP.COM optional TREE.COM optional DELTREE.EXE optional HIMEM.SYS optional MSCDEX.EXE optional - to run the CD-ROM Plus driver ( see above ) MSD.EXE optional - MS Diagnose [ Reports on installed Soft- and Hardware ] To be found in MS-DOS 6.22; a higher version on the Win98SE-CD in tools\oldmsdos SCANDISK.EXE optional FDISK.EXE optional FORMAT.COM optional PKZIP.EXE optional PKUNZIP.EXE optional PKUNZJR.COM optional XCOPY.EXE optional XCOPY32.EXE optional XCOPY32.MOD optional
( must be installed on both systems for file transmissions )
FM.CFG FM.EXE FM.HLP FM3.EXE FMARC.EXE FMAVEN.EXE FMHOST.EXE README.TXT
These are 8 file(s) / 369. 366 bytes
No file manager need be bigger.
The freeware FILE MAVEN copies and moves files within a computer and between two computers in the DOS box even if one computer has Windows 3x running and on the other one Windows 9x; but it cannot transfer any long file names even within Windows 9x itself.
You can find the required DOS files, and more, at
Elmü on the
Download the Universal Boot Disk
© 2008 JHR.