[vcf-midatlantic] Help with installing 1980s DOS program

Glenn Roberts glenn.f.roberts at gmail.com
Mon May 13 20:45:31 EDT 2019


It looks like there's a separate install batch file already set up for installing from floppy to hard drive - back then "XT" meant a PC XT or clone (i.e. hard drive system).  perhaps try INSTALLXT.BAT (which calls I0XT.BAT).  you may have to tweak the batch file to get it to work but perhaps not...

- Glenn



> -----Original Message-----
> From: vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic-bounces at lists.vcfed.org> On Behalf
> Of Evan Koblentz via vcf-midatlantic
> Sent: Monday, May 13, 2019 7:30 PM
> To: vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org>
> Cc: Evan Koblentz <evan at vcfed.org>
> Subject: [vcf-midatlantic] Help with installing 1980s DOS program
> 
> Someone posted on my local Facebook town page in need of ordinary PC
> support. I replied because that stuff is usually quite easy to fix -- easy/quick
> cash on the side, or so I thought!!
> 
> Turns out it's an elderly attorney running a mid-1980s DOS version of Leading
> Edge Word Processor installed on Windows XP. Seriously?????
> 
> The problem was it keeps giving him an error message about unable to read
> drive a: (3.5") even when he's not trying to use that drive. The error pops up
> randomly and prevents him from continuing to use the program. I confirmed
> that the drive reads/writes fine.
> 
> Rather than trying to chase down an inconsistent bug, he asked me if he can
> dump Windows and just run the program under straight DOS. Okay, sure. I
> figured it would be fun to do this even if the guy wasn't paying me. After all,
> if I don't promote semi-vintage computing then who will? :)
> 
> I downloaded DOS 6.22 at home and put the image files onto disks via a USB
> floppy drive. Went to install that on an old PC that I happened to have, and it
> gave errors about lack of memory space when I ran setup, which is bizarre
> but whatever .... I downloaded version 5.0 instead and that installed without
> any trouble (not counting one damaged disk; I used another disk and it
> worked that time).
> 
> So now I've got a bare-metal DOS 5.0 installation on an older PC for this guy.
> His son pointed me to the word processor program at an abandonware site (I
> put a copy of the files at http://snarc.net/lewp/ if anybody wants to play
> along at home). I copied the files onto a disk via DOSbox (thanks to Dean for
> the tip to use emulation there!). The files read/write fine on the DOS
> computer.
> 
> Currently I'm stumped at how to install this program on the computer. I
> copied them all into the same directory structure on the DOS computer.
> The install.bat file requires a second floppy drive, which I don't have but I am
> getting one tomorrow. (Local FB marketplace seller has another external USB
> floppy drive for eight bucks.)
> 
> I have two questions:
> 
> 1. Is there a way around needing a second drive?
> 
> 2. If the second drive is required, is it even the correct procedure to just run
> the install.bat or must I do something else to install the program?




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