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

Dean Notarnicola dnotarnicola at gmail.com
Mon May 13 21:19:14 EDT 2019


I installed this on virtualbox today. Couldn't figure a way around the two
drive requirement.
I needed to setup two virtual drives; a blank disk in B: and the install
disk in A:
Ran install.bat and it installed to the blank floppy (it asks for a DOS
system diskette to make the finished disk bootable.) This creates the
working diskette.
I didn't take the last step to copy the working disk to a directory on C:
and run it from there, but I imagine it would work. You would want to copy
the spell check disk to its own directory on C: and add a SUBST command to
autoexec.bat to assign drive B: to the spell check path on the hard drive.
This would eliminate the need for a second floppy drive to run spell check.


On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 8:52 PM Evan Koblentz via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> >> 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...
>
> Forgot to mention that I did try this. It says "Invalid number of
> parameters" -- what the heck does that mean?
>
> On Mon, May 13, 2019, 8:45 PM Glenn Roberts <glenn.f.roberts at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > 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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