I am running VMware Player 6 (as far as I understand, the last version of VMware player that can run on Win32) on Windows 7 32-bits.

I think I managed to successfully create a virtual machine and install MS-DOS 6.22 on it.

Here are the two screenshots of what I see when I power on the virtual machine (first is BIOS which I configured to last for 5 seconds, second when it finally load the os and goes to C:)

bios-and-state image

I would like to play a video game on the virtual machine (my point here is to learn about virtual machines, not playing the video game, since I already manage to play the video game using DosBox). The video game comes as a folder with a bunch of .bat/.com/.exe and other files. I created an iso image of the folder using Alcohol 120%.

If I look at the virtual machine settings before starting it, I see

settings image

In particular "Connected" is grayed out. I don't know why and I don't know whether that is supposed to be so or not. However, note that the option "Use ISO file" is selected and it points to the path of the ISO file I created.

The issue is that I don't know how to make the virtual machine read my iso image.

If I try and type "a:" in the virtual machine shell I get "Not ready reading drive a:"

If I try and type "b:", it tells me "Insert diskette for drive b: and press a key when ready". At that point (since I think a disk should be there already, given the settings) I press a key, but then I get "Not ready reading drive b:".

The first thing I would conjecture is that that virtual machine cannot read from the virtual cd-rom. But if so, how come I managed to install the operating system by somehow booting from the cd-rom?

The other thing that comes to my mind is that maybe my iso file uses NTFS and my guest os cannot read it? But if so, I would guess the problem would occur a bit later in the process..

I am completely stuck: if I were just by myself, I would give up andstop here. Any help is much appreciated!

EDIT: As requested by Hennes, I attach the content of config and autoexec. config and autoexec

  • MS-DOS 6.22 needs drivers to access a CDROM drive. Please add your config.sys and autoexec.bat files. (We're looking for entries such as DEVICE=CDROM_DRV.SYS /D:MSCD001 in config.sys and MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD001 in autoexec.bat). – Hennes Mar 16 '16 at 8:49
  • Regarding: my iso file uses NTFS and my guest os cannot read it? No. Your iso file uses ISO9660. And the host (and vmware-player on the host) can read NTFS just fine. And it is translating that to virtual physical hardware for your guest OS. – Hennes Mar 16 '16 at 8:52
  • Thanks a lot. What should I do? I guess if I naively type autoexec.bat it will execute it, right? – Giulio Mar 16 '16 at 8:59
  • When MSDOS boots in your guest it loads config.sys (which may contain drivers), followed by autoexec.bat (which may set the path, echo, or do things with drivers loaded in config.sys. E.g. assign a drive letter to a CDROM). So boot the guest OS and check if it has these two system files. If it has them then add the contents to the post. If they do nto have them then also add that. – Hennes Mar 16 '16 at 9:10
  • I mean.. those files are in my c: drive. If I do dir, they both show up. The thing is that I dont know how to show them to you. Btw, I followed this youTube video youtube.com/watch?v=IwxoSnWsMdk to install MS-DOS. – Giulio Mar 16 '16 at 9:16

You succesfully assigned a CD drive in the guest. That means that DOS thinks it sees a hardware CD drive. But DOS is from an era from before CDROMs and when memory was scarce, so it does not load the needed drivers by default.

To use the CD drive you will need to

  1. Edit (or create) a config.sys file and add a device driver line.
    The device = loads a device driver. And in the case of this specific driver /D: assigns it a name.
  2. Edit (or create) autoexec.bat so that it uses this driver and gives you a drive letter. The command you use is mscdex, refer to the same handle/name (e.g. MSCD001) and specify the drive letter which you want to use with /l:letter_here.

You might also need to add a lastdrive=z or similar. (Limiting this to lewer available drives save a few more bytes of memory).

And just to be complete: The OS in the guest thinks that it has hardware. It is not concerned with the host filesystem or rights. Just as long as your virtualisation software can read the iso file all should be fine.

  • Thx a lot again! I accepted, but it does not let me upvote.. – Giulio Mar 29 '16 at 22:27

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