I have an old MS-DOS computer that I am experimenting with. The computer has an AMD 80386 processor, 1664 KB of RAM, a 50 MB hard drive, and two floppy disk drives: one 3 1/2 inches, the other 5 1/4 inches.

I would like to install a C++ compiler on this computer. DJGPP seems like a viable option, and I already have some of the files copied to the hard drive. However, some of the files are too large to transfer to the machine using a 3 1/2 inch floppy disk, even when they are compressed into a .zip file. I would attempt to install the DOS machine's HD in a "modern" computer and transfer the files directly from HD to HD, but there is a program (Vertisoft's DoubleDisk v2.5) that splits the single physical disk into two drive letters, and I do not know if I would be able to access the D: drive from a computer not running the software.

Does anybody know how I might be able to transfer the large files to the MS-DOS computer? I have several 3 1/2 inch floppies, as well as some 5 1/4 inch ones. The "modern" computer mentioned above has one 3 1/2 inch floppy drive and a DVD-RW drive. I have an old CD drive that I might be able to install on the DOS computer, though I have no drivers for it and I'm not sure it would be compatible with the motherboard.

Alternatively, does anyone know of a C++ compiler that would work on this system and could easily be installed using 3 1/2 inch floppies?

8 July 2014 21:00 Update:

The last time I checked this page, I did not know which utility I could use to span the ZIP file over multiple disks - each one I found in web searches was either paid (I don't feel like spending anything to accomplish this project) or would not work on the DOS computer. Thus, I proceeded to try to install the CD-ROM drive.

Though everything seems to be installed correctly, the MS-DOS prompt never appears after the driver is loaded. To keep this question on-topic, I've asked a separate question for this specific problem. More details can be found here: Install a CD-ROM driver on MS-DOS

I think that having a CD-ROM drive installed on this computer may be helpful in the future, so I'll spend some more time trying to get that installed. However, if this turns out unsuccessful, I will take AFH's suggestion and try the COPY /B command. I never knew that that option existed, so I'll have to try it out at some point. It might make Ramhound's solution possible for me.

  • 3
    You should be able to span zip files across multiple disks. Have you tried that?
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 18:33
  • 1
    "I have an old CD drive that I might be able to install in the DOS computer, though I have no drivers for it and I'm not sure it would be compatible with the motherboard" Sounds like a plan, why not try that? Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 18:50
  • If you have a spare IDE slot for a CD, you should be able to mount a modern disc: there are cheap SATA-to-IDE adapters available. You would have to format the disc on the DOS machine, so that you do not exceed whatever size limits were imposed at the time, then copy on to it whatever files you need from a modern machine. But I'd try @Ramhound's suggestion of floppy-spanning zip files first, assuming modern zip programs still have the option to create them. If not, create a large zip, and use a file splitter to create floppy-sized chunks, then use copy /b file1 + file2 + ... to re-assemble.
    – AFH
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 19:38
  • Well the zip files would have to be create on the MSDOS system, which I assume the create archives, are still supported by their programs ( no reason they wouldn't in order to support usage during the transitional usage period.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 20:52
  • My answer to this was deleted, without clear cause. The answer's text is available on a meta post. Nobody seemed to want the answer restored, so I won't bother trying to restore the answer for possible reputation benefits. However, as I didn't receive specific negative feedback (other than an opinion of "chatty"), and I think this SuperUser question should have such text, I'm pointing people to the answer's text. (I had some info to add to what's now my non-answer, but now it just isn't worth the effort.)
    – TOOGAM
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


Maybe you could use HJSplit to transfer your files to several floppies.

I also would recommend using Borland C 3.1 compiler, fairly easy to use (I assume you are not doing anything too fancy on DOS), just google for it, it is in lots of places as bc31.rar

  • The HJSplit tool was exactly what I needed. I was able to use that, along with the UNZIP32 program that came with my copy of DJGPP, to copy all of the files to the DOS computer. The compiler and the IDE are now installed, though I get a no DPMI memory error when I attempt to open the IDE. This is only a minor setback - as long as the compiler works, I can use a different editor. Thanks for your help.
    – Kyle
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 0:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .