Saturday, March 24, 2007

Virtual PC and DOS tips

As I previously posted, the other day I was working on creating a virtual image build of a workstation build that uses a pure DOS environment to work. No Windows GUI or drivers here.

One of the first things I had to do was to figure out how to load the correct DOS network driver so it could get to our network.

And it had to be an IPX network driver as well.

So I did the noobie thing and tracked down a DOS IP/IPX driver set for my laptop's nic card.

Only, no matter what I did in the virtual machine, I couldn't get the nic driver to initialize with the network.

DOS IPX Networking and VPC

Finally I found Virtual PC Guy had already cleared this matter up for us.

Setting up DOS IPX Networking under Virtual PC 2004 - Virtual PC Guy's Weblog

See the trick (as I learned and should have remembered) is that you need to use the nic driver for the virtual machine not for the host machine. Doh!

Fortunately VPC Guy provided the correct link for the IPX DOS drivers and then I had it networking in no-time flat.

More handy VPC Guy DOS virtual machine tips

As I was browsing his older content, I also found these useful tidbits for future reference:

Virtual PC Guy's WebLog : Tuning DOS inside of Virtual PC - Handy changes to make to tweak your DOS virtual machine's config.sys file for better memory mapping performance.

Virtual PC Guy's WebLog : Setting up a Virtual PC "DOS Application" - Suggestions on setting up a DOS virtual pc to auto-launch a DOS application at boot, and configuration of the virtual machine's Windows icon on the host system to directly launch, avoiding the Virtual PC Console user interface. Clever!

Virtual PC Guy's WebLog : Why does DOS use 100% CPU under Virtual PC? - Why a "pure" DOS application seems to suck down and use every bit of free CPU cycles it can get its grubby hands on, be it in a virtual machine or running in a window on your XP/Windows 2000 system. (I hate that!) That's one of the major reason just about all your other 32/64bit Windows applications slow down when you have to run a DOS application on your system.

--File em-away....


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