FreeDOS flashdrive experiment

DOS specific questions.
dasyar
Posts: 362
Joined: Dec 04, 2008 15:31

FreeDOS flashdrive experiment

Postby dasyar » Apr 13, 2019 13:37

Back, in the beginning of time, you basically had a PC unit which consisted of a CRT, the PC, and keyboard. The PC had one floppy drive, in most cases. After you installed MS-DOS, you could put in a blank floppy, do 'format A: /S', and you would have a bootable floppy disk. Now, you could take that floppy, go to another computer, insert the floppy, start up the PC, and you would have a "functional" PC unit, loosely speaking.

I was thinking, could you do a similar thing, with todays equipment, instead of a floppy, using a flash drive instead. I used rufus to create a flash drive with FreeDOS 1.2 on it. I have two computers for this experiment, and both have a UEFI BIOS. Neither one of the computers will do a straight forward boot up. The one computer, you have to the boot menu, which shows the flash drive, as a selection, choose that, and go forward. Yes, the computer starts up with FreeDOS working. The other computer UEFI does not show or allow you to boot from the inserted flash drive.

In this scenario I do have FreeBasic installed on the flash drive, you also have to have a config.sys that sets up the expanded memory, in order to be able to run FreeBasic. So far this seems to be working quite well, except for the initial boot sequence. I am still not sure how I can make the flash drive instantly bootable, in each and every computer.

The flash drive contains just about everything you can think of that is available with FreeDOS. Some preliminary test programs using FreeBasic, seem to be working as expected. One of the reasons that I created this is because I was trying to get a hassle free way, inserting a flash drive in a computer and maybe doing an fdisk command to free up a hard drive.
marcov
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Joined: Jun 16, 2005 9:45
Location: Eindhoven, NL
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Re: FreeDOS flashdrive experiment

Postby marcov » Apr 15, 2019 8:32

Afaik most UEFI systems come with "secure boot" enabled that doesn't allow them to boot unsigned files. This to kill such external bootdisks as virus source. (Note: I don't say I agree with that, but that is the justification).

In most systems you can turn this off in the UEFI firmware, and add external USB drives to the bootup list.

p.s. there was a lot of trouble in ye old days too, not everything was as simple as reliable as you describe it.

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