DOS Troubleshooting

ms dos

Conventional Memory

Running an MS-DOS game on your Windows 95/98 operating system can sometimes be tricky. One major cause of the game freezing or locking up is a lack of Conventional Memory. Most of Accolade’s DOS games require that your computer has at least 580k Free Conventional Memory. You can easily check how much your computer has.

  1. Go to your Start menu, then Programs, and click on the MS-DOS Prompt.
  2. This will open a window of DOS on your Desktop with the command line reading C:\windows>. Type mem and hit the Enter key.
  3. You will see a chart of how your memory is broken down in your computer.

Check the top row to see how much FREE Conventional Memory you have. If you have under 580k free, chances are you must use a boot disk with this game. You can download a Boot Disk Maker from our Downloads & Patches section or the DOS Files section below. This software will instruct you on making a boot disk. You will need a blank 3.5″ floppy disk.

DOS Hardware Drivers

In order for your game to work properly in DOS, your computer must be equipped with DOS DRIVERS for your sound card, mouse and CD ROM drive. Many new Windows 95/98 computers do not have DOS Drivers pre-installed. This is the responsibility of your computer manufacturer/vendor to supply you with those drivers. You can also check out our Links section to aid you in finding DOS drivers.

MWAVE sound card users

IBM MWAVE sound cards will not detect in our old setsound utility configurations. In order to setsound with the utility, either start a MS-DOS Prompt or restart the computer in MS-DOS mode. In DOS the user must type MWAVE ON or just MWAVE (depending on the card) at the C:\> prompt. This calls up some sort of emulation program. To determine whether it worked, the cursor should have turned to a flashing block for a couple of seconds. Once this is complete, you should be able to setsound with the MWAVE card.

VESA Drivers

If the graphics are scrunched or distorted in any way, you may need to have a VESA driver loaded into memory before running the game in order for the graphics to display properly. Your best bet is to contact your video card’s manufacturer and ask them if they can send you the latest VESA driver for your specific video card. An easier route is to find the web site of the manufacturer and download the driver from there. We also have universal VESA drivers available below in case you can’t locate the drivers on the web or through the manufacturer.

  • SciTech Universal VESA Driver (uvbe51a.exe – 198 KB)
  • Universal VESA TSR (uvesa.exe – 23 KB)
  • ATI MACH 64 VLB VESA Driver (64vbe101.exe – 14 KB)

Note: This driver will not work properly with the ATI MACH 64 PCI video cards. 

DOS Loop

Sometimes when you launch a DOS game from a Windows environment, your computer will ask you if you want your “Start up” files edited to run the game from MS DOS. If you choose “YES” it will put your computer in a DOS loop. When this happens, you computer will start up in the DOS game each time you reboot. Windows will write extra lines to the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT causing this “loop.” Here’s how to fix the problem.

  1. Restart the computer. When you see the line Starting Windows 95/98…, hit the F8 key. This will take you into a Windows Boot Menu.
  2. Select Step by Step start up. Say NO to all questions. Computer will load to a C:\> prompt.
  3. At the prompt type edit autoexec.bat and hit the Enter key. Delete the following lines from the list:
  • Rem – The following lines have been added by Windows 95…
  • C: CD\<Name of the folder that the game was installed to>
  • CALL C:\<Path of DOS game install>
  • C:\Windows\ /w
  •<Followed by any parameters>
  1. 4. Once finished deleting all of these lines, save your changes and exit out. This will take you back out to the C:\> prompt.
  2. 5. Now type edit<space>config.sys and hit the Enter key. Delete the following lines from the list:
  • DOS=Single
  •<Followed by any parameters>

Note: This line may appear here or in the autoexec.bat.

  1. 6. Once these lines are removed from the autoexec.bat and config.sys, your computer should load back into Windows 95/98.

Starting DOS Games

Usually after installing a DOS game, you’ll notice that there were no shortcuts placed in your Start Menu to launch the game. When playing a DOS game, you want to make sure that you start the game from a DOS prompt. There are three ways to do this.

  1. Start the game from the MS-DOS Prompt. (Recommended)
  2. From your Desktop, go to the Start button, then Programs, then click on MS-DOS Prompt.
  3. Will open a window of DOS on your Desktop with the command line reading C:\windows>. Type cd.. and hit the enter key.
  4. Will change to C:\>. Depending on the name of the folder that the game was installed to, you’ll want to type CD<spacebar>followed by the name of the folder. For example, if the folder we called hb5, you would type CD hb5 and hit the enter key. (For example sake, we’ll use hb5 for the name of the folder.)
  5. Should change to C:\hb5>. At this point, you want to type the name of the executable to launch the game. Usually the executable is the name of the folder that you installed the game to. Continuing with the example above, you would type hb5 and hit the enter key.

Starting the Computer in MS-DOS Mode

  1. From your Desktop, go to the Start button, then Shut Down, then select Restart in MS-DOS Mode.
  2. This will shut down your computer to a C:\> prompt. Follow the instructions from number 3 above to start the game.
  3. You could run into problems if you need to read from the CD-ROM drive. MS-DOS Mode usually doesn’t load CD-ROM drivers.

Starting the Computer with a Boot Disk

  1. Insert the Boot Disk into your disk drive and turn on the computer.
  2. You will eventually show up at an A:\> prompt. Type c: and hit the Enter key.

Will change to a C:\> prompt. Again, follow the instructions provided above to start the game. To download our Boot Disk Maker, click here.

DOS Files

Boot Disk Maker (bootmkr.exe – 587kb)

If one of our DOS/4GW games states that you don’t have enough memory to run, try this program to help you make a boot disk. A 3.5″ disk is needed to make a boot disk. Simply follow the instructions after double clicking on bootmkr.exe.

Mo’Slo (mosol.exe – 5kb)

Turbo (turbo.exe – 79kb)

Some of our older games, including Apollo 18, Day of the Viper, and TKO, do not work properly on 386+ machines, due to the program being unable to cope with the computer’s speed. Use either of these programs to temporarily slow down your computer’s CPU.