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How do I boot a Windows 7 machine to DOS?

    Question

  • I need to update the BIOS on my machine and I have no idea how to boot to DOS.

    Anyone know the trick?
    Friday, March 27, 2009 3:24 AM

Answers

All replies

  • Maybe something like - google for "DOS boot" - find one that you can put on a CD, copy it, burn it, then boot from it.

    Hope that helps

    Kris
    Friday, March 27, 2009 4:56 AM
  • That's mainly because Windows NT flavors - including XP, Vista and Windows 7 - don't have a means to boot to DOS. The closest thing to DOS in recent flavors of Windows would be the recovery console - but that isn't DOS, nor are you allowed to run wild with what you CAN do. It's designed to help someone repair a hosed copy of Windows.

    DOS, as they say, is dead.

    There are, however, options. Depending on the motherboard and the motherboard manufacturer, they do make Windows based BIOS updaters. Some manufacturers also have DOS based updaters. Some have ones you can burn to a CD that come with their own boot loader. Check your motherboard's site for options.

    As KrisM suggested, you can google for and download a DOS boot diskette image and extract it to a floppy. Of course, you need a working floppy drive, and a working floppy diskette.

    Friday, March 27, 2009 6:44 AM
  • C.W. Jones said:

    I need to update the BIOS on my machine and I have no idea how to boot to DOS.

    Anyone know the trick?

    Hi CW

    Most modern BIOS updates are distributed as an executable file that will run from inside windows or as a boot disk, on a floppy or CD.

    Check with the manufacturer of that BIOS for the installation instructions.


    Hope this helps.



    Thank You for testing Windows 7 Beta

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Friday, March 27, 2009 4:52 PM
  • With Windows NT3.5/NT3.51/NT4.0/2K/XP/Vista/7, there was never a DOS.  Although the command prompt appears as a DOS window similar to the DOS underpinnings of Win9x/ME, the NT family’s command prompt is a full 32bit environment that has practically no architectural similarities to DOS.  Although the commands seem similar, the bits behind them differ.

     

    Booting into SAFE MODE Command Prompt is about as close as you are going to get, visually, to booting in a DOS environment.  To boot into SAFE MODE Command Prompt, hit <F8> during boot.

     

    To update your BIOS, you will need to follow your motherboard’s instructions.  Most current motherboard manufactures offer some sort of Windows executable.  The executable will usually update the BIOS directly, or it will invoke a program to make a bootable floppy or CD that can then be used to update your BIOS.

     

    Like Wolfie said: DOS is dead!

     

    Friday, March 27, 2009 11:34 PM
  • If your computer can boot a usb flash drive, you could set it up to boot dos.

    The MSI forum has a tool that will set up a usb flash drive this way.

    See  http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=3519008ece02cd16bfb8e65238916c2a&topic=113295.0.

    You have to be a member of the MSI forum to download it.

    I don't remember is you have to use it on an MSI motherboard.

    Once you have made the bootable flash drive, you can use it on non-MSI motherboards, however.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:54 AM
  • CW, it would help if you could say what make/model of PC (if a prebuilt, OEM machine) or motherboard (if it's you-built or local-built) you have - with that information, we could help you in your BIOS flashing effort.

    As others said here, it's very rare these days (actually, it's been quite some time) for a motherboard to actually require a true DOS enviroment to flash the BIOS.  Even of the boards that require that, the manufacturers usually also provide a floppy-disk image file (.img) with which to create the boot disc. 
    Most any recent board uses either a Winflash utility (is run from within Windows), and/or a native (on-chip) BIOS flashing utility (Gigabyte is a good example of the latter.)

    Info?

    -Chris
    [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:24 AM
  • Well, unfortunately, this is a computer built by a local system builder with an ASUSTek board on it.  The only BIOS update option is from DOS, so I'll have to give one of the above theories (like booting from a USB flash drive) a try. 

    Thanks for the suggestions folks.
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 5:06 PM
  • Got a model # (and revision#) for that motherboard?  If you don't know what they are, they'll be sinkscreened onto the board.

    I have a really, really hard time believing that the only way to flash any board made in the last 5 years requires a bootable DOS disc (that you, the end user, must provide, no less) to do it.  :?

    -Chris
    [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 6:09 PM
  • It's a ASUSTek P5L-MX, BIOS dated 6/5/07.  I suspect the local shop was using old mother boards to fill out the low end machines.  I've never been able to get the thing to Sleep/Resume correctly, etc.  Part of me thinks it's time to replace it, but I hate giving in on it.
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 6:26 PM
  • The newest bios appears to be 1106 dated 12/28/07.  http://support.asus.com.cn/download/download.aspx?install_nav=1&SLanguage=en-us.

    It claims to fix resume from S1, S3, and S4.

    It does appear that they only have a dos utility for bios update.

    You CAN get the Windows utility directly from AMI.  http://www.ami.com/support/bios.cfm, has instructions and download linkd for amiflash.zip, which has both the dos and Windows utilities.
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 6:46 PM
  • So I guess the lesson here is that if I don't tell people I do know what I'm doing, the assumption is that I don't.  I'll speak more clearly in the future.  :')

    And thus I'm back to how to boot a Vista/Win7 machine to DOS.  I'll look in to building a bootable USB stick and go from there.

    Thanks folks.
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 7:21 PM
  • A bootable USB drive is useful, but afuwin.exe should work on Windows 7.  It is listed as being compatible with Vista, 32 and 64 bit.  It is included in amiflash.zip, http://www.ami.com/support/bios.cfm.
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 7:29 PM
  • <So I guess the lesson here is that if I don't tell people I do know what I'm doing, the assumption is that I don't.>
    Sadly, that's correct.  And, it's because, frankly, we have a lot of people posting question here that really don't.

    Better might heve been:  "I need to flash my BIOS.  The motherboard requires this be done from DOS; the mfr. suppies a floppy DOS image to do it.  However, I have no floppy drive.  Suggestions on how to do this by other means?"
    (Note that no mention of the running OS is listed, as this doesn't matter.  You could be running *nix, and you'd still be in the same hard spot.)

    Answer would have been:
    HP has a utility to make a USB key bootable; it can be found here.
    It does work with most non-HP keys, too.  Unfortunately, it isn't listed as compatible with NT6 (Vista/Server2k8/Win7), so it may or may not work (unless you have a 2k/XP machine to run it on.)
    Alternately, there are multiple methods listed over at bootdisk.com.  Method 5 looks promising for you, as it doensn't require that you have a floppy drive to copy the files from.

    HTH,
    Chris
    [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 7:41 PM
  • So I guess the lesson here is that if I don't tell people I do know what I'm doing, the assumption is that I don't.  I'll speak more clearly in the future.  :')

    And thus I'm back to how to boot a Vista/Win7 machine to DOS.  I'll look in to building a bootable USB stick and go from there.

    Thanks folks.

    When you ask how to boot into DOS on a Windows NT based machine, that question will lead others to believe that you really don’t know what you are doing when it comes to some of the inner workings of Windows NT based releases.

     

    Like Chris said, there is a good majority of people who post here that really don’t have a good clue as to how Windows works.  A lot of information is based on ingrained dogma that was applicable back in the Win9x days.  Some is because people have so shunned Vista, they are now clueless as to the “new” methods that Microsoft has adopted to accomplish certain tasks or implement certain features.

     

    When looking for an answer to a particular question, it is incumbent on the poster to make the question as clear as possible so to avoid any ambiguity.

     

    Back to your question: If you must get into a DOS environment, you must boot from a floppy or a CD emulating a bootable floppy.  This is the procedure regardless of your operating system.  Windows, Linux, UNIX, etc.

     

    A follow up question would be how to make a DOS bootable floppy from within Windows Vista/7?  With a blank disk a 3.5” floppy, right-click the A drive and select format.  In the format dialog box, check the Create an MS-DOS startup disk check box.

     

     

    Monday, March 30, 2009 12:57 AM
  • While trying to get an 8-bit app to work full screen in Win7 to no avail, I discovered that I could still pop in an old win95 boot diskette, boot up, and swap diskettes to my 8-bit app.  The old program ran fine full screen.

    So, you can do the same thing, if you have a diskette drive, and bios is set up to boot FDD.  Be sure to put the BIOS update executable on a diskette first because you won't be able to access your HDD.  Also, if your BIOS patch is zipped, be sure to extract the file(s) first.  Win98 works too, which can be created by using the sys command in Win9x onto a blank diskette.  If you have memory management drivers in config.sys or autoexec.bat they will have to be removed from the diskette first before booting unto it.

    Just another option.
    T.R.
    Wednesday, April 01, 2009 8:03 PM
  • I need to update the BIOS on my machine and I have no idea how to boot to DOS.

    Anyone know the trick?

    The part of your question that concerns me is asking about booting from DOS in order to "flash" your BIOS.

    While I find it good you are coming to the boards for resouces. (how else are we going to learn these things?)

    Updating a BIOS can be a big deal. Sometimes a "one shot" deal.

    Not trying to be negative or discouraging; just don't want to see you learn the hard way...

    But, if you feel confident that you know what & how, Good Luck to you!

    BTW, the best and safest way would possibly be go into your old BIOS and see if there's a option to update.

    If you can identify your main (mother) board, go to their support site as well.

    Sunday, November 04, 2012 6:06 PM
  • What's DOS?

    All kidding aside, try this link:

    http://www.freedos.org/


    Miguel Fra | Falcon IT Services, Miami, FL
    www.falconitservices.com | www.falconits.com | Blog


    Sunday, November 04, 2012 6:29 PM
  • Try this:

    http://www.freedos.org/

    Also, if you boot into recovery console, you get a DOS like command promtp that will be able to read and execute .exe files from floppy, CD, disk.

    http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000627.htm


    Miguel Fra | Falcon IT Services, Miami, FL
    www.falconitservices.com | www.falconits.com | Blog

    Sunday, November 04, 2012 6:33 PM