Dual DOS and XP platforms

  pcdopey 11:16 25 Mar 2008

I have an elderly Toshiba Satellite 4200 laptop which ran Win98 but could be switched to a DOS Cad program. I now want to upgrade it to XP Home yet retain the Dos program, but I read that XP won't run Dos programs. Would it work if I set up XP on the laptop and DOS on an external USB HD (or vice versa to avoid any USB startup software) such that if I started up the laptop with the HD connected, the external HD would take startup preference and load IT'S platform? Or is there a better way ....?

  brundle 11:25 25 Mar 2008

If the computer is reasonably powerful, install Virtual PC and install '98/your DOS application on that. You can keep the virtual machine file on an external drive.

click here

  brundle 11:26 25 Mar 2008

XP will run DOS programs, but it's not `true` DOS, just an emulation. Some things works, others don't (mostly games that try to access the hardware directly).

  stylehurst 15:11 25 Mar 2008

Your other alternative would be to dual boot the system with both XP & Dos installed, (best in separate partitions for each OS.
A good boot loader is that included in Acronis Director suite, but there are others.

  DieSse 17:32 25 Mar 2008

"I have an elderly Toshiba Satellite 4200 ..."

Are you sure it's up to running XP - I read that the basic RAM was 64MB - and that definitely will not run XP.

256MB is just about the bare minimum, and 512MB is adequate.

With very low RAM and a slow processor too, you could be on a hiding to nothing.

  pcdopey 23:20 26 Mar 2008

Thanks all - I am going to try Virtual PC 2004 as a first attempt, and failing that then a dual boot loader (which is new to me but I am happy to look into it). BTW, my Toshiba has a 512Mb RAM installed; speed is actually not a problem.

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