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Using Pure DOS

This forum is dedicated to the general computer related issues we all come across on a daily basis, such as e-mail/Internet/Operating System/virus/spyware, etc questions & problems.

As we are primarily a radio discussion group, your mileage may vary on the responses.

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Using Pure DOS

Postby LLS207X » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:52 am

I am trying to program a Motorola HT1000.
I have all the files for the program on my desktop in a folder called HT1000.
I'm told the program will only run in DOS. I am not sure how to do this.
I am running Windows XP. I went to Command Prompt, but I am not sure what to type in to be able to access the program.
I tried running the computer on Safe Mode, but could get the Command Prompt or cmd neither worked.
I would appreciate any help.


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Re: Using Pure DOS

Postby MTS2000des » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:56 pm

Head over here and grab a real DOS boot disk image, and create a real DOS boot disk/CD:

Make sure to put your HT1000 RSS on the boot disk/CD as when you are booted into DOS, DOS does not recognize NTFS volumes so you won't be able to browse or change directories into your HT1000 folder.

Run the RSS. You should be able to read/write your HT1000s just fine, provided you are using a real serial port and have the RSS setup correctly.
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Re: Using Pure DOS

Postby Jim202 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:31 am

If you can find an older, slower clock speed computer with a serial port, you can make it into a Motorola programming computer. By using a small hard drive in the order of 80 GB and formatting it with the FAT32 format, you can use it as your storage drive. You will need a DOS disk or something like Windows 95 or 98 to format these hard drives.

You could also make two different partitions on the 80 GB hard drive when you go to format it. Make one partition about 20 GB for only DOS and use the rest for the Windows program. I have put Windows XP on my programming computers. Either version of Windows will work. Then you can use the Windows and an Ethernet connection to be able to talk with other computers to be able to share files.

I always store my radio files on more than just one computer. That way I have backup in case something happens to the programming computer hard drive.

Over the years I have collected the 80 GB and smaller hard drives from the older computers that I have junked due to the motherboard crashing and refusing to work any longer. Now I have a box of them collecting dust.


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Re: Using Pure DOS

Postby train_radio_guy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:43 pm

Jim, how many of those hard drives under 80GB do you have? What are some of the sizes? I've got some computer projects coming-up in the near future, & might be interested in taking them off your hands... for the right price. ;)
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Re: Using Pure DOS

Postby VE3TUH » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:24 am

Getting DOS to boot up is only half the fun. Additionally, he will need a real serial port. Then the clock speed of his pc will not likely allow communication with the radio. IF he has a pc with a real serial port, AND a bios that will allow it, he might be able to turn off L2 cach, which may slow it down enough to work. May also get varying degrees of success with mo'slo.exe, and slow.exe
So, I keep an old laptop dedicated to this, formatted for real DOS.

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Re: Using Pure DOS

Postby ve3nsv » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:56 am

I just booted to DOS yesterday on my Dell M4700 via a USB thumb drive and programmed some HT-1000's so you should have any issues.


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Re: Using Pure DOS

Postby Jim202 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:03 pm

train_radio_guy wrote:Jim, how many of those hard drives under 80GB do you have? What are some of the sizes? I've got some computer projects coming-up in the near future, & might be interested in taking them off your hands... for the right price. ;)

I am just about out of them. Have some 20 and 40 GB hard drives, but with the number of computers I am getting in and getting working right now, the supply is getting really low.

My suggestion is to start hitting some of the local computer repair stores around you and asking them if they might have any of the small drives laying around. The big thing most places are concerned with is having any customer information on them. If this is the case, ask them to format the drives before they let you have them. You can also ask them if they have any old computers laying around and make a radio programming computer out of one.

On a slightly different note, you can put several partitions on the hard drives if you really need to. Make one of them no larger than the 40 or 80 GB size so it will work with DOS. Only problem is DOS will not recognize a drive larger than 80 GB.

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Re: Using Pure DOS

Postby train_radio_guy » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:37 am

It’s unfortunate that you’re running out of them. Going the route of local computer shops is good idea, however that presents a few of problems of its own.

1. There just aren’t that many ‘mom & pop’ computer stores left in our area. Most of them have closed their doors; some just in the past few years, thanks in-part to the competition from the big box stores like the Geek Squad in Best Buy, and a Nerds on Call – a mid-western chain of computer repair stores. Many consumers have migrated away from a traditional computer; albeit PC or Laptop, and now use their Smart Phone or Tablet. Suffice to say, the ‘mom & pop’ computer stores can’t survive on this sort of business.

2. As far as the remaining locally-owned stores:

a. Either don’t hang-on to the smaller Hard Drives (less than 100 GB) anymore, & they have a non-disclosure agreement with their customers, where they’ve contractually assured the customer, that any data on the hard drive of their old computer will be destroyed. Unfortunately, simply reformatting the drive isn’t considered acceptable. The hard drive has to be wiped with a Disk Utility such as ‘Disk Wipe’, or physically destroyed. (Disk Wipe removes all existing partitions, performs a low-level format of the drive, and then writes a series of 1’s & 0’s to the drive, thus over-writing any data left on the drive itself. This would be fine, except the process can take anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on the drive type & size. The few remaining locally-owned shops are not willing to pay their employees to perform this time-consuming task, and have opted to have the drives destroyed by a local service, much like the companies that shred documents for the banking industry.)

b. Or the local stores are too new, and don’t have much on-hand for older PC’s. Unless it’s geared towards hard-core gaming PC’s, they just aren’t interested in helping.

15-20 years ago, there would have been more than an ample supply of places, to get the older hard drives in-expensively, however that’s more or less a dry well these days; at least in our area. Even the local recyclers aren’t willing to pony-up the used hard drives. When I offered double their scrap value, as well as remove them from the chassis, I was told they couldn’t allow that on the grounds of being liable. Funny thing, they don’t even know who most of these computers came from! Once they’ve paid the scrape value to the customer, their gone. No record or ties back to the original owner. In the end, the scrapers stone-walled my requests, & simply turned me away.

Suffice to say, unless a person could ‘plug’ themselves into the process at some point, I don’t see how to easily & cheaply acquire the older hard drives. Perhaps an ad in the local paper, seeking-out used computers? Although I don’t look forward to stripping all of those chassis, and their consequential disposal, it might be the only local option left.

Thanks for the advise.

- trg, 8)
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Re: Using Pure DOS

Postby k9wkjham » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:30 am

im using mATA SSD drives in my old radio programming lappies
like these or similar
put inside a "adapter case" like this

i even have one that quad boots dos7/win2k/xp/linux (its a PIII 800 so runs ANTIX for linux just so i can use networking and even wifi with out trying to find drivers that never existed)
system works great as you can read write the dos/win partitions using linux so movin files about is easy peasy

no more spinning fragile drives

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Re: Using Pure DOS

Postby train_radio_guy » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:07 pm

Unfortunately, I've had some bad luck with the SSD Drives. When they die, there is absolutely no chance for data recovery. That being said, their speed & access times, definitely rival any of the mechanical drives, but their life expectancy is rather questionable. I haven't experimented very much with multi-boot systems, but I can see the advantages, of operating more than one O.S. on a single machine. As for Linux, it's an OS that I've never worked with, so I can't speak to the good, the bad, or the ugly. I have a few computer friends that swear by it as rock-solid.

In my career, I've worked with a variety of platforms, dating back to the Commodore Vic-20s & Pets, as well as the 'Trash' TRS-80s, through current machines with Windows 10. Each has its strengths & weaknesses, for the time frame in which it was in production. Although it's hard for some folks to believe it, there are still some old Dumb Terminals, Teletypes, & even DOS machines operating out there. Technology that's 30-40 years old, still in-use for daily operation.

The current project I've been tasked with is to replace some of these wonderful machines, unfortunately with no real budget. Suffice to say, these machines all function in the capacity of being a terminal of one sort or another. It occurred to me, that repurposing old computers, which will run either Windows 98SE (with USB Support) or Windows XP SP3, would work just as well, and could be had fairly easily (maybe even free). Then I could load them with a Terminal Emulation Program like Procomm Plus 4.8 or HyperTerminal Private Edition 6.3, and things would be essentially plug-n-play. Unfortunately, the supply of old computers & their associated parts has all but run dry. In the beginning, people were more than happy to off-load their old computers, without the headache of locating a recycling center. As time wore on, people began the migration to smart devices, such as Smart Phones & Tablets. The supply of old computers has dwindled ever since.
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