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 DOS 32 bit with LFN support through VMM32.VXD, Another semi-random hint/idea
post Jun 7 2007, 02:08 PM
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In my wanderings on the net, I found this (oldish) Italian site:

reporting an article published in PcWorld 02/1999.

The interesting part (in the context of making a RAM only Win9x, by installing it on a HD partition and then copying it to RAMDISK XMSDSK.EXE) is, roughly translated, the following:
in this experiment, Windows 95 - FIRST release .... as using 95B (OSR2) and Windows 98 we had unsolvable problems in booting ...
To be able to copy to RAMdisk the files inclufding Long File Names a 32 bit DOS needs to be used, to build such do the following:
Create a directory C:\TOOLS
cd c:\ramwin\windows\system

copy vmm32.vxd c:\tools\vmm32.exe

copy ..\command.com c:\tools\krnl386.exe

xcopy iosubsys\*.* c:\tools\iosubsys\

copy ..\system.ini c:\tools

copy ..\command\attrib.exe c:\tools

this is enough to be able to later start with the command VMM32.EXE a version of DOS supporting Long File Names, it is better to delete ALL drivers from the [386enh] section of the SYSTEM.INI copy in C:\TOOLS to avoid error messagfes when booting this DOS.

Now you can make in C:\TOOLS a file WINSTART.BAT that will be automatically executed.....
...containing first thing an
and COPY commands for each file to be copied, as in this DOS only INTERNAL commands
support LFN....

I was able to locate, on a German site that appears to have now vanished - or more exacty redirected to a page where a house is advertised for sale EDIT:Now working:
through some clever wink.gif tricks with googlecache:
a very similar text and instructions.

Anyone has more details on HOW and WHY this works?

And also WHY it only works with Win95 first release files?

If there is a way to use Win95B and/or Win98 (read FAT32) such an idea could be useful for some project.



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post Dec 18 2009, 10:58 AM
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  Joined: 16-July 06 From: one mile from the QR main line

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One should remember that with DOS, or Windows NT or Windows 98, that the shell loaded by the OS is pretty much an application, and can be replaced by a suitably renamed app.

For example, the Norton utilities diskette had no command.com or autoexec.bat. Instead, the shell= command points to startup.exe, which is a character-mode gui to launch the various utilities on the diskettes.

Vmm32.vxd, or win386.exe or dosx.exe etc, are simply DOS32 apps, which load a great swag of files that ultimately becomes Windows. Since there is no particular equal of shell= for this stage, one replaces whatever one will run by these names. You could, for example, rename command.com to vmm32.vxd, and get a genuine (all be it flaky) 32-bit DOS with LFN support.

The exact process, i believe, is documented in "Unauthorised Windows 95"

Even Windows NT is a "thing on a thing". You can replace the relevant file here by something entirely different, and the core of NT (SMSS.EXE), by something entirely different, and Windows NT will do whatever smss suggests (eg load Windows, or the Windows Recovery Console, or O&O Bluecon, or whatever.

Microsoft even go so far to admit this. The windows boot disk is where smss.exe etc live. The "system" volume is where files like NTLDR live. That is, the computer is up and running programs before Windows NT, 98 or 3.1 even sees the light of day!

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Posts in this topic
- jaclaz   DOS 32 bit with LFN support through VMM32.VXD   Jun 7 2007, 02:08 PM
- - MedEvil   Thanks for your work, especialy since you're h...   Sep 20 2007, 04:43 PM
- - jaclaz   I have the feeling that something can come out of ...   Sep 20 2007, 07:31 PM
- - ispy   Hi all again, Thanks for all the positive comme...   Sep 20 2007, 08:41 PM
|- - ispy   Just to keep you updated, Will be on hols from 19...   Sep 21 2007, 10:53 PM
- - ispy   Hello all again , On the mini 9x front, associa...   Oct 8 2007, 09:24 PM
- - jaclaz   Nice find! I do not have a ME to try it thou...   Oct 9 2007, 09:13 AM
- - wendy   One should remember that with DOS, or Windows NT o...   Dec 18 2009, 10:58 AM
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