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Drivers and Hardware-related Tools

DOS systems have to load drivers for access to and use of hardware that doesn't conform to the inbuilt standards, which means nearly everything today. Since DOS memory was always at a premium (1 MB maximum, 384 KB Upper Memory reserved for drivers), drivers should be as small as possible. There were Memory Managers to squeeze the last byte out of your configuration, and Boot Managers to allow different configurations on one machine.


  General Utilities      Boot      CDROM      Disk      Dongles   
    Emulators & Virtual Machines      Keyboard      Media      Memory Management   
    Mouse      Multitasking      Networking      Palmtops      Printer      Screen / VGA   
    SCSI      Sound      USB       

General Utilities

Some general utility links which might come handy and seem to fit in no other topic:

  • DOS-Mode Patch for Win ME  (english) or here or
  • DOS-Mode Patch for Win ME  (german) or
  • DOS4ME                     (by PC-WELT) DOS for Windows ME: reintroduce the hidden DOS mode in Windows ME. MS has gone to some length to hide the fact that Win ME still sits on top of DOS "like a misbehaved TSR".
  • Device Drivers        Google's Directory is a good place to start the search for an old or new elusive device driver.
  • DEVLOAD               DEVLOAD provides a method of loading device drivers from the command line under MS-DOS, rather than having to re-boot in order to load extra drivers. - Freeware by David Woodhouse
  • DIY Data Recovery     DIY DataRecovery offers utilities, tutorials and support, thus enabling technicians and users to conduct their own data recovery.
  • Driver Guide          Huge driver collection. Login required. For the time being enter without hassle using - Name=driver / PW=all -
  • Politalk              Information for DOS on installing, memory management, partitioning, formatting, optimizing and more.
  • StorageDrivers        Probably Driver Guide under another name: most links point there. Use same Name and PW.
  • Sourceforge.Net       is the world's largest development and download repository of Open Source code and applications. At this moment there are about 600 DOS-related projects here, among them alternative interfaces, extenders, languages like Basic and Pascal, protocols, multimedia players and more.
  • TameDOS               Commercial utility to curb excessive CPU usage by DOS progs under Windows / NT. - by David G. Thomas
  • Treiber Archiv        German site: bootdisk images, drivers and more.
  • Win31                 English / german site. Specializes in old Win3.x compatible drivers, and Win 3.1x software. - by Gaby Chaudry


  • BIOS 1.35             Tool to read, change and write the Bios settings - by Matthias Bockelkamp
  • Bootable CD Utils     Bootable CD Wizzard, Loader, FAQ, etc. - by Wolfgang Brinkmann
  • Bootdisk              Downloadable bootdisks, CD-Rom files, tools ... - by Ed Jablonowski
  • Boot 2.10             PC configuration with a nice boot menu. This was and still is better than the boot menu that came with MS-DOS 6(?). Shareware. - by Hans Salvisberg
  • BootPart              BootPart is an easy tool for adding additional partitions to the Windows NT multi boot menu (for example, add the OS/2 boot manager or a Linux partition).
  • HKCPU                 HKCPU is a useful Utility for checking the CPU type and speed on a given machine, and due to its text-based output information from CHKCPU can easily be used to get CPU info from each machine in a network by calling CHKCPU from the network log-on script. - by Jan Steunebrink
  • Confix                Allow ECHO, CLS and much else early in your config.sys. Great for debugging. Free. - by Douglas Boling, 1994
  • GSetup                GSETUP is designed to allow you to set/modify CMOS ram values to tell the system what the time, date, type and number of floppy disk drives and hard disks, monitor type, etc., are for your personal computer.
  • Nerdlabs              has boot disk images for Win95/98/ME and Win NT4/2000/XP
  • NU2                   Bart's way to create bootable CD ROMs (PE-Builder), SCSI and other tools, Boot Disk and other useful things. When it comes to create boot(able) disks, this is the place to go. Take a look at the sitemap. - by Bart Lagerweij
  • Oldfiles              has boot disk images of many DOS versions plus useful tools.



  • ACERIDE CDROM         A small (11 KB) "universal" ATAPI CD ROM driver. Should work with most ATAPI drives. Free. - by Acer
  • DosCDRoast            Software package for burning cd-rom and dvd-rom disc under 16-bit DOS systems. - by Horvath Istvan
  • UNIIDE                Another "universal" ATAPI CD ROM driver. Should work with most ATAPI drives. Free. - by Oak Tech.
  • Goldenhawk            Golden Hawk Technology still develops and maintains a complete suite of MS-DOS command line utilities for CDROM recording. Both 16-bit and 32-bit versions are offered.    


HD, RAM-  and Floppy Disk

For those of you who want to access an old HD and need head / cylinder / sector count here's an old (1996) data sheet of hundreds of models of all brands:

Another good source for info is here.

CPUs, HDs and Floppies were slow, memory and diskspace at a premium. So disk-cache programs,  ramdisks, and HD compression were rife. Plus there are some tools here to access Win32-style Long File Names and NT-style NTFS partitions from DOS, as well as protected disks.

  • DOSLFNJH               Small LFN (Long File Name) driver for DOS. Free. - by Henrik Haftmann
  • COPYIIPC              Utility collection for the duplication of protected or damaged floppy disks. May not run on all modern PCs. - by Central Point Software. Other useful diskutils here too.
  • FIPS                  DOS HD partition splitter. - Freeware by Arno Sch�fer
  • GDISK                 GDISK.EXE is a very useful tool for patitioning and formatting of HDs, commandline driven and batchable. Found together with other useful material on this german site.
  • LFNDOS                LFN (Long File Name) driver for DOS. Freeware. - by Chris Jones
  • LFN Tools             LFN (Long File Name) tools (LCOPY, LDIR, LCD, LDEL, LCHK, LREN, LMD, LRD). Freeware. - by Ortwin Gl�ck
  • Other LFN drivers     Collection of LFN drivers and tools for DOS - by Joe Forster
  • MS-Ramdisk            Microsoft Ramdisk for Win2000, WinXP. Not tested under Win95/98/ME.
  • NTFS-Driver           NTFS-Driver access to NTFS partition files in read/write mode from MSDOS.
  • NTFSDOS               NTFSDOS.EXE is a read-only network file system driver for DOS/Windows that is able to recognize and mount NTFS drives for transparent access. It makes NTFS drives appear indistinguishable from standard FAT drives, providing the ability to navigate, view and execute programs on them from DOS or from Windows, including from the Windows 3.1 File Manager and Windows 95 Explorer. - by SysInternals
  • NTFS4DOS              Full access to NTFS drives from a DOS boot disk. Free for private use. - by datapol
  • Ontrack Disk Manager  Version 7, for the installation of big HDs.
  • Ranish PM             Ranish Partition Manager is a powerful hard disk partitioning tool. It gives users high level of control for running multiple operating systems, such as Linux, Windows 98/XP, FreeDOS, and FreeBSD on a single disk. - by Mikhail Ranish
  • SpeedKit 4.75         3 Utilities, shareware: Hyperdisk was a Cache Driver, faster than Smartdrive, and was nearly a must in serious DOS circles. Hyperkey and Hyperscreen never caught on as much. - by Hyperware Inc.
  • ReSizeable Ramdisk    Ramdisk driver, supports EMS and XMS, resizeable. - by Marco Kohtala
  • STACKER 3(1)          and
  • STACKER 3(2)          or
  • STACKER 2             Stacker was the premier disk compressor, now no longer sold, and even Stac Electronics' Homepage is gone. Does anybody still remember how MS first stole their technique, lost the lawsuit and then quietly made a deal with Stac? These 3 files may be of help if you have to read a stacked disk. - by Stac Inc.
  • Teledisk              Teledisk handles many protected disks, but has one serious flaw: It will stop copying if it comes across an unformatted track. This will prevent you from copying original Atari booters with Teledisk. Teledisk's strongest point is that it will run on modern computers, which CopyIIPC fails to do. - by Sydex
  • Turbodisk             Ramdisk driver, supports EMS and XMS, resizeable. - by Ciriaco Garcia de Celis
  • UltraDMA Drivers      Here is a set of four DOS UltraDMA hard-disk drivers.
  • XMSDSK 1.9i           Small driver for resizeable xms or ems ramdisk. - by Franck Uberto


Dongles for DOS and Win 95/98/ME won't necessarily funtion for WinXP. Or you lost them, but want to use the software again. Or they got damaged. What to do? here are some links that might (or might not) help:
  • Dongles               Explanations, resources, tools, tutorials and more: a good starting page.
  • SafeKey Int.          A very commercial solution to dongle problems.
  • Softkey Solutions     Another commercial source for help


Emulators and Virtual Machines

 Perhaps you need an emulator or or a virtual machine to install a DOS system?     
  • Bochs IA-32           Bochs is a highly portable open source IA-32 (x86) PC emulator written in C++, that runs on most popular platforms. It includes emulation of the Intel x86 CPU, common I/O devices, and a custom BIOS. Currently, Bochs can be compiled to emulate a 386, 486, Pentium, Pentium Pro or AMD64 CPU, including optional MMX, SSE, SSE2 and 3DNow instructions. Bochs is capable of running most Operating Systems inside the emulation including Linux, Windows� 95, DOS, and Windows� NT 4. - by Kevin Lawton 
  • Dosemu                DOSEMU stands for DOS Emulation, and allows you to run DOS and many DOS programs, including many DPMI applications such as DOOM and Windows 3.1, under Linux.  
  • DOSBox                is a DOS-emulator that uses the SDL-library which makes DOSBox very easy to port to different platforms. DOSBox has already been ported to many different platforms, such as Windows, BeOS, Linux, MacOS X... DOSBox also emulates CPU:286/386 realmode/protected mode, Directory FileSystem/XMS/EMS, Tandy/Hercules/CGA/EGA/VGA/VESA graphics, a SoundBlaster/Gravis Ultra Sound card for excellent sound compatibility with older games... - Freeware at Sourceforge
  • vDOS                vDos derived from the DOSBox project. vDos is for serious (mainly text mode) DOS applications, Windows 32/64 bits (XP and later) only. It lacks many of the hardware emulations of DOSBox (no joysticks, basic VGA...). Instead it adds a live file system, file/record locking, Windows printing, a scalable screen font and more. You should be able to run your DOS application quickly in a safe and convenient way.
  • QEMU                  QEMU is a generic and open source processor emulator which achieves a good emulation speed by using dynamic translation.
  • Virtual PC f. Win     Microsoft has this and related progs (Connectix Virtual PC, Virtual PC for Mac, Virtual Server) to offer.
  • VMware                This software consists of a virtual machine suite for Intel x86-compatible computers which allows the creation and execution of multiple x86 virtual computers simultaneously. Each virtual machine instance can execute its own guest operating system, such as (but not limited to) Windows, Linux, and BSD variants. In simple terms, VMware allows one physical machine to run numerous operating systems simultaneously.


  • KDRIVE                German keyboard driver with many extras. Recommanded. There's a Windows version available, too. Shareware. - by Martin Austermeier
  • K3PLUS                Another very good enhanced german keyboard driver, other languages available. Freeware. - by A. C. Frinke & Matthias Paul
  • Keyboard / Mouse      Further keyboard and mouse utils


DOS programs for MP3, AVI, MOV, MPEG, DivX...

  • CreateCD              CreateCD is a (XP/NT) command-line tool that allows recording files and folders to a data CD from The command line. This is often useful when a large amount of files needs to be recorder. Windows GUI can be slow and takes a lot of space on a system disk for temporary files. CreateCD writes files in one step. It can also be used from a scripts and batch files to perform automated backup on CD-RW. - by Alex Feinman
  • DAMP                  is another DOS MP3-Player. - by Matt Craven
  • DosAMP                From the people who brought you WinAmp, this is a nice DOS version. It uses only about 3-6% of your CPU time.
  • DOSCDROAST            Tis is a software package for burning cd-rom and dvd-rom disc under 16-bit DOS systems. supports IDE/ATAPI, SCSI, Parallel Port, USB (EHCI/OHCI/UHCI), IEEE1394 (Firewire),and PC Card devices, supports CDR, CDRW, DVD/R and DVD/RW. Freeware by Horvath Istvan.
  • DVD4DOS               DVD PLAYER for 16bit DOS systems!!!(MS-DOS,DR-DOS,FREEDOS and compatibles). DVD4DOS Beta 1 can play the first 1 minute of a DVD movie file with Dolby AC3 sound. Freeware by Horvath Istvan.
  • MP3 Player            A nice overview of available players.
  • QuickView             Full screen video films and music...



Memory Management under DOS

With MS-DOS 6.0 through to MS-DOS 6.22, a utility called Memmaker was introduced that is designed to automate memory optimisation. Far more powerful memory management products were available from third parties (eg QEMM or 386Max) but were discontinued long ago.

  • 386max                Not much experience with this one. Updates can still be found here. - by Qualitas Inc.
  • QEMM                  or
  • QEMM                  Qemm was a commercial memory manager, able to give you much more free upper mem than the Himem.sys / Emm386.exe combination. Qemm was nearly a must in the middle 90s, before Windows 95 came along. - by Quarterdeck, later bought and buried by Symantec
  • UMBPCI                Small UMB-driver, replacement for Emm386.exe, free. - by c't-Magazin


  • Cute Mouse            Very small universal mouse driver. Free. - by Daniel Nagy
  • Mousekeys             Allows use of mouse with ANY program. Version 3.05. TSR, completely configurable from command line. Several operation "modes", clipboard, speeds up mouse for other programs. - by Bret Johnson
  • Mouse2Key             Converts mouse movements to cursor key presses. Useful for DOS progs without mouse support. Only 900 Bytes. Shareware. - by Vincent Penquerc'h 
  • Precise Pointer       Precise Pointer replaces the coarse block cursoer under DOS with a graphical pointer of your choice.  It's only optics, but nice to have. Abandoned shareware. - by Andy Hakim

Multitasking under DOS

In the old DOS days, multitasking was no easy feat. You needed a configuration with lots of usable DOS memory. Desqview was the market leader. This all became moot with the advent of Windows.

  • BACK&FORTH 171(1)     and
  • BACK&FORTH 171(2)     This was my favourite multitasker. Long since abandoned. Shareware. - by Progressive Solutions.
  • DESQVIEW              or
  • DESQVIEW              The commercial multitasker under DOS in the 90s. More Quarterdeck files are here. Abandoned. - by Quarterdeck, bought and buried by Symantec
  • DESQVIEW / X 2.1      Desqview/X is a X-Windows port to DOS. Seems to be abandoned too. (10 MB Download!). Useful tools here. - by Quarterdeck, bought by Symantec.
  • Multitaskers          Several multitasking operating system kernels. - by the Department of Informatics, University of Zurich

Networking under DOS

  • MS NET.EXE            This file from the MS FTP server contains updated NET.EXE, NET.MSG, and NETH.MSG files. Using these files with version 3.11 of Workgroup Add-On for MS-DOS corrects the problem noted above.
  • Network Boot Disk     A highly professional network boot disk for connecting to a network share on a Windows 9x/ME/NT4/2000/XP or Linux Samba machine. Also allows you to use network applications such as SSHDOS (secure shell) or Ghost Peer-to-peer/multicast, using Packet driver interface. - by Bart Lagerweij
  • Netzwerk unter DOS    Deutsch: Beschreibung wie man unter MS-DOS ein Netzwerk einrichten kann. by Gerd R�thig.
  • Netzwerkzugang DOS    Deutsch: Sie ben�tigen einen Netzwerkzugang unter DOS? Hier bietet sich der kostenlose Microsoft Client 3.0 f�r MS-DOS an.... - by Wirth New Media Sarl
  • Windows Networking    Connecting a DOS system to a Windows/NT network, with all necessary links and detailed descriptions. - by J. Helmig
  • Novell DOS Client     NetWare Client for DOS workstations (here too)
  • Novell WIN32 Client   32bit Netware Client


DOS Programs and drivers for Laptops

  • DOS Palmtop Freeware  Lots of DOS utilities and Fonts for Palmtops - by Stefan Peichl
  • USB DOS Drivers       USB for DOS at Bootdisk.com, another site that seems to know what it writes about.


While under DOS each application had to have its own printer driver, here are some that solve a Windows problem:

  • DOSPRINT / DLLPRINT   DOSPRINT modules let you use your existing DOS programs to PRINT your data on any WINDOWS supported printer! (Note: DOSPRINT & DLLPRINT are true 32-bit Windows operating system solutions to the compatibility issues between your DOS application and todays Window-only printers! And, DOSPRINT/DLLPRINT are completely compatible with all WIN versions: 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP.) - by Simply The Best Inc.
  • DOSPRN                DOSPRN allows you to use a good old DOS program with new printers irrespective of their types (Yes, USB and network printers, print-servers, and PDF-printers too!). DOSPRN will also be useful if a DOS program is in your native language. If your printer does not support your language in text mode, DOSPRN will be a good helper. DOSPRN is distributed as shareware. - by ???
  • Printfil              This software allows character based applications to print to any Windows printer, including USB, network printers, faxmodems and PDF writers, even if it is a Dos/Windows application or a Unix/Linux app. running on a Windows PC via telnet, without changes to the original applications. You can set your application to print to an ascii file, or you can have Printfil capturing a parallel port output, automatically redirecting your print jobs to any printer, even if a printer is phisically connected to the captured port. - by Guolo Davide
  • DOS Printer           DOS Printer can capture DOS output sent to lpt1 and print it. It does this by installing a modified generic printer to identify the print jobs, steal them and delete them from the queue. It also monitors for up to 4 different filenames which can be sent to 4 different printers. In this way, a dos program can create a text file and send it to a specific printer just by giving it the correct name. - Commercial program by Dave Beggs.
  • Print to any Windows Printer  Description of a free method to print to any Windows printer. Works for any program, not only Wordperfect!

Screen - VGA

  • Ansiplus             My favourite replacement for ansi.sys and a lot of other utils. A real do it all: adjust the hue of every single one of 16 dos colours to your liking (your screen can look much better!), keyboard control, key stacking (4DOS compatible), key macros, extended ansi commands, VGA modes, scrollback buffer, clipboard and that still doesn�t exhaust it�s features. Heartily recommended. Heavy memory footprint, but Ansiplus can use xms, ems, umbs, and replaces more than just one driver. Shareware. - by Kristofer Sweger.
  • Screen Thief          Screen Thief v1.58 is a screen capture program that will capture the screensother programs cannot reach! Captures
    directly to .GIF, .PCX, .TIF or .BMP format, supports all VGA modes, plus extended support for Trident, Cirrus, Paradise, Tseng, S3-911 and Oak cards in SVGA modes. Will even capture soft fonts in text mode (such as those used by DOS 6). Requires 286 AT or better with VGA display. Uncrippled shareware. - by Adrian Mardlin
  • Laptop Ultravision  Ultravision was the ultimate (commercial) screen enhancer: 20 great fonts, new screen formats etc. By now it is abandoned, the company defunct. - by Personics Inc.
  • NANSI                 Very small and enhanced ANSI.SYS replacement. - by Dan Kegel
  • Display Doctor        Scitech's Software to enhance and generally speed-up the performance of your display card and monitor inside and outside Windows 3.1x. This version should be installed whilst in DOS (less complicated?). Version 6.53. Shareware 30-day limited.
  • Procon Fonts          several monospaced font packages designed to improve text visibility and ease data entry in Windows and Terminal modes. They also have several DOS utils you may like here.
  • QRes                  is a Win-32 command line utility to change screen resolution, color depth and refresh rate.
  • Scrollit              A backscroll buffer, if you don't want to use Ansiplus. Shareware - by Bromfield Software Products.
  • Screen savers         This is a huge library of all kinds of screen savers, with quite a few DOS-only ones among them.
    • Fake DOS Screen Saver is a special case: this amusing spoof screensaver for Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP makes it seem as if an invisible person is typing in DOS commands to do such things as format your hard drive and delete important files. Of course, it's only a screensaver and your files are perfectly safe, though it does look convincing.
    • After Dark Deluxe is availabled from Pearl. This was the most prestigious commercial screen saver in DOS days.
  • Screen Utils          Further screen utilities.
  • VideoThief            VideoThief is a DOS screen grabber supporting every mode that VGAs were able to handle those days, and extended to handle VESA BIOS extensions (VBE) modes.
  • VMODE                 VMode 1.1 allows you to switch between various text modes (and even graphics modes) from DOS prompt. VMode allows you to set high resolution text modes with newer VBE 3.0 video cards. However, it could still be very handy with older cards. - by Denis Adrianov.
  • ZANSI                 Very small and enhanced ANSI.SYS replacement, based on NANSI.SYS. Faster and smaller . - by Thomas Hanlin III


DOS Drivers for SCSI drives, Scanners...

  • SCSI Tool Bootdisk    Another of Bart Lagerwij's useful pages: a collection of many ASPI and SCSI managers for DOS.


Sound card problems under NT in a dos box:

  • Mpxplay              Mpxplay by PDSoft is a DOS based (32-bit) audio player. Supported files:
    • audio: AAC, AC3, APE, DTS, FLAC, MP2/MP3, MPC, OGG, WMA, WV and CDW (Audio CD ripp'n'play)
    • containers: ASF (WMA/WMV), AVI, MP4 (M4A), WAV
    • playlists: M3U, M3U8, PLS, FPL, CUE, MXU
  • Sound FX             SoundFX 2000 is THE sound card emulator for DOS programs running on Windows XP, 2000 and NT4. Windows XP, 2000 & NT4 deny direct peripheral access. Most DOS multimedia titles (games) provide sound by directly accessing the sound card and as a result although many can be run under Windows, they are unable to produce sound and hence lose a great deal of playability. SoundFX provides a complete emulation of a SoundBlaster 16 card and hence enables old favourites such as Doom (1 & 2), Heretic, Duke Nukem (2 & 3D) etc to be run with sound under Windows XP, 2000 & NT4.


DOS Drivers for USB, that was developed long after DOS was already superseded by Windows, are rare.

  • USB To Whatever       Fred Langa illuminates the pervasive but little-understood world of USB, explaining how to hook it up to non-USB systems and peripherals - even in DOS! This page here is also useful. - by Payroll Plus
  • USB DOS Drivers       A site that specializes in USB drivers for DOS, Win 3.nn ...
  • USB DOS Drivers       USB for DOS at Bootdisk.com, another site that seems to know what it writes about.
  • USB DOS Drivers       Collection of links to USB drivers and tools
  • The Inquirer          Yes, there are USB drivers for DOS. BTW, the Motto Hairu Mass Storage driver (mhairudos.zip) mentioned in the article is not so easy to find anymore. A still working link is here.
  • USB Resources         Another very informative site.
  • Bootdisk with USB     Downloadable drivers and tools
  • USBASPI.SYS           A Computing.Net thread about USB2.0 storage in DOS and USBASPI.SYS

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