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Mail Archives: djgpp/2002/04/04/04:55:01

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From: Hans-Bernhard Broeker <broeker AT physik DOT rwth-aachen DOT de>
Newsgroups: comp.os.msdos.djgpp
Subject: Re: Dos shell ,dos box ,MS-Dos ......
Date: 4 Apr 2002 09:26:04 GMT
Organization: Aachen University of Technology (RWTH)
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DJ-Gateway: from newsgroup comp.os.msdos.djgpp
Reply-To: djgpp AT delorie DOT com

infonews <usrinfousr AT libero DOT it> wrote:
> explain
> me what is Dos that is in Windows ME ( operating system on my PC).It cannot
> be an operating system (that is windows ME ! ).

It can be.  And it is, to some extent.  The first stages of booting
your PC, even in Windows ME, are still executed by an instance of DOS.
It's needed, because the first stages of the Windows ME bootup process
itself can't access your harddisks all on their own.  They need and
use the services of DOS for that.

The boot block of your harddisk loads and executes IO.SYS, which is
the operating system kernel of DOS.  MSDOS.SYS used to be the next
binary part to be loaded and executed, but sometime around Windows 95,
M$ converted that one into a configuration textfile.  Go have a look
at it, some time.

This DOS instance then proceeds to fire up the Windows systems, which
replaces just about all of the services of that DOS kernel by its own
drivers.  So DOS has been reduced to a slightly glorified "bootstrap
loader" for the Win32 system.  But it's still there.

In all earlier versions of the "9x" series of Windows, you could
prevent the startup of Windows itself from happening automatically, by
putting certain entries into MSDOS.SYS, CONFIG.SYS and/or
AUTOEXEC.BAT.  But ME does it unconditionally, so it *appears* like
there was no separate DOS anymore.  That was done mainly to satisfy
the claims by MS' marketing droids about how ME would be the "first
consumer Windows without a DOS sitting under the hood".  But if you
get down to the technical facts, there still is --- only its
camouflage gear has become more elaborate.

The emergency boot disk the system will create for you, e.g., still is
a pure and uncrippled DOS system.  Go figure.

Hans-Bernhard Broeker (broeker AT physik DOT rwth-aachen DOT de)
Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.

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