How can I install and play my old DOS game?

Question

Greetings.

Here is my dilemma. It all starts with an old game I used to like to play, which I know for a fact works (because I can intall & play it on any old machine). It's on a series of 3 CD's. When I try to install it (from the MS DOS command prompt) in Windows 98 SE, it tells me that it has to be installed & played in full DOS mode. So I "restart the computer in MS-DOS". Now the problems begin. I'll just give them to you as I recieved them. First of all, when restarted in MS-DOS, my computer does not read either my E: drive (24x10x40 Burner - which I use for all cd because it's quieter), or my D: drive (52x CDROM). So that's a problem, and maybe your solution will be for that. But I will press on. I then revert to using a Win98 SE boot disk. I restart, it prompts "start with CD ROM support", or "without CD ROM support?" Of course I choose "with". So now I have all of my drives, and finally I can get to the files on the CD. I go to my E: drive, and type "install". It starts to install, but then reads "a mouse driver must be installed". So I get out my mouse driver. I install my mouse driver, and nothing changes. I will add two other things I tried to do. First, the game comes with a "bootdisk.exe" option, which I did. However when I booted it up on that, it did not recognize the E:, or D: drive to install from. Second, I tried rebooting into MS-DOS mode, and then installing my CD ROM drive right from there. That didn't work either. I am fairly decent with computers, and DOS (it's what I learned on), but am by no means an expert. However I did do as much research as I could, and in another question that you guys answered to someone with his "computer not recognizing his CD ROM" you said to remove it from the device manager, and reboot, and it will be recognized by windows, and then removed. Is this something I should do? I know this is a lot, and I'm very greatful for your wisdom and time devoted to all of us who sometimes don't have a clue. Thanks,

Chris Giles

Answer

This question was answered on January 15, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Are you sure there isn't a Windows knockoff for this game available cheap, or even free? Try searching Tucows.com

But to attend to your DOS situation:

Your Mouse driver will have to be specified in the autoexec.bat (if it's a .com or .exe file) or in the config.sys file (if it's a .sys file) on a boot floppy disk.

The CD ROM driver(s) will have to be likewise specified, for purposes of installation.

The route to the drivers will have to be specified in a Path statement (also on the floppy), if they are not in the root directory.

The CD ROM question in the last part of your statement only applies to problems occuring under Windows I don't even know if the game can be played in a DOS Window within Windows 98 Not knowing the title of the game, I can't look it up, either.

Sounds like the entire game ought to be playable from the hard drive, so CD drivers ought not be needed once the game is installed, but the PC will have to be booted from a DOS disk.

Here's a page from Electronic Arts which describes mouse driver installation for DOS games: http://retailsupport.ea.com/tech_support/how_to/mouse.htm

RG

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on January 15, 2003