DOS games on a DOS system

Posted by: JohnBoy

DOS games on a DOS system - 09/13/03 11:16 AM

I plan to go shopping tomorrow at a local flea market that sells old and used computers. I want to buy an old DOS system before Win95. Can anyone tell me what to look for? Or should I trust the sales persons recommendations. Any particular brand of computer and what version of DOS should I look for? Thanks for any info ya'll can supply. Johnny
Posted by: BacardiJim

Re: DOS games on a DOS system - 09/13/03 11:18 AM

Make sure you get one that has at least version 3.1 or later.
Posted by: syd

Re: DOS games on a DOS system - 09/13/03 11:38 AM


It's really not so much having a strictly DOS machine as having the right video and sound card. I have an old P133 running W95 and I can play all the old DOS games on it - because I have a one meg VESA 1.0 compliant video card and an ISA Soundblaster 16 sound card.

But if you want a strictly DOS machine I would probably go with a 486 and DOS 6.22.
Posted by: BacardiJim

Re: DOS games on a DOS system - 09/13/03 11:45 AM

Ditto to what Syd said.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: DOS games on a DOS system - 09/13/03 02:26 PM

An ISA type Soundblaster 16 is the most compatible sound card for DOS. ISA AWE 32 and AWE 64 work for most DOS games, though the drivers take up more space than those for the SB16 and this gave me a problem in a couple of DOS games that didn't want to use XMS.

Even a very tiny hard drive is big enough for DOS games. So don't worry if you find a computer that only has a 500 MB hard drive. That's plenty big enough for DOS games.

A 486/66 (66 MHz) is probably the slowest you'd want to look at, assuming you want to play the later DOS games. 66 MHz is the minimum listed spec for playing Toonstruck, for example. I have a 486/133 (133 MHz) and it has a Turbo button on the front of the case which decreases the processor speed. Not all 486's have this. It depends on the motherboard.

DOS 5 or later would work. The DOS games I have that list a DOS version say DOS 5.0 or later. However I'd recommend you get DOS 6.22. I have a computer with DOS 5.0 and found I had to search for files off the net to get my CD drive working. My version of DOS 5 was missing MSCDEX. I can't remember for sure, but it may have also been missing EMM386.EXE.
Posted by: JohnBoy

Re: DOS games on a DOS system - 09/13/03 02:46 PM

Thanks Jenny, It will be interesting to see what I find. I will let you all know.
Posted by: Aurora

Re: DOS games on a DOS system - 09/14/03 01:15 AM

Back in the Good Old Days when I was playing LSL, Fate of Atlantis, etc I think my Home Computer was a 286 .... with "soundblaster" only. I do recall it cost me $1500 then daughter was 10 or 11 and I "had to have" one at home (for her education, of course). Gosh, did I "tinker" with it ..... screwed up many times (and figured it out, hours later) but pre-Windows you could actually do that and not "damage" the investment smile I even tried partitioning, and "more memory" geeze. Taught me a lot and far more by screwing up than any "technical class" that was available at the time ..... NOBODY knew much.

Johnboy you should be able to get an OLD computer for nothing ..... as in "given away". IF you can find an old 286 or 386 buy the guy a beer! They were PRE-Internet, can't be upgraded and DOS is still the basis for Windows....... if you can fiddle/tinker with that, you will learn a few things.

Good Luck