How to Install Multiple DOSBox Floppies

by Jason Savage

DOSBox is a cross-platform freeware application used to run DOS-based software from the 1980s and 1990s on today's computers. Occasionally, users want to install a program that was originally released on multiple floppy disks. Because most users no longer have or use a floppy drive, the individual floppies take the form of "disk images," virtual reproductions of the original floppies that can be "mounted" onto virtual drives and used just like the original. Installing a multiple-floppy image program in DOSBox is done using a command called "imgmount." With this command, it is possible to mount multiple floppy images and install them as though from an actual floppy drive.

Make sure that your floppy image files are in either .IMG or .ISO format. These are the two floppy image formats that DOSBox recognizes. If they are in another format, you will need to convert them to .IMG or .ISO using the utility of your choice. Some applications that can do this include WinImage and Magic Iso Maker.

Open DOSBox. At the "Z:" prompt -- DOSBox's internal virtual command line prompt -- type "imgmount" followed by the letter of the virtual drive you want to create to mount the floppy images. Choose a drive letter not already represented on your system. For example, if you have no drive "F:" type "imgmount f" followed by a space. Do not press "Enter" yet.

Type the path and name of each floppy image file in order. Multiple-floppy installations number the disks so that the user knows in what order to insert them for installation. For example, if there are four floppy images named "gameX.img," where "X" represents the number of the disk, and they are in a folder named "Game" on your "C:" drive, type "C:\Game\game1.img C:\Game\game2.img" and so on. Follow the last with a space and then type "-floppy." This tells DOSBox what kind of images are to be mounted.

Press "Enter." DOSBox will mount the floppy images onto the virtual drive. Note that DOSBox does not give each image its own drive letter. You can cycle through the different floppy images by pressing "CTRL-F4." Type "cd X," where "X" represents the letter of the newly mounted virtual drive, and press "Enter." This will make the virtual drive the active drive. Type "dir" and press "Enter" to see a list of files on the first floppy image. One of these files will be the installation program, often called "install.exe" or "setup.exe." Type the name of that file and press "Enter." The installation program will begin.

Press "CTRL-F4" when the installation program asks for the next disk. This will tell DOSBox to cycle to the next floppy image mounted on the virtual drive you created. Continue pressing "CTRL-4" whenever the installation program prompts you for another disk until the installation program completes.

About the Author

Jason Savage has been a freelance writer since 2005. He has authored technical and procedural documents for a variety of clients, while his journalism and fiction have appeared in "Monday Magazine," "The Pedestal" and other publications. Savage holds B.A. in English and a B.F.A. in music.

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