FreeDOS and Norton Ghost

Gareth Randall has been working to get Norton Ghost to work with FreeDOS. He has met with success. Rather than post this on the FreeDOS web site as a regular news story, I am posting it as a technote so I can include the interesting details:

Gareth writes:

Norton Ghost 5.1c runs on FreeDOS. As you are aware this was my initial reason for trying FreeDOS. I've quoted the two paragraphs that you might want to release as a news item.

Norton Ghost 5.1c is ~606K in size, and ran without problems. I performed a partition to partition copy to verify it. I'll need a zip disk to confirm all of the functionality, but I don't foresee any difficulties.

My configuration is:

My previous problems with regard to freeing sufficient conventional memory turned out to be due to the fact that FDXMS 0.1 returns a misleading value to UMBPCI.SYS, which prevents the latter from enabling the UMB space (see FDXMS documentation). FDXMS 0.4 fixes this, and at last UMBPCI.SYS installs itself.

With kernel 2024b the working SHELLHIGH command then has some UMB space to work with, and the new MEM (the beta 6 one gives MCB corruption error) shows the final results:

Largest executable program size: 616K
Largest free upper memory block: 37K
FreeDOS is resident in the high memory area.

The above includes ctmouse loaded high (3K).

(Previously I had never been able to get the "Upper" even listed, and the HMA just "existed", leaving me with at least ~140K of conventional memory used before anything else started.)

This means I can now begin implementing FreeDOS based system-recovery CDs in real production environments. Corporate IT staff may soon get to see FreeDOS when they take disk backups of key systems, and FreeDOS will be what they use to save the day when they later need to restore those backups!

I will let you know of any significant developments.

Gareth also includes his config.sys and autoexec.bat files for FreeDOS:


REM   autoexec.bat  -  run at bootup by
REM   @ means do not echo this line to the screen
REM   ECHO OFF stops echoing for the rest of the file
rem   commands are not case-sensitive.

REM   Set path for executable programs. Separator is ;

REM   Set other environment variables
REM   If you get an error saying that environment variables
REM   could not be set, then increase the storage by using
REM   the /E: option in config.sys. See

REM   Set useful aliases
ALIAS ls=dir

REM   Load mouse driver


REM   config.sys  -  run by kernel at bootup

REM   First load the Extended memory manager

REM   Make DOS use High Memory Area if available

REM   Load UMB manager for upper memory

REM   Load the shell into UMB memory if possible
REM /p causes autoexec.bat to be executed.
REM   See /? for a full list of options.

Gareth adds: Note, the C:\DOS\UPDATES directory is where I have the post-beta 6 files that I used to run Norton Ghost, as described in the previous e-mail. Presumably your next beta release will contain the latest revisions of all of those files, so these paths can all revert to C:\DOS\BIN. Other refinements could also be made, but these files should certainly get people up and running quickly.