MODE.COM in MS-DOS 6.22?

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Amir Caspi

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Mar 7, 2021, 6:30:28 PM3/7/21
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Hi all,

I'm trying to restore a very old DOS program that uses the LPT. I've been running it in a (very old) Parallels Desktop VM but the LPT-to-file functionality doesn't work properly from v9 onwards, and v8 is totally end-of-lifed. I'm trying to get this to work in VirtualBox and need to redirect the LPT to COM.

I've gotten the Parallels HDDs working fine in Vbox -- I can boot, I can run the old DOS program just fine. But, I can't redirect the LPT -- the "mode" command isn't found (DOS is complaining it's a "bad command"). So apparently I don't have MODE.COM installed, and I'm not sure where to get it.

Any ideas on how to get MODE working? Or, might anyone know how to redirect LPT to a text file in VirtualBox?

Thanks in advance for your patience as I am a complete DOS luddite (and I don't use Windows, this is a pure DOS VM).

Thank you!

--- Amir

Amir Caspi

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Mar 8, 2021, 2:30:53 AM3/8/21
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OK, I've resolved this but have a different question now. =P It turns out my existing DOS installation on the Parallels VM used a basic 6.22 install which had only the first install disk's worth of stuff. I found the full 3-disk install and was able to get MODE.COM from that. I was then able to reassign LPT1 to COM1 and get printing working in Vbox.

BUT -- when I tried a _fresh_ install from the 3-disk set, the ASSIGN command kept returning an error ("incorrect DOS version"). I tried using SETVER but could not find a version number that would work properly. My old limited install didn't have this problem, ASSIGN worked fine. So, in the end, I just copied MODE.COM from the new install to the old install, and it now works fine... but I have no idea why ASSIGN didn't work properly off the fresh install.

Is there a particular version number to use with SETVER? 5.0 didn't work, nor did 6.22.

Thanks!

--- Amir

JJ

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Mar 9, 2021, 1:41:00 AM3/9/21
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On Sun, 7 Mar 2021 23:30:52 -0800 (PST), Amir Caspi wrote:
> OK, I've resolved this but have a different question now. =P It turns out
> my existing DOS installation on the Parallels VM used a basic 6.22
> install which had only the first install disk's worth of stuff.

That shouldn't happen. Even MS-DOS 5.0's MODE already support LPT.

> BUT -- when I tried a _fresh_ install from the 3-disk set, the ASSIGN
> command kept returning an error ("incorrect DOS version").

That shouldn't happen either. Chances are those disk set are custom
compiled. Get a correct disk set from Internet Archive.

> I tried using
> SETVER but could not find a version number that would work properly.

IIRC, SETVER won't work for MS-DOS own programs as they detect the real DOS
version, rather than the reported DOS version. SETVER only change the
reported DOS version.

Amir Caspi

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Mar 9, 2021, 2:31:50 AM3/9/21
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On Monday, March 8, 2021 at 11:41:00 PM UTC-7, JJ wrote:
> That shouldn't happen. Even MS-DOS 5.0's MODE already support LPT.

The problem was that MODE was not installed; apparently I was missing a bunch of utilities. From what I understand (which is very little), MODE is an external command, not built in, and apparently it was not installed. (Until I copied it over from the fresh install, that is.)

> That shouldn't happen either. Chances are those disk set are custom
> compiled. Get a correct disk set from Internet Archive.

Hmm, ok, will definitely try that. It looked like a regular install set but admittedly I don't know anything, so your advice is most welcome. =)

Thanks!

--- Amir
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