Manual MS-DOS Installation When SETUP.EXE Fails

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Article ID: 117245 - View products that this article applies to.
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If a regular or manual installation of MS-DOS fails because SETUP.EXE does not run correctly, you may be able to use a batch file called EXPALL.BAT to perform a successful manual installation. EXPALL.BAT is discussed on pages 553-554 of the Microsoft Windows 3.0 "User's Guide." This file was originally designed to perform a network installation of Windows 3.0. In the steps below, it has been adapted to perform an installation of MS-DOS to the C:\DOS subdirectory.


  1. Boot your machine with Disk 1 (Setup) of the MS-DOS disk set you are upgrading to by inserting the disk in drive A and pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL. When the message "Starting MS-DOS ..." appears on the screen, press the F5 key to bypass MS-DOS Setup.

    IMPORTANT: If your Disk 1 fits in drive B only, you must first install MS-DOS to a floppy disk in drive A (use the command B:\SETUP /F). Then boot with the floppy disk created in drive A and follow the above instructions. If SETUP /F does not run, you must obtain a copy of MS-DOS that is the same media type as your boot disk drive and then perform step 1.
  2. Transfer the MS-DOS system files to the hard disk drive with the following command:
          a:sys c:
  3. Make sure Disk 1 is no longer in drive A. Reboot your machine from the hard disk drive, and press F5 when the message "Starting MS-DOS ..." appears on the screen to ensure no unnecessary drivers are loaded.
  4. Create the directory C:\DOS.
NOTE: We do not recommended that you copy files from the disk created with the SETUP /F command to C:\DOS because all MS-DOS files are not present on that disk.

  1. Copy EXPAND.EXE from the MS-DOS Disk 1 (Setup) to the C:\DOS directory.
  2. Change to the C:\DOS directory on the hard disk, and create EXPALL.BAT with COMMAND.COM by typing the following lines (be sure to press ENTER after each line):
    FOR %%i IN (*.*) DO C:\DOS\EXPAND %%i C:\DOS\%%i
    CTRL + Z
  3. Run EXPALL.BAT with the source disk drive indicated (such as EXPALL A: or EXPALL B:). The command must be repeated for each disk you are installing.
  4. Rename the files expanded to the C:\DOS directory from their compressed names to their decompressed filenames.

    1. First rename the following files:
      rename dblspace.in_ dblspace.inf
      rename memmaker.in_ memmaker.inf
    2. Perform the following commands to rename the remaining files:
            rename *.38_ *.386
            rename *.bi_ *.bin
            rename *.co_ *.com
            rename *.cp_ *.cpi
            rename *.dl_ *.dll
            rename *.ex_ *.exe
            rename *.ov_ *.ovl
            rename *.sy_ *.sys
            rename *.tx_ *.txt
            rename *.gr_ *.grp
            rename *.hl_ *.hlp
            rename *.ls_ *.lst
            rename *.pr_ *.pro
  5. Copy the files WINA20.386 and DBLSPACE.BIN (or DRVSPACE.BIN in MS-DOS 6.22) to the root directory, and set the attributes of DBLSPACE.BIN or DRVSPACE.BIN to Hidden, System, and Read-Only by using the ATTRIB command as follows:
          c:\dos\attrib c:\???space.bin +r +s +h


Article ID: 117245 - Last Review: November 21, 1999 - Revision: 1.0
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.2 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.21 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.22 Standard Edition
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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