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Make the FreeDOS bootable USB flash drive

December 28, 2021

This article explains how to make Free DOS bootable USB flash drive.

FreeDOS is free software, licensed under the GNU General Public License terms. FreeDOS (formerly Free-DOS and PD-DOS) is a free operating system for IBM PC-compatible computers. It intends to provide a complete MS-DOS-compatible environment for running legacy software and supporting embedded systems.


Creating a bootable DOS USB in Windows

Rufus (The Reliable USB Formatting Utility, with Source) is a free and open-source portable application for Microsoft Windows that can format and create bootable USB flash drives or Live USBs.

  1. Download Rufus from https://rufus.ie/en/
  2. Rufus doesn’t need to be installed. You can run the program as an administrator after the download is complete.
  3. Rufus installs the FreeDOS directly via the template that doesn’t need to download FreeDOS.

Run Rufus under Windows PC.

Rufus settings:

  • Device: select the USB flash drive
  • Boot selection: FreeDOS
  • Partition scheme: MBR
  • Target system: BIOS (or UEFI-CSM)
  • Click START
rufus_fdos-2
rufus_fdos-1

OS-independent Alternative

A further possibility for installing FreeDOS on a USB stick comes in the form of UNetbootin. It is available for all conventional operating systems.

UNetbootin (Universal Netboot Installer) is a cross-platform utility that can create live USB systems, load various system utilities, or install different Linux distributions and other operating systems without a CD.

  1. Download UNetbootin from https://unetbootin.github.io/.
  2. FreeDOS download is not necessary as Unetbootin distributions can independently download and install the program.
  3. A FAT32 formatted USB in needed for the installation.

Note: To formatted USB in Ubuntu, you can use the following command

  • Use
    ls /dev/[sh]d*
    to check the USB stick is the device /dev/sdb
  • For Formatting the USB to FAT32 will erase all of its data:
    sudo mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sdb1

Creating a DOS Stick with UNetbootin

  • Use the drop-down menu to find the various operating systems in the Distribution section.
    unebootin1
  • Select FreeDOS from the list. Choose the USB to be formatted. Confirm with OK. If your USB does not appear in the menu, you need to mount it first.
    unebootin2
  • FreeDOS is downloaded, extracted, and installed.
    unebootin3
  • The FreeDOS bootable on USB is finished.
    unebootin4

Result

Use the EB-336x to boot the FreeDOS USB.

usbfreedos

References:


For more info and sample request, please write to info@icop.com.tw, call your nearest ICOP Branch, or contact our Worldwide Official Distributor.

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