CD-ROM drive not recognized by my Win-95 in MS-DOS mode.

I can get to MS-DOS mode just fine. I know enough of the command lines in that archaic OS to switch which drive I’m accessing. I even know what letter is associated with my CD-ROM drive (E, for some reason). I can work the CD-ROM drive when my PC is in Windows 95 mode. I cannot, however, get my computer to recognize it when it is in MS-DOS mode. When I try any of the little commands I know to get the current drive to be E, I get the little ‘Invalid drive’ message and I stay in C drive. I can get to my floppy drive (A, as usual) just fine. Keep in mind that my CD-ROM drive is not a removable drive. It is as physically permanent as my 3.5 inch floppy drive. I want to install Linux from a CD-ROM I have, something that is impossible to do while Windows 95 is running. Can anybody help me?

Your CD-DOM drive should have come with DOS drivers – Something like cdrom.sys, which you add to the config.sys file (Check if you can’t find it). You will also need the DOS file MSCDEX.EXE, which you must add to your autoexec.bat file. This file should be in your windows\command directory.

One option is to make a boot disk by hand that supports cdrom drives. this place explains the basic idea.

Check out the part where it describes the config.sys and autoexec.bat. You will need to change these for your specific driver.

Another thing I may add, many linux distributions let you boot and install straight from the cdrom now. That is, you can change your bios so that the first place it will try to boot is the cdrom and then you don’t have to go through all the other hassle.

Per the other suggestions change your autoexec.bat and config.sys files to load the appropriate drivers. If you need these drivers mail me and I will send you a set of boot files and instructions that work with most IDE cd roms.

Ok, I am a linux enthusiast, but I am very confused as to what Balduran’s post had to do with the question.
Although on that subject, I tend to boot linux off a floppy due to NTFSloader not playing nice with the MBR.

Oh, and loading the default Windows CDROM driver in config.sys works in most cases I’ve found (then using mscdex of course). IDE CDROM drives are fairly interchangeable.

Kyber, Derleth mentioned wanting to do this so he could install linux from a cdrom. I was trying to say that instead of instead of going to the trouble of making a boot disk, going into the cdrom drive, and running some setup programs, many linux distributions on cd let you boot straight from the cd, so all you have to do is set your bios to boot from cdrom (most newish computers will let you do this) then everything is taken care of automatically.

Just use the install floppy that came with the cdrom drive, believe it or not, that’s what it’s for.

Ok, sorry to keep harping about this, but Derleth if installing linux is what you want to do, making a DOS boot disk may not be the best way or the end of the story because ultimately you want to have a linux boot disk that recognizes the cdrom.

It really depends on the distribution, some will let you boot straight from cdrom as I mentioned, others actually have dos or windows programs on them that let you make a linux boot disk through dos or windows. You might want to try accessing your linux cd while you’re in windows and see if there are any README’s that explain it.

Maybe there are other distributions that let you start the linux setup from DOS? I don’t know if this is possible as DOS may not be able to recognize the linux partitions.

I apologize, I should have read more carefully. Yes, booting off the CD is indeed easiest, just like you would do when installing Windows.

'sokay Kyber :slight_smile: . BTW, do you happen to have your linux on a hard drive other that the primary one? My MBR had problems with this until I put the linux /boot partition onto the primary hard drive ( the rest of the stuff could stay on the secondary)

Thank you, Balduran, astro, Baraqiyal, handy (what a nice, long list of names :)). Does anyone else have something to add?

If I try and fail, and I will try everything, I’ll resurrect this thread with an update.

I’ll second this opinion…the line for MSCDEX may already be in your autoexec.bat; IIRC, W95 just REMs it out.

Actually, W95+ ignores the autoexec.bat & config.sys unless you use DOS mode. As a matter of fact, you can delete config.sys & autoexec.bat (or rename) & it’ll work just fine.