Enterprise Software

Dinosaur Sightings: Installing MS-DOS 4

By Greg Shultz

In June of 1988, Microsoft released MS-DOS 4.0, but it got off to a rocky start due to that fact that is was quite buggy and suffered from compatibility issues with many applications. In December of 1988, Microsoft released MS-DOS 4.01, which fixed the bugs and compatibility problems.

Despite its initial problems, MS-DOS 4 introduced a number of new technologies including XMS support, support for hard disk partitions of up to 2 GB and featured the first native graphical shell.

In this screenshot gallery, I will walk you through the MS-DOS 4 installation procedure, which is interesting because it is powered not by the more familiar Setup program, but an earlier incarnation called the Select program.

MS-DOS 4 was the last operating system to use the Select program for installation. (MS-DOS 5.0 was the first operating system to use the Setup program, for its installation.)

Another interesting aspect of this vintage installation is that the Select program's Welcome screen begins by asking you if you want to install the operating system on a fixed disk or floppy disks and then lists the number of blank floppies you need to have on hand for the installation. Hard disks were expensive and many computers at that time only came with floppy disk drives.

By Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.