MSDOS boot disk for Mac?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by macstatic, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #1
    I need to run a hard-drive firmware utility which unfortunately only works in MSDOS. And since I don't have a PC I've been reading about MSDOS boot disks (CD-ROM or USB stick, the latter being preferred) and wonder if I could make one for a recent Intel iMac?
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    Forget the USB. Our Macs can't even boot modern W7 installers from USB. :(

    Once upon a time though, I tried booting my iMac from a bootable CD-ROM that was a DOS image and that seemed to work.

    Aren't there Linux versions of the WD application you are trying to run. Linux should be able to boot from USB.

    B
     
  3. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #3
    Nope, Western Digital apparently doesn't support Linux either.

    I have managed to install a DOS emulator called DOSbox on my Powerbook G4 (!!!), and the WD utility (WDidle 3) runs, but obviously I don't have a WD Caviar Green drive yet so I can't figure out if it does what it's supposed to do.

    I do however have another WD hard drive (WD5000AAKB) connected to my Mac (via Firewire), but I don't think it responds to the commands from that utility (or the syntax I'm using is wrong). This drive makes some strange "buzzing" sounds after a while (which goes away once I open a folder which hasn't been cached), so I'm assuming it also tries to auto-park, but somehow can't -perhaps there's some conflict with MacOS preventing it to do so.
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    I have a CD-ROM that had a number of DOS floppy images on it, and was able to boot from it on my 2009 MBP. However... The keyboard was non-responsive to select which image to boot from.

    This raises two concerns in my mind for what you are trying to do.

    1) I presume the utility will look for the drive attached via SATA, Will a USB or firewire attachment even work?

    2) Will something like I ran into with the KB also get in your way.

    DOS does not support USB by default and it may be that the Mac's BIOS emulation doesn't provide BIOS level access to the KB and mouse since they do not support any of the DOS based OSes (95/98/ME) on the hardware. On a PC the BIOS would take care of this, but there is no BIOS on the Macs.

    B
     
  5. speag macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #5
    I'll second balamw's post. I just tried to use a bootable DOS CD utility to recover the bootcamp partition I accidentally erased (oops) on my MacBook Pro. It booted into DOS and ran the utility fine, but I couldn't do anything as the keyboard was completely unresponsive.
     

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