How do I install MS-DOS?

Updated: 12/29/2017 by Computer Hope

Windows command line (DOS)Before getting into the steps of installing MS-DOS it is important to realize today that almost all users will not need to install MS-DOS on their computers. Computers that have any version of Microsoft Windows installed on them can run the Windows command line shell (shown right). This shell can be used to perform almost all of the same tasks earlier versions of MS-DOS could and run many MS-DOS programs.

Installing MS-DOS 6.22

Although there are earlier versions of MS-DOS we suggest users who want to install a stand-alone version of MS-DOS install the last version of MS-DOS; version 6.22.

Finally, keep in mind that MS-DOS is an operating system. If your computer already has an operating system such as Windows XP, performing the steps below will erase it as well as any other programs currently installed on the computer.

  1. Insert the first MS-DOS installation diskette into the computer and reboot it or turn it on. If you do not have the MS-DOS diskettes you cannot install MS-DOS.
  2. If the MS-DOS setup screen appears when the computer starts press the F3 key two or more times to exit from the setup.
  3. Once at the A:\> MS-DOS prompt type fdisk and press enter.
  4. In the fdisk screen delete any current partitions existing on the computer and then recreate the partitions. Additional information about fdisk, including an fdisk simulation can be found on our fdisk command page.
  5. Once a new partition has been created exit out of fdisk and get back to the A:\> prompt.
  6. At the prompt type format and press enter.
  7. Once the hard drive has been formatted reboot the computer with the diskette still in the drive and once back at the setup screen run through the setup of MS-DOS on the computer.

Following the above steps will install MS-DOS in the computer. If successfully installed the computer should be able to get to an MS-DOS prompt with no diskettes in the computer.

Additional information