Home > OS News > Yes, there are USB Drivers for DOS Yes, there are USB Drivers for DOS Eugenia Loli 2003-06-27 OS News 30 Comments Miracle-driver from Panasonic does the unthinkable, The Inquirer says: there are USB drivers for DOS. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 30 Comments 2003-06-27 11:06 pm WOW!! Ive always wanted to use a DOS on one of my old comps..and being able to us emy ZIP drive would really help…mmmm cool, thanks or posting this! 2003-06-27 11:06 pm We’ll be able to use this old PC lying in the basement to play MAME with a modern joystick! that’s good. 2003-06-27 11:17 pm From the article: “However, it should be noted that this driver will only map mass storage devices like external hard disks, cd- roms, cd-rw, dvd-rom, zip, jaz, ls-120, and flash memory to ASPI devices.” This driver provides a generic ASPI layer for USB mass storage devices. It will not help you use a USB joystick with DOS. 2003-06-27 11:33 pm CMS drives will be much more useful for those on the road. Think about it. You can put 20 ghost images on a 20GB USB drive and not have to tote a cd wallet. This changes everything for support techies. 2003-06-28 1:02 am There’s a DOS USB mouse driver that comes with Norton Ghost. Such a thing is very useful for DOS tools such as Ghost, PartitionMagic etc. Unfortunately the driver has never worked very well for me – it seems to cause random lockups. 2003-06-28 1:42 am In my experience, the ultimate recovery disk (for pretty much any OS) is a copy of Linux on a CD or portable hard drive. DOS is definately a step back, especially since it can’t access the NTFS partitions used on most Win2k/WinXP installs. I remember fixing one of my friend’s machines. His hard drive was going bad, and I was trying to save his data. The WinXP “recovery console” was absolutely useless. Wouldn’t even see the drive. I stuck in my Gentoo CD, mounted the drive in safe mode (DMA off, etc), connected to the network to ssh his files over to my machine, and surfed the ‘net while the transfer finished 2003-06-28 2:03 am Better than USB drivers for DOS would be a PC that jettisons the capability to boot DOS. You look at a mac, or a sun, or an SGI, or anything that doesn’t have to be saddled with Windows, and the hardware is *much* better. How about a real functional PC BIOS? Well, then it wouldn’t boot win98. Jeeze. 2003-06-28 2:11 am http://www.catc.com/products/usb4dos.html http://www.pocketech.net/ 2003-06-28 3:01 am I don’t deny the coolness factor of this but is there any reason to be using DOS nowadays? 2003-06-28 3:15 am Well if you hypotheticaly are a person with some old DOS app that has no need to be up dated to anything else like a big computer modeling program like a engineer or scientist would have, or use a DOS based app to run a machine then you have a reason to use it. The user may have upgraded to better hardware for the app because of old hardware simply dying. Yet there is no reason to put a full blown OS on there if it’s just running a machine, or is hooked into a grubby old monitor cause it’s just for churning out a number. Really this isn’t hypothetical at all, what I said is the situation all over. Engineers have tons of old DOS apps laying around and they use. Even if they have the code there is no point in recompiling them for something else. They run fine as is. If all you want is a computer that turns on fast, is easy to work with, and only runs simple cli apps it’s fine. The “if it aint broke don’t fix it” line works well for this. 2003-06-28 4:16 am Thanks OSNEWS for your wonderful site! I think that using a LINUX distro that is CD Only is great, but what I was trying to point out is having the USB drive and a floppy disk can allow a corporate support tech to walk up to a computer that blew up, copy data in DOS (using NTFSDOS if need be) to the USB drive. Then run GHOST (or whatever) from the USB Drive to reimage the computer. Why this is “better” than an a CD Boot… CD-ROM drive don’t always work in dusty plants or the computer just does not have one. Almost every computer since the TX chipset has USB and a floppy drive (at least on ones that are not homebrews). This works. Of course we use RAWWrite Floppy images to make Networking DOS diskettes and pull the GHOST images over the LAN. This works fine, but having this option makes the Swiss Army Knife (or Leatherman, if you will) have just one more doohickey. Flexibility is one very important quality when doing support. FYI… Windows 95/98 is all over the place in corporate America. USB Drivers for DOS, for me, is a GODSend. 2003-06-28 4:29 am I’m still running DOS and DOS apps here for key parts of my packet radio setup. I keep telling myself I’ll migrate all that stuff to Linux, but I never do… It just keeps running. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it! 2003-06-28 4:39 am I always used ARJ and CD-RWs to backup my system, at least from when I got my first CD-RW drive. I had DOS/Win3.1; OS/2 Warp 3; and Win95 or 98lite WinME installed. ARJ worked for all of them. ARJ can save several snapshots of your harddrive into the same .arj file, but only save the files that have changed, allowing one to restore their system to any point that they have saved in the past. The only bad thing, I have never been able to save my Linux disk this way, but I have not tried extra hard yet Oh well, Partimage works well. It always did upset me that I had to boot into windows or Linux to burn my backups to CD. It would have been nice to backup and burn it to disk from DOS- I could do it with a batch file Another thought for Linux and backups: DOSEmu cannot assign a drive letter to an SMB mounted path. I thought I would use DOSEmu to backup my DOS and windows partitions straight to the network share on the other computer. DOSEmu could not assign a drive letter to an SMB mounted path. Maybe in the future… 2003-06-28 5:35 am I’m sure most people visiting this site won’t have any use for such drivers. Let’s face it: DOS is outdated. For those who want a modern, lean, c-line OS, there’s Linux, the BSD family, and so forth. However, as someone has already mentioned, there are those with perfectly functional DOS programs who would like to use modern peripherals. For those people, this is very cool. Good for them, I say. 2003-06-28 6:49 am > I’m sure most people visiting this site won’t have any use for such drivers. Well most people don’t have use for the hobby OS’ that we read about, but they’re still valid OS news. 2003-06-28 10:10 am Can somebody provide a step by step how-to on how to get a set of working DOS USB drivers going? Or even better an ISO that integrates this drives and that can be easily downloaded? I mean, aren’t all the readers of this site too young to reember DOS? 2003-06-28 10:34 am Some people will do anything to grapple on to a slight increase in market share. Hence, the proof: (above) 2003-06-28 11:42 am Specially for the mobo manufacturers, which make bootdisks with freeDOS for the bios updates… 2003-06-28 2:58 pm What prevents you from putting Linux on that USB floppy drive? Any USB drive big enough to hold the ghost image is easily big enough to hold a copy of Linux. Gentoo’s (rather large) live CD is only about 60MB. If you do a Google Search, I’m sure you can find something of comparable functionality in less than 30MB. Even at this size, you get a full kernel, with tons of hardware support modules, a full suite of networking tools, and filesystem drivers to read everything from HFS+ to FAT32 to NTFS. More importantly, Linux is far more capable than any version of DOS or Windows when it comes to recovering data from borked filesystems or flaky hardware. 2003-06-28 3:17 pm …my only DOS box doesn’t have a USB drive! It doesn’t even have PCI! 2003-06-28 3:29 pm There’s probably more DOS users than Linux users. 2003-06-28 4:18 pm I have a USB ZIP100 (which I will test the driver on eventually), but supposedly the DOS ZIP driver from Iomega only works with the ZIP250, max. The ZIP750 is Mac and Windows ONLY… Until now? I wonder if the Panasonic DOS USB driver will work with the Iomega USB ZIP750? Total coolness if it did/does. Luposian 2003-06-28 5:14 pm granted i dont use it as a workstation, but i still use it when i use ghost or partition magic. combine this with the RW ntfs driver from sys internals and you have a real sweet combo. (i have a 120 gig drive in a firewire/usb enclosure) 2003-06-28 5:40 pm What is wrong with you people. Why are so many of you trying to get people to use linux over DOS. You are working so hard to get people away from DOS and onto linux. Does it not occur to you that there is very little point. If I have something that is easy to use and setup why would I want to move to something else for no real reason. DOS is easy and pretty freindly. Linux is not. All these comments where people are saying why don’t you just switch to linux, or you can do it with linux are completely off the point. The point it is DOS is still very much used and for good reason. There is still good reason for people to support it. 2003-06-28 6:17 pm I’m not trying to get people to switch to Linux from DOS. I’m saying that as a repair disk for fixing broken machines, Linux is infinately more capable than DOS. Ease of use has nothing to do with this, because as long as you know the UNIX CLI commands, Linux is just as easy to use as DOS, if not moreso because current Linux “LiveCD” setups will autodetect most of your hardware while no DOS disk I know of will. Heck, Gentoo’s “net-setup” utility will also autoconfigure networking for you. Having more capable tools makes you a more capable tech support person. Your poor users should not be stuck with sub-par service just because you choose to stubbornly hold on to the past to avoid learning something new. 2003-06-28 8:10 pm Damn! When I saw this I almost leapt for joy at the thought of finally being able to use Kgen, the DOS only Genesis emulator wioth my USB gamepad. Or that I could finally pull out some of the other earlier (and IMHO better) emulators I used back in the day.. But this is only for storange devices! Oh well… [iWindoze thinks back to those happier days] 2003-06-28 9:54 pm Well most people don’t have use for the hobby OS’ that we read about, but they’re still valid OS news. I wasn’t saying this wasn’t a valid news article…please read my ENTIRE (short) post. I was responding to others who seemed to see no need for such drivers and was saying that, while most people probably wouldn’t need such drivers with their DOS setups, SOME people obviously do. 2003-06-30 3:11 am +5 Insightful 2003-06-30 10:21 am This has actually been around for a while. For more usb on dos resources check out : http://www.stefan2000.com/darkehorse/PC/DOS/Drivers/USB/ 2003-07-03 12:43 pm Its just a standard dos driver… theres nothing miraculous about it… Having gone through all the work of getting similar drivers (ie: Iomega and Motto Hairu) to work some 4/5 months ago, courtesy of the now defunct USB Forums on Darkehorse.Web.Com, and then payed-back by helping others through the same Forums, I find it funny how people seem to think this is a break-through As to nobody using it… there are thousands of ‘Ghost’ users in the world (including myself, and the British NHS) who will find being able to Ghost onto removable USB media (albeit CD-RW or H.Disk) an absolute godsend… As pointed out by a previous poster, flexibility is everything when your a techie on a mission… Do you know what would be a -REAL- miracle ? A set of DOS USB Utilities which could detect whether your USB controller was AHCI, OHCI or EHCI, and return that as a variable, (in much the same way that Barts PCISCAN does for PCI cards) so that you wouldn’t have to figure out manually what your controller was… It would make writing a DOS USB bootdisk for mutliple machines/controllers a damn sight easier task than I’ve been having… Paul Whitfield Senior Technical Support Engineer.