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Date:      Mon, 15 Oct 2018 19:28:55 +1100
From:      Ian Smith <>
To:        Polytropon <>
Subject:   re: FreeBSD boot manager customization for single-disk multiboot (4 x DOS)
Message-ID:  <>

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Hi there heroic wanderer,  it's been a while=2E=20

I only rarely read questions@ these days, from the archives, but this one =
I thought maybe I could help with=2E   I'm in a care situation, tapping thi=
s out in K9mail on a small phone, so will try to be concise=2E
I've read the thread=2E  Manish is trying to help but his DOS familiarity =
doesn=E2=80=99t go back far enough=2E  I started at 2 and used 3=2E3 (with =
Desqview), later 5=2E0 for years running Fidonet mailer, BBS, message edito=
r, DOS command space and other tasks in 6 MiB RAM =2E=2E so had to learn ho=
w to really squeeze things in - as did you, I gather=2E=20

Correct, you cannot boot DOS from a non-primary partition=2E  Maybe you co=
uld use GRUB, it installs after the MBR on track 0 side 0 so shouldn't get =
in the way=2E

I dont think you need to install linux to install GRUB?  That said, I don'=
t use it myself=2E  To add linux to the 4-DOS mix would need an extended pa=
rtition, leaving only 3 primaries for 3 x DOS=2E  Same deal with OS/2, with=
 its great boot manager=2E=20

boot0=2Es MBR code is VERY tight with about ZERO free space as I  recall =
=2E=2E however there's code there - still was at 9=2Ex I think - for a 1=C4=
=B6 (2 sector) version written by the same author (Robert Nordier IIRC, I d=
on't have a system to hand)=2E  That should have plenty of room for more la=
vish labels, and may in fact include such code?  If you have a spare system=
 you could assemble that and test=2E

Of course you'll have a backup MBR (directed more at other readers :)

One thing to watch is that esp=2E  earlier versions of DOS may want to use=
 the first slice explicitly?  I'm not sure, but I'd start with earliest ver=
sions first, and test each as you go=2E=20

Please CC me on any replies=2E=20

cheers, Ian

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