Midnight Son's Dos Game Machine - A Request

As some of you know, I own a IT services company. (We fix 'puters!) Lately, I’d been getting the urge to play some old Dos games but didn’t want to futz around with dual booting Linux, XP, Win2k and Dos. So I went to the old parts bin a put together a Frankenstein:

Pentium 166 Mhz!
16MB ram!
4.3 GB Samsung Hdd
ATI Mach 64 GTB or Voodoo 3 2000 (PCI)
Soundblaster AWE32 PnP - the monster ISA one.
Running MSDOS 6.22.

Let me tell you - the original Master of Orion screams! Might and Magic III - nice! Panzer General - Ach Du Lieber! I haven’t been able to get ahold of the Wizardry’s yet, so if anyone wants to donate or sell me some old DOS games, let me know.

Ooo, I did this recently too–isn’t it awesome?

Mine was 3x more powerful though, (Celeron 400), so I ended up installing Win98 on it to play Jeff Vogel’s games and Fallout 2.

I still have DOS 6.2 and QEMM discs lying around for the day I decide to do this. :-)

I’ve got a Win98 P3 450mhz that I grafted my old SB16 sound card onto. The machine is quirky - somehow the SB16 has taken over the printer port, and the original on-board sound card is the only one that can play music from CDs, so there are occasions when I have to turn one card off and the other on - but I can play just about anything designed for DOS on it. Sometimes it takes a little work; I have to set up reboot-to-DOS shortcuts with customized autoexecs/configs for some games. But once set up, I never have to muck with it again.

I don’t know WHAT I’m going to do if/when that sound card finally gives up the ghost. At least Star Control 2 has a Win32 version out now. Privateer, however …

Edit: I also have an MS-DOS 6.2 CD that I keep expressly in case of things like this. Disks go bad a lot faster than CDs.

OK, I hate you. I’d love to have a rig like that for my old Wing Commander games, Terra Nova, Fantasy General, etc. Especially since I just uninstalled Invisible War because I decided that until I get a NV40 or R420 my system (P4 3.06, 1GB RAM, 9800 Pro) simply isn’t fast enough to run the game at an acceptable frame rate for me. Ain’t technology fun?

Midnight Son, this is one issue we can agree on… awesome rig. I’d love to do the same. Create sort of a MAME cab for old DOS games.

Any suggestions on where to get older motherboards, processors, and video cards for great prices?

My Frankenstein:

48 MB RAM. Can’t have too much RAM.
Some S3 video card. No, no, no…it’s a Mach64. Or 32? Some Diamond card, for sure.
Voodoo 2.
CD-ROM is broken right now.
Not sure about the HD size, enough to hold Aces Over Europe like 100 times over.
Some SB card – believe it’s an ISA SB Pro 2.0. The shitznit.
Running DOS 6.20 tweaked with QEMM.
No joystick that works in the old SB port, unfortunately :(


Haha, I have a box that’s a little overspecced for the task running Win98 SE, and it’s fun to revisit old Win95/98 (and a few DOS) classics on it.

It’s a:

GeForce 4MX 420 PCI
256 MB PC100 SDRAM
30 GB Maxtor 7200 RPM HD
Sound Blaster 32 PCI
56x CDROM drive

God, though, Ultima Underworld 2 is almost unplayably fast on it. Great for Hexen and any game circa 1995-2000, though.

I need to scrounge up some more dated hardware for a DOS 6.2 box, so I can bust out the old Ultimas and other classic Origin/Microprose/EA titles.
I have a P166 rotting at my parents house; I oughtta grab that and slap a new drive in it as well as bump the RAM up a bit. I also have a completely brand new Voodoo 1 for the original Tomb Raider – that would seriously rock.

Actually, I bet you could get a 1997/8-era laptop for pretty cheap and run DOS on it – I think I’ve seen 'em at PC Recycle for about $200-$300.

OK, I hate you. I’d love to have a rig like that for my old Wing Commander games, Terra Nova, Fantasy General, etc.

Um, my (CD-)version of Fantasy General runs quite good under XP. The only thing mising is the music, but I can live with that. Damn, that game had the best unit-portraits I know of.

Try Salvation Army or other thrift stores to pick up entire dinosaurs… online, do a search for “Used computer parts” or the like…

Not too good with making things but I am good at buying. Picked up an ancient Thinkpad a couple years ago which runs most DOS and early Windows games just fine (except for the original Silent Hunter which bugs me). It’s my thinking man’s Gameboy.

Managed to snag copies of Daggerfall and the Eye of the Beholder Trilogy. My plan to live in the past continues!

Speaking of FG, I used to love popping its CD in while playing the original Quake. Greatly appropriate music for that game.

I snagged an old-school rig not too long ago as well. 486/66mhz, 32 RAM, SB Pro, 500 meg HD, 4x CD Rom, unknown video card (still trying to decide, hasn’t mattered with the games I’ve been playing through), and Dos 5.0. I also dug up the 101 keyboard i used to use with my 286. I like the clickity-clack key sound and no Windows button.

Ok, got my unopened copy of Daggerfall today! Original shrinkwrap baby! Best of all, it came with Arena (cd and manual) free in the box! Only one little problem… Arena plays directly from CD and the sound of the endlessly spinning drive is driving me nuts! Does anyone have a nocd crack for this ancient game? Yeah, I know, I’m evil, but I just want to play this retro game of mine…

So, somewhat inspired by this thread, I picked up an old GX1 and installed the copy of IBM PC-DOS 7.0 that I legally own. All went smoothly, but I can’t get the dang CD-ROM to work… any suggestions? I think it is a CD-ROM that came with the system, but I can’t swear to it as I bought the system from someone else…

Apologies for asking a hardware question in this forum, but it seemed to fit here better (given the context).

I’m anxious to install X-COM, but my copy is on a CD. :-(

You could try the bootdisks at this site:


they have generic CD-ROM drivers that may work.

Indeed. Boot using these bootdisks, copy the contents from the CDROM to a temp directory of the hard drive, and you should be good to go.

Thanks for the suggestions. I was able to find some generic IDE cdrom drivers, and they did the trick… now I just need to hunt down various patches to my old games. ;-)

One thing that struck me… DOS on the P1-200 (slowest machine I could find to buy) boots really quickly as opposed to a modern system.

DOS is about a hundred thousand times smaller than XP so that’s not really surprising.