MS-DOS 7

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MS-DOS 7
Version of MS-DOS
MS-DOS 7.00.png
MS-DOS 7.00 booting from drive C.
Version7.00
Release date1995
Replaces
MS-DOS 6

MS-DOS 7 is a family of MS-DOS versions that were included as part of Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME. These versions were not available as standalone products, although such unofficial repacks exist and are sometimes mislabeled as actual standalone MS-DOS 7.

MS-DOS 7.00[edit | edit source]

MS-DOS 7.00 is included as part of Windows 95 RTM and is not available as a standalone product. MS-DOS 7.0 was originally a separate project, but later combined with the Chicago project to act as the basis for booting and running real-mode applications under Windows. Some features added (as needed by Windows 95) are VFAT (long file name) support and CD-ROM boot support. Although MS-DOS 7.00 is a part of Windows 95, it is possible to boot separately with modifications. Older versions of Windows can run on unmodified MS-DOS 7.00 extracted from Windows 95 RTM.

MS-DOS startup menu in build 58s

The original MS-DOS 7.00 planned to add features like multi-tasking, networking, and better support to MS-DOS 6.x for users who preferred the command-line interface and highly price conscious OEMs.[1] The project started roughly around the same time as Chicago. It is unknown whether any builds were distributed to testers or developers but there are evidence suggesting builds were made. In Windows 95 build 189, FDISK.EXE has the branding of MS-DOS 7.00 suggesting MS-DOS 7 was still under development as a separate product in late 1994.

Windows 95 build 58s's DOS part is the only version with separated IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS. In the boot menu, it identifies itself as MS-DOS 7.

Fake builds[edit | edit source]

There were a few fake betas of this version on the internet in the past years, some are still online today. Most of those fakes were made by modifying files from early Chicago builds and adding files from other versions of MS-DOS. KenOath posted many pictures of the famous 1994-01-01 fake with an installer onto BetaArchive Screenshots Gallery and screenshots can still be accessed online.[2]

ComputerHunter on BetaArchive[3] also posted a set of images of MS-DOS 7.00 beta, but they were disagreements about the authenticity as the version numbering is strange but it is impossible for it to be a string hack as the displayed version strings are longer than version strings from any version of DOS. The images posted do contain features mentioned in antitrust documents.

MS-DOS 7.10[edit | edit source]

MS-DOS 7.10 is included with Windows 95 OSR 2 and Windows 98. This version of MS-DOS includes FAT32 support and improved CD-ROM integration. It was never released as a standalone product, but can be extracted from Windows 95 OSR 2 and Windows 98 without much effort. Older versions of Windows can run on MS-DOS 7.10, however there are problems.

There are minor changes between MS-DOS 7.10 from Windows 95 OSR 2 and Windows 98, mainly the branding.

This version of MS-DOS can be obtained officially by upgrading from Windows 98 Second Edition to Windows 2000 Professional. The directory MSDOS7 will be created with all MS-DOS 7.10 system files on the hard drive along with BOOT.DOS and BOOTSECT.DOS.[4]

China DOS Union repack[edit | edit source]

An unofficial repack of the MS-DOS subsystem in Windows 98 made by the China DOS Union is often mislabeled as an actual official release of MS-DOS 7.10. The system includes various optional "add-ons" which install additional third-party programs and graphical shells on top of MS-DOS. The setup program is bootable directly from CD-ROM (based on the enhancements given in DOS 7.x) and mistakenly identifies MS-DOS as a GPL-licensed operating system.

MS-DOS 8.00[edit | edit source]

MS-DOS 8.00 is the last version of MS-DOS. This version of MS-DOS was never released as a standalone product but it is DOS part of Windows ME. Windows XP through Windows 8.1 still support the creation of Emergency Boot Disks with this version of MS-DOS, however the feature was removed in Windows 10 meaning the support of MS-DOS has ceased completely. The latest version of MS-DOS 8.00 was found in Windows 8.1 dated 2005-04. It is no longer possible to boot into Real Mode without modification to IO.SYS and COMMAND.COM.

This version of MS-DOS is crippled but relatively easy to obtain compared to MS-DOS 7.00 and MS-DOS 7.10. The simplest way to obtain unmodified MS-DOS 8.00 is from diskcopy.dll in later versions of Windows.

References[edit | edit source]