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Old 27-08-2012, 06:22 PM   #1
Japo
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Default DOSBox CD tutorial

This tutorial explains an easy way to play DOS games that require a CD, as well as how to install them step by step. You must have read the basic DOSBox tutorial beforehand. Advanced users who understand the advanced DOSBox tutorial have no business here really.

There are two parts to this tutorial: how to install a DOS game from a CD or CD image file for the first time; and then how to play it. Both must be done in DOSBox. Often a DOS game can be installed from a CD so that this is no longer necessary to play, and this is preferable if possible; in that case follow this tutorial to install, but refer back to the basic tutorial to play.

We'll cover both real CDs and image files (ISOs etc. such as you can download from our ISO Cellar). Some parts are common to both cases and some are particular to each. As far as DOSBox, old games, and new computers go, image files are actually more handy if you need the CD to play (to install just use what you have); so even if you have a real CD, to play it may be better to make an image file out of it yourself--you can use ImgBurn for example. But you can also play with the real CD if you want, although it will be slower.

If you downloaded an image file from a link in our ISO Cellar, they're sometimes compressed into RAR, 7z or ZIP archives. First of all you need to get the disk image (which is usually an ISO file, or a pair of CUE/BIN files, the CUE one being very small) out of the archive. Most people won't have any problem extracting the content of a compressed archive, you can use archiving software such as 7-Zip. Sometimes the archives from our ISO Cellar were required to be separated in several volumes; just open the first one and the archiving software will find all the content.


Installing


First create an empty folder where you want the game to be installed.


- If you're using a real CD


Drag the empty folder onto the DOSBox shortcut.


A DOSBox window will open. Enter the following command:
Code:
mount d "E:\" -t cdrom

Assuming your CD drive letter is E:, otherwise modify the command accordingly, for example if your CD drive letter is D:
Code:
mount d "D:\" -t cdrom

- If you're using a CD image


first of all move it right into the new (and otherwise empty) folder. Then drag the image file onto the DOSBox icon, and DOSBox will open with everything mounted automatically.




Either way,


now just install the game. The installation instructions should be on the CD itself, the case cover, or the manual. Usually it comes down to running a program in the CD called "setup" or "install". In DOSBox the CD will be accessible as drive D:, regardless of your real CD drive letter (and the folder we just created will be the C: hard drive in DOSBox, regardless of your read hard drive letters).


The installation program will inform you of its progress and instruct you if necessary. If it's slow, as always in DOSBox you can speed it up by pressing Ctrl+F12 a few times (if you overdo it press Ctrl+F11 to decrease cycles), unless the DOSBox window title bar already shows "Cpu speed: max 100% cycles".

The installation program will create another folder below ours, and may ask us to choose its name; note it down (in our example, "TOMBRAID").


If possible choose a "full installation" so that the CD isn't further required to play the game. In this (ideal) case, you are done with this tutorial and you can refer back to the basic DOSBox tutorial on how to play


Playing


According to the basic tutorial, in order to play a game we only need to drag the startup program file onto the DOSBox icon. The problem is that if the game requires a CD this isn't enough, because the game won't be able to find the CD inside DOSBox;


but with a little extra setup it can be made just as simple. Open up Notepad (you can click on the Windows Start menu > "Run..." and enter "notepad") and write the following lines:


  1. The command explained in the installation instructions above to mount the CD in DOSBox, namely:

    • If you have a real CD
      Code:
      mount d "E:\" -t cdrom
      where E: is your CD drive letter--change if yours is different.


    • If you have a CD image, whatever last command is entered automatically when you drag the image file onto the DOSBox shortcut. In our example (see image)
      Code:
      imgmount d "Tomb.cue" -t iso


  2. The command "cd" followed by a space and the name of the subfolder where the game itself is--in our installation example
    Code:
    cd TOMBRAID
    We're supposing that the game files are contained in a subfolder that the game installation created (e.g. "tombraid") as a child of the one we had created before (e.g. "C:\DOS\Tomb Raider", see installing above and this image). It's possible to put everything into the same folder at one level, if the game allows it; in that case skip this line of the script entirely; although it's messy to find our files (this script and possibly the disk image) if they're mixed with the game files.

  3. The name of the program file that starts the game. In our example this is "TOMB.exe", so we write
    Code:
    TOMB


Now save this script file into our first folder. It's very important that the name of the file you save ends in ".BAT"


Finally the game runs by simply dragging this new script file onto the DOSBox shortcut.


The good news is that this (drag'n dropping) is the only thing we'll ever need to do ever again every time we want to play. Enjoy!


Last edited by Japo; 29-08-2012 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 27-08-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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I wanted to make this tutorial since long ago, with this I've tried to cover everything in my tutorials, and now finally I consider them complete. I hope this encourages more people to try our ISO Cellar
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Old 27-08-2012, 08:55 PM   #3
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I think this deserves a newspost.
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Old 27-08-2012, 09:44 PM   #4
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EDIT: News posted. I've seized the opportunity to link several tutorials, because I don't know how much exposure they have outside the forum.
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Last edited by Japo; 28-08-2012 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:51 PM   #5
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[Not that I'm in a nitpicking mood]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Japo View Post
........
imgmount d "Tomb.cue" -t iso
................
From ver 0.74 on should be:
imgmount d "Tomb.cue" -t cdrom
[/Not that I'm in a nitpicking mood]

Whilst -t iso still works,
I suppose the dosbox devs want to avoid confusion and simplify stuffs for beginners?

And yes, I know when drag drop you still get the old -t iso , will also change given time.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #6
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Yeah I noticed that, but I wanted to put whatever drag'n drop used. I don't know if they plan to update that, but maybe even so "-t iso" will continue being equivalent to "-t cdrom" for backward compatibility...?

I think they should have already updated this, it doesn't make things easier for beginners to DOSBox, because it contradicts the manual. For old users leaving backwards compatibility is enough. And people may think there's an undocumented difference between "iso" and "cdrom".
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