Drives

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DOSBox, in an effort to emulate a DOS environment, needs some location to emulate a virtual Hard Drive. Commonly MS-DOS users would be greeted with a
C:\>
prompt once a computer is done booting. The hard drives currently in your system are most likely many times larger than the kinds of hard drives that existed back when MS-DOS was commercially available. Also, they contain software that is not suited for DOSBox. In order to create a realistic (and safe) environment to run your DOS software you should define a path somewhere on your hard disk that will be treated as a virtual hard disk. Note that upon starting DOSBox the prompt instead reads
Z:\>
which is a virtual drive in memory (RAMDrive) where the OS Tools are stored. Users cannot write data to the Z:\ and it exists only for DOSBox purposes. See the ZDrive section for more information

Navigation between different drives is done by typing C: where C is the letter of the drive you wish to go to. By default DOSBox, like Windows, will detect Floppy Drives connected via floppy cables as the A:\ and B:\ respectively.

Contents

Mounting a C: drive

More details on Mounting Drives may refer to Mount a Drive topic.


It bears repeating that it's unsafe to mount one's entire drive into DOSBox, particularly if another OS is already installed on it. For that reason, it's recommended only to mount a subdirectory (subfolder) of the drive where DOS files will be stored and have DOSBox fool its games/applications into thinking that is the C: drive. Ideal locations for a virtual hard disk are

Windows

C:\DOSROOT
MOUNT C C:\DOSROOT

Linux

~/DOSROOT
MOUNT C ~/DOSROOT

Mac OSX

~/DOSROOT
MOUNT C ~/DOSROOT

BeOS

OS/2

Note that you can have more than one Drive defined if you want to recreate complex configurations, but it is generally easier to have a single drive that will be mounted as your C: drive.