Picture of How To Install DOS 6.22 Under VirtualBox
This Instructable was created to walk you through the steps required to install DOS 6.22 in VirtualBox.  I know it is an old operating system, but it is fun to mess around with. 
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Step 1: Step 1: Download VirtualBox

Picture of Step 1: Download VirtualBox
First, you need to download and install the virtual machine, Oracle VirtualBox.  It is a free download.

Step 2: Step 2: Download DOS 6.22

For your convienience, I have provided you with a link to download DOS 6.22.  Just click on the link below.

The files have the extension .img, which is a virtual floppy disk image.

Step 3: Step 3: Run VirtualBox and Set Up the Virtual Machine

Picture of Step 3: Run VirtualBox and Set Up the Virtual Machine
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In this step, you will add a virtual machine that will run DOS 6.22.

First, open VirtualBox

At the top of the screen, you will see a button labeled "New".  Click that.

Click next.

Give the virtual machine a name.

Click next.

Give the virtual machine some RAM.  I chose 64 megs because that is the most that DOS 6.22 will see.  You could choose something lower if you wanted to.

Click next.

Click "Create New Disk".

Click next.

Choose a virtual hard drive format.  The top option works fine, unless you have a reason to choose a different one.

Click next.

Choose between dynamically allocated and fixed size.  Dynamically allocated will let the virtual hard drive grow and shrink as you add files, but will be slower.  Fixed size would be like the hard drive in your computer.  It is only one size.  This will vbe faster.

Click next.

Choose the size of the hard drive.  If you chose dynamically allocated, you will choose the maximum size of the hard drive.

Click next.

Click create.

Click create again.
tbouve1 month ago

tbouve.....uh oh.....started 6.22 up and "no bootable medium found. System halted" was displayed. any suggestions? Thanks

MatthijsK1 month ago

Yeah that's all good and well but I allready did that

in the first place. So what now?

Hamraz312 months ago

hi thanx dear i have done it just u told . but now how i can connect the usb in it through virtual box . i want to to copy a program from usb to the c drive of dos. and one more Q plz tell can i make partition in dos if yes plz snd the tutorial .. thanx alot

KaydenST (author)  Hamraz311 month ago
Just as Arthur.ludwiczak said, it is best to pack the files/folders into an .img file, which emulates a floppy drive. You can then load that .img file into VirtualBox and copy the files from the A drive, treating it as a real floppy. DOS doesn't have USB support that I am aware of, but there are CD drivers you can install in DOS to let you pack files into a CD image. That way, you have more space.
MatthijsK1 month ago

Hey i'v got a problem.

if I boot DOS 5.0 in virtualbox I get in floppy drive A:\ and if I type "copy files to drive c:\" I'll get the message "too many parameters".

So how do I get in the c:\ drive?

KaydenST (author)  MatthijsK1 month ago
DOS is a very specific operating system, so general commands like that will not work. Instead of me giving you commands from my memory, just do a search for DOS commands, and it will give you the commands, parameters, and use for each command. To get to the C drive you simply type "C:" without the quotations.
MatthijsK1 month ago

Btw English is not my mother language I'm from Holland

Hamraz you simply need to pack your folder into the .img file and mount as a floppy so you can see your files. You can also use "Devices -> Floppy Devices -> Choose a virtual floppy disk file". After inserted you simply go to drive a: and copy files to c:\

jrg74 months ago

Small problem:

After I installed MS-DOS, I went through the whole installation process, then I got to the DOS screen, the one that is much like today's CMD, and typed "WIN", which is the command to start Windows. This, however, did not register with the system. If you could help me resolve this issue, that would be great,

KaydenST (author)  jrg74 months ago
That is because Windows is not included in DOS. You have to install Windows separately after you install DOS. I might put a link to Windows 3.11 installation disks in this tutorial so you can do that.
jrg7 KaydenST4 months ago

Ok, thank you. I realy appreciate it.

YvesS7 months ago

How do I make full screen work? Can't use the guest additions CD unless I (get ready for this) install CD drivers for DOS.

KaydenST (author)  YvesS4 months ago

there is a key combo for fullscreen that I can't remember. VirtualBox's help or Google is the answer lol

cbrantigan4 months ago

I got dos installed and the commands seem to work. I cant figure out how to add programs to the virtual c drive or open dos programs stored on the real hard drive. I can see dos but cant use it to run programs. Whatever shall I do?

KaydenST (author)  cbrantigan4 months ago
There is software available to put files in a virtual floppy disk. MagicISO is one of those programs. You add files to the program, and it'll save the files into a single file that is seen by the Virtual Machine as a floppy disk. You can then select the file in the Virtual Machine as if you were selecting a floppy drive. Short of installing a CD driver for DOS and putting files into a virtual CD, this is your only option to transfer files between DOS and the real hard drive. There is an option to add a shared folder to the virtual machine, but I haven't experimented with it. Google will surely help you with the process. You also gave me an idea for a future Instructable lol. Hope this helps.

I did it! Don't have a picture but honest, I made it!

hydranix7 months ago

Now why exactly would you disable everything in the acceleration tab?

Nested Paging might not be useful to the average home user, but the processor virtualization extensions are always good.

KaydenST (author)  hydranix7 months ago
I will have to play around with it again, but I believe it is due to compatibility with DOS. From my memory, DOS wouldn't function properly with the options under "Acceleration" enabled. If that is incorrect, I may have disabled them just to better emulate the function of older PCs. I remember when I installed Windows 95 under a virtual machine, some of the options would impede performance.
Seanr557 months ago

This really helped and made the process so simple, especially if you have not done this before. Thanks!

WinnerVsauce made it!8 months ago
I love this! Thanks for the tutorial. I always wanted this, just to mess around :)
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jcummings11 made it!8 months ago

Awesome, hey there's config.sys and autoexec.bat my old friends....and debug.exe...a fairly new friend, but an old one as well. hehe

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gtak11221 year ago

Great instructions - got Virtualbox and DOS 6.22 installed under Win7 host without a problem.

Now for the newbie (toVM) question: how do I exchange files between the host and the VM? When I assign a host drive letter to the Floppy Device, DOS can't see it. The only drive letter that works in DOS is C:. I've also tried setting up a Shared Folder and mapping a Windows drive letter, but again, DOS doesn't see it. So at this point the VM is an orphan. Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks, Gary

KaydenST (author)  gtak112211 months ago

The way I've always transferred files between my virtual machines and the host OS is by using .iso maker software. A Google search will yield results. Put all of the files you want to transfer inside the program, and create a floppy file (.img I believe) from the files. You can then point the floppy controller to the .img file, and transfer files from there. If you want to use CD image files (.iso), you need a DOS CD driver. Again, Google is your friend. The procedure is the same, except save the files as a CD image file (.iso). The only problem I can think of with setting up a shared folder is that the hard drive in your computer is formatted as NTFS, rather than FAT. I'm not 100% sure if DOS can read NTFS drives or not.

DonCam461 year ago

It would be great if the file in Dropbox will be again available. The link seems to be not working any more. Really appreciate an update. Thanks. DonCam46

KaydenST (author)  DonCam461 year ago
I will look at that. Thanks!
Pegolo1 year ago
Wow. That was EZ! Thanks so much Kayden. I can now run a badly missed old DOS program again. Thanks for taking the time to help others. Peg from Lolo, Montana.
Thomas19671 year ago
really a great step by step instruction. Worked perfectly for me to have DOS 6.77 on Win7 Pro 64Bit!!
Is it possible to use the mapped netdrives (e.g. Drive f: for a win2k8 server) ?
What would be the steps to do this?
Thanks again,
KaydenST (author)  Thomas19671 year ago
In the Instructable, it shows how to enable your network adapter, and emulate an older adapter to make driver hunting easier. So you do have network capabilities. I will have to look into mapping network drives in DOS, because I've never done it.
Trekki611 year ago
One of the best instructions ever seen! Should be a template for other ones! thx very much!
Great instructable! My MS-DOS is working fine!
KaydenST (author)  wackywired1352 years ago
Lol I haven't been on Instructables in forever! Glad it worked for you!
Shmuel62 years ago
Thanks sooooo much! One of the best Guides I have ever seen Thanks!
KaydenST (author)  Shmuel62 years ago
Lol I haven't been on Instructables in forever! Glad it worked for you!
dfietkau2 years ago
I did it before I read Your article. But excactly the same way :D
Though guest addintions are not available, embedding shares would be the next step for me.

best regards
DancerBoi2 years ago
Mine got stuck at 0% of Drive C formatted. =\
mikroskeem2 years ago
i made a same instructable too(i didn't know) and you've got more views and subscriptions?
First hit on google for "virtualbox dos". That's why.
Your instructable shows up as 6th or 7th when searching for "vmware dos".
KaydenST (author)  mikroskeem2 years ago
Haha that's funny. I'll have to take a look at your Instructable! DOS is pretty awesome!