- DOS/Windows 9x/ME needs to be installed to a primary partition on the first hard drive on your PC. DOS, Windows 95a, and Windows 95b must be installed to a FAT12 or FAT16 partition. Windows 95c, Windows 98, and Windows ME may be installed to a FAT12, FAT16, or FAT32 filesystem.
- The DOS partition must start within the first 2GB and 1024 cylinders of the hard drive. The safest, most-assured way of doing this is to place the DOS partition before any other partitions on the hard drive, the Windows Vista partition included.
- DOS needs to be installed to a standard IDE hard drive attached to a basic ATA controller. SATA drives, RAID configurations, AHCI, and many PCI-to-IDE adapters will not work.
- Partition your hard drive, creating a new FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 primary partition at the start of the drive. See NeoSmart Technologies’ guide on disk partitioning for step-by-step instructions and further info.
- Insert the DOS/Windows Diskette number 1 or CD into your floppy or optical drive, and proceed to boot from it by either hitting F12 at the BIOS POST screen or configuring your machine to boot first from the floppy/optical drive then the hard disk.