FreeDOS bootable USB flash drive image
Here you can download bootable FreeDOS image files for use on an USB flash drive. I have been told that they can be network booted but I haven't tested this yet. The image files are available in different sizes. All have an FAT16 filesystem which can be mounted and written to by nearly any operating system. This way you can put additional files onto the stick after you have written the image.
If you want to make your own image file from scratch, please read the HOWTO.
Use this stick to:
Update the firmware of your hardware. Some hardware manufacturers provide BIOS/firmware updates in form of a DOS-based flash programs. Copy the necessary files onto the USB flash drive, boot from it, choose "Load FreeDOS without drivers", and run the flash utility.
Use old DOS tools which need direct hardware access. Software for DOS-based programming tools do bit-banging on the parallel or serial port. This does usually work only with DOS running on real hardware (without emulators or virtualization).
A user told me that the image file can be PXE-booted over the network and this was used to rollout firmware updates to a bunch of servers.
- Download the image file which fits on your USB stick:
|FreeDOS-1.1-memstick-3-30M.img.bz2||…for small USB flash drives and PXE network boot.
Only the FreeDOS base package is included.
|FreeDOS-1.1-memstick-2-256M.img.bz2||…for USB flash drives between 256 MB and 2 GB in size|
|FreeDOS-1.1-memstick-2-2048M.img.bz2||…for USB flash drives larger than 2 GB in size|
Older releases are still available for download on my FTP server:
FreeDOS-1.1-memstick-2-256M.img.bz2 ^^^ ^ ^^^^ | | `-- Minimum size of USB stick to put this image on | | | `------ Number of release | `------------------ FreeDOS version used
Installation is rather simple if you have some Linux- or *BSD-based system at your hand. For Windows, you need something that works like dd.
Linux / BSD
- Download the image file which fits on your USB stick.
Unpack the image file with
bunzip2or a similar tool:
ddto copy the uncompressed image to your USB flash drive::
dd if=FreeDOS-1.1-memstick-2-256MB.img of=/dev/sdz bs=512k
This command takes some time; replace
/dev/sdzwith the actual device name. Omit the partition number. Use the device name referring to the whole disk. On Linux, something like
/dev/sdzis ok, but
/dev/sdz4would not work as it addresses the partition of a disk.
Win32 Disk Imager
I recently found Win32 Disk Imager to be a better choice for this job. This tool has a graphical user interface which makes writing images easy.
dd for windows
dd for windows is a command line tool, just like the original
dd command on Linux.
I've tested writing the image with "dd" for Windows and this worked for me, but you really should feel confident in working on the command line.
Open a Windows command line by running
change into the directory holding the downloaded and unzipped files.
The command options I used for writing the image looked like this
(but don't just copy them – read below!)
C:> dd if=FreeDOS-1.1-memstick-3beta.img of=\\?\Device\HarddiskX\Partition0 bs=512k --progress
HarddiskXwith the correct device name of your USB stick! Use
dd --listto get a list of devices found on your system.
The partition size is actually 250 MB for the 256 MB image, or 2000 MB for the 2048 MB image, with FreeDOS taking up about 32 MB.
It is no problem to use larger flash drives, but you will still only see a 250 MB or 2000 MB partition.
- Added 30MB image with only the BASE-package of FreeDOS
- Added ODIN floppy disk image
These websites might be helpful, too:
- http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ – allows you to create a bootable Live USB drive for FreeDOS, FreeBSD, Arch Linux, Ubuntu and a lot more distributions or operating systems. It runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.