DOS-on-USB Support


The DOS-on-USB tool is designed to provide a DOS environment for tools and utilities in a non-invasive way to your existing computer. Most of the problems can be resolved by repeating the steps in the Readme.txt document or are already answered in the FAQ section below. If there are any further inquiries, please contact me.


  • I cannot run the program 'James' Format Tool'.
    • This software is compatable only on Microsoft Windows systems with OS versions: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows XP - it is not compatable with Windows Vista, Windows 7.
  • 'James' Format Tool' could not format my disk.
    • Please ensure you use a disk that is between 16MB and 2GB - sizes larger than 2GB will not work.
  • I cannot get into the BIOS on my computer.
    • The BIOS on your computer is only available to be entered for a brief period of time before the operating system loads. Please reboot and try one of the following key commands: F1, F8, F12, DEL, or ESC
    • The BIOS has been password protected.
      • Please contact the administrator of the computer before going forward - or use another computer
    • My DOS-on-USB stick does not work on any of my other computers.
      • Please ensure that the other computers have been set up in the BIOS to be DOS bootable


DOS-on-USB (C)2008 James Holmes

Thanks for downloading the DOS-on-USB tool!

Information regarding this tool can be found at:



For USB drives between 16MB and 2GB.

It is recommended to print off these instructions.

This utility requires your computer to be USB-Bootable,

You will have to enter BIOS to make these changes.


Also, you must change the boot order on all

the computers you wish to use your USB DOS drive on.

The Quick 30-step method:


Setup instructions:

1. Extract contents of archive to desktop

2. Plug in your USB memory key

3. Open James' Format Tool.exe

4. Select your USB drive under "Device"

5. Select FAT file system

6. Type in a label for the drive

7. Select "Format Device"

8. Select "Create a DOS startup disk"

9. Locate DOS files in the /DOS-on-USB/boot/ directory

10. Be sure that you have removed all important files

off of your USB key!

11. Click "Start"

12. After the format has completed successfully, copy all

of \DOS-on-USB\ to the root directory of your USB Drive

13. Hibernate or shut-down your computer

14. Boot up your computer, with the USB drive plugged in.

15. Enter your computer's BIOS

(usually F1, F8, F12, DEL, or ESC)

16. Navigate to the Boot Order section

17. Bring USB to the top of the list, and save changes

18. After a reboot, you will hopefully come to a DOS-style

screen that will tell you that DOS-on-USB has loaded

19. To continue installing DOS, press any key

20. You should hopefully come to the DOS setup wizard

21. Follow all prompts (click OK)

22. When it asks for the location of setup files, type:


23. Say YES to rewriting the MBR

24. When asked for the install location, type:


25. When asked what type of installation:

select Full Installation, then deselect Addon Package

26. Say YES to Access DOS

27. Continue to install DOS 7.1, then reboot

28. Unplug the USB Drive before it loads to enter Windows

29. Plug in, and delete the \dos\ and \boot\ folders

on your USB drive

30. Complete!


I will provide support for my product, but not for your BIOS

For more information, please contact:


Please visit the File Cabinet to download the latest copy