Thursday, June 29, 2017

Guest post: Backing up with FreeDOS

Catharinus van der Werf shared this story via Facebook about using FreeDOS 1.2 to replace MS-DOS to run system backups. Posted here with permission:

In fact, I grew up with MS-DOS. Used it since 1988, when I bought my first computer, a Commodore PC-I without a hard disk drive and with two 5.25-inch floppy disk drives. The first thing I did on that computer was build an application in Dynamo, a program that was used at the Wageningen University. I soon discovered DEFRAG, which sped up the execution of programs. In my work, I created software programs, so it was important not to lose that. That's why I used PCTools Backup, to backup the complete partition to a series of fifteen 3.5-inch floppy disks.

My next computer was a Pentium that ran Windows 3.1. Because I did not know what to do with that, I replaced it with MS-DOS. I continued making backups on that computer with PCTools.

When I started using Windows 95, I got inspired. But because the computers and partitions grew bigger every day, backing up on floppy disks became a time-consuming problem. So since then I use Norton Ghost to backup the working partition to another partition on the same computer. And that is how I work still at the present time: I have created a muli-boot system that contains Windows 10 and FreeDOS. When I boot to FreeDOS, I start Ghost and make a backup with it. And backing up with FreeDOS works excellent.

And when FreeDOS 1.2 arrived in December 2016, I immediately threw away all my MS-DOS floppy stuff. FreeDOS 1.2 was the first DOS version that could easily be downloaded, installed on a USB fob drive (MS-DOS does not provide such a wonderful attribute) and after that installed on a FAT32-drive. So since then my computers do not longer have MS-DOS on it, but only the wonderful working FreeDOS.

-Catharinus van der Werf

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