Dosbox Emulator FAQ: How to Mount a Hard Drive or CD-Rom in Dobox

Author: Glenn Scrima

So you downloaded Dosbox and got it up and running for the first time only to find this mysterious Z: drive staring back at you. Even more mysterious is the fact that your computer's real drives are now completely inaccessible. Don't panic yet though, you can make Dosbox aware of them by following just a few simple steps. Here's a quick guide on how to get it done.


How to Mount a Hard Drive:

To get started we first need the letter of the hard drive you want to mount in Dosbox. Normally your main hard drive is the C: drive but you can double check by looking under "My Computer" in Windows.


Now assuming the drive letter is C: (although it can be other letters as well) lets look at the actual commands you will have to enter to allow Dosbox to see this drive.

The command "mount" is always the way you would begin mounting a drive. After that you would enter the actual drive letter that you wish to assign to this drive. Just to make it clear this letter can be virtually any letter you want, as long as you don't have another drive already assigned to that letter. So for instance I might want to mount the C: drive on my computer but I'd rather make it a D: drive. To do this would mean simply making your second command a "d" instead of a "c". It would look like this:

mount d c:\

The last part "c:\" is the original drive letter you are changing, in this case you would be changing it to the drive letter "d".


How to Mount a Windows Directory as a Hard Drive:

You can also take a directory on your hard drive and trick DOS into thinking its its own drive. For instance lets say you store all your old dos games in the directory "c:\oldgames". Normally when you're at the C: drive prompt in Dosbox you would have to type "cd oldgames" to access this directory. Then you would have to type in an additional command to access the sub-directory where the game you wish to play is located (for example "cd pandora" if it was The Pandora Directive). This multi-step process would be shortened by simply making the "oldgames" directory the C: drive itself. Therefore when you are at the C: drive prompt you would only see the folders in the "c:\oldgames" directory, in this case it would be all your old DOS games.

Using the "c:\oldgames" directory mentioned above as an example, this is what the mount command would look like.


How to Mount a CD-ROM Drive:

Mounting a CD-ROM drive on your computer is very similar to the methods above, all you need is an extra command. So just like the methods used for a hard drive there is a "mount" command followed by the "assigned letter command" finally followed by the "location of the drive" command. The only difference would be the need for one additional command, "-t cdrom". This command allows Dosbox to make the distinction that this drive is a CD-ROM drive and not simply a hard drive.

Assuming the CD-ROM drive is "D:" on your computer here is what the mount command would look like.



How to Enter Any of These Mount Commands in Dosbox:

So now that you're more familiar with mounting drives in Dosbox the last question is where do you enter these commands? There is two answers to that question.

Method 1: The most basic way to enter these commands is when you open Dosbox and you're looking at the command prompt. This is an example of what that might look like.


Method 2: This is probably the better method for entering commands if you plan to enter them each time you run Dosbox. To avoid having to do this simply go into the folder where you keep the Dosbox program and find the dosbox.conf file. Right click on this file and select "open with" and choose notepad.


Now with the config file open scroll down to the bottom and find the section named [autoexec]. You can place your mount commands below this section title and not have to reenter them each time you run Dosbox. Here is an example of what mounting both a hard drive directory and a CD-ROM drive might look like.

When you finish entering your mount commands save and exit the config file. The next time you run Dosbox it will automatically recognize these new drives.

Well hopefully I helped you get started in running your old games again. Enjoy and have a great weekend everyone!

FAQ:
The config file is missing what do I do?
The game won't run on Windows Vista. What should I do?
The game runs sluggish. Is there a way to improve this?
How do I make the game launch in fullscreen mode?
How do I change the amount of RAM available?
How do I mount a hard drive or CD-ROM drive in Dosbox?
How do I change my machine type in Dosbox?
How do I capture a screenshot during gameplay?
I can't download from Abandonia. What should I do?
How do I close or exit Dosbox?

40 comments:

Ripleyclone said...

If you want to place all your mount commands in the config file so that they run when you start dosbox, does this mean all your games have to be in the same folder.

Eg i have jones.bat in c:\jones
i have disc.bat in c:\discwld

should i move them to one folder?

Anonymous said...

quote
>Eg i have jones.bat in c:\jones
>i have disc.bat in c:\discwld
>
>should i move them to one folder?
end quote

No I would not do this. Create a different config file for each game (or program). when you create your shortcut to start your game it should be like this:
dosbox -conf followed by the filename of the config
you can also add entrys to start the game and exit dosbox

Athman Mokkadem said...

But how to proceed when you have and image on virtual drive (my case : Gabriel knight II)

Anonymous said...

I have my config as follows,

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
H:\simc2000\simc2000
H:
cd simc2000
sc2000

When I run dos it says H drive does not exsist must mount,so I put
mount h h:\

it says drive h is mounted what do I do next?This has turned into a huge time sink but I think its funny and would like to know what to do.I have vista btw.

Thanks

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi, it sounds like the game might have been installed on the H:\games\Simc200 but you are mounting only the H: drive. I'm not sure how you did the game files install but if this is the case the first line of mount h h:\ should be mount h h:\games\simc2000.

Best,
Glenn

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi Athman there is a Dosbox Wikipedia page on this that might help you out:

http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/IMGMOUNT

Best,
Glenn

Mike said...

Howdy,

I have the config set up like so,

mount c c:\games\ty2000
c:
cd tyrian~1
tyrian2k

and it says drive C is mounted. Then, it shows

Z:\>c:

C:\>cd tyrian~1
Unable to change to: tyrian~1.

C:\>tyrian2k
Illegal command: tyrian 2K.

How can I get this to work?

Thanks,

Mike

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi Mike, are you using the Abandonia download of the game or one from another site? I just reinstalled the Abandonia download and it worked like before.

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

hey i have downloaded an iso file and extracted it to my c:\games\warcraft2. in dos i put

mount c c:\games\warcraft 2
c:

it says that the directory doesnt exist and neither does drive c. got no idea what is wrong.i dunno if i should try mounting the iso either. im using vista.

thorondor said...

try typing mount c c:\games\warcraft2 instead of mount c c:\games\warcraft 2

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for my dumb question, but, I'm trying to play Daggerfall by Bedhesta Softworks.
And I don't really understand the "CD" thing.
I need to enter something that's not an folder.
And as I mentioned before, I'm trying to play Daggerfall, for wich file do I need to search to play it?
In the tutorial I needed to search for Sierra.
But I'm not trying to play Police Quest 2 here.

Anonymous said...

If I play "DAGGER" it shows I need to Instal it.
Its the same is I run it in Windows XP insted of DosBOX.
Altough when I run in Windows it shows: "This program does not react."
After a while.

Anonymous said...

Nevermind, I've installed it correctly, but now it wants me to insert the correct CD?
Am I not able to play Daggerfall?

Glenn Scrima said...

You will need to mount your cd-rom separate from the hard drive from the way it sounds. I don't have a copy of the game but the section above (mounting a CD-Rom) can be used as a template for this.

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to play Relentless. It needs to access my CD drive F. So I mount it per the advice here, and I can read the contents on the CD that way by switching to the CD drive. I then mount the drive and folder where Relentless is (E:\relent). When I run the game however, it exits and says there's no CD in the drive. Any suggestions?

Glenn Scrima said...

I don't have a copy but did the install work fine from the CD-ROM?

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

sorry for going out topic , but , please do a guide how to download PQ 4

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi it's protected at the moment but if its available again for download I will definitely do one in the future.

Best,
Glenn

nick said...

Hi I did all the steps to everything and when i try to launch DOSBox,this appears
'mount c c:\games:simc2000
directory c c:\games:simc2000 doesn't exist.

help? :(

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi it sounds like the game files didn''t extract correctly. When you go into the c:\games\sim2000 do you see the folder simc2000 within it?

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I'm trying to play Oregon Trail and have gotten to the point where the file looks like this:

[autoexec]
mount c c:\games\oregontrail
c:
cd oregon

However, when I open dosbox to setup sound, the drive shows up as C:\>

No matter what I've tried, I can't get it to C:\OREGON as shown in your guide. Am I missing something?

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi, are you typing the commands in manually in dosbox or did you put them in the config? Also does an error come up above the the "cd oregon" trail command in dosbox?

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

I copied the commands into the config. And yes, I get an error that says 'unable to change :oregon.

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi when you open the "games" then "oregontrail" folder is there a folder within the "oregontrail" folder called "oregon"? This is what Dosbox is looking for and the error coming up probably means the folder isn't present. I would give extracting the game file a second try. My other hunch is that the files might have extracted in the "oregontrail" folder itself and the extractor didn't create the "oregon" folder. If this is the case you can also give changing the commands to the ones below a try (omit cd oregon then run setup):

mount c c:\games\oregontrail
c:

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

Yes, the oregon folder is present. I uninstalled evrything, them rinstalled, and still get the same error. All files are present, and I've tried changing the config commands as suggested. Still no dice. :/

Glenn Scrima said...

That's strange, the other thing you could try is copying all the files in the oregon subfolder into the oregontrail folder and then omit the "cd oregon" command in the autoexec section and see if that has any effect.

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

Hi,
could anybody help me? My game can't start. I typed in this:

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
mount c c:\games\heroesmm
mount c c:\games\heroesmm\heroes -t cdrom
c:
cd heroes
heroes

But my computer looks like this:
local daten: (C:)
music (D:)
movies (E:)
DVD-drive (F:)
DVD-RW drive (G:)

So what have I change to?
Please help me and sorry about my English.
Mail: steinofenpizza@gmx.net

Christian said...

Hi,
could anybody help me? My game can't start. I typed in this:

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
mount c c:\games\heroesmm
mount c c:\games\heroesmm\heroes -t cdrom
c:
cd heroes
heroes

But my computer looks like this:
local daten: (C:)
music (D:)
movies (E:)
DVD-drive (F:)
DVD-RW drive (G:)

So what have I change to?
Please help me and sorry about my English.
Mail: steinofenpizza@gmx.net

Anonymous said...

It's really a shame that a Moonstone game doesn't work because of "mounting problems". I thought that I am the only moron that can not mount it properly, but it applies to other guys and games too.

Glenn Scrima said...

If you are having issues mounting the game there is an error somewhere in the installation, extraction of the zip file, or the file structure that Dosbox is expecting when mounting the drives after the files have been extracted. I can try to help with more info. What comes up in Dosbox when you run it?

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

1st off thanks so much for the DOSBOX my Win 95 computer is about to die (the video card keeps messing up) and my grandson loves to come over and play.
i have both warcraft and warcraft II, and the expansion packs, so if i want to use the CD to play the games rather than the free download, all i need to do is mount my cd-rom, correct?
Renee

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi and thanks Renee, if you get your CD drive mounted along with your hard drive then you will have the most difficult part done. The only other part from there is installing the games within dosbox and then running them from the C: or D: drive. Let me know if you run into any issues.

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

Glen have you a dosbox walkthroough for shattered steel?

I have original ssteel cd , now scratched, so am trying to get my copy working on dosbox.

Goodboy

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi, it doesn't seem that any of the abandonware sites have a copy of the game. unfortunately I don't have a personal copy either to make a guide with. If you know of a site online that has a copy of the game let me know and I'll see if I can make a guide for it.

Best,
Glenn

Brooke said...

Hi Glenn,
I'm so glad to be able to try to run some of my old flight simulators on my XP machine. First I'm trying to run Advanced Civilization. I have the game already installed (copied the install dir from my old drive) but when I try to run DosBox it changes to the correct c: directory and starts AC_MAIN but says it can't find the CD. I put in the -t cdrom, and can do a dir of the d: drive and see the CD but still get the "Unable to locate the Advanced Civilization CD".

Jim Coffey said...

i am trying to play Hyper 3d pinball in dosbox. I have followed the instructions and mounted the c and d drives and was able to successfully install the game However, when I try and run it, I get a message sying pinball cd can't be found. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Coffey said...

I also have the same problem with Pro Pinball The Web and it sounds like the same problem the poster above me is having. I wonder if my CD drive is too fast. It is a combination Blu-Ray drive, and whether getting an older external USB Cd drive would solve the problem. It's driving me crazy to finally have figured out how to use Dosbox and not be able to run anything.
Jim Coffey

gijsbert99 said...

second note

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.

mount c c:\dosgames
mount a c:\dosflop -t floppy
mount e e:\ -t cdrom

With this setup it works fine in windows 7

kiruthiga said...

thanks . its working good.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I've been trying to play HoF on my newer laptop (Windows 7). I got everything to work smoothly on my older one (Vista) using your guide. However, after I finished your instructions this time around, I ended up with the error:

A CD ROM device driver is required to run Hand of Fate: CD

My DVD drive is F and I tried following your mounting instructions using F as the drive. However even after successfully mounting it, I get the same error.

How can I fix this?

Thanks.