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Transferring binary files to a DOS PC without anything else but DOS ? 
Monday, February 27, 2017, 07:02 PM
Posted by Administrator
I've a Toshiba T5200 laptop, which has a working harddrive with an installed DOS but a faulty floppy disk drive. There is a way to connect a floppy drive to a parallel port by using the correct adapter, but I do not own this adapter.
So I thought it must be an other way existing to transfer files, like using MS-DOS KERMIT.
Unfortunately transferring binary files over a cross-over cable without any file protocol is NOT possible because of non ASCII characters with a special meaning.
If there is nothing else but DOS existing, you can use MODE COM1 and CTTY at least.
MODE COM1 with additional parameters like the BAUD rate sets the serial port.
CTTY COM1 will redirect the command line to the serial port then.
But how to convert the binary file(s) to an easily approach without any effort for me ?
I remembered DEBUG - you can type in the data of a binary file just by using the 'e' command, and then set then name with the 'n' command. Also, you have to set the file size of it by using the CX register.
I wrote a small C program to accomplish this mission, the program just converts any file smaller than 64KB to a text file, which can be used for a recreation of a binary file just by redirecting the generated text file as input for the DEBUG command.

(btw. redirection does not work with DOSBOX, but on every real or virtual PC with an installed DOS)

Feel free to download the binary and the source of the file by clicking on "related link".

P.S.: You can even print the text file to paper, so you will be able to get it up and running even if all transfer options are gone or if all floppy disks of the world will fail ;-)
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