Loading DOS onto an EPSON IM-403

After I had completed all the steps in the hardware conversion, I was ready to load DOS onto my new 486SX-33 platform.  I had a full copy of DOS 6.2, so that was an easy choice to make.  Unfortunately, my version was on four 5.25" floppies and my IM-403 had a 3.5" floppy drive.  I could have temporarily hooked up a 5.25" floppy drive to my floppy data cable, but I decided instead to convert the 5.25" distribution floppies to 3.5" format.

I used the big floppy drive on my main PC to copy all the files from each 5.25" floppy onto different directories on my hard drive.  Then I copied the contents of each directory onto a separate 3.5" floppy.  Next, I booted my IM-403 using a minimal boot disk  I then inserted disk 1 of the 6.2 set into the floppy disk drive and used the  FDISK command to create a 265 MB primary DOS partion on my C: drive.  Next, I used the FORMAT command, with the /s option, to do a high-level format of C:, and to lay down a copy of the system files.

Now I was ready to do the full install.  I rebooted with disk 1 of the 6.2 set in my floppy drive and ran SETUP.  But the installer choked because my disk 1 wasn't properly labeled.  So I used the LABEL command to write the proper label to each floppy in the install set.  This is a two-step proces.  First, I entered the command:

label  a:/""

The LABEL command whined because the name contains illegal characters.  At the LABEL prompt, I entered the real label I wanted:

disk      1         (total of six spaces before the 1)

If you try entering the whole label on the command line, LABEL strips all but one space from the string.

After this, the install went perfectly.  My IM-403 now has a full DOS 6.2 on it.

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