Procedure installation XOSL on disk prepared by the help of EZ-BIOS or EZ-Drive, v1.4 ENG

EZ-Drive (also named EZ-BIOS) is a DDO (Dynamic Drive Overlay) program, which is intended to handle hard disks with more than 1023 cylinders (aprox. 7,8GB) when your BIOS can't. It was adopted around the time disks got bigger than about 504 MB. (see XOSL HOWTOs and FAQs)

Tips introduced here are absolutely without guarantee. Before starting any installation make sure that you read Manual and FAQ for XOSL several times. This way you can avoid some unnecessary problems. If you have questions, suggestions, tips etc., send them to my e-mail address

  1. Installation of EZ-BIOS and XOSL (author Jaromir Rezek)
  2. Installation of EZ-Drive and XOSL (author Tau)
  3. Change boot sector signature
  4. Links

Installation of EZ-BIOS and XOSL

Here’s a procedure, how to prepare disk with EZ-BIOS (version MaxBlast 1.27s) and then to install XOSL (version 1.1.5).

The procedure is almost the same as installation of EZ-Drive and XOSL from faq 1.0 XOSL (with some real experience)

Written by Jaromir Rezek and revised by Jiri Sanek.

  1. By using EZ-BIOS you have to prepare disk in the following layout:
  2. By using Partition magic or Ranish partition manager you need to create the following partition layout:
  3. Backup MBR and XOSL installation - IMPORTANT: reboot your computer only if allowed:
  4. Restore MBR and set XOSL

Important summary to the end: (those are my recommendations, you don't have to agree with them absolutely)

Example of partition layout:

  1. Prim. part. - EZ-BIOS - 16MB (or less - I have other helpfull programs here) - hidden
  2. Prim. part. - XOSL - 16MB (or less) - activate
  3. Prim. part. - Test - 2 GB - hidden
  4. Extended part. (logical disk)

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EZ-Drive and XOSL installation

Here’s a second procedure, how to prepare disk with EZ-Drive (using version 11.39w, this version probably does not require boot sector with signature 0AA55h) and then installing XOSL (version 1.1.4).

Written by Tau.

Introduction note: Installation procedure comes out from tips Installation EZ-BIOS and XOSL and from XOSL FAQs 1.0.
Quote from author: "Because I played around with the hard drive (with all data saved safely on backup media by hints in FAQ. :)) ), I tried to do lots of things and it yielded at last."


  1. System installation and EZ-Drive installation (EZ-Drive installation floppy from Western Digital - Data Life Guard). EZ-Drive installation creates FAT16 or FAT32 partition on drive, depending on which floppy you insert during its installation:
  2. By using MS-DOS Fdisk (I used v6.22) remove all created partitions (remove all logical partitions, then extended partition and finally primary partition (FAT16 option) or single primary partition (FAT32 option)).
  3. Reboot, while loading EZ-Drive press CTRL key and insert and boot bootable floppy. Run fdisk and create new primary partition. (I created the smallest allowed by fdisk - 7.8MB, if you make it under 32MB it will be FAT12)
  4. Reboot from floppy (again with pressing CTRL key...), format partition (our 7,8 MB disk - C:) and run installation XOSL to a dedicated partition.
  5. In BIOS settings set boot sequence "C,A" or "HDD, Floppy" or "HDD-0 only" :-) (This setting can be done later on, but it is better to do it now, preventing that you boot OS from floppy before EZ-Drive loads.).
  6. After starting XOSL, create Boot item "Boot from floppy", boot it from MS-DOS boot floppy, then by using fdisk create a new primary partition and reboot. Boot item "Boot from floppy". Format disk C:, use label "MS-DOS" and install MS-DOS).
  7. Reboot and hide partition with MSDOS in XOSL Boot item "Boot from floppy" and boot from Win9x Startup (or Install) floppy. By using fdisk create a new partition and format it right after reboot. Label it "Win9x".
  8. Back up MBR by using MBRWork.
  9. In XOSL create Boot items "MS-DOS v.6.22" (boots second partition, hide all other partitions) and "Windows ME" (third partition, no need to hide anything). Run WinME installation.
  10. After WinME installation press CTRL key (EZ-Drive), boot from floppy and restore MBR.
  11. That's all.

The layout of harddisk:

  1. Prim. partition - 7,8 MB - EZ-Drive v.11.39w (!! this version !!) + XOSL v.1.1.4 - active + hidden
  2. Prim. partition - 2,1 GB - MS-DOS , FAT16
  3. Prim. partition - 2,1 GB - Win ME , FAT16
  4. Prim. partition - 13 GB - Data, FAT32

Note for MS-DOS on second primary partition: They say, that it is possible to install MS-DOS only on the first partition (in this case perhaps just first visible), however it's interesting, that EZ-Drive affects MSDOS run. I compared it with MSDOS on harddrive without EZ-Drive. I find small difference in behaviour of EMM386, but these are just details (for instance information about memory allocation) (EZ-Drive needs some memory to run, maybe that is the difference. -Thanks Filip :-) ).

Note for the 4th. prim. partition: It can be extended partition containing one or more logical partitions.

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Change boot sector signature

  1. technique - by using any disk editor - In Ranish partition manager (which is part of XOSL) choose partition that XOSL is installed. Press F4 key. Column "Starting sector" displays number of first sector. Write it down on paper. Next try to use in your disk editor function "Go to absolute sector" and there type in the number of our absolute sector (from paper). Within this sector there is Head 1 and Sector 1, and at the end of sector 1 you can find record of Partition Table Signature 0534FH.
  2. technique - PTS Disk editor
    1. In PTS Disk editor select option "Partitions", in neighbouring window choose partition that XOSL is installed (in picture it is "Unknown-15.6M") and select "OK"
    2. Then by scrolling down choose end of Sector 1 (head 1) and at the end of sector 1 you can find record of Partition Table Signature 0534FH, re-write it by number 55AAH.

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XOSL - excellent bootmanager
czech version,

BootDisk - useful tools and boot disks of all kinds

BootPart - interesting program for multibooting in general

DISKED The DISK EDitor For IBM-PC/XT/AT Computers - command line disk editor

PTS Disk Editor versin 1.04 (latest free version found)

MBRWork - interesting freeware program to backup, restore or erase your MBR

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Authors: Jaromir Rezek and Tau
Written and translated from Czech language: Jaromir Rezek, Jiri Sanek
Revised and spellchecked: Filip Komar