Microsoft DOS (MS-DOS)
Category: Abandoned Windows systems- client releases

MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) - operating system created by Microsoft company on the basis of the source code of QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) created by Seattle Computers. It is a version of the DOS operating system designed for IBM PCs. Although MS-DOS is itself a text environment, DOS Shell and early versions of Microsoft Windows were supposed to serve as a graphical overlay for the system. However, the Norton Commander - a file manager written outside Microsoft DOS, using the so-called semigraphics of the DOS text environment - turned out to be more popular than Microsoft's solutions. Apart from that, there were also other programs that were graphic overlays on the system, such as 1dir and XTree. Later versions of Windows (from 3.0 upwards in the line of 9x systems, ending with Millennium Edition) became more and more independent operating systems, creating a separate, own development platform. However, all systems of this line started from the DOS level and were compatible with it backwards. With the advent of Windows 95, Microsoft officially discontinued the development of MS-DOS as a stand-alone operating system; the last standalone version of MS-DOS is number 6.22.


MS-DOS marked as 7, 7.1 and 8.0 is the base on which Windows 9x/Millenium was built, being an integral part of them, and for this reason they were not sold as a stand-alone product. In 1993 Microsoft Windows NT was introduced, where Microsoft for the first time resigned from using MS-DOS as a base for the operating system. Removing MS-DOS from the Microsoft Windows line for home users was a difficult step, because a large part of existing programs at that time, including many games, were designed exclusively for DOS. Therefore, Microsoft maintained two lines of systems: Windows 9x/Windows Millennium Edition (Me) and Windows NT line. In Windows Me, MS-DOS was hidden from the user - without appropriate modifications, it was not possible to run the text environment itself at system startup - while since the Microsoft Windows XP version, operating systems based on MS-DOS are no longer released. Despite its lack in newer operating systems, you can still use some MS-DOS commands after running the command interpreter with the cmd instruction. Most applications written for the MS-DOS operating system in this case, however, will not start or will not work properly, but then you can use the help of emulators such as DOSBox.

Quick Review:
Type of product:

OS (Operating system)

Developed by:


Release date:


End of life support date:


Minimal system requirements:

Free space on disk: 4-10 MB

CPU: 4-25 MHz

RAM: 160-512 KB

Type of interface:


⦁ Additional informations about files:
BETA versions (developmental, unstable) are marked in gray,
Blue - official system editions,
Green for modifications and additions (if any)

If you have trouble choosing the right version of the system to download, please refer to the markings below:

⦁ OEM- version compatible with previously purchased devices / pre-installed system on a new computer, assigned to a PC motherboard. After damage or replacement of computer parts, your license is lost

⦁ SP- System image contains a package of fixes and updates. The higher the number, the more patches and updates contained in the system. The patches are called "Service Packs".

⦁ RTM- System version released on the day of release, straight from the production line. It does not contribute anything to the operation of the license.

⦁ Retail- sales version of the program.

⦁ [Polski]- Polish language version; [English]- English language version

⦁ x86 or 32-bit - system compatible with 32-bit processor architecture. They do not support 64-bit architecture. They can use up to 4 GB of RAM.

⦁ x64 or 64-bit - System compatible with 64-bit processor architecture. Some systems (older than Vista/7) do not support 32-bit systems

⦁ x86-64- Multi-architecture edition of the program. You can choose it if you do not know what CPU architecture your computer has.

⦁ VL/VolumeLicense- A system preinstalled on company computers, this license allows you to install the same system on multiple computers and use it simultaneously.

⦁ E- System version without Internet Explorer browser.

⦁ N- System version without media programs (Windows Media Center, Media Player)

⦁ Images called: "Home/Ultimate" are actually images that contain all editions: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate

⦁ Multi-SKU: system image with multiple edits to choose from during installation. Multi-Format system

⦁ (chk): system image checked for errors during compilation (debug)

⦁ (alt): alternative system image to be downloaded, not different from the original, it is a copy/reupload

⦁ DMF: system image saved in a floppy disk format

⦁ CD/DVD: system image saved in a format designed for compact discs and DVDs.

⦁ ESD: file from digital or commercial distribution. To use it, it must be converted to an ISO file.

⦁ File preview icon:
                      IMG- floppy disk image. You can use it in a virtual machine, or use a special program to extract files.

                  ISO/MDF- ready to burn to disk, create bootable media or use in a virtual machine. It can also be used in a program to emulate virtual drives and discs.

      7Z, ZIP, RAR- compressed archive. To access the file, use a program to compress the files, e.g: WinRAR, 7-ZIP- please use file archiver program to open it.

To quickly find the image, press [Ctrl+F] on your keyboard and enter the keyword in the search field. This will highlight the images that contain the entered keyword.

Installation of these images is intended for advanced users. The following systems are published in the BETA (test) version. The installation may be problematic, the system may not work properly. Moreover, BETA versions may be unstable with drivers, programs and operation. They may have unfinished system functions. It is recommended to test the BETA version on a VM. If you have problems with the installation I recommend to consult the Beta Archive forum.

If you are looking for activation keys for Windows [Beta] installation images, click here, or use this address.