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"I have a program that will only work in a dos partition:
so I downloaded and installed freedos.
But that partition is hda8 and I can't get it to boot."
I have some DOS programs that I wrote 10 years ago and never have bothered converting to Linux. For years I ran Novell DOS 7 on /dev/hda1 so that I could run my programs for about 10 minutes a week. /dev/hda1 is the only partition that I could get Novell DOS 7 to work on.
Eventually I switched to DOSEMU running FreeDos. DOSEMU works fine with two problems:
1. The install instructions for DOSEMU are atrocious. (And I cannot help you on the details because it has been two years since I installed DOSEMU.)
2. My applications are hopelessly locked into a 640 x 480 screen so the DOSEMU screen only takes up a quarter of my screen. Things are getting small.