Computer Lab

PC Boot Sector Programs

Operating system? Where we're going, we don't need operating systems! These are some of my experiments in self-booting software: programs that run directly from a disk or flash drive without needing to load an operating system. All of these so far can be run in Dosbox, either as command line arguments to Dosbox, or by using the `boot` command within Dosbox.


A cave full of dirt, boulders, and diamonds, as represented by textmode graphical characters.

Boulders and gems game that runs in a PC boot sector. Only 437 bytes! Amuse your firends with a "blank" USB drive!

USB drive compatible boot sector image | Source codeexternal link


yellow and blue lines twist across a textmode screen

Made at the same time and to the same specs as Booterdash, this is the classic two player Surround/Light-Cycles game in a USB drive compatible format.

USB drive compatible boot sector image | Source codeexternal link

Mark 13 Booter

A skull-like robot head rendered in yellow, red, green, and black.

My first bootable program, it displays my rendition of the killer robot from Hardwareexternal link in CGA graphics mode, and plays a loop of "The Order of Death" by Public Image Ltd. over the PC Speaker on compatible systems. It's designed to boot from a 1.44MB floppy disk. I may add a 360k version in the future: even with the uncompressed audio, everything appears to fit in a bit over 240KB. I don't know if a slower system can handle the audio playback, though.

1.44MB floppy disk image | Source codeexternal link

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