Using PCShare with the PCDragon emulator

PCShare can now be used with a modified version of Paul Burgin's PCDragon emulator when you are running OS9. To do this you will require:


The program only operates with a modified version of the PCDragon emulator v2.06 (written by Paul Burgin). This is currently only downloadable here and consists of just the executable. You should first download a copy of PCDragon v2.06 from Paul's site (, follow the installation instructions to get a working emulator. You will need to disk enable the emulator as well. Then download the modfied version and replace the existing executable with this one.

Make a virtual disk from your existing OS9 boot disk and ensure you can boot up OS9 successfully with the emulator. Download a copy of PCShare and OS9 Virtual disk drivers.

Unzip the contents of the PCShare archive into a seperate directory on your hard disk. Unzip the 'vdisk41' archive into the same directory. Launch the application named 'PCShare4.exe. The first time PCShare is started it will prompt you for the initial configuration. At this time, the important field is the 'Path to PCShare' field which should reflect where you installed PCShare. You can accept the rest of the defaults for now and update them later if required.

Once this dialog has passed, the 'Emulator Boot' dialog is displayed. This prompts for:

'PCDragon Location' - enter the directory where the PCDragon emulator is installed.

'Executable and Options' - enter the name of the PCDragon and any options you would normally provide to run OS9. If these are held in the the .cfg configuration file then they need not be supplied. By default, PCShare sets '/64 -nb dosv1.dgn'. This indicates D64 Boot, no ROM breakpoints (required for disk emulation) with the DOS Image file named dosv1.dgn'.

OK the dialog box once you have entered the relevent information. Once donw, PCDragon should now launch in the normal manner.

Within the emulator, load and boot OS9 using your boot disk image. Type

chx /d1/cmds
When prompted, 'load' the virtual disk 'emulator.vdk' into drive 2 of the emulator (held in the file). You can now try an access to the PCShare hard disk as follows:
load pc_disk
load h0
chd /h0
If OS9 displays 'Error #244' then all is functioning well - indicating an unformatted hard disk. You can now proceed to format up the drive and create a new boot disk to make use of the Windowing capabilities of PCShare.

The PCShare Users Guide - OS9 Install contains a section devoted to this. In the directory '/d1/cmds' you will find most of the files listed as being in the archive files listed in the documentation, however here is a quick overview of how to go about it. It basicly involves ripping your existing OS9Boot module and adding/replacing some of the drivers in it. From the current directory:

chd /d1
rip /d0/os9boot >bootlist
This will deposit on drive 1 all the modules which comprise your 'os9boot' file that you booted OS9 up with. It will also create a text file named 'bootlist' which is just a list of these modules. Now, delete the following files:
del ddisk
del clock
del sysgo
Then copy from '/d1/cmds' to '/d1' the following files:
Edit the 'bootlist' text file using whatever editor you prefer then REMOVE the following entries:
Then ADD the following entries:
Now create a new virtual disk in another drive eg. drive 0, format it and type the following to create a new boot disk.
go init init
os9gen /d0 < bootlist
Restart the emulator to boot OS9 from this disk, if all is working the OS9 session should start up in a PCShare window.

Note the following: In the documentation the 'bpia21' module has been replaced with 'bemu' for the emulator version. So any reference to 'bpia21' in the documentation should be read as 'bemu'. I also haven't included the modules for mounting PC devices under OS9 in the boot file, generally I just load them when required - you can include them if you want simply by copying up the files 'pcsbf,bemu,pc' and adding their names in the 'bootlist' file.

The source for the device descriptors is in '/d1/src'. Throughout the process you can safely ignore references to PIA addresses but you may want to modify the hard disk size you intend to create. Note that although by default 40MB disks are created, this does not create a 40MB file on your hard disk - these will 'grow' as you add data to them up to a limit of 40MB. When creating more than one hard disk, ensure you update the settings inside PCShare itself via the 'Config' menu. The remainder of the manual should cover general usage of OS9 under PCShare whilst the on-line help should provide information on setting the various options within PCShare itself.

Other User Notes

The new 'clock' module asks PCShare for the time, it is not dependent on the IRQ rate of PCDragon, however all attempts to set the system time are ignored.

The IRQ rate you set in PCDragon may impact the speed of the whole system - since the OS9 keyboard driver interacts with PCShare at this rate you may want to vary the number inside PCDragon, I've found my 266 interrupts at least 16 times faster than a 'real' dragon would. Full info in the PCDragon Users guide.

The 'dir' command in '/d1/cmds' is a 'wide screen' variant to take advantage of having greater than 51 columns - I have modified version of Stylograph and Dynacalc both for 80-column displays.

The 'Technical Section' at the end of the user manual can mostly be ignored, since it generally talks about IO links between other computers - the section on 'WINDRV - SETSTA/GETSTA' is still relevent thought.