What is mounting?

Mounting is a process that makes a storage device (hard disk, CD-rom, CD- or DVD image) accessible within an operating system or within certain software like DOSBox.

Automatic mounting

If you use DOSBox a lot, you'll probably want to automate the mounting of the virtual DOSBox drive. Which means that (a part of) the hard drive or CD-rom drive in your PC will be accessible in DOSBox. You can do this by editing the dosbox.conf file.

  • Open the configuration file:
    • Windows 7: Press CTRL + ESC (or click the start button), type in dosbox and the options file should appear in the search results, click it
    • Windows 8-11: Press the Windows key + Q, type in dosbox and the options file should appear in the search results, click it
  • DOSBox configuration - automatic mounting.Scroll down to [autoexec]
  • On a new and empty line, type in mount c c:\games\dos
  • If your games folder contains spaces, you have to put quotes around the folder path, for example: mount c "c:\games\dos games" 
  • On a new and empty line, type in c:
  • Save the configuration file
  • Restart DOSBox if it's running

See the installation manual of Tomb Raider in DOSBox for an example. This (and other stuff from this page) also can be found on the DOSBox wiki in the Basic Setup and Installation section. An extensive list of all configuration options in the dosbox.conf file can be found at the dosbox.conf page on the DOSBox wiki.

Mounting of a CD-ROM drive

Perhaps you've got a CD-rom lying around with a cool DOS game on it. Installing of the game in Windows doesn't work, but you can do that in DOSBox instead. Mounting of a CD-rom drive (in this example the i: drive) goes as follows:

DOSBox - Mount een CD rom drive.

  • Type mount d i:\ -t cdrom and press enter
  • If the game needs a CD label for installation, type mount d i:\ -t cdrom -label CDLABEL and press enter (replace CDLABEL with the label of your CD)

If the mounting of your CD-rom doesn't work, you can try and create an ISO image of your CD with, for example, CDBurnerXP and mount that image. Also see the installation manual of Tomb Raider in DOSBox.

Mounting an image (ISO, CUE, IMG)

There are several options to mount an image with DOSBox. An image is a file that contains all contents of a CD or DVD. This image file usually has a .ISO extension, but sometimes you'll encounter an IMG or CUE image. You can mount the image file directly in DOSBox:

  • In this example, the ISO image game.iso is in c:\games
  • In DOSBox, type imgmount e c:\games\game.iso -t iso and press enter
  • In DOSBox, type e: and press enter to go to the  image

You can also mount the ISO as a CD-ROM drive in your system and mount this CD-ROM drive in DOSBox:

  • In Windows 10 and 11 you can right click on the image.iso file in explorer and choose mount. In older operating systems you'll have to mount the image to your system with software like Virtual Clone Drive. In this example the virtual CD drive will be F:
  • In DOSBox, you mount the virtual F: drive as a normal CD drive in DOSBox with mount d f:\ -t cdrom and press enter
  • In DOSBox, type d: and press enter to go to the mounted image

More information about mounting an image is here.

The folder I want to mount contains spaces

If the folder name of your game has any spaces in it, you must enclose the path and folder name in quotation marks, i.e. "d:\DOS Games". Otherwise you can not mount that folder.

What's wrong with mounting my C: drive?

It's perfectly possible to mount your entire C: drive in DOSBox with mount c c:, which means your entire C: drive will be available as C: in DOSBox. This is however not recommended to put it mildly. Because it also means that DOSBox has access to all your files, including your operating system files. DOSBox doesn't ask or warn you if you're about to delete entire directories, so you can seriously mess up your computer. Also, if you launch a DOS virus, it may be able to reach your system files and do some harm there. Or even worse, it starts low level formatting your hard drive. So, if you want to mount your C: drive, create a folder on it for your games and mount that folder, for example mount c c:\games\dos.

More information

More information on mounting drives in DOSBox here.