PCem and bootdisks.

Last Updated or created 2023-07-21

PCem (short for PC Emulator) is an IBM PC emulator for Windows and Linux that specializes in running old operating systems and software that are designed for IBM PC compatibles. Originally developed as an IBM PC XT emulator, it later added support for other IBM PC compatible computers as well.

The big difference with PCem and Dosbox is the fact that you can configure many systems from 8088 to pentium, soundcards and graphic cards (like hercules, CGA, EGA VGA and alike)
You won’t start in MS-DOS, you can boot from a virtual floppy, just what i needed!

Update : Typing boot disk.img in dosbox works

I’ve installed PCem using:

cd pcem/
sudo apt-get install libsdl2-dev
sudo apt-get install libopenal-dev
tar xzvf ../PCemV17Linux.tar.gz 
make clean
# first start (complains about roms, but creates ~/.pcem/...
cd ~/.pcem/roms
# git clone roms
git clone https://github.com/BaRRaKudaRain/PCem-ROMs.git
mv PCem-ROMs/* ./
rm -rf PCem-ROMs

Below a simple example, booting a floppy with a custom made bootsector.
I’m still searching for our bootblock demo, which uses VGA graphics and a music loader using Soundblaster.
We made this around the 90’s, and i have never seen a demo then booting a demo without dos.
Scrollers, music, starfields etc.

NOTE: Dos calls can’t be used, that’s not loaded. So NO int 21h software functions!

Running a bootblock program, there is NO ms-dos being loaded.

The disk image I created using my real original 5.25″ floppy, and converted this with my Fluxengine.

One of the other bootblock thingy’s I made, An amiga guru meditation error. (below a old capture)
When a corrupted disk or faulty software was booted using a amiga you often could see an error like this, now you could have it on you PC!

Original screen capture of a Guru Meditation.
You can see, mine is a little different, because of the font spacing and color.

PCem info

Systems / motherboards emulated :

    AMI XT clone
    Atari PC3
    Compaq Portable Plus
    DTK Clone XT
    (c)Anonymous Generic Turbo XT BIOS
    IBM PC
    IBM PCjr
    IBM XT
    Juko XT clone
    NCR PC4i
    Phoenix XT clone
    Schneider Euro PC
    Tandy 1000
    Tandy 1000HX
    Thomson TO16 PC
    Toshiba T1000
    VTech Laser Turbo XT
    Zenith Data SupersPort


    Amstrad PC1512
    Amstrad PC1640
    Amstrad PC2086
    Amstrad PC3086
    Amstrad PC5086
    Amstrad PPC512/640
    Compaq Deskpro
    Olivetti M24
    Sinclair PC200/Amstrad PC20
    Tandy 1000SL/2
    Toshiba T1200
    VTech Laser XT3


    AMI 286 clone
    Award 286 clone
    Bull Micral 45
    Commodore PC30-III
    Compaq Portable II
    Dell System 200
    Epson PC AX
    Epson PC AX2e
    GW-286CT GEAR
    IBM AT
    IBM PS/1 Model 2011
    IBM PS/2 Model 30-286
    IBM PS/2 Model 50
    IBM XT Model 286
    Samsung SPC-4200P
    Samsung SPC-4216P
    Toshiba T3100e
    Tulip AT Compact


    Acermate 386SX/25N
    AMI 386SX clone
    Amstrad MegaPC
    DTK 386SX clone
    Epson PC AX3
    IBM PS/1 Model 2121
    IBM PS/2 Model 55SX
    Packard Bell Legend 300SX
    Samsung SPC-6033P


    AMI 386DX clone
    Compaq Deskpro 386
    IBM PS/2 Model 70 (type 3)
    IBM PS/2 Model 80
    MR 386DX clone
    Samsung SPC-6000A


    AMI 486 clone
    AMI WinBIOS 486 clone
    Award SiS 496/497
    Elonex PC-425X
    IBM PS/2 Model 70 (type 4)
    Packard Bell PB410A

Socket 4/5/7 (Pentium)

    ASUS P/I-P55TVP4
    ASUS P/I-P55T2P4
    Award 430VX PCI
    Epox P55-VA
    Intel Advanced/EV (Endeavor)
    Intel Advanced/ZP (Zappa)
    Intel Premiere/PCI (Batman's Revenge)
    Packard Bell PB520R (Robin LC)
    Packard Bell PB570 (Hillary)

Super Socket 7 (K6-2/III)

    FIC VA-503+

Socket 8 (Pentium Pro)

    Intel VS440FX

Slot 1 (Pentium II)

    Gigabyte GA-686BX

Graphics cards emulated :

    3DFX Voodoo Graphics
    3DFX Voodoo 2
    ATI Graphics Pro Turbo (Mach64 GX)
    ATI Video Xpression (Mach64 VT2)
    ATI VGA Edge-16 (ATI-18800)
    ATI VGA Charger (ATI-28800)
    Cirrus Logic CL-GD5429
    Cirrus Logic CL-GD5430
    Cirrus Logic CL-GD5434
    Compaq CGA
    Diamond Stealth 32 (Tseng ET4000/w32p)
    Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 (S3 ViRGE/325)
    Hercules InColor
    MDSI Genius
    Number Nine 9FX (S3 Trio64)
    OAK OTI-037
    OAK OTI-067
    Olivetti GO481 (Paradise PVGA1A)
    Paradise Bahamas 64 (S3 Vision864)
    Phoenix S3 Trio32
    Phoenix S3 Trio64
    Plantronics ColorPlus
    S3 ViRGE/DX
    Sigma Color 400
    Trident TVGA8900D
    Trident TGUI9400CXi
    Trident TGUI9440
    Trigem Korean VGA (Tseng ET4000AX)
    Tseng ET4000AX
    Wsye 700

Sound cards emulated :

    AdLib Gold
    Ensoniq AudioPCI
    Gravis UltraSound
    Sound Blaster v1.0
    Sound Blaster v1.5
    Sound Blaster MCV
    Sound Blaster v2.0
    Sound Blaster Pro v1
    Sound Blaster Pro v2
    Sound Blaster Pro MCV
    Sound Blaster 16
    Sound Blaster AWE32
    Sound Blaster PCI128
    Windows Sound System

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