This will either be a helpful reference, or a cry for help, as I document the steps I'm taking to try to get KQ5 installed on an old PC for my daughter, who remembered the series from when she was a little girl and insists that I get it working again.
First, we tried installing various games on the XP box. No luck at all. Well, KQ4 *might* have worked, but we lost the manual required for questions like "What's the first word of the third paragraph on page 5?" But we have the KQ5 manual -- but it keeps dying on the XP box with complaints about the sound system.
Fortunately, I have an old Pentium II box in the bedroom, running Puppy Linux. And I have a set of DOS 6.22 installation floppies. So here we go!
* Installed Puppy Linux on a different partition so that the first partition can belong to DOS. Puppy includes the Grub bootloader so I can dual-boot.
* After a few false starts, got DOS 6.22 installed.
* Discover that DOS 6.22 doesn't include CD-ROM support. Well, that's what the Linux is for. Copied the contents of the first CD to c:\kq1cd and the second to (you guessed it) c:\kq2cd
* CD \kq1cd and run install (.bat). Note that this didn't work in XP at all, because the tiny program Sierra used to manage the menu doesn't work in XP! It works here, so I feel lucky and hit the option to install KQ5.
* No dice. Bombs with "Error creating configuration file". I suspect that it expects to be run from the CD, not from a directory.
* Back into Linux. I've got a 6GB hard drive. DOS 6.11 wasn't able to use but the first 2GB, so I take the remaining couple of GB and make two more DOS-compatible partitions (I can give details if needed). I copy the CD's to the new drives.
* Back to DOS. Sure enough, I have a D: drive containing CD #1 and an E: drive containing CD #2.
* Run Install from the D: prompt and install KQ5. I let Sierra pick the defaults for me (even though it doesn't see my PS2 mouse).
* Same error as before, "Error creating configuration file"
* Try again, this time go to C:\ and run D:\install.
* No luck, menu scrolls past because that little utility isn't in the DOS path. d'oh.
* Go back to D:, run install, try KQ4.
* Exact same screens and exact same errors. Suspicious.
* I've been left in D:\KQ4. After looking at the .bat files, I try install.exe. Same result.
* Try d:, install, kq1 (original) just to see if I can install SOMETHING.
* Beep, "Bad command or file name", then "Hard disk installation for King's Quest I" I press the "any" key to continue. "Unable to create the directory" The directory attempted is "":\sierra\kq1. Is this a hint?
* How about KQ6? Poke around a bit and figure out how they've got things set up, then go to E:. It tells me to insert Disk 1, which I don't, then displays the menu. Pick KQ6 and it tells me to insert Disk 2, which is cool.
* Same install screen as KQ 5 and 4, with the same error result.
At this point, I'm pretty sure the do-everything install.bat isn't going to get me anywhere. Let's look at the KQ5 directory.
.bat files: install.bat, kq5.bat, kq5inst.bat, and readme.bat
.exe files: install.exe, scikq5.exe, setup.exe, sierra.exe
install.bat does nothing but tell you to type "install" (which will run the .exe), and kq5.bat is a placeholder telling you to install the game first. But kq5inst.bat is interesting. It looks like it expects to be called with the drive letter of the cdrom drive. It changes to that drive, changes to \kq5, and runs install (.exe). So I try that... and get the same thing as before. D'oh!
ok, exe files: setup.exe and scikq5.exe "require Microsoft Windows". And sierra.exe -- the program you'd expect to run the program -- says "Couldn't install video driver!" Darn it, the readme says that should work.
Poking a bit further, the KQ1 install.bat isn't working because of that menu helper (what.exe) not being found. If it worked, the .bat file would have called "installh.bat c:" installh.bat just copies _install.bat to the specified drive. My head hurts now, so I'm going to try installh.bat c:
Result: OMG! State-of-the-art 1987 technology at its finest! I've got something working, so my daughter will not be upset that she took my turn doing the dishes so that I could get her King's Quest working. It's a start, at least.
"Misfortune strikes and you have fallen into the moat. Your struggles and cries have attracted hungry alligators. They do not want to let you go."