Fixing mouse and VGA issues on FreeDOS

by TheOuterLinux (

Last updated: 2023/09/12

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Original posting on


The following is an issue regarding the mouse and VGA (some how) that I had while trying to setup FreeDOS on a newer laptop. I asked, but ended up finding my own solution. This issue comes up about once a year or so on /r/dosgaming and I'm tired of having to spend 30 minutes hunting links to old posts, so here you go...

Original posting on

    FreeDOS software errors involving mouse and VGA on 2008 Acer netbook

   Games and graphic editor programs that require VGA and a mouse will not 
   run on my 2008 laptop/netbook. I have tried running ctmouse and changing
   the REM DISPLAY settings in the AUTOEXEC file, but it doesn't help. Has 
   anyone gotten FreeDOS to properly run on a newer computer? I'm guessing 
   there's a MOUSE.COM file I'm missing, but I haven't got a clue where to 
   look. Please no DOSBox suggestions. I'm well aware, but that's not the 


      dir /s

      Pick one of the results and add to AUTOEXEC.BAT as "LH=C:\PATH\TO\MOUSE.COM"

      dir mouse.sys /s

      Pick one of the results and add to FDCONFIG.SYS as "DEVICE=C:\PATH\TO\MOUSE.SYS"

   In my case, I used MOUSE.COM from Visual Basic for DOS v1.00 and MOUSE.SYS
   from MS WORD 5.5. Even the touch to click works on my trackpad. Make sure
   to reboot. I picked the VBDOS version for MOUSE.COM because it was the 
   largest version of that file, so I figured it would have the most bang 
   per byte. It also seems to have fixed a lot of program's display issues.
   But, I also changed the EGA code numbers in DISPLAY="..." inside of 
   AUTOEXEC.BAT to 437 (US) instead of the default 8xx one (can't remember 
   the number).

2021/01/18 Edit: The EGA mode number was 858 before changing it to 437.