Installing Borland C++ on dosBox: The solution for “too many subdirectories press esc”

dos[1]On the article in which I gave some steps for installing Borland C++ on Windows 8 by using dosBox, I didn’t mention that there is one error which can occur on the installation process. So far I noticed it myself on Windows 8 Pro 64 bit edition, but one of my readers also pointed it out through a comment.

Error reason

So, this error has something to do with the number of subdirectories within the installation source drive. As the user said:

after hitting the start installation , dos box shows a message: “too many subdirectories press esc” and can´t install c++ , i use windows 8 64 bits

Because in my previous article I recommended using the C drive as the installation drive as well, I didn’t consider the repercussions of this fact. Windows 8 has a lot of folders from the native installation. When the original Borland C++ dos installer starts searching for the necessary files, it will automatically try to see the contents of the other folders within the drive.

Borland C++ was programmed to be installed from floppy drives and they didn’t have as many folders as the current C: drive of Windows 8 (if the C drive is the Windows driver as well). That’s why we get errors like this.

The solution for “too many subdirectories”

To solve this issue, I put the c++ installation kit on an empty drive or on a drive poor in contents (less folders). Then I started Dosbox and mounted the drive as A: (the default drive letter for the floppy drives on early computers or operating systems). After that I followed the same steps described in my previous article.

Upon the emulated installation process, I let drive A as the source and drive C as my Windows folder, and continued as usual.

Because my source drive only had the BC installation kit, the error did not occur anymore, and I could start coding in a matter of minutes.

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5 thoughts on “Installing Borland C++ on dosBox: The solution for “too many subdirectories press esc”

  1. Pingback: How to install Borland C++ on Windows 8 and avoid "Application can't run on your PC. Contact with your software publisher" | Sentences with

  2. Gökçe

    I put the installation kit on my flash drive and mounted drive as F. And then i followed other steps as usual but it didn’t work. It says “Too many subdirectories press esc” again. I’m using win8 64 bit too.

  3. Patrick

    Below is ANOTHER solution, described in article did not work for me.

    What I found out is that my “Too many subdirectories” was caused by 2 corrupted RARs in Borland 3.1 archive (tested via WinRAR).

    1. Download Borland 3.1 from 2 other sources.
    2. In DosBox…
    3. Mount “C:BorlandInstall” installation folder as “A”.
    4. Mount whole “C:” drive as “C”.
    5. Go “A:” and run “install” with default settings. That’s ~10 mins and no more errors.

    Regards & respect.

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