Sorry for my delay in getting back to people;
HIMEM.SYS was on the DOS startup floppy that I'm using. Not on purpose, just needed a command prompt on the machine to run fdisk.
As for the keyboard problem, it happened from time to time, but I found cleaning out the cfg files helped fix this most of the time.
As for the chd issues (Barry...) I never got it to work. After trying unsuccessfully to fdisk virtual drives I gave up, as it's been reported that MESS has problems with hard drive emulation for the IBM pcs. FDISK would run, create a partition, but upon reboot nothing stuck - back to square one. FDISK would also crash back to a prompt from time to time as well. Barry, if you ever get it working, i'd love to know!