Runing old DOS applications in Modern Microsoft Windows

It was drawn to my attention today that it can be a real bitch to run this old DOS games and other DOS applications under modern Microsoft Windows, thus I thought I would dump this guide on everyone.

Personally there are some old DOS games I still like to play who haven’t lost any play value e.g. The Settlers 2, Dune 2, WarCraft… etc. All of which were programed to run in Microsoft DOS and not Windows. While Windows does have some ability to run these new versions of Windows are slowly killing off support for these old DOS applications. What prompted me to write this is that I run Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, and low and behold the following error message if you try to run a DOS application.

Frustrating isn’t it, you will probably see this in Windows Vista x64 as well.

But low and behold in all it’s glory there is a solution. DOSBox.

DOSBox is a DOS-emulator that uses the SDL-library which makes DOSBox very easy to port to different platforms. DOSBox has already been ported to many different platforms, such as Windows, BeOS, Linux, MacOS X

DOSBox also emulates CPU:286/386 realmode/protected mode, Directory FileSystem/XMS/EMS, Tandy/Hercules/CGA/EGA/VGA/VESA graphics, a SoundBlaster/Gravis Ultra Sound card for excellent sound compatibility with older games.

Now while that is a quote from the site, it’s actually true.

MS-DOS Technical Reference