can't run 16-bit windows program


B

Brett

I keep running into problems running old DOS based stuff
in 2000 and XP Pro. I know that the operating systems are
much more security conscious and tend to lock down DOS
programs, running them in virtual DOS machines (is that
right?) in a 32 bit environment. How can I allow a
program to run in 2000 or XP Pro without running into
error messages instead of running? Thanks!

Brett
 
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D

Dan Seur

Brett - you are correct in that NT-class systems support DOS programs
only through virtual machines. In fact, all programs other than certain
parts of the OS itself run through virtual machines; that's fundamental
to the architecture, which attempts to prevent all possible interference
of any app with any other app or with the OS itself.

There is a breed of DOS and other programs that cannot run in a virtual
environment, usually because as coded (sometimes by design and sometimes
by bad coding) such programs absolutely require direct hardware control
to execute successfully. This will always be prevented and such programs
aborted by the OS.

Applications originally coded for a DOS-like or native environment (say,
a realtime control app of some sort in an important environment like a
factory or a hospital) will either have been recoded for a high
reliability multitasking system, or will carry caveats warning against
running them in any but native machine mode (self-booting, for example.)

I believe there may be some multiboot managers - probably obscure - that
will allow switching betwen OS's via on-the-fly keystrokes, and perhaps
you could find and make use of one. It would be a Very Good Idea to keep
in mind, if you do so, that this may open the door on such a machine to
corruption and mayhem via introduction of unexpected mods to code and
hardware conditions that might cause unreliability and loss of integrity
in the more sophisticated OS or in that app.
 
B

Brett

Okay, so really it's not worth messing with just to have a
couple of applications behave with a newer OS. I'll just
use them on 98 laptops instead of my XPP laptop. Thanks
for the in-depth explanation!

Brett
 
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D

Dan Seur

You're very welcome & thanx for posting back. You could always multiboot
to a vanilla DOS system if you chose to on your big machine. If none of
its partitions are FAT16, you could always create one (via
PartitionMagic or similar 3rd party utility) if there's room, and in
such a case DOS wouldn't be able to even recognize any of the existing
partitions much less touch any contents. :)
 

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