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  1. #1
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    DOS Programs with Win 8

    I have an extremely important DOS program that runs under XPPro. Can it be run under Win 8 if and when I decide to upgrade?

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    I have several ways of not answering this question:
    1) keep XP on your computer and dual boot it with Windows 8 - you can run the DOS program when booted into XP Pro
    2) keep a spare computer which runs XP, simply for this program
    3) install Windows 8 on a spare PC and try the DOS program

    For a better answer, you would need to know if the DOS program is 16-bit or 32-bit, and whether the version of Windows 8 you are going to install is 32-bit or 64-bit. You certainly can't run a 16-bit DOS program on Windows 7 64-bit, and it will be the same for Windows 8.
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    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    If it is REALLY important it will be worth:
    4) Update the old DOS program to run in a modern Operating System.
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    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKWilcox View Post
    I have an extremely important DOS program that runs under XPPro. Can it be run under Win 8 if and when I decide to upgrade?
    Have you tried Microsoft Virtual Machine, or one of the other virtual machines out there? You should be able to run a virtual machine session in Windows 8; and then install whatever OS you want in the virtual machine, such as XP Pro.

    If it already runs under XP Pro, it may indeed run under Windows 8. But my guess is, if it runs under XP Pro, it would definitely run in a Virtual Machine session with XP Pro as the VM's OS.

    But the only way to find out for sure is to try it. Try to find another machine which is similar to yours that you can test it on, before upgrading your machine to Windows 8.

    If you go the VM route, don't forget to run anti-virus and do Windows updates in the VM as well as in Windows 8.

    What is the DOS program? Someone reading this post might have some knowledge of it.

    Some hardware devices which worked in the old days won't work on the current computers -- e.g. a Backpack external floppy drive which plugs into the parallel port. I have a parallel port on my eMachines Vista computer, but it won't recognize the Backpack drive. But it did work back in the day, when everything was DOS-based.

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    Windows Virtual PC will not install on Windows 8. Windows Hyper-V is available on Windows 8

    Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Hyper-V -> Hyper-V Platform

    Check the box to the left of Hyper-V Platform, but if when you mouse over the check box it says "Hyper-V cannot be installed: The processor does not have required virtualization capabilities"

    Go into the BIOS and turn on anything you can find that says Virtualization, or SLAT or AMD-V Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI) or Intel VT Extended Page Tables (NPT) technology. If you are pretty sure that you have turned everything on in the BIOS, and it still refuses to let you turn on Hyper-V in Windows Features, then try Virtual Box or VMware Player.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Many 16 Bit apps (not sure about Dos) run on 32 Bit Win 8.
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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    On Win-8/32, when you try to install a 16 bit program (probably written back in the DOS days) the OS will stop and ask you if you want to enable 16 bit support, if you say yes, then it will go ahead and install the program. (and it will run)

    This will not happen on Win-8/64 and you will not be able to install any 16 bit programs.
    My test program is a Majongg game, written around 1990.

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    If it can run on its own, then why not use a DOS boot device with the program(s) in place on that? A DVD or stick is cheaper and less nuisance than some of the other suggested ideas. In fact, put a pile of DOS programs on it and have a field day. DOS and its programs ran on removable devices like floppies (or tape) before there were any hard drives,at least in offices.

    This does mean that you must boot from the media and shut down afterward, but if it is read-write you can leave it in place and copy data from it after performing a normal boot into a different system. Today's storage is so massive compared to that of DOS days (e.g. a 5-1/4 floppy) that you may be able to have a very large library of DOS programs, as well as a full set of commands. OS/2 Warp would be the same, guess.
    Last edited by dogberry; 2012-09-23 at 10:41. Reason: Added para

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKWilcox View Post
    I have an extremely important DOS program that runs under XPPro. Can it be run under Win 8 if and when I decide to upgrade?
    You could try installing a small program called Dosbox It will allow you to run dos programs on your computer. I think it works for both 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows.

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