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    Star Lounger E Pericoloso Sporgersi's Avatar
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    Question Run 16-bit apps in Win10/32?

    Once in a while (3-4 times/year) I need access to two old (1992) MS-DOS applications, a relational database and a professional app with patient records (from before 2001, but which I am legally required to keep accessible until 2030) .
    I know for a fact (by experience) that these two 16-bit apps do work well in Win7/32, but not at all in Win7/64 and neither in Win10/64.
    I now run Win10/64 Home, but to be able to access the old data, I also have Win7/32 in dual boot.

    My Win10/64 installation is NOT an upgrade, but a clean install from a paid for Win10 USB stick.
    This means that I am still qualified for a free upgrade to Win10/32 (3 actually because I have 3 Win7 licenses). I think that a dual boot for Win10/64 as my main system and a barebones Win10/32 (with only the old 16-bit apps installed) would be a simpler setup than what I have now. I would certainly be freed of the Win7 Patch Tuesday.

    Only ... will my old 16-bit apps run in Win10/32?
    Of course I could take a disk image and then try the upgrade, but that will be quite a chore with unpredictable results. Furthermore I'm afraid something untoward might happen with the bootloader files.

    Does anybody know whether Windows 10/32 deigns to run 16-bit apps?
    E Pericoloso Sporgersi
    "It is Dangerous to Lean Out! [of Windows]"

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    First I would try running your DOS apps in DOSBox. I've had good results with that.

    If that doesn't work I'd convert a working machine into a Virtual Machine using Disk2vhd, then run it in VirtualBox.

    Both methods will run on your W10 machine and save you having to keep a second machine that may or may not keep running. It also makes backup easier.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Star Lounger E Pericoloso Sporgersi's Avatar
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    Thanks for your opinion and advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    First I would try running your DOS apps in DOSBox. I've had good results with that.
    I've already tried that. Didn't work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    If that doesn't work I'd convert a working machine into a Virtual Machine using Disk2vhd, then run it in VirtualBox. ...
    That seems much too complicated for the rare times I need to access the old data.
    And the barebones Win7/32 is already in place with the old data *and* able to redirect LPT1 to the USB printer port.

    Now I'm thinking that I might leave things as they are. My old data files will never again need modifying. As my Win7/32 installation runs perfectly well and will also not really need any more updates ever again, I can configure it to NOT connect to any LAN and to NEVER update. That partition can just remain unconnected and its files unchanged forever. As for backups, a single one-time-only image (but 2 copies) will suffice.

    And finally, there's my old laptop with the old data that still works OK and that also doesn't need updates any more.
    E Pericoloso Sporgersi
    "It is Dangerous to Lean Out! [of Windows]"

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    Quote Originally Posted by E Pericoloso Sporgersi View Post
    Once in a while (3-4 times/year) I need access to two old (1992) MS-DOS applications, a relational database and a professional app with patient records (from before 2001, but which I am legally required to keep accessible until 2030) .
    I know one person who has been able to get DataEase (which is a DOS database) to run in DOSBox on both Win7/64 and Win10/64 - but I'll be darned if I can get it to work myself. The problem is that is uses an old protected mode memory manager and that's complicated to get working.

    I've messed around with FreeDOS in a virtual machine some and it's a PITA. What I might try is to create a MS DOS virtual machine.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by E Pericoloso Sporgersi View Post
    Thanks for your opinion and advice.


    I've already tried that. Didn't work.


    That seems much too complicated for the rare times I need to access the old data.
    And the barebones Win7/32 is already in place with the old data *and* able to redirect LPT1 to the USB printer port.

    Now I'm thinking that I might leave things as they are. My old data files will never again need modifying. As my Win7/32 installation runs perfectly well and will also not really need any more updates ever again, I can configure it to NOT connect to any LAN and to NEVER update. That partition can just remain unconnected and its files unchanged forever. As for backups, a single one-time-only image (but 2 copies) will suffice.

    And finally, there's my old laptop with the old data that still works OK and that also doesn't need updates any more.
    You could try vDos (www.vdos.info).
    It derived from DOSBox, but has been largely modified/enhanced to run serious DS applications instead of games.
    Perhaps your applications just need file- and record locking that are missing from DOSBox.

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