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#131661 11/08/03 01:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
Ryan_J Offline OP
I recently bought a machine that runs XP as the OS. I am having a difficult time getting a DOS program to work. Does anyone have any experiance with this?

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081

You might try changing the Program Compatibility. This will make XP emulate an earlier version of Windows (I don't know if that will help you with a DOS-based program, though).

To start the Program Compatibility Wizard, click Start, click Help and Support, click Find compatible hardware and software for Windows XP, and then, under See Also in the navigation pane, click Program Compatibility Wizard.

As an alternative to running the Program Compatibility Wizard, you can set the compatibility properties for a program manually. The settings are the same as the options in the Program Compatibility Wizard.

To set the compatibility properties for a program manually
Right-click the program icon on your desktop or the shortcut on the Start menu for the program you want to run, and then click Properties.
Click the Compatibility tab, and change the compatibility settings for your program.


The Compatibility tab is only available for programs installed on your hard drive. Although you can run the Program Compatibility Wizard on programs or setup files on a CD-ROM or floppy disk, your changes will not remain in effect after you close the program.

For more information about an option on the Compatibility tab, right-click the option and then click What's This.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 394
A lot of old DOS programmers tried to cheat the system by doing direct calls to hardware instead of using the proper DOS calls. They were trying to eek out every last bit of speed. Newer Windows versions simply don't allow that kind of brash behavior and won't run some of those ill-behaved programs. Games were the most notorius but some commercial programming was also guilty. I've also run across a few that used the processor clock rather than the real-time clock. Interesting things happen when you run one of those designed for a 10 Mhz processor on a gigaHertz class unit.

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 123
I don't suppose a 'setver' command would work with XP?

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
What sort of DOS program is it?

As Jim mentioned, some types of DOS programs bypass DOS function calls and either call the BIOS directly or just go straight down to the bare hardware.

Windows can intercept BIOS calls to keep track of what's going on, but if a program writes straight to video memory or accesses a I/O port directly it can get Windows confused.

If the program is accessing hardware directly, then a SETVER command won't help.

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 20
DGT Offline
Not that I know any better but I seem to remember Microsoft was trying to distance themselves from DOS. Allthough in my terms Windows XX is only a Graphics User Interface(GUI) based on a DOS (Disk Operating System). Albeit it looks pretty good from the early days of WIN 1, 2 and 3 that you started from a DOS command. The main competition (yet to make a big inroad) such as LINUX or other GUI's that provide a desktop and other toys are still waiting to be discovered

MICROSOFT allows a DOS session or multiple if there is enough memory, up to WIN-ME. Ol' Billy Gates still doesn't like to remember of whence windows came and would rather be know as "the operating system" rather than just a GUI.

I still like to start my old version of ACAD 14 as a DOS based program so I don't have to buy a new E-sized plotter. In this process I have a removable hard drive with WINDOWS and a second 4gig hard drive strictly for DOS. (Love that DOS) I do use ACAD for windows for quick fixes and the like but being an old DOS man (person) I find DOS more stable.

If you have the time try running MS Sys-Info
to see if there are any DOS drivers reported in the software environment.

I understand you are concerned with XP but there should be some answeres on MS FAQ and the HELP program that come with the XP package.

Anyway, I forgot to ask what program is it that you require a DOS session for?

Doug al

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 20
DGT Offline
Well now.....Long time since I visited this forum....

I have just installed the upgrade for WIN98 to WINXP with a lot of difficulty.

Now that that's said and done, I have to admit that this one is heads and shoulders above WIN98.

As for the DOS sessions, there are a number of sessions that WINXP needs to operate under DOS. Some of the networking programs also require DOS sessions.

Now, in order to get a DOS session whilst still operating with a WINXP screen, go to the START menu and then to RUN. Type in "CMD" and low and behold a DOS session.

Just one of the many bright lights of an old Spark.

There is another function that allows one to run an old programme in an older version of Windows by clicking on the icon, asking for the "properties" and look for the tag.... "compatability". The rest is easy to fololow.....

Rock on kids....... al

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 19
dfe Offline
You may like to try this program. Its work very well for me so far. Many of the old DOS programs have problems with sound when they run in windows. Here is a cut for the program read me file.
"VDMSound is a program that overcomes what has probably been the most exasperating limitation of DOS boxes since Windows NT — sound support. VDMSound is an open, plug-in oriented platform that emulates an MPU-401 interface (for outputting high-quality MIDI music), a SoundBlaster compatible (SB16, SBPro 2, SB2, SBPro, etc.) implementation (for digital sound effects and FM/AdLib music), as well as a standard game-port interface (for playing games with joystick support). In development are improvements to the existing joystick emulation, and possibly VESA support."

VDMSound site,

best of all....this program is free

[This message has been edited by dfe (edited 07-11-2004).]

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