Dapeng Li

Hungry, foolish and passionate – yet another software developer.

Running legacy DOS application with DOSBox

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Recently a friend asked me how to run a legacy application written for DOS on Windows, below is what I found.

Install DOSBox

First you need to install an application called DOSBox, it’s free and will emulate the environment of DOS. It’s cross platform but I only tried it on a 64-bit Windows 7 machine.

Copy your legacy application into DOSBox folder

Open DOSBox’s installation folder (for me it’s C:\Program Files (x86)\DOSBox-0.74), create a folder called Programs, copy your legacy application into the newly created “Programs” folder.

This video on YouTube offers a step-by-step walkthrough, I found the first few minutes very useful and solved my problem. It also shows how to install Quick Basic, in case that’s what you need.

Run DOSBox

Run DOSBox from start menu, if you’re on Windows Vista or Windows 7 consider running with elevated privilege (right click DOSBox application, select “Run as administrator”), because you’ll need Administrator’s permission to write to the system drive – where DOSBox is installed by default.

Mount the Programs folder, run your application

Once DOSBox had launched, you’ll see a command prompt like “Z:\>”.

Input “mount C Programs”, press Enter, so the “Programs” folder containing your application will be mounted as C drive.

Input “C:”, Enter, to change your working directory to the mounted C drive.

Input “dir”, Enter, you will see your applications listed.

Then you can take on from there. Here’s a screenshot of the commands listed above.

The Escape

In case your mouse is trapped in the DOSBox window, you can press Ctrl + F10 to release your mouse from DOSBox.

Hope this helps.

Written by Dapeng

March 14th, 2012 at 7:54 am

Posted in Using Software