Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


16 Bit DOS Program won't run in Win 8 32bit

  1. #1


    Posts : 2
    WIN 8 32 bit Trial v 9200 + XP Prp SP3

    16 Bit DOS Program won't run in Win 8 32bit


    I d/ld the trial version of Win 8 32 bit specifically to see if a DOS program that I have would run in Win 8 32bit.

    To my surprise it doesn't run, or at least run correctly. I get the warning about running a 16 bit program so I OK it.
    Then it tells me the program can't be run in a window or full screen. It might as well say it won't freaking run at all that would be more accurate!

    Odd that PC World Mag touts Win 8 as being able to "run your DOS programs" just like you did before! There was also a reference to something being in Control Panel to enable 16 bit programs.... again no joy there I see nothing in CP in my trial version.

    Sure I can run the program in a VM like I do on Win 7 and yes I can run it on XP Pro just fine. But it would be nice to have correct information about what the OS can and can't do.

    Regards,

    ACCOMAC

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Which trial version did you download? Is it definitely 32 bit?

    I must admit I don't know which Control Panel icon it lives in... however here's how to find it.
    * Use <Windows key>-W to start a search for Settings on the Start Screen
    * Start typing "16-bit Application Support" and the option should come up.
    * Click this option and you should be able to choose whether to enable or disable it.
    (There's also a "more information here" link... but this didn't work for me when I tried it just now.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    I have an old card game program, "Thieves" that was developed in the Windows 3/3.1 timeframe (and may have been updated for Windows 95). It runs in the native mode on my Win 8 Pro 64 bit system (and Win 7 64 bit).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    It's in the control panel, it does show up in a search. In the Control Panel, it's attached to "Programs and Features" - But it can't be seen from Programs and Features. So Open the Control Panel and search for "16 Bit Features" and it will show up.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2
    WIN 8 32 bit Trial v 9200 + XP Prp SP3


    Hello and thanks to all,

    Unfortunately I have been to the PROGRAM & FEATURES in Control Panel | TURN WINDOWS FEATURES ON AND OFF. I even tried to d/l and install Net Framework 3.xx to no avail.

    This program isn't even a game, it's a satellite tracking program by the late David Ransom.

    Yes I am sure I have the 32 bit trial version I got it specifically to try my other 32 bit programs as well as STSPLUS, the tracking program.

    Also tried playing with the display settings to see if lowering the res would allow the proggy to run full screen, it does not.

    Live and learn and don't trust MS........( that's not news is it? )

    ACCOMAC
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Did you try this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Me View Post
    * Use <Windows key>-W to start a search for Settings on the Start Screen

    * Start typing "16-bit Application Support" and the option should come up.

    * Click this option and you should be able to choose whether to enable or disable it.
    (There's also a "more information here" link... but this didn't work for me when I tried it just now.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,975
    Windows 10 x64


    The fullscreen/windowed issue is a real one, I've encountered it too.

    The only workaround I found is to use DosBox where you can use fullscreen.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Hopachi View Post
    The fullscreen/windowed issue is a real one, I've encountered it too.

    The only workaround I found is to use DosBox where you can use fullscreen.
    Ah fair enough then.

    I did give it a go and it does sort of work if you keep selecting Ignore on the fullscreen error a few times, but I wouldn't know what unforeseen effects the error might have.

    @Hopachi, I guess from your experience there's nothing to be gained by right-clicking the EXE file and playing with the various Compatibilty properties?
    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,975
    Windows 10 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    @Hopachi, I guess from your experience there's nothing to be gained by right-clicking the EXE file and playing with the various Compatibilty properties?
    It's still managed by the virtual DOS machine on the system called NTVDM.
    This resambles the one in XP quite a lot.

    Properties window:
    I didn't try compatibility settings for the DOS application if you right click; the options designed for 32bit programs might not do a thing but DOS apps have their own extra options (and tab menu's) that's true.

    Check this article out, meant for XP but I think Win8 might have a use to it:
    Troubleshooting MS-DOS-based programs in Windows XP
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Bit DOS Program won't run in Win 8 32bit
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