Getting DOS programs to run in windows

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

Hi,

I'm trying to use some old DOS programs on Windows XP Home. However, when I
run them they automatically start in full screen mode. If I press alt+enter
then the application minimises and I get taken back to Windows.

What I'd like to do is run the application inside a Window so that I can see
all my other Windows apps at the same time. Is there a way to do this?

Thanks,

Mr Colm.
4 answers Last reply
More about getting programs windows
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Hi, Mr. Colm.

    Remember the PIF files that we used back in the "good old days"? WinXP
    allows us to configure its "DOS" windows in much the same way, using a
    program's Properties screen. (I include "DOS" in quotes because, as you
    probably know, WinXP does not include true MS-DOS. The "DOS" window is an
    emulation included in WinXP.) There are several ways to get to a program's
    Properties window, depending on whether you want to start them from inside a
    "DOS" window, or from clicking a shortcut on the Desktop, or some other way.
    Here's one way...

    In Windows Explorer, navigate to the .exe or .com file for the DOS program.
    Right-click on the filename and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
    That should open a window with several tabs, including Font and Screen. The
    Screen tab lets you choose Full Screen or Window, among other things.

    Another way is to customize the Properties page for the "DOS" window itself,
    starting with a right-click on Command Prompt from Start | All Programs |
    Accessories. This Properties screen has an additional tab for Colors. I've
    created a shortcut to the Command Prompt and put it in my Quick Launch
    Toolbar; the Properties page reached by right-clicking this icon also has
    the Colors tab. I also have a shortcut to CL.EXE, the DOS Calendar program
    in the old WordPerfect Office Library, in Quick Launch; a right-click here
    gets me to a Properties screen with a still different look, including the
    Colors tab.

    I usually run DOS programs full-screen, Alt-Tabbing among them and whatever
    other programs may be running at the time (such as this OE Compose window),
    but most of them also happily run in a smaller window.

    I've not exhausted all the ways to customize windows for DOS programs. I'm
    sure you can find more. ;<)

    RC
    --
    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX
    rc@corridor.net
    Microsoft Windows MVP

    "Mr Colm" <mrcolm@hotmailspoof.com> wrote in message
    news:5kqdd.131$K2.70@newsfe3-gui.ntli.net...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm trying to use some old DOS programs on Windows XP Home. However, when
    > I run them they automatically start in full screen mode. If I press
    > alt+enter then the application minimises and I get taken back to Windows.
    >
    > What I'd like to do is run the application inside a Window so that I can
    > see all my other Windows apps at the same time. Is there a way to do
    > this?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Mr Colm
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Hi RC,

    Thanks for responding to my query.

    I don't remember the good old days of PIF files, but I do remember spending
    many hours creating boot disks and configuring sound cards. In those days
    you had to be a real master to even play a game.

    Strangely enough my current problem is in aid of helping me reminisce those
    times and I'm actually try to get ancient games to work. Using the Alt+TAB
    solution does not put the game into a window. It just minimises it.;{

    Do you or anyone else know how I can play these old dos games in a window
    rather than full screen. Alternatively, I've tried remotely connecting to
    my machine and using a remote desktop but I can't even make that find my own
    machine!

    Regards,

    Jon.
    "R. C. White" <rc@corridor.net> wrote in message
    news:udtuM1qtEHA.3932@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > Hi, Mr. Colm.
    >
    > Remember the PIF files that we used back in the "good old days"? WinXP
    > allows us to configure its "DOS" windows in much the same way, using a
    > program's Properties screen. (I include "DOS" in quotes because, as you
    > probably know, WinXP does not include true MS-DOS. The "DOS" window is an
    > emulation included in WinXP.) There are several ways to get to a
    > program's Properties window, depending on whether you want to start them
    > from inside a "DOS" window, or from clicking a shortcut on the Desktop, or
    > some other way. Here's one way...
    >
    > In Windows Explorer, navigate to the .exe or .com file for the DOS
    > program. Right-click on the filename and choose Properties from the pop-up
    > menu. That should open a window with several tabs, including Font and
    > Screen. The Screen tab lets you choose Full Screen or Window, among other
    > things.
    >
    > Another way is to customize the Properties page for the "DOS" window
    > itself, starting with a right-click on Command Prompt from Start | All
    > Programs | Accessories. This Properties screen has an additional tab for
    > Colors. I've created a shortcut to the Command Prompt and put it in my
    > Quick Launch Toolbar; the Properties page reached by right-clicking this
    > icon also has the Colors tab. I also have a shortcut to CL.EXE, the DOS
    > Calendar program in the old WordPerfect Office Library, in Quick Launch; a
    > right-click here gets me to a Properties screen with a still different
    > look, including the Colors tab.
    >
    > I usually run DOS programs full-screen, Alt-Tabbing among them and
    > whatever other programs may be running at the time (such as this OE
    > Compose window), but most of them also happily run in a smaller window.
    >
    > I've not exhausted all the ways to customize windows for DOS programs.
    > I'm sure you can find more. ;<)
    >
    > RC
    > --
    > R. C. White, CPA
    > San Marcos, TX
    > rc@corridor.net
    > Microsoft Windows MVP
    >
    > "Mr Colm" <mrcolm@hotmailspoof.com> wrote in message
    > news:5kqdd.131$K2.70@newsfe3-gui.ntli.net...
    >> Hi,
    >>
    >> I'm trying to use some old DOS programs on Windows XP Home. However,
    >> when I run them they automatically start in full screen mode. If I press
    >> alt+enter then the application minimises and I get taken back to Windows.
    >>
    >> What I'd like to do is run the application inside a Window so that I can
    >> see all my other Windows apps at the same time. Is there a way to do
    >> this?
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >>
    >> Mr Colm
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Hi, Jon.

    MOST old DOS programs run just fin in a "DOS" window. But games, as you
    probably know, often used various tricks to try to gain more speed than was
    possible by following the MS-DOS rules. They often used machine language to
    deal directly with the hardware, rather than using MS-DOS calls. WinNT and
    its descendants (including WinXP) won't let programs talk directly to the
    hardware (including the monitor screen), so some of these games cannot be
    made to run in their windows.

    Since I'm an accountant, not a techie of any kind, I probably can't explain
    it in any more detail than that.

    Have you investigated the "compatibility mode"? I haven't needed it, so I
    haven't learned anything about it, but you should be able to find an
    explanation in the Help and Support Center (from the Start button).

    RC
    --
    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX
    rc@corridor.net
    Microsoft Windows MVP

    "Mr Colm" <mrcolm@hotmailspoof.com> wrote in message
    news:UAVdd.212$mw6.68@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    > Hi RC,
    >
    > Thanks for responding to my query.
    >
    > I don't remember the good old days of PIF files, but I do remember
    > spending many hours creating boot disks and configuring sound cards. In
    > those days you had to be a real master to even play a game.
    >
    > Strangely enough my current problem is in aid of helping me reminisce
    > those times and I'm actually try to get ancient games to work. Using the
    > Alt+TAB solution does not put the game into a window. It just minimises
    > it.;{
    >
    > Do you or anyone else know how I can play these old dos games in a window
    > rather than full screen. Alternatively, I've tried remotely connecting to
    > my machine and using a remote desktop but I can't even make that find my
    > own machine!
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Jon.
    > "R. C. White" <rc@corridor.net> wrote in message
    > news:udtuM1qtEHA.3932@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    >> Hi, Mr. Colm.
    >>
    >> Remember the PIF files that we used back in the "good old days"? WinXP
    >> allows us to configure its "DOS" windows in much the same way, using a
    >> program's Properties screen. (I include "DOS" in quotes because, as you
    >> probably know, WinXP does not include true MS-DOS. The "DOS" window is
    >> an emulation included in WinXP.) There are several ways to get to a
    >> program's Properties window, depending on whether you want to start them
    >> from inside a "DOS" window, or from clicking a shortcut on the Desktop,
    >> or some other way. Here's one way...
    >>
    >> In Windows Explorer, navigate to the .exe or .com file for the DOS
    >> program. Right-click on the filename and choose Properties from the
    >> pop-up menu. That should open a window with several tabs, including Font
    >> and Screen. The Screen tab lets you choose Full Screen or Window, among
    >> other things.
    >>
    >> Another way is to customize the Properties page for the "DOS" window
    >> itself, starting with a right-click on Command Prompt from Start | All
    >> Programs | Accessories. This Properties screen has an additional tab for
    >> Colors. I've created a shortcut to the Command Prompt and put it in my
    >> Quick Launch Toolbar; the Properties page reached by right-clicking this
    >> icon also has the Colors tab. I also have a shortcut to CL.EXE, the DOS
    >> Calendar program in the old WordPerfect Office Library, in Quick Launch;
    >> a right-click here gets me to a Properties screen with a still different
    >> look, including the Colors tab.
    >>
    >> I usually run DOS programs full-screen, Alt-Tabbing among them and
    >> whatever other programs may be running at the time (such as this OE
    >> Compose window), but most of them also happily run in a smaller window.
    >>
    >> I've not exhausted all the ways to customize windows for DOS programs.
    >> I'm sure you can find more. ;<)
    >>
    >> RC
    >>
    >> "Mr Colm" <mrcolm@hotmailspoof.com> wrote in message
    >> news:5kqdd.131$K2.70@newsfe3-gui.ntli.net...
    >>> Hi,
    >>>
    >>> I'm trying to use some old DOS programs on Windows XP Home. However,
    >>> when I run them they automatically start in full screen mode. If I
    >>> press alt+enter then the application minimises and I get taken back to
    >>> Windows.
    >>>
    >>> What I'd like to do is run the application inside a Window so that I can
    >>> see all my other Windows apps at the same time. Is there a way to do
    >>> this?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks,
    >>>
    >>> Mr Colm
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Hi RC,

    Thanks for making the effort to help me out. I still can't get the game to
    work in a window but believe that it might work if I remotely connect to my
    machine from my machine (I'm having a problem with this as well! But will
    start a new thread for it).

    Regards,

    Jon.

    "R. C. White" <rc@corridor.net> wrote in message
    news:uZE5TITuEHA.908@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
    > Hi, Jon.
    >
    > MOST old DOS programs run just fin in a "DOS" window. But games, as you
    > probably know, often used various tricks to try to gain more speed than
    > was possible by following the MS-DOS rules. They often used machine
    > language to deal directly with the hardware, rather than using MS-DOS
    > calls. WinNT and its descendants (including WinXP) won't let programs
    > talk directly to the hardware (including the monitor screen), so some of
    > these games cannot be made to run in their windows.
    >
    > Since I'm an accountant, not a techie of any kind, I probably can't
    > explain it in any more detail than that.
    >
    > Have you investigated the "compatibility mode"? I haven't needed it, so I
    > haven't learned anything about it, but you should be able to find an
    > explanation in the Help and Support Center (from the Start button).
    >
    > RC
    > --
    > R. C. White, CPA
    > San Marcos, TX
    > rc@corridor.net
    > Microsoft Windows MVP
    >
    > "Mr Colm" <mrcolm@hotmailspoof.com> wrote in message
    > news:UAVdd.212$mw6.68@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    >> Hi RC,
    >>
    >> Thanks for responding to my query.
    >>
    >> I don't remember the good old days of PIF files, but I do remember
    >> spending many hours creating boot disks and configuring sound cards. In
    >> those days you had to be a real master to even play a game.
    >>
    >> Strangely enough my current problem is in aid of helping me reminisce
    >> those times and I'm actually try to get ancient games to work. Using the
    >> Alt+TAB solution does not put the game into a window. It just minimises
    >> it.;{
    >>
    >> Do you or anyone else know how I can play these old dos games in a window
    >> rather than full screen. Alternatively, I've tried remotely connecting
    >> to my machine and using a remote desktop but I can't even make that find
    >> my own machine!
    >>
    >> Regards,
    >>
    >> Jon.
    >> "R. C. White" <rc@corridor.net> wrote in message
    >> news:udtuM1qtEHA.3932@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    >>> Hi, Mr. Colm.
    >>>
    >>> Remember the PIF files that we used back in the "good old days"? WinXP
    >>> allows us to configure its "DOS" windows in much the same way, using a
    >>> program's Properties screen. (I include "DOS" in quotes because, as you
    >>> probably know, WinXP does not include true MS-DOS. The "DOS" window is
    >>> an emulation included in WinXP.) There are several ways to get to a
    >>> program's Properties window, depending on whether you want to start them
    >>> from inside a "DOS" window, or from clicking a shortcut on the Desktop,
    >>> or some other way. Here's one way...
    >>>
    >>> In Windows Explorer, navigate to the .exe or .com file for the DOS
    >>> program. Right-click on the filename and choose Properties from the
    >>> pop-up menu. That should open a window with several tabs, including Font
    >>> and Screen. The Screen tab lets you choose Full Screen or Window, among
    >>> other things.
    >>>
    >>> Another way is to customize the Properties page for the "DOS" window
    >>> itself, starting with a right-click on Command Prompt from Start | All
    >>> Programs | Accessories. This Properties screen has an additional tab
    >>> for Colors. I've created a shortcut to the Command Prompt and put it in
    >>> my Quick Launch Toolbar; the Properties page reached by right-clicking
    >>> this icon also has the Colors tab. I also have a shortcut to CL.EXE,
    >>> the DOS Calendar program in the old WordPerfect Office Library, in Quick
    >>> Launch; a right-click here gets me to a Properties screen with a still
    >>> different look, including the Colors tab.
    >>>
    >>> I usually run DOS programs full-screen, Alt-Tabbing among them and
    >>> whatever other programs may be running at the time (such as this OE
    >>> Compose window), but most of them also happily run in a smaller window.
    >>>
    >>> I've not exhausted all the ways to customize windows for DOS programs.
    >>> I'm sure you can find more. ;<)
    >>>
    >>> RC
    >>>
    >>> "Mr Colm" <mrcolm@hotmailspoof.com> wrote in message
    >>> news:5kqdd.131$K2.70@newsfe3-gui.ntli.net...
    >>>> Hi,
    >>>>
    >>>> I'm trying to use some old DOS programs on Windows XP Home. However,
    >>>> when I run them they automatically start in full screen mode. If I
    >>>> press alt+enter then the application minimises and I get taken back to
    >>>> Windows.
    >>>>
    >>>> What I'd like to do is run the application inside a Window so that I
    >>>> can see all my other Windows apps at the same time. Is there a way to
    >>>> do this?
    >>>>
    >>>> Thanks,
    >>>>
    >>>> Mr Colm
    >
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