👍 Watch how to run old DOS games on modern computers with Windows 10, 8 or 7. I will also explain what a DOSBox virtual machine is, where you can download it, change settings and make old DOS games run on such machine.
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With every new version of Windows, Microsoft reduced compatibility of its operating system with DOS. As a result, the latest versions of Windows are totally incompatible with DOS, and users cannot run programs and games developed for MS-DOS.
Why would anyone need to run old games and programs nowadays? One of the most widespread and possibly the most serious reasons is playing classic and iconic games of the past. For some people, it’s an opportunity to feel be nostalgic about the old times, and some have never completed their campaigns in Red Alert, Warcraft or Dune 2 back in the 1990s. Generally speaking, it is your choice what you use a DOS emulator for, but in my case it is mostly used for retro gaming.
So, let’s begin. What is DOSBox?
DOSBox is a computer emulator creating a DOS environment required to run old programs and games developed for MS-DOS. DOSBox partially emulates the MS-DOS operating environment, BIOS interrupt vectors, and IBM PC hardware, and you don’t need to have an x86 processor or an original copy of MS-DOS. As well as any emulator, DOSBox requires a considerably more powerful hardware (especially CPU) than the operating system that it emulates. MS-DOS environment and PC hardware are emulated partially, that is why it is difficult to run Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME in DOSBox. Hence we can conclude that this emulator is mostly suitable for the purposes we have mentioned before - for retro gaming.
So, where can you download DOSBox, and how can you install and set it up?
Follow the link to the developer’s website (find the link in the description: https://www.dosbox.com/download.php?main=1) and download this emulator for Windows. After that, run the installation file and install the program.
When it is over, run DOSBox.
You can see that its interface looks very much like Command prompt in Windows. Generally, they work on similar principles, as the Command prompt dates back to the times when the most popular and often the only possible way of working with a computer was by entering special commands.
Now we have to create a kind of a virtual disk that we will work with in the DOSBox environment.
To do it, open the Explorer, go to disk C and create a folder with the name “DOS”
After that, enter the following command in DOSBox command prompt:
mount c c:\dos\
You can see the message "Drive C is mounted as local directory c:\dos\".
It means that we have just connected a virtual disk C. Now all DOS games and programs which we will put into the DOS folder we have created can be run from DOSBox virtual machine.
Now let’s enter the command:
Now press Enter to go to our disk C.
After we have prepared the DOS virtual environment, we can get to the most interesting part - retro gaming!
Follow the link to the retro games website (you can find the link in the description: http://www.myabandonware.com/) and select any DOS game you like. I will choose the great and awesome DOOM.
Download the archive with the game and extract it to the DOS folder that we have previously created.
Note. Ideally, inside the DOS folder you should create separate directories where you keep games and programs. However, this version of DOOM was quite prankish and I managed to run it only from the root directory.
Now let’s try to start the game by clicking on the file DOOM.EXE.
As you can see, Windows 10 shows the message that this game cannot run on this computer.
To start the game, go to DOSBox window and enter the following command:
By doing this, you show the path to the file which we have just tried to run.
As you can see, the game starts. To maximize the window to full screen, press the key sequence Alt + Enter.
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