• Run 16-bit apps in Win10/32?

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    #503127

    Once in a while (3-4 times/year) I need access to two old (1992) MS-DOS applications, a relational database and a professional app with patient records (from before 2001, but which I am legally required to keep accessible until 2030) .
    I know for a fact (by experience) that these two 16-bit apps do work well in Win7/32, but not at all in Win7/64 and neither in Win10/64.
    I now run Win10/64 Home, but to be able to access the old data, I also have Win7/32 in dual boot.

    My Win10/64 installation is NOT an upgrade, but a clean install from a paid for Win10 USB stick.
    This means that I am still qualified for a free upgrade to Win10/32 (3 actually because I have 3 Win7 licenses). I think that a dual boot for Win10/64 as my main system and a barebones Win10/32 (with only the old 16-bit apps installed) would be a simpler setup than what I have now. I would certainly be freed of the Win7 Patch Tuesday.

    Only … will my old 16-bit apps run in Win10/32? :confused:
    Of course I could take a disk image and then try the upgrade, but that will be quite a chore with unpredictable results. Furthermore I’m afraid something untoward might happen with the bootloader files.

    Does anybody know whether Windows 10/32 deigns to run 16-bit apps?

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    • #1537182

      First I would try running your DOS apps in DOSBox. I’ve had good results with that.

      If that doesn’t work I’d convert a working machine into a Virtual Machine using Disk2vhd, then run it in VirtualBox.

      Both methods will run on your W10 machine and save you having to keep a second machine that may or may not keep running. It also makes backup easier.

      cheers, Paul

      • #1537310

        Thanks for your opinion and advice.

        First I would try running your DOS apps in DOSBox. I’ve had good results with that.

        I’ve already tried that. Didn’t work.

        If that doesn’t work I’d convert a working machine into a Virtual Machine using Disk2vhd, then run it in VirtualBox. …

        That seems much too complicated for the rare times I need to access the old data.
        And the barebones Win7/32 is already in place with the old data *and* able to redirect LPT1 to the USB printer port.

        Now I’m thinking that I might leave things as they are. My old data files will never again need modifying. As my Win7/32 installation runs perfectly well and will also not really need any more updates ever again, I can configure it to NOT connect to any LAN and to NEVER update. That partition can just remain unconnected and its files unchanged forever. As for backups, a single one-time-only image (but 2 copies) will suffice.

        And finally, there’s my old laptop with the old data that still works OK and that also doesn’t need updates any more.

        • #1537467

          Thanks for your opinion and advice.

          I’ve already tried that. Didn’t work.

          That seems much too complicated for the rare times I need to access the old data.
          And the barebones Win7/32 is already in place with the old data *and* able to redirect LPT1 to the USB printer port.

          Now I’m thinking that I might leave things as they are. My old data files will never again need modifying. As my Win7/32 installation runs perfectly well and will also not really need any more updates ever again, I can configure it to NOT connect to any LAN and to NEVER update. That partition can just remain unconnected and its files unchanged forever. As for backups, a single one-time-only image (but 2 copies) will suffice.

          And finally, there’s my old laptop with the old data that still works OK and that also doesn’t need updates any more.

          You could try vDos (http://www.vdos.info).
          It derived from DOSBox, but has been largely modified/enhanced to run serious DS applications instead of games.
          Perhaps your applications just need file- and record locking that are missing from DOSBox.

    • #1537351

      Once in a while (3-4 times/year) I need access to two old (1992) MS-DOS applications, a relational database and a professional app with patient records (from before 2001, but which I am legally required to keep accessible until 2030) .

      I know one person who has been able to get DataEase (which is a DOS database) to run in DOSBox on both Win7/64 and Win10/64 – but I’ll be darned if I can get it to work myself. The problem is that is uses an old protected mode memory manager and that’s complicated to get working.

      I’ve messed around with FreeDOS in a virtual machine some and it’s a pain. What I might try is to create a MS DOS virtual machine.

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