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Old 16-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #1
The Fifth Horseman
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Since several versions ago, DOSBox supports running Windows 3.x inside itself. This way, you can run old Windows games via DOSBox - things like Stars!, Zombie Wars (etc.), which no longer work normally (if at all) on modern versions of Windows.
However, despite several existing guides, the process can still be confusing for new users - not least those who never had to deal with Windows 3 before in the first place.

I was hoping to test mine more extensively before making it public, but since I didn't receive any feedback on it for almost two months I guess keeping it under wraps is sort of pointless now:
http://files.abandonia.com/extras/Pr...r%20DOSBox.rar

List of contents

All you have to do is unpack the thing to the location you mount as DOSBox' virtual C drive, unless that location is the root of your system drive. You don't want to overwrite your copy of Windows, trust me on that.
From now on, all it will take to run Windows 3.11 in your DOSBox is - once you mount the directory you extracted the package into - entering windows.bat from the command line.

This is an experimental fix that should solve problems with games requiring a Borland DPMI server: http://files.abandonia.com/extras/Pr...DPMI%20fix.rar
Unpack to the Windows directory (the one from the above package, not the one where your computer's actual operating system is installed), optionally also the game directory and see if it works.

Notes:
* Again, do not unpack this to the root of your system drive. A subdirectory will be fine.
* This package is meant to be used with DOSBox 0.73 and newer. It most likely will not work properly in older versions.
* Dragging & Dropping the batch file over DOSBox executable probably won't work.
* You might consider disabling MPU-401 emulation in DOSBox. I found it caused some issues with MIDI music in Windows games.
* The display is set to a 640x480 resolution with 8-bit color depth (256 colors). If you want, you can change that under Main >> Windows Setup >> Options >> Change System Settings >> Display. Up to 800x600 the color depth can be set to up to 24-bit (16,7 million colors), up to 1024x764 to 16-bit (65 thousand colors), the higher resolutions (up to the highest supported 1600x1200) only permit 8-bit color depth.
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Last edited by The Fifth Horseman; 20-03-2012 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 31-07-2010, 05:01 PM   #2
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Wow, a Win 3.11 for ? I wonder how will the games for it work.
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Old 31-07-2010, 05:32 PM   #3
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Most Win3 games run flawless in dosbox/W3.
Only a few will need additional tweaking.

BTW, dosgames in dosbox/W3.x isn't a good idea (for those who presume they can use W3 as an easy to use GUY to launch dosgames in dosbox )
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Old 29-12-2011, 03:12 PM   #4
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I unpackaged everything just like in the description, but when I try to run windows.bat I get a message that says cannot find a device file that may be needed to run windows. Any ideas?
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Old 29-12-2011, 03:50 PM   #5
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Not much from the extremely brief description.
I could possibly figure it out of I had a screenshot of the error message, a copy of your DOSBox configuration file and the information about your mounts (if they are not defined in the config file). Knowing the DOSBox version you are using may be important too.
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Old 29-12-2011, 04:18 PM   #6
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The error happen because shoobashoo2727 does not mount the content of the archive under his root c:\ directory in DOSBox.

If you mount a subdirectory and then try to make Windows 3.11 to run then it will not work.
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Old 29-12-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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I unpackaged everything just like in the description, but when I try to run windows.bat I get a message that says cannot find a device file that may be needed to run windows. Any ideas?
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Old 29-12-2011, 04:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
I unpackaged everything just like in the description, but when I try to run windows.bat I get a message that says cannot find a device file that may be needed to run windows. Any ideas?
If it doesn't work, then you did something wrong.
As I said before, to actually troubleshoot your problem I need to have the following:
  • A screenshot of the error message
  • A copy of your DOSBox configuration file (if you modified it from the default one, including any changes to the [autoexec] section)
  • The information about your mounts (if they are not defined in the config file)
  • The version number of the DOSBox copy you are using
  • A screenshot of the directory you are mounting as your C drive in DOSBox
  • A screenshot of the Windows directory inside that

And yes, Eagle is a bit incomprehensible today. But he is right that this is a likely cause.

Let's assume you have a c:\dosgames you are mounting as the C drive in DOSBox.
If you unpack the archive to c:\dosgames, mount that as the C drive in DOSBox and then enter windows, the package will start correctly.
If you unpack the archive to c:\dosgames\windows, you are doing it wrong because the package already contains the required directory structure and will give an error message like the one you described.
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Old 29-12-2011, 06:57 PM   #9
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I am incomprehensible today? What make you say that?

What I did was download the whole thing and try to make it work myself on my own computer. I got the exact same problem until I realized (by myself, I guess I should have read the instructions here before hand but I was confident with my level of troubleshooting I'd find the problem myself) what I wrote in my last message.

I'm confident that's the exact problem shoobashoo2727 have, else I would not have mentioned it.

Edit: It is also noteworthy to state that starting the .bat file without DOSBox provide the same result. I didn't mention it though because it is very obvious in your resume that you need DOSBox to run it...

(Yes, I tried to run it under Windows myself too. )
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Old 29-12-2011, 07:06 PM   #10
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Just so everyone is safe and secure, I only just downloaded this and got it working right away. Unzipped it into my oldgames folder, which mounts as my C in Dosbox and Win 3.11 started up like a charm.
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