DOSBox-WordPerfect-5.1 Who says that WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS doesn't run on Windows 7 x64? I was tempted to write this blog post with WordPefect, because I once was a great fan of this text processing software. Well, of course it doesn't run natively on a 64-bit Windows. I used the free DOS emulator DOSBox. I suppose, its main purpose is to run old games on modern operating systems. However, I am pretty sure that there are quite a few legacy DOS programs in productive environments out there. Since Windows XP, the built-in DOS emulator has only limited capabilities. And on 64-bit Windows, you can't even run 16-bit Windows apps, let alone DOS programs.

Michael Pietroforte

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor in chief of 4sysops. He has more than 35 years of experience in IT management and system administration.

Of course, you could use a virtualization solution to run DOS apps, but that might be overkill for some purposes. The DOSBox setup of version 0.73 produced an error message on Windows 7 x64 after the installation. However, it appeared to work smoothly, anyway. The emulator comes with only a couple of DOS commands, which are usually enough to run programs. If you want to have a full blown DOS environment, you can use FreeDOS within DOSBox.

DOSBox

To run external programs in DOSBox, you have to mount a folder on the host with the command "mount c c:\[folder]". This folder will then be your C drive. To configure settings, such as the screen size or the amount of high memory available to programs (how I miss these good old DOS times), you have to edit the dosbox.conf file. There are a couple of frontends that simplify the configuration.

I must say I was quite fascinated when I played with DOSBox. When I installed WordPerfect, I began to remember how system administration was in those days. The DOS era ended only about 20 years ago, but this environment seems unbelievably primitive compared to today's information technology. Considering that the development in IT is growing exponentially, it is likely that the next five years or so, will bring comparable innovations to those of the last 20 years. If this is true, Windows 7 will soon be a very primitive OS. But I am sure there will be Windows 7 emulators running somewhere in the cloud or on your watch-sized mobile phone.

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33 Comments
  1. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    Sounds as if you have a non-US keyboard. Try SHIFT + the keys to the right of the P.

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  2. DAINUL ABIDTV 5 years ago

    SIR
    I installed turbo c in windows 7,but icould not type open brace closing brace.but i can see that this key are working in notpad what i do sir?

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  3. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    What do you see if you press SHIFT + the key to the right of the P key?

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  4. DAINUL ABIDTV 5 years ago

    sir
    if i pressed the left shift+the key right of the p key then i cannot see anything,but i pressed the right shift+the key right to the p key then i can see that only this ] show in the screen.

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  5. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    That's odd because it seems you have a US keyboard layout. You can try to open Notepad and then press CTRL+SHIFT. This should change your keyboard setting to US layout. Then try SHIFT+Key to the right to P and see what happens. Maybe it's an issue with the Turbo c++ editor. Make also sure that you tried ALT GR + 7 and ALT GR + 0. Another thing you could do is simply try all key combinations with SHIFT.

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  6. Plamen 6 months ago

    Hello!

    IM sorry for my bad English!
    For evil trouble, my dos-program reduces speed by pressing ctrl. How do I increase speed?

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    • Paolo Maffezzoli 6 months ago

      @Plamen, DOSbox allows to reduce speed for game emulation. Here the wiki reference :

      Performance - How to speed up/slow down DOSBox

      You can also force the fast behavior by setting cycles=max in the DOSBox configuration file. The DOSBox window will display a line "Cpu Speed: max 100% cycles" at the top then. This time you won't have to care how much free time your real CPU's cores have, because DOSBox will always use 100% of your real CPU's one core. In this mode you can reduce the amount of your real CPU's core usage by CTRL-F11 or raise it with CTRL-F12.

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