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Win 98 vs. Win 95 and compatability issues with DOS

Posted on 1999-07-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
This is a question relative to the fact that I have a friend that just ordered a new Dell with Win 98 and they orderred some specialized program for there video rental store to be placed on the machine. The outfit they bought the software from says that it does not work very well with Windows 98 as it is a DOS based program and prefers 95. I am afraid I am going to be the one stuck with trying to install this very expensive software and want to make sure it works. If this Dell gets shipped out with the 98 on it will I have to completely reformat the harddrive then instal DOS and 95 or do you think 98 might run it just as well or is there another way around this thing you can think of? Thanks for the help
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Question by:jmillsp
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7 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:tinkel
ID: 1676170
I dont know if it will run or not, but I can tell you that if you have problems with the OS and you call Dell they will put Win98 back on the machine before doing any trouble shooting.  At least most of the techs will.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:kschang
ID: 1676171
Around it? Not really. Best case is you don't load the WIndows GUI (easy by editing the MSDOS.SYS) and load only the command prompt, then run your app as if it's just a DOS app, as if WIN98 is not even there...
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Author Comment

by:jmillsp
ID: 1676172
OK---, I am dumb. Will this enable me to leave 98 on it and use 98 when needed? Also can you walk me slowly through the process you describe above?
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LVL 12

Accepted Solution

by:
Patricia Siu-Lai Ho earned 400 total points
ID: 1676173
jmillsp

<< The outfit they bought the software from says that it does not work very well with Windows 98 as it is a DOS based program and prefers 95.>>

Win98 can run well the Dos based program.
You can run it in under windows desktop within the Ms-Dos prompt windows (which can be in normal window or in full expanded to full screen). After finishing the Ms-Dos program, just type "EXIT" to leave the Ms-Dos prompt windows and back to the Windows desktop.

While editing the Ms-Dos Based program in Ms-Dos Prompt windows, you can still switch to/fro desktops to run other windows prgrams, eg. office, or playing video etc. Thus, in multi-tasking without close the Ms-Dos based program in the Ms-Dos Prompt windows.

You can also restart the computer and boot into the Ms-Dos mode environment to run the Ms-Dos based program. You can just go to [Start] button, select [shutdown], a popup close menu, select the [restart in Ms-dos mode]. The computer will restart and boot into the Ms-Dos mode. There you may have to configure the Ms-Dos mode environment to run the Dos programs.

However, win98 has default several PIF that let you to select and configure for different DOS environment, if required. eg. game, dos programs, dosstart.bat etc. Just click the PIF or the shortcut of that PIF and run. The Dos-environment for that particular dos-based program will be executed.

Most of the Dos programs, during installation, they will use "install.bat" etc . Then in win98, just use [start] button, at [Run], browse to the path of that "install.bat", select and click Ok to install.

You may have to select "setup.exe", if any if that dos-program can be installed in win95.  Just install.  

You may encounter this program will not put up their icon shortcut or program file folder in the program menu.  You can locate the *.exe (the executable program of the dos-program), create a shortcut and put on the desktop or drag into the Start-programs list. Then click that shortcut to run.


<< I am afraid I am going to be the one stuck with trying to install this very expensive software and want to make sure it works.>>

Not need to afraid as we challenge our computer everyday and there should be some ways to smooth it out.

<< If this Dell gets shipped out with the 98 on it will I have to completely reformat the harddrive then instal DOS and 95 or do you think 98 might run it just as well or is there another way around this thing you can think of? >>

  Normally, there are not much occasions you have to reinstall backward the system to DOS-win95. You could just run Dos based , win95 based and not win98 based programs. That limited your computer's capabilities.

  People installed win98 and kept that to run Dos based , win95 based and win98 based programs.

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If you encounter the running and/or compatibility problem. Get the details of the error message. Take diagnostic and trouble-shooting. Win98 has better trouble-shooting procedures than win95.

pslh
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Expert Comment

by:neil_bertram
ID: 1676174
I have 98 and have found no problems with the oldest DOS programs, minus maybe a couple of hardware diagnostics utilities, but even then 95 does no better. You can shut into DOS mode from Windows by selecting Start:Shutdown and Clicking "Restart Computer in MS-DOS Mode"
when you want windows back, and your in the command prompt you can type "Exit" or just simply reset it and it will re-open windows. You can also get into DOS by (in 98) holding down the Ctrl key just before the windows logo shows, and select "Command Prompt Only", or you can use the F8 key (press quickly) just as windows starts (this is the only way in 95, 98 will accept it also).
Hope I helped.
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Author Comment

by:jmillsp
ID: 1676175
Thanks, we will give it a try.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Patricia Siu-Lai Ho
ID: 1676176
jmillsp, if you do have computing problem of those programs in win98. Here EE has a lot of well-experienced techs to help you,too.
Thank your grade A.     ;p)     pslh
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