Dos/Win16 programs won't run

Alright, I run 98 First edition and Win 2k.

A while ago, 98 lost my winmodem drivers and now I am forced to use 2000. (98 will NOT use the modem no matter what drivers I install... I hate winmodems)

Unfortunately, the reason I was using 98 in the first place over 200 was because 2000 developed an inability to run DOS and Win16 software.

I program software in DOS/Win16 and Win32 so this is a major problem.  Not to mention many DOS and Win16 programs are still around that I need to run.

Basically, if I run a DOS program the box will popup, it and dissappear immediately.  Some programs won't do anything either.

If I run a win16 program I will start it and nothing will happen, it will just end immedietly.  DOS box programs like tracert or Ping will function but the window will close immedietly after execution, not to mention I can't run them from a command line (I must run them from the Run dialog in windows)

this is very frustating and there appears to be no reason why Win 2000 should be doing this.

I am also a computer technician/programmer so, a problem like this that is unresolvable is REALLY annoying.

I am getting ready to dump the Windows platform altoghether because of the stupidity of MS OS's.

Please help me. Thanks a million,
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SysExpertConnect With a Mentor Commented:
ANother option is to install a parallel version into a different directory and see if this works OK. Then you can start comparing registries / files if needed.

I hope this helps !
CorpseAuthor Commented:
LOL, I was going to offer 2000 points to the answerer of this question but, unfortunately it will not allow me to go over 300 for a single topic...

well maybe it is due to the technology that win2000 is using which is NT base whereby 98 is still a dos base os. Hence win2000 is not really optimized to run a dos base prog.

>>Basically, if I run a DOS program the box will popup, it and dissappear immediately.  Some programs won't do anything either.

In fact such problem not only arise in win2000 but win98, this is due to that the program dos box will be closed immediately after the program finished runnig. But the program does run. for instant if you type ping and place a -t at the back eg " ping -t " The windows will not close down.

Maybe you can try the following which might help.

1. Right click the dos program and you will see there is an option to close after exit. Uncheck it. See if this might help.
2. Alternatively, you can manually open up the dos box and type the command line on your own. After the program has finished runnig. THe dos box will still be there. But the runnig app is not automated.

Lat but not least, you can try to create bootable disk ot load your system into a dos base environment winthout booting into win2000.

Copy the sys file into the disk. Change the boot sequnece in bios to boot into a. Then you will have a real dos base environment.

Here are my few suggestion. Hope it can offer some insight here


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2876 > Full-Screen DOS program is only visible in the top half of your Windows 2000 computer's  screen?

 When you start a DOS program in full screen mode, the program displays in the top half of the screen, and the lower half is
 The Windows 2000 console window defaults to 50 lines. Your DOS based programs display less than this, leaving the lower half
 of the screen blank.

 To resolve the issue:

 1. Make sure the shortcut uses full screen.

 2. Press ALT+ENTER to window the screen.

 3. Right click the CMD icon (Title Bar) and press Properties.

 4. Select the Layout tab.

 5. Set the height value for both the Screen Buffer Size and Window Size to 25.

 6. Press OK.

 7. Save properties for future ....  DOS window

2) DOS programs in win2k

3) Dos Compatible versions for win2k applications. DOS window Dos Applications
From: bcurtis         Date: 12/17/2000 09:42AM PST
  Just use Apcompat.exe on the Windows 2000 CD \support dir.  It works "most" of the time. I believe that this might       answer your question.
I hope this helps !
If your Win16 apps are hardware dependent then Win2000 will not cooperate with them especially if they are reliant on virtual devices and/or virtual machines.

Also try this. Create a shortcut for one of these apps and then right click on it and then select "Properties". Now select the "Compatiblity" tab then check the box labeled "Run in Compatiblity Mode". Make your selection and then run the shortcut and see what happens.

The Crazy One
CorpseAuthor Commented:
Alright, I tried all this stuff that ws appliable to the situation.

None of it works.

The Win16 software I am mostly trying to run is MS Visual Basic 3.0, in one of those pages you guys posted links to up there it said for one that it was designed to be compatible with 16bit VB.

But, no 16bit apps work.  And no actual DOS apps.

Trust me, I have tried everything you guys have mentioned..

How do I restore files in 2k like the SFC utility would do in 98?  Perhaps there are some corrupt files or soemthing.

I just don't know why it is doing this...

And BTW, the software that I'm trying to run did run on this OS before.  Then it all of a sudden stopped supporting them.

Corpse are you sure you tried apcompat.exe ?
Add these lines if they are not in CONFIG.NT in \WinNT\system32

dos=high, umb
shell=%SystemRoot%\system32\ /E:2048

Worth a try
Hmm I have VB 3 and I can use it just fine also all the apps I have compiled with VB 3 works on my system so I agree with you that there is something funky going on with your system.

SFC command line.

Scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Mi
crosoft versions.


/SCANNOW        Scans all protected system files immediately.
/SCANONCE       Scans all protected system files once at the next boot.
/SCANBOOT       Scans all protected system files at every boot.
/CANCEL         Cancels all pending scans of protected system files.
/QUIET          Replaces all incorrect file versions without prompting the user.

/ENABLE         Enables Windows File Protection for normal operation
/PURGECACHE     Purges the file cache and scans all protected system files immediately.
/CACHESIZE=x    Sets the file cache size
CorpseAuthor Commented:
"Corpse are you sure you tried apcompat.exe ? "

Yes, it was unfortunately 100% ineffective.

"Hmm I have VB 3 and I can use it just fine..."

Yes, it used to work perfectly on this system, also all executables made from it used to run correctly aswell.

I tried editing the .nt files and all but was to no avail..

I am running SFC right now, I'll get back to you.


CorpseAuthor Commented:
Ran SFC, no files were touched.  the problem is, of course, still here...

I wonder what the actual problem is.

Why dont you run setup again of win2k in same dir winnt this keep all setting intact,and might fix your problem.
As a last resort,it sometimes easier to just reformat and start afresh , takes maybe an hour then you know for sure everthing will work,think of all the hours you've wasted
trying to fix this problem,and still no end in sight
Since you already know everthing works with a clean install
CorpseAuthor Commented:
Yeah, I just reinstalled into a new dir (WIN2000 should be an ok dir name..).  Fortunately, with NT I set it in the registry so that it used most of the same folders for stuff as my 98 installation.

So, I won't be losing too much I guess.  The new install runs everything correctly except for the fact when I bring up DOS prompt it says Incorrect DOS version.  But, that is no problem and will be fixed.

I think I am just gonna try to work with the new install and leave the old install on the drive incase I need it.

But, can someone refer me to one of those registry and other windows tweaks sites?  I know I have a link "somewhere".  And if youre like me and you still have files from 96, somewhere is well, anywhere.  I just need to find one of those sites to change some of the nifty stuff in 2k.  Like displaying the windows version on the desktop and stuff.

Who wants the points on this one?

If I have it my way, I think I will just give whowever here spent the most time on this question and should have helped the most..  I know I type some long posts on other message boards and, it is always nice to be rewarded for putting in the most time.

CorpseAuthor Commented:
Alright, Sysexpert, would you like the points?

Well Tweak will help with some of the that stuff.

and COA32 will help if you need to change the location of some of your directories.,2997,s%253D1478%2526a%253D4506,00.asp

Also you can split points if you want to.
Registry hacks and win2k info.

I think a point split may be appropriate.

To distribute points you can accept a comment as an answer or

You can open up new questions with points for each expert with a subject like " For xxxnname" for help with...
, and notify the experts here of what you did and perhaps even provide the links,


You can put in a request to            
to distribute the points in any manner you think is proper.
This is especially true when you think you have received good information from more than one person.

     I hope this helps !
Hi Corpse

- This question is still open and needs to be closed. If any of the comments above helped you, please accept that comment as an answer. If not please send an update about your issue so that the question can be finalised. Thank you

- Experts, please feel free to add any comments in here, if you keep silent points of question can be removed



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Corpse Offered me the points, and I posted an explanation on how to award or split points.

<< Comment from Corpse     Date: 08/06/2001 11:29PM EST      Alright, Sysexpert, would you like the points?

 I hope this helps !
---- CLEAN UP ----

No comment has been added lately (109 days), so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area for this question:

RECOMMENDATION: [ Award points to SysExpert ]

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