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Can I run Windows in full-screen DOS mode?

Posted on 2011-03-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hello Experts -

Can I run Windows 7 in standard DOS mode, with the entire screen devoted to an application? That is, not through the Cmd window to run my old DOS app.
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Question by:gbmcneil
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11 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35112764
No, Windows 7 doesn't support full screen command prompts. (nor does Vista)
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

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pjasnos earned 500 total points
ID: 35112774
Microsoft removed this feature in Vista and later by changing the requirements for graphics card drivers. You can either install XP drivers for graphics card (you will loose Aero!) or better yet, use this program:

http://www.dosbox.com/
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:tearman
ID: 35112775
If you want full-screen DOS, you'll need a 3rd party command console like Console http://sourceforge.net/projects/console/
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Author Comment

by:gbmcneil
ID: 35112852
Thanks everyone for responding.

If I re-load XP, can I run in pure DOS mode?  (I am leary of using a third-party piece of OS software, thinking that the darn thing is going to be incompatible in some respect.)

The trouble with a 20-year old copy of DOS is that I'd have to figure out how to get the thing on the computer. Since DOS is only going to be found on floppies, I'd have a problem. Then, there is the issue of too large a hard drive. I don't think those early OSs could see a 40GB drive.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:pjasnos
ID: 35112871
DosBOX is much more compatible with older software than what Microsoft built into their NT-based OSes.

To get a pure DOS mode, you would need to go back to Windows 98.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:pjasnos
ID: 35112897
To make my answer more precise: All Microsoft PC OSes after Windows ME are based on NT, thus any DOS mode you get there will be emulation, just like DOS box. Windows ME still runs on DOS core, but has access to it intentionally hampered by Microsoft, so Windows 98 is the latest Microsoft's option to have this.

If you have some legacy application that doesn't work with DosBOX, you can see if you can run it with FreeDOS ( http://www.freedos.org ) before digging up that windows 98 CD/MS-DOS floppy.
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Author Comment

by:gbmcneil
ID: 35112997
Gee, pjasnos, you're a Guru. Must have answered a lot of questions to get that rating.

Would I be makiing a mistake to try to put DosBOX on a 40GB drive?
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Author Closing Comment

by:gbmcneil
ID: 35113003
You all did great, but it seemed that pjasnos had the full story.
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35113019
Installing XP Drivers is not advisable as it can cause instability.  I would not recommend it.  There are other options... but lacking more details, I guess you're happy with the ones provided.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:pjasnos
ID: 35113022
Not as much as leew to get his Savant rank ;) (you can check it by clicking on my and his avatar).

DosBOX is a windows application (an emulator, just like what Microsoft builds into their oses for running old dos apps), so it doesn't matter what size hard drive you put it on.

As for FreeDOS, 40 GB is totally fine, though don't try to put it on hard drives larger than 1.5 TB as it's not supported yet. ;-).
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Author Comment

by:gbmcneil
ID: 35113165
Sorry to short change you, leew.
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