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Running an old .exe file that is neither DOS, 32 bit, or 64 bit in Windows 7 64 bit

Posted on 2014-03-07
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Last Modified: 2014-03-08
Hello,
I have an old contact manager that I would like to run in Windows 7. The program, when I click on it and I have the compatibility set for Windows service pack 2 (as recommended by Windows) will not run. Does anyone know DOSBOX? This program that I am using has a GUI, albeit a very old one, and runs on a config file. Is there a way to go into the code and see what is missing? Or is that too much to handle? I have made many programs run in Windows 7 when they are not supposed to without issue except this one. I have not seen any program that when you click on it, it says this program is neither 32 bit or x86 or 64bit.
Thanks in advance,
J
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Question by:dronethought
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5 Comments
 
LVL 43

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by:Steve Knight
Steve Knight earned 1000 total points
ID: 39913409
Aside from DOS Box, Windows XP mode has handled just about everything else back to ancient DOS manufacturing system apps etc. --> http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows7/install-and-use-windows-xp-mode-in-windows-7
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39913414
64 bit Windows doesn't have support for 16 bit applications which is what a dos program is.

There is NO WAY to make it run directly - compatibility mode or anything like it.

Your only option is to virtualize it if you MUST run it.  That's done with DOSBOX as an example OR with XP Mode.  If this is Windows 7 Pro, you may still be able to obtain XP Mode from Microsoft (I haven't tried and it's a dying product, scheduled to completely die next month).  XP Mode is a full copy of Windows XP that runs in a virtual machine on Windows 7.
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LVL 43

Assisted Solution

by:Steve Knight
Steve Knight earned 1000 total points
ID: 39913539
XP mode is still available now, downloaded it yesterday for a similar issue ...  if that goes then frankly it is DOSbox, a previously downloaded copy of XP mode or VMware Player and an XP machine etc.
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

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Michael Dyer earned 500 total points
ID: 39913923
I have successfully installed and run MS DOS 6.22 in a MS Virtual PC.  You just have to dig up an old set of diskettes! This might work for you.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dronethought
ID: 39914997
Thank you!!
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