VOGONS

Common searches


Auto Launch Windows 3.1 Games?

Topic actions

First post, by mccorkled

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I have many DOS games set up so that when I click a DOSBox shortcut, it autoexe a few lines of code from my gamename.conf and the game boots right up.

Took a while but it is working great!

A few games I wanted to play are for Windows and so I had to bust out my old floppies and install Windows 3.1. That went without a hitch and I have the games I wanted to play installed now.

Curious if there is a way that I can make a shortcut/conf to boot up Windows 3.1 in DOSBox and then have a certain game boot automatically.

Appreciate the help! 😀

Reply 1 of 42, by Jorpho

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

If you want to run C:\whatever\game.exe, then all you have to do is run "win c:\whatever\game.exe". Windows will start and then immediately launch game.exe.

You can also use "runexit" from Re: Automate exiting of Windows 3.1 post-EXE launch , which will automatically exit Windows 3.1 when game.exe is closed.

Reply 2 of 42, by mccorkled

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Jorpho wrote:

If you want to run C:\whatever\game.exe, then all you have to do is run "win c:\whatever\game.exe". Windows will start and then immediately launch game.exe.

You can also use "runexit" from Re: Automate exiting of Windows 3.1 post-EXE launch , which will automatically exit Windows 3.1 when game.exe is closed.

I cannot seem to get it to work. My Windows 3.1 is installed in z:\DOSBox\Windows 3.1

Games are in z:\DOSBox\Windows 3.1\Games

My config looks like this...

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
"win z:\DOSBox\Windows 3.1\Games\Ace Ventura\ace.exe"

Reply 3 of 42, by collector

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Z: is a read only drive where the built-in DOSBox commands live. You would have had to mount a folder for, say the C: drive and installed Win3x and your games there. Windows 3.1x DOSBox Guide

The Sierra Help Pages -- New Sierra Game Installers -- Sierra Game Patches -- New Non-Sierra Game Installers

Reply 4 of 42, by mccorkled

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
collector wrote:

Z: is a read only drive where the built-in DOSBox commands live. You would have had to mount a folder for, say the C: drive and installed Win3x and your games there. Windows 3.1x DOSBox Guide

My server is actually my Z drive. Everything seems to work fine even though it shares the drive letter. I made it my Z drive years ago knowing that nothing else would ever use this letter... 😒

I got win 3.1 installed and the games installed. Just hoping there is a .conf and .lnk file I can use to auto boot win 3.1 and auto launch a particular game.

Reply 5 of 42, by Jorpho

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
mccorkled wrote:
My config looks like this... […]
Show full quote

My config looks like this...

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
"win z:\DOSBox\Windows 3.1\Games\Ace Ventura\ace.exe"

I suppose I wasn't clear enough. You still need to mount the folder where you installed Windows. (Did you expect DOSBox would somehow know that without you explicitly mounting something?) Then you run "win" to start Windows exactly the same way you normally start Windows; you just include the program name afterwards.

I'm assuming you start Windows using something like

[autoexec]
mount c "z:\dosbox\Windows 3.1"
c:
win

So in that case, your config would be

[autoexec]
mount c "z:\dosbox\Windows 3.1"
c:
win c:\games\aceven~1\ace.exe

You have to use "aceven~1" because DOSBox does not recognize long file names except when you're mounting folders. (That's the first six characters of "Ace Ventura" without the space, followed by ~1.)

Alternatively, you could use

[autoexec]
mount c "z:\dosbox\Windows 3.1"
mount d "z:\dosbos\Windows 3.1\Games\Ace Ventura"
c:
win d:\ace.exe

Now, either one of these might work, but there are a lot of problems with this setup that could cause you more problems sooner or later. Like, how did you install Windows in "Z:\DOSBox\Windows 3.1" ? Did you actually run the Windows setup program from original floppy disk images, or did you rename the folder after you ran the installation, or copy an existing Windows installation into that folder? Because like I said, DOSBox does not recognize long file names and there's no way you could have actually installed it to a folder named "Windows 3.1". To be clear, do you actually have a file named WIN.COM in that folder?

Reply 6 of 42, by collector

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Try mounting it as C:. A number of things can be fussy that way. There is a difference between the actual location of the folders mounted and what DOSBox sees after the folder is mounted. The path to the game needs to be what DOSBox sees, not what the host machine sees. Everything inside of the folder mounted as c will been seen as starting with C:\. Be mindful of the DOS 8.3 naming convention. Everything under the z:\myoldgames folder should be named using no more 8 characters (no spaces) with no more than a three character extension. Just have a folder you use a the emulated C: drive and all folder or files name 8.3 compliant. Rename the "Windows 3.1" to just "Windows" and move it and the games out to the base of the mounted c: folder to say "z:\myoldgames\Windows" and "z:\myoldgames\ACE"

In other words, if to mount a folder "z:\myoldgames" as c in the [autoexec] section:

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.

mount c z:\myoldgames

Also WIN.COM is in the Windows directory. If your game is in z:\myoldgames\ACE DOSBox will see it as "C:\ACE", so if you are using WINEXIT the autoexec commands will be something like:

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.

mount c z:\myoldgames
c:
c:\windows\win WINEXIT.EXE c:\Games\ACE\ace.exe

Edit: I got busy in the middle of posting and did not see that Jorpho had responded already by the time I was able to get back to finish the post.

The Sierra Help Pages -- New Sierra Game Installers -- Sierra Game Patches -- New Non-Sierra Game Installers

Reply 7 of 42, by mccorkled

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Jorpho wrote:
So in that case, your config would be […]
Show full quote

So in that case, your config would be

[autoexec]
mount c "z:\dosbox\Windows 3.1"
c:
win c:\games\aceven~1\ace.exe

You have to use "aceven~1" because DOSBox does not recognize long file names except when you're mounting folders. (That's the first six characters of "Ace Ventura" without the space, followed by ~1.)

Alternatively, you could use

[autoexec]
mount c "z:\dosbox\Windows 3.1"
mount d "z:\dosbos\Windows 3.1\Games\Ace Ventura"
c:
win d:\ace.exe

Now, either one of these might work, but there are a lot of problems with this setup that could cause you more problems sooner or later. Like, how did you install Windows in "Z:\DOSBox\Windows 3.1" ? Did you actually run the Windows setup program from original floppy disk images, or did you rename the folder after you ran the installation, or copy an existing Windows installation into that folder? Because like I said, DOSBox does not recognize long file names and there's no way you could have actually installed it to a folder named "Windows 3.1". To be clear, do you actually have a file named WIN.COM in that folder?

I installed Windows using my old ass floppies and then renamed the folder. My win.com file is in windows 3.1\windows\win.com

I tried both methods but went with this one because I have long file names...

[autoexec]
mount c "z:\dosbox\Windows 3.1"
mount d "z:\dosbos\Windows 3.1\Games\Ace Ventura"
c:
win d:\ace.exe

Windows opens but the game does not launch.

collector wrote:
[…]
Show full quote
[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.

mount c z:\myoldgames
c:
c:\windows\win WINEXIT.EXE c:\Games\ACE\ace.exe

I also tried this method and the same thing happens. The folder mounts, windows opens, all the windows minimize and then it just sits there. Does not seem like the winexit command is working?

Reply 8 of 42, by collector

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Do you have WINEXIT.EXE in the base of the folder you have mounted as c:? Does the game start if you enter the "c:\Games\ACE\ace.exe" in File>Run from the Program Manager?

The Sierra Help Pages -- New Sierra Game Installers -- Sierra Game Patches -- New Non-Sierra Game Installers

Reply 9 of 42, by mccorkled

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
collector wrote:

Do you have WINEXIT.EXE in the base of the folder you have mounted as c:? Does the game start if you enter the "c:\Games\ACE\ace.exe" in File>Run from the Program Manager?

Here is my folder structure

1zdudk4.png

winexit and win.com are within the windows folder. Yes the game starts when I enter that command in file>run.

Reply 10 of 42, by Jorpho

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
mccorkled wrote:

My win.com file is in windows 3.1\windows\win.com
...
Windows opens but the game does not launch.

All these little details make a big difference!

This should work:

[autoexec]
mount c "z:\dosbox\Windows 3.1"
mount d "z:\dosbos\Windows 3.1\Games\Ace Ventura"
c:
cd windows
win d:\ace.exe

Without "cd windows" DOSBox will use win.bat in this case, and that won't work for this purpose.

If you're using your other method, then I think this might work:

[autoexec]
mount c z:\myoldgames
c:
cd windows
win WINEXIT.EXE c:\Games\ACE\ace.exe

But I'm not sure winexit will work that way if I'm reading the other thread correctly. You should be using runexit, which is also described in that thread I linked to.

This also still might not work because Ace.exe might not be expecting to run from D:\ or from C:\games\ace. Does the folder "z:\dosbos\Windows 3.1\Games\Ace Ventura" contain the contents of the CD, or did you install the game and then rename its installation folder afterwards? (You really shouldn't do that.)

Reply 11 of 42, by mccorkled

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Jorpho wrote:
All these little details make a big difference! […]
Show full quote
mccorkled wrote:

My win.com file is in windows 3.1\windows\win.com
...
Windows opens but the game does not launch.

All these little details make a big difference!

This should work:

[autoexec]
mount c "z:\dosbox\Windows 3.1"
mount d "z:\dosbos\Windows 3.1\Games\Ace Ventura"
c:
cd windows
win d:\ace.exe

Without "cd windows" DOSBox will use win.bat in this case, and that won't work for this purpose.

If you're using your other method, then I think this might work:

[autoexec]
mount c z:\myoldgames
c:
cd windows
win WINEXIT.EXE c:\Games\ACE\ace.exe

But I'm not sure winexit will work that way if I'm reading the other thread correctly. You should be using runexit, which is also described in that thread I linked to.

This also still might not work because Ace.exe might not be expecting to run from D:\ or from C:\games\ace. Does the folder "z:\dosbos\Windows 3.1\Games\Ace Ventura" contain the contents of the CD, or did you install the game and then rename its installation folder afterwards? (You really shouldn't do that.)

You're really great. The first method worked. I sincerely appreciate your help. I added this something to close everything out when the game exits...

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
mount c "Z:\Hyperspin\Emulators\Microsoft MS-DOS\Windows 3.1"
mount d "Z:\Hyperspin\Emulators\Microsoft MS-DOS\ROMS\Ace Ventura"
c:
cd windows
win c:\windows\runexit d:\ace.exe
exit

Reply 13 of 42, by Jorpho

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
demiurg1981 wrote on 2020-05-21, 04:43:

I did what you suggested, but it loaded the game without sound.

Why are you bumping a five-year-old thread? What exactly are you doing? What game are you running?

People will not be able to help you without a lot more detail.

Reply 14 of 42, by demiurg1981

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I used the dosbox daum with Windows 3.11
I tried to autolaunch 2 games Journeyman Project Turbo & Sid Meier's Civilization for Win 3.x
Thats what I got in autoexec section of dosbox.conf fo Civilization:
[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.
@echo off
mount c disk_c
rem mount d f:\ -t cdrom
path=z:\;c:\;c:\windows
keyb ru 866
c:
win c:\civwin\civ.exe
exit

Game launched but without sound. If you just launch win 3.11 and launch the game within it everything is fine, it has sound.
And for the Journeyman Project Turbo. I launched it from inside the Windows and it worked fine. But I couldn't autolaunch it, because I'm not sure how to mount a cd image in autolaunch cause game won't start without cd.

Reply 15 of 42, by xcomcmdr

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I auto-launch Windows 3.11 games inside DOSBox all the time.

Do not append a game to win, it doesn't work.

Instead, open the Program Manager and put a new entry inside the Startup program group .

This entry will have :
Name : Civ II
Target: C:\CIVWIN\CIV.EXE
Working Directory: C:\CIVWIN

Save it, and restart DOSBox with your autoexec conf.
DOSBox should start, which runs the autoexec, which runs windows, which runs your game.

Now an alternative is to replace the shell=progman.exe inside SYSTEM.INI with your game, but usually it makes the keyboard unusable (for some reason) inside DOSBox...
But I had to use this alternative for one game (otherwise it... didn't respond to keyboard commands).

Reply 16 of 42, by Jorpho

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
demiurg1981 wrote on 2020-05-21, 19:02:

But I couldn't autolaunch it, because I'm not sure how to mount a cd image in autolaunch cause game won't start without cd.

What do you think "rem mount d f:\ -t cdrom" is supposed to do?

Reply 18 of 42, by Jorpho

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
demiurg1981 wrote on 2020-05-21, 21:01:

When I insert path to cd image instead of f:\ it doesn't appear in windows.

I assume you're taking the word "rem" out first.

If you want to mount a CD image (like a .cue paired with a .bin) then you have to use "imgmount" instead of "mount".