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First post, by monesipl

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Hello
My name is Paolo, from Italy, Rome.
I used the dosbox to run windows 3.11 and some other old software with full satisfaction.
The software I used are not game but some apps to control scientifics instruments and a software to draw electrical schematics.
I used DosBox as that apps are DOS Software.
That instruments comunicate to the PC by using the RS232 interface (the serial port that was a standard interface on old PC's).
There are no software update available, so, or I replace the instruments or I use a software like the DosBos to use the instruments control software.
On modern PC the serial interfaces are no more present but using a USB-to-serial converter all go OK
Using DosBox under Windows XP or Windows Vista there was no trouble.
Now, using DosBox under WIN10, the win3.11 is even wery fast until you do not activate the serial interface in the DosBox setup with the line
--> serial1=directserial realport:com5
in the DOSBox 0.74-3 Options file.
The com port is not important. COM3 or COM5 or any other is the same.
Have someone solved this issue?
Thank
Paolo

Reply 1 of 7, by cyclone3d

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This is most likely due to the fact the when Windows 7 hit, Microsoft removed direct hardware access.

You could also try lowering the polling rate for USB on your computer... but that might not play well with your USB to RS232 adapter depending on how much data you are pushing through it.

What are the specs of your computer?

Could also be that the USB adapter itself is causing issues if it is an older one... last time we had to use a USB to RS232 adapter where I work, it took a few tries before we found one that actually functioned properly as a standard RS232 port.

If you have PCIE slots available, you could try something like this Startech card:
https://www.startech.com/en-us/cards-adapters/pex2s1050

Another option to try instead of DOSBox would be VMWare ESXi and then load DOS for the OS on the VM.

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Reply 2 of 7, by Jorpho

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monesipl wrote on 2020-10-05, 10:58:
On modern PC the serial interfaces are no more present but using a USB-to-serial converter all go OK Using DosBox under Windows […]
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On modern PC the serial interfaces are no more present but using a USB-to-serial converter all go OK
Using DosBox under Windows XP or Windows Vista there was no trouble.
Now, using DosBox under WIN10, the win3.11 is even wery fast until you do not activate the serial interface in the DosBox setup with the line
--> serial1=directserial realport:com5
in the DOSBox 0.74-3 Options file.
The com port is not important. COM3 or COM5 or any other is the same.

I assume you're otherwise not using the same hardware with Windows 10 that you were using with XP or Vista. Are you at least using the same USB-to-serial device?

If the Windows 10 computer is substantially faster, have you tried lowering the DOSBox cycles accordingly?

Reply 3 of 7, by monesipl

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Thanks All for the responce
My pc is a ASUS TUF GAMING core i7 8th Gen (6 core i7).
I tryed to use DOSBOX on old pc's using win XP or win Vista without problem.
After your responce I tryed another way.
I installed DosBox under win XP using the Oracle Virtual BOX in my ASUS.
I configured XP with a com port, even using a usb to serial adapter.
Well... The Win3.11 under dos box, under win xp, under wirtual box (triple somersault!) work well, with the exclusion of the mouse that become crazy.
Therefore:
I was asking on this forum, about rs232 on dosbox, to look if someones already had my trouble and solved it.
Unfortunately, actually, I have no time to try to solve the problem.
I will use a old PC to use old software.
Thank You all
Paolo

Reply 4 of 7, by Jo22

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monesipl wrote on 2020-10-07, 10:05:
Thanks All for the responce My pc is a ASUS TUF GAMING core i7 8th Gen (6 core i7). I tryed to use DOSBOX on old pc's using win […]
Show full quote

Thanks All for the responce
My pc is a ASUS TUF GAMING core i7 8th Gen (6 core i7).
I tryed to use DOSBOX on old pc's using win XP or win Vista without problem.
After your responce I tryed another way.
I installed DosBox under win XP using the Oracle Virtual BOX in my ASUS.
I configured XP with a com port, even using a usb to serial adapter.
Well... The Win3.11 under dos box, under win xp, under wirtual box (triple somersault!) work well, with the exclusion of the mouse that become crazy.
Therefore:
I was asking on this forum, about rs232 on dosbox, to look if someones already had my trouble and solved it.
Unfortunately, actually, I have no time to try to solve the problem.
I will use a old PC to use old software.
Thank You all
Paolo

Windows 3.11 or Windows for Workgroups 3.11?

Normal Windows 3.1x has a buggy COM port driver.

Better use CyberCom or the WFWG 3.11 driver.
And enable 16550 compatible FiFo in wini.ini/system.ini.

https://files.retropc.se/software/WIN16/COMMUNIC/index.html

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 5 of 7, by monesipl

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Windows 3.11 is windows for workgroup.
Win3.11 inside the dosbox work great with the serial port ( also emulated by a usb-to serial adpter) if the main windows (where dosbox is installed) is any version up to Vista.
I also used the et_4000 win3.11 video driver to enhance screen resolution. It work well.
The only problem I have is using rs232 with win3.11, inside dosbox, inside windows10.
Tomorrow a will do some other test.
Thanks all
Paolo

Reply 6 of 7, by junglemontana

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So using the serial port with Windows 10 + Virtualbox + XP + DosBox + Windows 3.11 was successful, right? If so, then the USB/RS-232 adapter is probably working correctly.

If Windows 3.11 works on Virtualbox or some other virtualization software (I don't know if it does), it might be less complex than using DosBox in a virtual machine.

cyclone3d wrote:

This is most likely due to the fact the when Windows 7 hit, Microsoft removed direct hardware access.

Does this mean that DosBox can't use the serial ports on Windows 7 and newer? Or is there a way to do it, for example, running DosBox as administrator or in a compatibility mode?

Reply 7 of 7, by Jo22

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Hi, may I ask what chip the converter uses (FTDI, Prolific, ..)?
- Maybe it's a driver's issue simply.

https://mysocratesnote.ca/ftdi-gate-the-wrong … t-counterfeits/

Does the converter work with other programs on 7 or 10?

Windows XP went EOL in 2014, so USB-Serial Converter drivers for XP are usually older.

Also, current drivers may not support the older chips. Example: If a prolific driver might support the PL2303H, but not the original PL2303.

Lastly, the 7/8/10 drivers might be buggy.
I used one that corrupted its own file, whenever the converter was plugged in a different USB port. Or if another converter was installed. In both situations, the driver copied a DLL or SYS file from
DRIVERS folder to SYSTEM32 folder which ended up with 0 Byte in size.

Editb The chip might be a clone, as it's usually the case also.
Could be thus, that a recent driver simply silently refuses to work.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//