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First post, by mike_canada

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i'm looking for a way to test everything in DOSBOX including serial ports and such to make sure everything is setup correctly.

I downloaded HWINFO for DOS from http://www.hwinfo.com/download.html and for some tests, they could not complete because DOSBOX exits and crashes with this error:

Exit to error: Unhandled INT 17 call E2

could hwinfo be a bad tool to use? Is there a better tool or could I somehow modify dosbox config to make dosbox ignore processing certain interrupts?

Reply 1 of 7, by Wengier

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DOSBox is officially designed for DOS games only (see this post from DOSBox’s developer for more info). It is not designed to be a general-purposed DOS emulator, so things that are not related to gaming are not officially supported (for example, HWINFO and QBasic as you mentioned in another thread are not DOS games). If you want to do more than DOS games, you probably want to check out DOSBox-X instead, which is designed to be a complete DOS emulator with official support for DOS applications, Windows 3.x/9x and more, not just DOS games.

Reply 2 of 7, by kruwi

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Hwinfo does not crash using the svn version. Everything runs fine. And Wengier: I have been using dosbox for all kinds of stuff since 2006, so although non-games are not officially supported, most of them run just fine.

Visit the end of the internet: www.groskreutz.de

Reply 3 of 7, by Wengier

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kruwi wrote on 2021-01-04, 14:28:

Hwinfo does not crash using the svn version. Everything runs fine. And Wengier: I have been using dosbox for all kinds of stuff since 2006, so although non-games are not officially supported, most of them run just fine.

Clearly, this really depends on what you meant by “run fine”. If you just want basic functions, they (non-gaming DOS applications in general) may (or may not) work, and they work only because of DOSBox officially supports DOS games, and many non-gaming DOS applications also use these functions in their basic features. However, many non-gaming functions will never work. Don’t expect non-gaming functions like printing, file locking, clipboard, Ctrl+Break, LFN support, NETBEUI or TCP/IP networking, device driver, non-bitmap rendering, etc to work in DOSBox SVN, ever. Many of these functions are extremely important for users of these applications. You think they “run fine” (even though all these features are clearly broken and many DOS APIs for non-gaming functions will simply not work) only because your expectations for running these applications in DOSBox are really low, and general users are definitely recommended against it.

Reply 4 of 7, by kruwi

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"However, many non-gaming functions will never work. Don’t expect non-gaming functions like printing, file locking, clipboard, Ctrl+Break, LFN support, NETBEUI or TCP/IP networking, device driver, non-bitmap rendering, etc to work in DOSBox SVN, ever. "

Actually, I have never expected these features. Printing works fine from Win 3.11 under dosbox, using the Apple Laserwriter and postcript. The actual printing of course needs to be done via your host system. Printing from "DOS" under dosbox? Well, many of the text files are in plain text format and can - again - be printed via your host system. LFN? Didn't have it back on my real dos machine, so I don't care. Networking? Didn't have it as well, so I don't care. Device drivers? I have not yet come across an app that I would need them for. So, for me dosbox (and I mean plain dosbox) is the perfect solution. If I need commands not in included, I just use the commands from freedos or its command.com. Actually, it has been a fun project (!) for me to see how far I can push dosbox' limits. If I encounter something that is beyond its capabilities, I install DOS 6.22 in dosbox.

Visit the end of the internet: www.groskreutz.de

Reply 5 of 7, by Wengier

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kruwi wrote on 2021-01-05, 09:30:

"However, many non-gaming functions will never work. Don’t expect non-gaming functions like printing, file locking, clipboard, Ctrl+Break, LFN support, NETBEUI or TCP/IP networking, device driver, non-bitmap rendering, etc to work in DOSBox SVN, ever. "

Actually, I have never expected these features. Printing works fine from Win 3.11 under dosbox, using the Apple Laserwriter and postcript. The actual printing of course needs to be done via your host system. Printing from "DOS" under dosbox? Well, many of the text files are in plain text format and can - again - be printed via your host system. LFN? Didn't have it back on my real dos machine, so I don't care. Networking? Didn't have it as well, so I don't care. Device drivers? I have not yet come across an app that I would need them for. So, for me dosbox (and I mean plain dosbox) is the perfect solution. If I need commands not in included, I just use the commands from freedos or its command.com. Actually, it has been a fun project (!) for me to see how far I can push dosbox' limits. If I encounter something that is beyond its capabilities, I install DOS 6.22 in dosbox.

So the conclusion: You use non-gaming applications in an emulator officially designed for gaming because you want to see how far you can push its limits. You can do it as a fun project yourself of course, but it is clearly not for serious usages (perhaps you do not even understand what it means by serious usage - printing from "DOS" under dosbox? Of course! Just give you a concrete example: there are still many old WordPerfect users who want to use WordPerfect for DOS for their work, which does not run directly in a modern OS so they run it from DOS emulator and they need to type and print directly to a printer as they had done in the DOS days. Very simple but real example; you get the idea). You use non-gaming applications in an emulator officially designed for gaming primarily for fun (to test its limit); fine, and in fact, you can install DOS 6.22 directly on a new computer without even installing another OS or dosbox just to test DOS 6.22’s limit. This is your personal choice of course, but while this is apparently a “fun project” as you said, it is clearly not for serious work, and is definitely not for general users at all. Please do not mix personal “fun project” with serious work, which are completely different.

Reply 6 of 7, by _Rob

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FYI, you cannot install MS-DOS any longer on many new PCs. Only those where you still have the BIOS option to switch from UEFI to Legacy Boot, and many new systems no longer have the option. In fact Intel had announced that they would drop support for Legacy Boot from 2020.

In addition, even if your BIOS still has the Legacy Boot option, some of the newest video cards, like the latest AMD cards, no longer have legacy support either.