VOGONS


First post, by nettythemadscientist

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TLDR: I am able to mount the cdrom but when i try to run the exe file i am told "This program requires Microsoft Windows". I'm at a loss. I am using Windows 10, 64 bit

Long version:
I recently found a zip file containing the Operation game from 1998 for Windows. I extracted the file and it now appears on my computer as DVD Drive F: as if I had inserted the disc containing the game. When I tried to click AUTORUN my computer tells me that this program cannot be run on a 64 bit OS. After a little research a buddy of mine directs me towards RetroArch and DOSbox. I downloaded and extracted RetroArch and installed all the DOSbox cores I could find (there were 3: DOSBox-core r4336 5c349a6, DOSbox-SVN CE 0.74-SVN r4293 3bf1c0d, and DOSbox-SVN 0.74-SVN r4336 4562ede). All of them give me the same results as described below.

For each core I entered the command Z:\>mount D F:\ -t cdrom. It tells me its mounted. I then direct it towards the D Drive with Z:\>D: and open the directory with D:\>dir /w

I can see which files are exe so I try each one. (There are 4). When using the command D:\>AUTORUN or D:\>UNINST I get the message: This program cannot be run in DOS mode. When using the command D:\>SETUP the DOSbox pauses but if i minimize the window and come back i see a second command D:\>win SETUP.EXE and the message: Illegal command: win. When using the command D:\>_ISDEL i get the message: This program requires Microsoft Windows.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. DOSbox is supposed to emulate an earlier version of Windows, right? So why am I being told I'm not in Windows?

Please help. I really loved this game when I was a kid.

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  • operationdvddrive.PNG
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    how the Operation game files appear on my pc
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  • myattempt.PNG
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    one of my attempts to run the game on DOSbox
    File license
    Public domain

Reply 1 of 8, by Errius

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It wants Windows 95. DOSBox can't emulate that. Only Windows 3.x games are supported.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 3 of 8, by Errius

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Good luck, because W95 emulation is a PITA. I wound up just building an old computer to play those games.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 5 of 8, by Serious Callers Only

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The main problem with running win95 games in dosbox is that the process is highly technical and dosbox doesn't emulate the cd hardware, so win95 drivers can't 'see' mounted isos. It *is* possible, if you

1) can be assured to have a 'clean' win95 hdd image (i use a ramdisk copy in linux for this, so 'highly technical' and also, not portable outside linux)
2) can be assured to have the game installed with a nocd hack or full install of some kind, not necessary in the same hdd image as the OS.

So what i do for win95 is a 'bit' complex; i have a FAT16 win95 installed hdd already installed and configured with drivers (if you want voodoo for instance), i mount it and rawmount a 'empty' new hdd for that game, i start the OS, i fdisk the new hdd, i quit dosbox, i install the game with wine with a nocdhack and test it, i mount the 'game' hdd in linux (not dosbox), i copy over the files to the mounted FAT32 of the game and maybe copy over registry files that install created from the wine 'windows', i start dosbox again, check if the game runs and if needs registry or further dlls (it's possible the install put things on the wine folder), then i quit dosbox again, and i prepare the dosbox conf file to use a ramdisk copy instead of the 'real' win95 hdd (autoexec can copy native files as long as you mount it, so mount the linux ramdisk and the dir holding the win95 hdd, and copy over the 'real' win95 hdd and boot the ramdisk copy) and make a bat shortcut on the host that starts the game on the guest win95, and mount the FAT16 win95 and copy over the file from the host to the guest in the autostart folder for win95. Then i forget about the game.

My dosbox build ppa has some instructions on how to create (in linux) and mount (in dosbox) raw hdd images, though it doesn't explain how to mount the FAT images in linux after windows 95 fdisks them (it's a bit complex because you have to skip the boot sector but the instructions are on the net if you search).

It's always better to use wine in linux if you can, i only use win95 for games that either don't run in wine, i can't run on wine (such as on a phone) or are logically 'related' to a DOS game in the collection, for instance Dark Seed 1 and 2.

BTW that whole win95 hdd ramdisk stuff is because win95 is absurdly sensitive to being 'shut down' improperly so in the 'instructions' above when you quit win95 dosbox, do it 'properly' or you'll regret it because the image is only safe after you're mounting the ramdisk, not the original. You minimize the chances of something bad happening to the games by putting them on a separate from the OS FAT32 hdd, but it's also not certain. So i also have a copy (in this case not to a ramdisk, copy on write) of the game hhd image with a application/FUSE filesystem trick from linux (this is separate from the ramdisk 'mount' on the conf file in linux). This is yet another reason to use wine. Also obviously none of this (either the ramdisk for win95 hdd, or the FUSE filesystem for the game hdd) is portable outside linux.

Even with all this crap, win95 regularly (every year?) wants you to configure daylight saving time and interrupts the 'load game from boot' hacks and forces you to mount the original to persistently accept the dst adjustment, didn't find a way to avoid that, but it may exist in the pits the hell that is the windows 95 registry or by hacking the system date to be 'fake' instead of dosbox reporting the host OS passthrough.

The only way this will get better is if a 'dosbox for wine' aka wine+emulation for portability using the host filesystem becomes popular/bug free/portable. There are some candidates like boxedwine (dosbox fork + wine running linux) and hangover (qemu fork + wine running in linux).

Last edited by Serious Callers Only on 2020-04-28, 03:19. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 6 of 8, by DosFreak

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nettythemadscientist wrote on 2020-04-26, 09:27:

TLDR: I am able to mount the cdrom but when i try to run the exe file i am told "This program requires Microsoft Windows". I'm at a loss. I am using Windows 10, 64 bit

That is a windows executable. DOSBox only runs DOS programs (unless you install Windows in DOSBox). DOS and Windows are different.

Long version:
I recently found a zip file containing the Operation game from 1998 for Windows. I extracted the file and it now appears on my computer as DVD Drive F: as if I had inserted the disc containing the game. When I tried to click AUTORUN my computer tells me that this program cannot be run on a 64 bit OS. After a little research a buddy of mine directs me towards RetroArch and DOSbox. I downloaded and extracted RetroArch and installed all the DOSbox cores I could find (there were 3: DOSBox-core r4336 5c349a6, DOSbox-SVN CE 0.74-SVN r4293 3bf1c0d, and DOSbox-SVN 0.74-SVN r4336 4562ede). All of them give me the same results as described below.

It sounds like you possibly downloaded a so called "abandonware" version of the game (we don't support so called "abandonware" here) that is an ISO.
It's also likely that the setup program executed by Autorun is a 16bit executable which Windows 64bit does not support. Again, DOSBox runs DOS executables not Windows executables so DOSBox won't help you with this.

For each core I entered the command Z:\>mount D F:\ -t cdrom. It tells me its mounted. I then direct it towards the D Drive with […]
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For each core I entered the command Z:\>mount D F:\ -t cdrom. It tells me its mounted. I then direct it towards the D Drive with Z:\>D: and open the directory with D:\>dir /w

I can see which files are exe so I try each one. (There are 4). When using the command D:\>AUTORUN or D:\>UNINST I get the message: This program cannot be run in DOS mode. When using the command D:\>SETUP the DOSbox pauses but if i minimize the window and come back i see a second command D:\>win SETUP.EXE and the message: Illegal command: win. When using the command D:\>_ISDEL i get the message: This program requires Microsoft Windows.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. DOSbox is supposed to emulate an earlier version of Windows, right? So why am I being told I'm not in Windows?

Please help. I really loved this game when I was a kid.

These are telling you what I stated above. These are Windows executables.

It's possible that the installer is a 16bit executable while the game is 32bit.

You can try:
1. Copying the files off of the ISO to a directory on your hard drive.
2. Go here and replace the appropriate file: https://reactos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10988
3. Run the installer.
4. Try to run the game. If the game is 16bit then you'll need to use winevdm, qemu, vpc, vmware, virtualbox, etc using a 16bit OS.

You can also try:
1. Use the above mentioned programs in #4 above to install the gamme.
2. Copy the installed game to your host OS.
3. Try to run the game. You might also need to export the registry entries from the guest to the host.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 7 of 8, by _Rob

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Installing Windows 95 in vanilla DOSBox is technically possible, but painful. Your better of getting the DOSBox-X fork. It supports running Win95 or 98. It also supports mounted CD-ROM images, Networking, MIDI and 3dfx Voodoo in combination with Win9x.

There is a draft guide that you can have a look at here:
https://github.com/Wengier/dosbox-x-wiki/wiki … OSBox%E2%80%90X

But if your stumped by a message like "This program requires Microsoft Windows", I'm afraid it is too complex.

Reply 8 of 8, by leileilol

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It's still not Retroarch but you might also want to try throwing Boxedwine at it. That's the only easy HLE Win9x emulation solution I can think of that might help....

by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x