Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Getting old DOS games working on modern hardware. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby twiz11 » 2019-9-07 @ 00:05

I think this dos topic should be relegated to dosbox because dos doesnt work in modern infrastructure natively, either it should be moved to a new forum for virtual machines or dosbox.
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby LSS10999 » 2019-9-07 @ 00:39

Running DOS natively is possible, just that you might encounter a few more issues than usual.

While you might not be able to run DOS for gaming purposes, as it's hard or impossible to get audio working (and video might have issues sometimes), it's still good enough for some business or industrial software.

And it is not the same as running a VM (VMWare/VBox/PCem) or using DOSBox. There are already separate forums for these.
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-9-07 @ 00:43

DOS will boot on almost anything with an x86 processor. Even modern video cards will support a surprising amount of standard VESA modes. The hard part is getting sound... but even then, every motherboard has a PC speaker.
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby twiz11 » 2019-9-07 @ 01:01

LSS10999 wrote:Running DOS natively is possible, just that you might encounter a few more issues than usual.

While you might not be able to run DOS for gaming purposes, as it's hard or impossible to get audio working (and video might have issues sometimes), it's still good enough for some business or industrial software.

And it is not the same as running a VM (VMWare/VBox/PCem) or using DOSBox. There are already separate forums for these.


ok i goofed, i mean modern system as in windows or mac most likely... can you run dos in linux
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby LSS10999 » 2019-9-07 @ 01:08

twiz11 wrote:ok i goofed, i mean modern system as in windows or mac most likely... can you run dos in linux


Running DOS in Linux was possible a long time ago thanks to DOSEMU, although DOSBox (preferrably the DOSBox-X fork) is available for Linux as well.
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby kolderman » 2019-9-07 @ 01:27

mothergoose729 wrote:DOS will boot on almost anything with an x86 processor. Even modern video cards will support a surprising amount of standard VESA modes. The hard part is getting sound... but even then, every motherboard has a PC speaker.


And until a few years ago, a parallel port - can you still get brand new mobos with printer ports...would be cool to plug in opl2lpt in a ryzen7 then install msdos and start playing monkey island or something.
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby DosFreak » 2019-9-07 @ 01:38

DOS will continue to work on modern hardware wthout emulation until 2020 and possibly beyond depending on the motherboard manufacturer.
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby twiz11 » 2019-9-07 @ 01:40

DosFreak wrote:DOS will continue to work on modern hardware wthout emulation until 2020 and possibly beyond depending on the motherboard manufacturer.


yea i was thinking the x64 architecture would not allow x16 dos to run
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby weldum » 2019-9-07 @ 03:35

twiz11 wrote:
DosFreak wrote:DOS will continue to work on modern hardware wthout emulation until 2020 and possibly beyond depending on the motherboard manufacturer.


yea i was thinking the x64 architecture would not allow x16 dos to run


actually that's not the biggest problem, that problem would be CSM (compatibility support module) support on UEFI can be eliminated (and in some machines and devices it has been done already). this component is mandatory for booting any OS that requires or expects a BIOS instead of UEFI (mainly 16 and 32 bit stuff, and some "early" 64 bit stuff like Windows XP 64bit)
obviously CSM is going to dissapear since it's not necessary anymore, and then maybe Intel and AMD will remove 16 and 32 bit modes from their processors
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby LSS10999 » 2019-9-07 @ 04:03

weldum wrote:actually that's not the biggest problem, that problem would be CSM (compatibility support module) support on UEFI can be eliminated (and in some machines and devices it has been done already). this component is mandatory for booting any OS that requires or expects a BIOS instead of UEFI (mainly 16 and 32 bit stuff, and some "early" 64 bit stuff like Windows XP 64bit)
obviously CSM is going to dissapear since it's not necessary anymore, and then maybe Intel and AMD will remove 16 and 32 bit modes from their processors


While CSM is definitely going away, if they remove those modes at hardware levels, then it probably wouldn't be called x86 anymore.

And this makes me think about the future of desktop computing... and whether there could be a computer architecture that could succeed x86 in the desktop market (on the other hand, x86 failed to compete in the mobile market which was dominated by ARM).
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby dr_st » 2019-9-07 @ 07:20

twiz11,
Maybe you should do your research before starting threads with misleading and obviously wrong titles. Tip: if you want to use the thread itself for a discussion where you would learn such things, it is better to phrase the title as a question rather than a rather bold statement. ;)
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby Srandista » 2019-9-07 @ 10:09

twiz11 wrote:I think this dos topic should be relegated to dosbox because dos doesnt work in modern infrastructure natively, either it should be moved to a new forum for virtual machines or dosbox.
yea i was thinking the x64 architecture would not allow x16 dos to run

My 3GHz Core 2 x64 CPU is running native DOS with no issues, I even have sound in majority of games. There really isn't any reason, why even most recent machines wouldn't run DOS natively, since even latest CPUs still have 16-bit capabilities. And they are even using those before POST every time you start your PC.
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby kolderman » 2019-9-07 @ 10:20

> I even have sound in majority of games

What soundcard?
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby Srandista » 2019-9-07 @ 10:48

ESS Solo-1, with VIA VT8237A southbridge. You can read more about that rig in my topic, check my signature.

kolderman wrote:And until a few years ago, a parallel port - can you still get brand new mobos with printer ports...would be cool to plug in opl2lpt in a ryzen7 then install msdos and start playing monkey island or something.

Yeah, my old Skylake motherboard (with H170 chipset) still have both serial and parallel headers and also PCI slots. I didn't tried DOS on it, but I have no reason to believe, that DOS wouldn't work on it, if I would try. But for that I have primarily mentioned 775 system.
My overkill "retro" PC - ASRock 4CoreDual-VSTA, Pentium E6500K, 512MB/4GB RAM, Radeon 9500@9700 (Softmod), ESS Solo-1 + Dreamblaster X2, 80GB IDE HDD, Win 98/XP
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Re: Running DOS on modern hardware is impossible

Postby Jo22 » 2019-9-08 @ 14:07

kolderman wrote:
mothergoose729 wrote:DOS will boot on almost anything with an x86 processor. Even modern video cards will support a surprising amount of standard VESA modes. The hard part is getting sound... but even then, every motherboard has a PC speaker.


And until a few years ago, a parallel port - can you still get brand new mobos with printer ports...would be cool to plug in opl2lpt in a ryzen7 then install msdos and start playing monkey island or something.


There are PCI Express cards with a parallel port, too. Remember, the PC platform (still) has slots for expansion. ;)
Getting these to work natively in DOS, is another story. It depends either on the BIOS/CSM configure it to the old 3BC, 378, 278 addresses
or an supplied DOS utility (if there's one provided by the manufacturer).

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?62462-PCIE-parallel-port-adapter-compatible

When CSM is slowly fading away in the 2020's, things may look different, of course.
Hopefully FreeDOS or PC-MOS/386 will get support for UEFI, as the OS/2 successor ArcaOS does.
Or an BIOS emulator that runs off UEFI during boot. Alternatively Coreboot/SeaBIOS could help.

https://www.arcanoae.com/arca-noae-progress-report-arcaos-on-uefi-only-hardware/
https://www.freedos.org/contribute/

If this all fails, it would be still possible to use VMs to run DOS semi-natively.
As in: DOS can still run "natively" on a virtualized x86 processor, but the rest of the PC environment is emulated/mapped.
Virtual PC does this for example. If your PC has COM or Parallel ports, DOS programs in a VM can access them on the old I/O range
independently of the real I/O ports. Bit-banging stuff even works in most cases here, so that you can access the
individual pins on, say, the physical COM port (like RTS, CTS, RI) rather than just plain ASCII transfer.
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