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Run DOS programs on Windows with MS-DOS Player

10 June 2016, Mike Williams

MSDOS-PlayerWindows hasn’t been able to run old DOS programs for a very long time. Double-click and you’re simply told “this app can’t run on your PC”.

MS-DOS Player for Win32-x64 is a tiny DOS emulator which enables running simple commands and programs (not full games) with the absolute minimum of hassle.

MS-DOS Player arrives with 8 binaries, each one emulating a separate processor and supporting 32, 64 or both types of Windows. If you don’t know which you need, just head straight for the i86_x86 folder where you’ll find a single msdos.exe file.

To test it, copy that file to the folder containing your dos executable file, then launch it from a command line, like msdos program.exe

If this works, great– if not, msdos.exe has a few troubleshooting switches you can use to ignore invalid memory instructions, tweak memory handling, set the DOS version and more. Launch msdos.exe with no program name, or double-click it from Windows, to see your options.


MS-DOS Player runs pure DOS programs well, but doesn’t support games

MS-DOS Player only emulates DOS, not hardware like graphics or sound cards, which means it’s not going to help you run games or other more complex software (DOSBox remains king there).

There’s also no support for running 16-bit Windows applications.

But the program is small, simple, easy to use, and still being actively developed. If you’re having trouble running a pure DOS application with DOSBox or FreeDOS, give MS-DOS Player a try.

MS-DOS Player is a free application for Windows XP and later.

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