Why not a 16bit on a 64bit system

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  1. Posts : 855
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1 build 19044.1806

    If you use Linux with 32 bit WINE that will run 16 bit Windows apps or a lot of them.

    32 bit Wine runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit Linux/Unix installations. 16-bit and 32-bit Windows applications will run on it.
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  2. Posts : 191
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter

    Hi All,

    This continuation is connected to the previous comments - at least in part.

    In the past few months I have been playing around with various programs and features to try to achieve my goal - which is mainly to apply a 16bit driver to my Windows 10 x64. The driver is for my old printer that works perfectly well, except for the fact that I now have few features to play with. The dithering, for example, was very good before on my 32bit OS, but is shameful now with its generic driver. One of the features that some websites/youtube videos suggested might work is the NTVDM feature in the Legacy options. However, mine (in all versions - main/VB etc.) does not have this feature. How can I get it, and will it work on a driver?

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  3. Posts : 1,250
    Windows 10 Pro

    NTVDM is the subsystem that is required to run 16 bit software. It is not included with your system because it cannot run under a 64 bit OS. It requires the support of the CPU Virtual 8086 mode which cannot work while the CPU is in 64 bit mode which is necessary to run a 64 bit OS. NTVDM can only run on a 32 bit OS.
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  4. Posts : 191
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter

    Oh. OK. I've obviously misunderstood information I've been given. Thanks.
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  5. Posts : 11,210
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Hi folks


    Why not run Windows 98 as a Virtual machine --then you can run 16 bit apps to your hearts content. I believe there's some legit "Generic" W98 keys out there -- no activation required --that came in with Windows XP -- so you just need the key. You *Might* have trouble installing the necessary drivers if really old legacy hardware used as VBOX and VMWare only seem to like passing thru USB connected hardware which requires the USB system to work on the Host.

    If you "can do Linux" then run QEMU/KVM VM's (LIBVIRTD service) and simpy pass the hardware thru -- you can then install any 16 bit legacy drivers direct. KVM Passthru does just that -- no paravirtualisation used -- it uses the target GUEST (the VM)'s hard and software so it should work perfectly no matter how old the hardware.

    (Of course the hardware must still be capable of functioning on the Mobo !!! though --- it doesn't actually have to run on the HOST or need any Host drivers.)

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  6. Posts : 35,557
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Yes you could install the printer on an O/S under a VM - however that wouldn't make printing particularly convenient or easy.

    (I have an old 2nd hand scanner which I use in a VM- but then I'm spending quite some time using it, so no need to swap much between the host O/S and the VM).
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 3,197
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 21H1 (May 2021 build 19043.1083)

    As the others suggested, the solution is use Windows 98 (or XP) at a virtual machine and share the LPT1: port so you can use you old printer with the proper drivers that enable all features. I had a similar situation with an old HP scanner that only has Windows XP drivers, not even Windows XP x64. The XP drivers did work OK in Windows 7 and 10 32-bit, (installing them in Windows XP compatibility mode with Administrator rights), but obviously would not install in Windows 10 64-bit. There was no 64-bit driver, not even for Windows XP x64, so I was stuck after upgrading my father's computer in Windows 10 64-bit. I then created a Windows XP virtual machine in VMWare using an old XP license I had and shared the scanner in the virtual machine. In Windows 10 Device Manager the scanner was shown but had no drivers installed. Fortunately it is not necessary to properly install the device in host OS in order to use it in the guest OS in virtual machine, so I passed control of the device to Windows XP, installed the drivers and I was able to use the scanner again! I then shared a folder to exchange files between Windows 10 and XP and problem solved! I used the same trick with an old Iomega ZIP-100 parallel drive. This one has both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers, but works up to Windows 7 64-bit due to some changes to the parallel port drivers in Windows 8 and 10 64-bit. The trick is to share my LPT1: port with a Windows XP virtual machine. This not only allowed me to install the drivers but also use the full Iomegaware suite for the ZIP drive! I'm not sure but I bet this would also work with a parallel to USB adapter for newer systems without a parallel port.

    So the point is to install Windows 98 or XP to a virtual machine so you can run 16-bit applications and share old peripherals with old Windows drivers.
      My Computer


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