Windows 10: How does Windows identify 16 bit apps

  1.    04 Oct 2016 #1

    How does Windows identify 16 bit apps


    My question is: how do I make windows run a program when it knows its a 16 bit app on a 64 bit PC.
    I know it reads the exe pe header, but instead of displaying the "This app cant't run on your PC" banner. I would like it to load another program - like in the attached picture.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It's more of a curiosity, because all I have to do is right click the mouse button. (its Win311/DosBox)
    I've tried to copy the ntvdm files & registery entries from Win10 x32 to Win10 x64, but it completly ignores them ;(

    P.S. I dont want to associate all the .exe files with another program before I run them. That's just like a really inefficient virus.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    04 Oct 2016 #2

    There is no way a 64 bit OS can run 16 bit software outside some kind of virtual machine, such as DosBox. Essentially a 64 bit CPU has 2 operating modes, 64 bit and 32 bit, plus a few not relevant to the situation. A 64 bit OS must run in 64 bit mode where it can run either 64 or 32 bit software, but not 16 bit. In 32 bit mode, for a 32 bit OS, it can run either 32 or 16 bit software.

    I don't know how to do what you want. It may require third party software.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 3,194
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       04 Oct 2016 #3

    I probably would fire up my 80386-40MHz or 80486-25OD75 computer to run the 16-bit programs.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    05 Oct 2016 #4

    Berton said: View Post
    80486-25OD75
    I had one of those, I think it was a Cyrix
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    05 Oct 2016 #5

    I had the Intel 486. I think my 386 was Cyrix.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    06 Oct 2016 #6

    LMiller7 said: View Post
    There is no way a 64 bit OS can run 16 bit software outside some kind of virtual machine, such as DosBox. Essentially a 64 bit CPU has 2 operating modes, 64 bit and 32 bit, plus a few not relevant to the situation. A 64 bit OS must run in 64 bit mode where it can run either 64 or 32 bit software, but not 16 bit. In 32 bit mode, for a 32 bit OS, it can run either 32 or 16 bit software.

    I don't know how to do what you want. It may require third party software.
    Hi there

    If you want to run 16 bit software I suggest you run it in a VM -- you can install say Windows 98 as a Virtual machine easily enough -- there's a generic key on the Net just google for it.

    If you can't find it it's here (released by Ms itself so not Pirated !!!).

    VP9VV-VJW7Q-MHY6W-JK47R-M2KGJ

    Keep the VM isolated from the Internet though -- the best way to do this if you have to share files with your Host Pc is simply to use HOST ONLY networking when creating the VM . It's usually in the config files.

    You can use VMware player, or VBOX for creating a Virtual machine with FREE software or if you have W10 pro or enterprise you can use HYPER-V. Kari has excellent tutorials on creating Virtual machines using HYPER-V -look in the tutorial section.

    In fact using a Virtual Machine is the recommended (and safest) way of using legacy hardware and software.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cheers
    jimbo
    Last edited by jimbo45; 06 Oct 2016 at 06:02. Reason: Added screenshot of W98 as VM
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    06 Oct 2016 #7

    oh I think I figured it out... if anyone is interested.
    I used the 16 bit setup in windows 64 bit option.....
    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NtVdm64\X-LAST-FAILOVER]
    "InternalName"="*"
    "MappedExeName"="C:\\blaa-blaa-blaa\\DOSBox-Win31\\run-as-16bit.exe"
    "ProductName"="*"
    "ProductVersion"="*"
    "CommandLine"="%m"
    But it only worked with some .exe files (like NE). Not with .com. I have not done any detailed tests.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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