Solved is this dos program likely missing any files?

January 14, 2013 at 10:33:36
Specs: Windows Vista, 7

Why do some freeware dos software miss a BAT file to be able to run?

For example, the folder of the program contains:

The main.exe cannot be started within dosbox (or any dosbox windows launcher I have tried). The installation works (setting up soundblaster), but thats it.
I know dos programs can be run via .EXE, .BAT and .COM in most launchers. Do I likely need a BAT or similar for this one, or could it be simply due to the fact that the program may not be for dos, or not from a floppy disk etc, and must be 'mounted' or installed etc?

I have heard of .BAT creators to run EXEs all over the net, but some are dubious and virus laden. I have found another version of the program that does have a .BAT and runs the main program. Adding this BAT file to the problematic version made no difference.

thanks for any tips

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January 14, 2013 at 15:45:18
✔ Best Answer

Looks like you've downloaded something that likely has to be "installed" (thus the setup.exe file) before it'll ever create a working .exe file (probably inside the data.001 file). Have you tried to run "setup.exe" from the DOSBox window? What is the program (you don't mention)?

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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January 14, 2013 at 16:59:41

It was an old dos collection of games, some would run, some wouldnt, even if my dosbox launcher was successful in running the setup file. some had a bat, some didnt, as above. funnily enough from your avatar, one was an old trekkie game demo. I used it above as a general guide! ;)

I ran the setup file fine in dosbox (eg using DBGL or DFend as the dosbox launcher). It ran no problem, asked me what hardware option I wanted to select for sound. I chose soundblaster, and it saved the choice and exit dosbox. No problem there..but when I tried to run the actual 'main.exe', the launcher would start dosbox for half a second,then exit. Nothing happened.

I dont think the exe needed to be activated in order to run, as the only option in setup was for its sound. What I dont understand is that I could find the same dos games elsewhere online, and there were versions of them with added files (often bat and xml) and they would run from their bat or exe no problem. Perhaps certain versions of the same game just arent compatible with dosbox or the launcher used.
If these are all old games im assuming they are all taken from floppy disk.

I used winrar on some dos programs (similar to the above, for their '.001' files). Only '.001' files would extract, even if there was more than one of them .001,.002 etc), and by extracting, they would give me a single file, its file type as 'FILE' if I remember correctly, the raw data as you mention. I imagine this extracted data is useless on its own.

thanks for the reply

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January 15, 2013 at 02:49:01

Some of those dos games may have had the .bat file simply so dummies could run it without knowing the name of the .exe file. The .bat file could be the name of the game so that the user could start it with just knowing the game name.

You mentioned the games may be incompatible with dosbox. I think that's most likely. They may need to run in a pure dos environment.

Either that or the fast cpu is causing a timing problem with the old games.

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January 17, 2013 at 10:36:07

Fast CPU in DosBox is mostly not a prob as DosBox automatically regulates the cycles to 3000 on startup. Extracting raw files never works.
FOr example:
I will sometimes play SimEarth for DOS using dosbox. I had a hard time installing because some weird programming glitch required it to be installed from the B: drive, couldn't install from the A: drive. So it came with a .BAT file that created a false B: drive in dosbox and then ran the installer. If you want i can probably send you a copy of the batch file, but good luck on making it work.

Not everyone can decipher Klingon script...
chay' ta' SoH tlhe' vam Doch Daq

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January 17, 2013 at 15:48:21

I found out that for some of these games, all I had to do was change the hardware type (in DBGL or Dfend) in order to run at all in dosbox.
For other games not working (supposedly abandonware), they may have been already installed, and then archived to zip or rar like the rest, and upon extracting to a location on my hdd and running in dosbox, still required their original cd! As far as I can tell there is no workaround for that, as you say they may need a dos environment, and work from their original format (floppy or cd etc).

I have the original Sim City, which still plays pretty well. It looks amazing on pc in comparison to my zx spectrum version ;) Im not sure if any of the later games (sim earth, 2000 etc) play well in dosbox, I might have to try them out in future. I have found that with some very old games, making sure I select a slower processor and or cycles in a must.

OpenGL for the graphics seems to work best on this laptop. I am assuming that many games came in a widescreen format, as when I see some titles on youtube (eg ufo enemy unknown) they are not in a 4:3 format. Does anyone know how common widescreen games were in dos? Thanks for all the replies

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January 17, 2013 at 17:38:18

"Does anyone know how common widescreen games were in dos?"

Very uncommon. Remember, during DOS's "glory-days", most screens were MDA, Hercules, CGA, EGA, and VGA respectively. Later DOS games (Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, etc.) required more CPU horsepower, but not much more in the way of video (though faster video cards were much better with them).

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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January 19, 2013 at 11:24:44

Setting most games I have to either my ws computer resolution or 'original game resolution' in a launcher, whilst 'maintaining the games original aspect ratio' in both cases, usually gives a 4:3 format, but the games are squashed horizontally or stretched vertically. Turning maintain aspect ratio off in DBGL or Dfend usually corrects this in both cases, but they then fill out the entire widescreen monitor.

I have tried changing gfx hardware aspect ratio settings which may interfere, but there is no difference, so I wonder if some old dos games did not have a set ratio in their instructions, whether old or new. Zork (1982) in a dos launcher, always shows in a widescreen ratio, whether maintaining its aspect ratio or not, but its text does not look incorrect? Perhaps thats simply because it featured nothing but text, but even games such as Tetris (1986) look less stretched when set to fill out the monitor.

Some comments on youtube for 'dr who dalek attack'-early 90s, state that it always played stretched when loading up from its dos option, but was correctly shown from its windows option. As you mention, it would likely have been the far later titles such as this one in a close to ws or ws format, but I still question the older ones that look best in widescreen. Thanks

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February 8, 2013 at 14:32:05

Follow the breadcrumbs? WINA20 386?

From- http://encyclopedia.thefreedictiona...
One of the problems with the versions of Windows that ran on top of DOS, was a lack of conventional memory. This was due to the archaic design of the original x86 processor, which was originally only able to address 1024kB, or an effective 640kB of memory. While this was later extended with new processor modes, DOS was not able to load low level AUTOEXEC.BAT type drivers into extended memory.

Users were therefore presented with the baffling situation, of potentially having 8192K of physical memory, but were not able to run software that required a mere 512K of memory, because the DOS drivers in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, especially CD-ROM and disk compression drivers, had taken up too much conventional memory.

Users were left to experiment with LOADHIGH/LH (MS-DOS) or HILOAD (DR-DOS) commands, based upon the EMM386 memory manager loaded in the CONFIG.SYS files, in order to try to move drivers from the 640K region, into the upper memory area or the high memory area. Lack of conventional memory proved to be a particular issue for gamers, and generated numerous baffled calls to support desks. Many gamers were forced to maintain several boot disks, each with game specific PC configurations.

Resolving driver and conventional memory issues has been cited as a key reason for adoption of the Windows based Direct-X gaming interface [5], which could access the entire physical memory of the PC, and relied upon Windows drivers to access hardware. This was also solved by using 32-bit DOS programs and standard VESA drivers for graphics.

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