DOS Games Message Board
DOS Games Discussion
A message board to talk about DOS games, get help, and find old games.
Do NOT post warez or abandonware requests please
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
NEW! DOSGames.com has been massively upgraded to v2.0 with TONS of new features!
Check out the new design and dozens of new features including online play!


Best Operating System OS for Running DOS Games?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    DOS Games Discussion Forum Index -> Get Games to Work
Author Message
retrozach
Newbie
Newbie


Offline
Joined: 05 Jun 2016
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:23 pm     Post subject: Best Operating System OS for Running DOS Games? Reply with quote

Wondering what would be the best configuration(s) for running DOS games usually from extracted .zip or .rar files on a custom built Pentium 4 PC.

Games/Software on CDs?.

I've heard Windows 98 SE is the best though after trying a few games and having them crash I thought I should ask the pros here on what would be most compatible. Celebratory
Back to top
Quadko
Darklander
Darklander


Offline
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 2013

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:11 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Playing casually? Dosbox on whatever OS works. More hardcore oldschool? Get close to original hardware and don't try to manage the games in dos. (edit: I mean, don't try to unzip, copy, store game archives from dos, do that in modern OS before copying over to dos.)

Depends on what games you want to play, of course. XT games from 85ish are problems, late dos games from 95ish do better on recent computers, in my experience. I've got an XT and a Pentium 233 gathering dust that I did most my tinkering with, then used CD on pentium or Floppy/IDE Emulators on XT for data transfer. (Some people got Dos Networking or serial cables working for file transfers, I never did figure that out!)

I've done both emulation and raw dos on various hardware, but some experts here have done more with real hardware.

IIRC, the biggest question for later game support is sound cards; if your P4 has a highly compatible chip, you are golden, otherwise there is trouble. Other issues like video are pretty straightforward for VGA+ games. (Maybe even EGA+, some CGA games have trouble on VGA cards. StarQuake, for example!) Win98se does seem the sweet spot for USB compatibility but still allows dos programs to take over.

I've also heard dual boot dos & modern OS (Windows or Linux), so modern OS sets the game up, and boot to dos for playing.

There's my brain dump, what kind of games are you trying to play? Some games, like LucasArts SCUMM games, even have dedicated 'perfect' emulators to play on modern computers.

Whatever you end up doing, have fun with it!


Last edited by Quadko on Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:23 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
dr_st
Lord of Gaming
Lord of Gaming


Offline
Joined: 23 Jun 2004
Posts: 347
Location: Absorbed into Clayface

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:35 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

For a P4 system:

Best OS for running DOS games natively - Win98 SE (assuming your P4 system has good working drivers). But you need an ISA slot for working sound in pure DOS.

Best OS for running via DOSBox - Windows XP (anything newer will struggle on a P4)
Back to top
retrozach
Newbie
Newbie


Offline
Joined: 05 Jun 2016
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:37 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

@Quadko and dr_st

Thank you for the response this helps and probably many others also.

Is there a program that would work with Windows 98SE in DOS mode something like Norton Commander 2.0, to load up old games, software that are stored on an external hard drive connected with USB?
Back to top
Rwolf
Way too much free time
Way too much free time


Offline
Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Posts: 686
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:52 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Never used these much, but on the Wikipedia page for NC, there are links to alternates, and a page with a few comparision charts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_Commander

Mind you, if you are trying to access NTFS volumes, you need additional software to read them, like Sysinternals NTFS tools. (no writing, but there is payware for that)
FAT is what Win98 knows natively.

If you use Win98 to just copy to harddisk / possibly install the games, and play the games using DOS (assuming this is what they are made for), it could work to have USB, otherwise running DOS games from USB require DOS drivers for USB, as others have mentioned.


Last edited by Rwolf on Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
dr_st
Lord of Gaming
Lord of Gaming


Offline
Joined: 23 Jun 2004
Posts: 347
Location: Absorbed into Clayface

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:07 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

USB support in DOS mode is very tricky to work. USB 2.0 support in Win98 SE (GUI mode) is also tricky. If you want to use Win98 SE - try to avoid USB drives.
Back to top
Quadko
Darklander
Darklander


Offline
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 2013

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:03 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, USB is sadly a problem. It had just come out around Win98se and support wasn't great yet, especially for storage. Keyboards, mice, and joysticks worked a little better, as long as they had drivers.

Options I've used to get around it, none were perfect but all worked at one point or other:

1. Burn files to a CD (assuming computer has working CDrom drive!)

2. Boot a live linux thumbdrive/cd, it can mount the dos/win98 FAT drive but can also see the usb drives. But you might have to learn a little about linux, and it's been a long time since I've done that.

3. Plug the IDE hard drive into a WinXP or later computer, copy files over.

4. Dual-boot to WinXP on that computer

5. Find some homebrew hardware on your budget, I've seen USB stick <-> Floppy emulators and "removable" CF/SD card hard drives (XTIDE) to make data transfer easier; modern computers can write to those, dos computer thinks it's normal floppy/harddrive hardware. But honestly they are fiddly and time consuming, esp the floppy.

I've also heard of people setting up dos/win98 networking, but I've never tried it. Or serial cable/LAPLINK style transfers.

And in theory you can run BBS software on a modern computer and a modem from the old computer, but the serial cable above is probably easier and similar.

--

Lots of options, none of them trivial or home runs in my opinion. Good luck with whatever you try! Keep us in the loop. Shit-Eating Grin
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    DOS Games Discussion Forum Index -> Get Games to Work All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group and Ask an Expert
Also powered by Darren and the other admin and mods' hard work! ;)