Play DOS Games on Windows 7 and Windows 8 with DOSBox

Play Prince of Persia on Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP with DOSBox.The ultimate solution to play DOS games on your PC with Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista or XP is DOSBox. DOSBox emulates DOS and the environment in which DOS ran in the past (like an old pc), including memory management and sound configuration, but with the power of your computer today. On this page we'll show you how to make the classic DOS game Prince of Persia or any other DOS game work. If you want to install a DOS game from an original CD-rom, you can find instructions here.

Download and install DOSBox

  • Sponsored links (remove)
    Go to the download section on www.dosbox.com
  • Download the desired package (in this example that will be the Windows (win32) installer)
  • Install DOSBox

Download and extract Prince of Persia (or any other DOS game)

  • Go to one of the many websites that offer shareware and freeware downloads of classic DOS games, for example www.dosgames.com
  • Search for and download the desired game, in our example Prince of Persia
  • Create a new folder on your computer, for example C:\games\dos\prince
  • Extract the downloaded zip file into that folder

Get the game working in DOSBox

Start DOSBox from Windows by double clicking the desktop icon. Once in DOSBox:

  • Start Prince of Persia in DOSBox.Type in mount c c:\games\dos and press enter (this creates a virtual drive C: within DOSBox, which points to the Games\DOS folder on your local C: drive)
  • If your games folder contains spaces, you have to put quotes around the folder path, for example: mount c "c:\games\dos games" 
  • Type in c: and press enter to go the virtual C: drive
  • Type in dir and press enter to look at the contents of the virtual C: drive
  • Type in cd PRINCE and press enter to open the Prince folder
  • Type in PRINCE and press enter to start the game

Automatic mounting

As you always will need the virtual drive in DOSBox to play your game, it is recommended to put the mount command in your DOSBox configuration file. This way the games folder will be mounted automatically when you start DOSBox:

  • Open the configuration file:
    • Windows 7: Start button - All programs - DOSBox-0.7x - Options - DOSBox 0.7x Options
    • Windows 8: Press the Windows key + Q, type in dosbox and the options file should appear in the search results, click it
  • DOSBox configuration - automatic mounting.Scroll down to the autoexec section (at the bottom of the file)
  • Copy the mount commands below the comments (indicated by a hash). The lines below apply to this example:
     
    [autoexec]
    # Lines in this section will be run at startup.
    # You can put your MOUNT lines here.
    mount c c:\games\dos
    c:
    # to start Prince of Persia automatically when installed:
    cd prince
    prince

  • Save the configuration file and restart DOSBox.

Play a game from CD with DOSBox

So you have found the original installation CD of a DOS game. But you can't install the game, because you need to do that in DOS! No worries! We have a guide which explains how to install and play a game from CD, all in DOSBox. Click here for more information!

Some DOS facts to keep in mind

In the DOS environment there are just 3 types of files that you can start/execute. These are .BAT, .COM and .EXE files. In this example (and in general when starting a DOS game), we'll look for files with .BAT (batch) and .EXE (executable) extensions. A batch file contains one or more lines of DOS commands and usually ends with the execution of a .EXE file. If you want to execute a .BAT or .EXE file in DOSBox, you can type in the file name without the extension. If there's a filename.bat and a filename.exe file in a folder, DOS will execute the filename.bat file first. If you don't want that, type in the entire filename including the extension.

DOSBox emulates the DOS environment, but doesn't support all DOS commands. It doesn't have to either. A list of supported DOS commands can be found on the DOSBox wiki section.

Supported games

With the method mentioned above, you can play a lot of classic DOS games. Here's an overview of some games, cherished by the DOSGamers crew, that you can play with DOSBox:

  • Wolfenstein 3D (fps)
  • Lemmings
  • UFO: Enemy Unknown
  • Secret of Monkey Island
  • Blackthorne
  • Flashback
  • Inca
  • Commander Keen
  • Sam & Max Hit The Road
  • Leisure Suit Larry
  • Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos (rpg)
  • One Must Fall 2097
  • Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
  • Themepark
  • Civilization
  • Maniac Mansion
  • Command & Conquer
  • Railroad Tycoon
  • Dune
  • Gobliiins
  • Pinball Fantasies

On the DOSBox website you can find an extensive list of supported DOS games.

Other stuff

DOSBox in full screen or high resolution window.
Mount CD-rom, images or other stuff.
Problems with keyboard layout.
Graphical user interfaces for DOSBox.

Comments from the retro community
Kit · 20-02-2014 · 04:53 CET · [#]
Reply
I was hoping to be able to run my favorite old fractal generator, Fractools3. DOSbox opens the interface but can't run it because it requires a 1024x768x256 graphics mode. If you would add this capability into DOSbox I would be eternally grateful. I really miss Fractools3.
DOSGamers
DOSGamers · @DOSGamers · 20-02-2014 · 21:15 CET · [#]
Reply
We're not the developers of DOSBox, only messengers :-). Did you try to change the resolution of the DOSBox window as described here? You can also open the DOSBox config file (see instructions on this page) and change the values of the machine=svga_s3 setting. The svga_s3 is the highest setting, but perhaps you have better luck with vesa_oldvbe, vesa_nolfb or svga_et4000 as described here.
Ankus · 07-03-2014 · 06:25 CET · [#]
Reply
Best
Kristopher · 02-04-2014 · 01:46 CET · [#]
Reply
Hey, thanks a lot guys
DOSGamers
DOSGamers · @DOSGamers · 23-04-2014 · 15:12 CET · [#]
Reply
Glad to be of help!
Scott Hier · 03-05-2014 · 00:04 CET · [#]
Reply
I can't seem to get my games to run on DosBox. I have it installed, I have installed the game zip files. I guess I am just not understanding how do I get it from the zip format to my games folder. I am using WinRAR to unzip but can't seem to move it. Unsure what I am doing wrong.
DOSGamers
DOSGamers · @DOSGamers · 03-05-2014 · 13:33 CET · [#]
Reply
That's too bad Scott. I will review this page in the near future and perhaps add some stuff on extracting and copying files.. btw, you don't need WinRAR for zips. Windows is perfectly able to open these files... In the meantime, you may have better luck with one of the DOSBox GUIs, like DOSShell or D-Fend as mentioned here.

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