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Run 16-bit apps on 64-bit Windows


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Note: Project cancelled.

After experimenting for a week and a half, I finally came up with a solution on running 16-bit Windows apps on 64-bit (AMD64) Windows Platform. Long mode addressing in x86-64 architecture cannot handle 16-bit addressing using virtual 8086 safely so Microsoft dropped native 16-bit architecture support in 64-bit Windows and we must fully emulate the 8086 processor under emulators to run legacy 16-bit apps (DOS and Windows apps). We know that 32-bit Windows have a feature called NTVDM (NT Virtual DOS Machine) which is capable of emulating 8086 processor natively and it is why you can run all those 16-bit apps under Win32, but what if we make this feature available in 64-bit Windows? Yes, some of you might know NTVDM64, but that does not work very well (if it work at all) and it cannot run 16-bit Windows apps, so I came up with the idea of creating another 64-bit NTVDM which will be integrated into windows and is capable of running 16-bit Windows and DOS apps.

When it comes to 16-bit Windows apps, some experienced users might say WineVDM, yes it works but not perfectly. My project is based on WineVDM but with additional fixes. 

Basically, this project will be a combination of NTVDM and a Win16 subsystem.

A few pictures to start you off:


Windows 1.01 Apps running on Windows 10 1809 64-bit! 


Good old MS-DOS Editor! Finally running again!


So what if we install a 16-bit software? I dug up Resource Workshop 4.5 and tried it.. the installer didn't work and after doing some extra work, I managed to get it installed... on Windows 10 64 Bit...


It works perfectly, now I don't need to run my VM, copy all the files I want to work with to the VM and start Resource Workshop, I just need to run it and I can get on with the work far easier and more efficient!



So, I can't release this to you right now because I am still working on it (very unstable) and I am still working in the integration with Windows;).



Edited by SnowBall
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  • 1 month later...

Not sure yet. After testing the NTVDMx64 by Leecher1337, it does not work if Secure Boot is enabled. I tried to merge WineVDM and NTVDMx64 together to make it possible for both 16 Bit Windows apps and DOS apps to run under Windows 10 64 Bit but it did not go smoothly. I started a new one based on WineVDM and it can not handle DOS apps correctly...

I am still working on it and if you want to test it now, simply download WineVDM. My version is not much better than the latest version of WineVDM (my one is a little better at running Windows 1.x apps but unstable).




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