How To: Install and Use DOSBox in Windows 7

There are a lot of how to’s out there about doing this but I thought I’d try to do a quick summary of the process for my readers to try out some of the games that I post.

1. Download and install DOSBox

2. Download a DOS game. I recommend

For this example I will be using F-117A Stealth Fighter 2.0 by Microprose (1991). I will be posting my first Guest Review on this game soon!

3. Create a folder on your C: drive to store your DOS games in.

For my example I will be using my folder of C:\games

4. Extract the zipped DOS game that you downloaded in your DOS games folder and make sure that the extracted game is in a folder name that is 8 characters long or less.

For my example, I extracted my F-117A game to a folder called F117

5. Now launch DOSBox from the Windows Desktop shortcut or your Start Menu

6. Any time you open DOSBox you will need to mount your DOS games folder into the DOSBox program.

For my example, I do this by typing mount C C:\games

7. Change your active drive to the mounted C: drive by typing C:

You are now viewing your DOS games folder within DOSBox

8. Change to the game folder that you extracted to.

For my example I do this by typing cd\F117

9. Launch the game

For my example I do this by typing F117.COM

Once you launch your game there are some keyboard shortcuts that you will need to become familiar with to use DOSBox:

Note: These are the default keybindings. They can be changed using the keymapper.

ALT-ENTER Switch to full-screen (and back).

ALT-PAUSE Pause emulation.

CTRL-F1 Show the keymapper configuration screen,

CTRL-F4 Update cached information about mounted drives. Useful if you changed something on a mounted drive outside of DOSBox. Also cycles through disk images mounted using IMGMOUNT.

CTRL-F5 Save a screenshot (goes to capture folder).

CTRL-ALT-F5 Start/Stop recording of AVI video. NOTE: You may well have some problems with this, please see Recording Video for more information.

CTRL-F6 Start/Stop recording sound output to a wave file (goes to capture folder).

CTRL-ALT-F7 Start/Stop recording of OPL commands.

CTRL-ALT-F8 Start/Stop the recording of raw MIDI commands.

CTRL-F7 Decreases frameskip.

CTRL-F8 Increases frameskip.

CTRL-F9 Kill (close) DOSBox.

CTRL-F10 Capture/Release the mouse (if you need to use the mouse within DOSBox).

CTRL-F11 Decrease DOSBox cycles (slows down the emulation).

CTRL-F12 Increase DOSBox cycles (speeds up the emulation).

ALT-F12 Unlock speed (turbo button).

These default bindings are also documented in the README file accompanying the software.

Computer Chronicles - Microsoft Windows 3.0 (1990)

This is a clip from the Computer Chronicles television series. Demonstrated is the dawn of the Windows Program Manager, Task Manager and some other programs.

My neighbors and some friends had some PC’s running Windows 3.0. Windows 3.1 came on my first PC. Paint was all that I cared about whenever I was able to use their computers but at least it got me interested in learning how to do more.