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How to run GWBasic on a 64bit Windows PC

Using emulation software to run GWBasic

Is it possible to use GWBasic on a 64bit Windows PC? It is, but you have to use an emulator, as our Helproom Expert explains.

QUESTION Thanks for the recent workshops you ran on SmallBasic programming (see How to program software and How to program software: part II). I am more at home with GWBasic. Is it possible to run this on a Windows 7 64bit system? Paul Woffindin

HELPROOM ANSWER GWBasic was written using 16bit code. It can't be used on a 64bit version of Windows without using emulation software.

If you're running the Professional Edition of Windows 7, download and install Windows XP Mode. This will let you run GWBasic in a virtual Windows XP environment. (You won't need to buy a Windows XP licence to use this software.)

If you're using the Home Premium version of Microsoft's OS, download and install Virtual PC. Note that you'll have to provide your own 32bit operating system to install on the virtual machine, however.

Oracle Virtualbox is another good alternative. You can set up a virtual PC with Virtualbox, then install a 32bit operating system and run GWBasic on that.

A quicker solution would be to download a DOS emulator such as DOSBox. Using this, you won't have to install a second copy of Windows.

Install and run the application, and you'll be presented with a DOS prompt. You can now map a virtual drive within DOSbox to
a real folder on your hard drive using the mount command.

Let's say your GWBasic files are stored in a folder called C:\GWBasic on your Windows PC. Open DOSBox and type mount C: C:\GWBasic. Press Enter.

Your DOSBox now has a virtual C drive, which is in fact your GWBasic folder from Windows. In DOSBox, type C: and press
Enter to access the C drive. Next, type GWBasic to run GWBasic.

Any other DOS programs you place in your Windows C:\GWBasic folder can be accessed within DOSBox in this way.

Update: Difference between 32bit and 64bit Windows

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice.

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