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BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT WINDOWS XP VIRTUAL MACHINE WITHIN WINDOWS 7

    Question

  • I still use three MS DOS programs:-

    Money Manager V.4 (not one of the later Windows versions); Supercalc 5; Locoscript Professional 2, v.2.51. They are excellent and fast, and I hope to stay with them.

    My present PC dates from 2002 and is rather slow on the internet. It runs Win XP Pro (32-bit), SP3. The DOS programs run fine from desktop shortcuts. They all print fine,  too - the PC has a parallel (LPT) printer port (these programs do not recognise a USB printer port).

    I believe XP was the last version of Windows to include a fairly complete DOS emulator (Command Prompt in the Start panel). We bought the present PC second hand in 2009 to allow us to use broadband. Its predecessor ran Win 98 and had been found dreadfully slow for internet access.  Before we bought the present one we tried a new computer, specially built for us, with a parallel printer port and a Drive A. The builder persuaded us to have Vista (then quite new) rather than XP. The DOS programs would not run in the Vista emulator. With DOSBOX added they ran reasonably well, but the word processor would not print - whatever the builder tried! Then the computer developed a serious fault. By now we had lost confidence, so we returned it for a refund. Possibly a pity, as, once the fault had been fixed, it woud have been a much superior machine to our present one.

    I am now considering moving to a new PC of a spec able to run virtual Win XP within Win 7. I need to know:-

    1. Will my three DOS programs run as well within the DOS found (presumably!?) within the "virtual" XP as they do within the DOS accessed from my current "real" XP?

    2. Provided the PC has a parallel printer port, will they all print OK? Or am I likely to have problems similar to those experienced with the DOS emulator in Vista in 2009?

    3. Could a Drive A be added to a computer of the spec needed for Win 7, and would it work? I need this drive to install Money Manager and Supercalc There are no more recent disc media for installation available here and Supercalc 5 and Money Manager 4 are no longer supported. Locoscript - the oldest of the three programs, ironically - has a fairly recently introduced USB installation "disc" for versions of Windows up to XP.

    I am not a computer expert, so please would anyone kind enough to want to help me go fairly easy on very technical terms?

    Many thanks in advance!

    Friday, December 16, 2011 2:37 PM

Answers

  • 1. Is this correct:- If I buy a suitably powerful computer with Win 7 and have my own XP system disk I can useVMWare Player to run the XP.

    If the computer will run Windows 7 it will run VMWare Player and an XP virtual machine just fine. 

    2. Will the XP run as if the hard disk was partitioned, so I would start the computer up in the mode of either version of Windows, as required (I assume this is what happens with a partitioned hard drive)? Or would it run from within Win 7?

    No.  WVPC and VMWare Player are Windows programs and Windows must be running to start a virtual machine.  A virtual machine looks like a data file to the host.   You do not partition any drives in order to install the guest OS.  You create a virtual machine using WVPC or VMWare Player and then install the guest OS in the vm.   WVPC and VMWare Player create the needed vm files and these bear no resemblance to a partition.

    3. How is running XP via VMWare Player different from a partitioned hard drive?

    Answered above.  You do not dual boot to run a virtual machine.  You boot the host and then run the virtual machine as a window on the host's desktop.  You need to use the VMWare links and read how it works and what it can do for you.  This is not a VMWare forum.

    4. Let's suppose I get a computer built which is well up to all the work required, with a motherboard including a parallel port (do any mobos now exist allowing this?) and with a Drive A either installed or able to be plugged in to a USB port. This so far imaginary computer will basically run Win 7 and will also run, via VMWare Player, XP.

    If the computer does not have a parallel port you can always buy a card.  As for the floppy, VMWare Player will automatically detect an internal floppy drive.  If the computer doesn't come with an internal floppy, purchase an external floppy drive (USB).  They are inexpensive.   You will be fine.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Sunday, December 18, 2011 7:53 PM
  • Purchase a full license copy of XP Home or Pro (boxed copy like in the store).  Do not purchase an OEM or upgrade copy.  You don't need the 64bit version. 

    You cannot transfer the OEM copy of XP that shipped with your computer anyway since the an OEM license is only good on the original computer.  An upgrade copy would require another copy of Windows to uprgrade from. 

    Full license retail copies are hard to find on ebay, but here is what you are looking for.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Windows-XP-Professional-SP1-RETAIL-FULL-EDITION-XP-Pro-/300636888431?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45ff5add6f

    Copy the link and paste it into your browser if it does not launch from here.  Most of the copies on ebay are OEM and upgrade copies.  Be careful.  If it doesn't say full retail edition it isn't.  Avoid buying just a disc.  You need the product key.

    Home edition is OK for your needs but Pro is fine if the price goes that way.  You do not need SP3 included since it is a free download from Microsoft anyway.

    Changing the subject, "host" refers to the computer itself.  The Windows 7 computer is the host.  The guest is a virtual machine running on a host.  It has nothing to do with host files.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Monday, December 19, 2011 6:02 PM

All replies

  • Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode do not support floppy drives without scripting.  USB ports are supported but parallel ports are not. 

    Since WVPC does not meet your requirements, if you have your own available copy of XP I suggest you use a third party virtualization solution and not Microsoft's.  VMWare Player

    http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_player/4_0?FORM=MSNTSH&PC=MSNTDF&MKT=en-us

    is free and supports parallel ports, USB, and floppy drives.   I don't think anything from Microsoft will do everything you mention.  Obviously VMWare is not Microsoft so you will need to use the VMWare forums for further questions about it.

    http://www.vmwareforum.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Friday, December 16, 2011 3:56 PM
    Friday, December 16, 2011 3:55 PM
  • I would say yes to all your ?, but I dont actually know, some I do.

    If using Wvpc with intergration, it allows for pipes, coms, all usb, all sata.

    The "A" will be virtual in the guest, but will be available from the host.

    ( If the PC you have does not support the interface, then you would be out of luck).

    Intergration only supports XP sp3 and newer, so if your program runs in XP sp3, your program should run in XP mode.


    • Edited by larsel Friday, December 16, 2011 9:23 PM
    Friday, December 16, 2011 9:22 PM
  • Larsel,

    He is dead in the water on questions 2 and 3.  No parallel port support and no out-of-the-box support for floppy drives.  He needs to use something like VMWare Player which does support all his requirements.  He doesn't need to use pipes and coms or anything else.  There is no need for him to jump through hoops when he can just use VMWare Player out-of-the-box.  It's free too.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Friday, December 16, 2011 10:06 PM
  • I am not understanding?

    I have floppy support, and I didnt have to do anything.

    One of my programs is floppy dependent, and it works well.

    I know that the new PC dont have floppy's, but none of the PC's I have came with floppys, ( was supprized to my self joy, that the motherboards I have, had the interface). They work fine in 7 and XP mode.

    Note, XP mode, and Microsoft still support 3.5 floppy.

    Now parallel, I cant say, I have nothing anymore that I use, so i dont know, but floppy is still supported.

     

    Friday, December 16, 2011 10:58 PM
  • Note, XP mode, and Microsoft still support 3.5 floppy.

    No they don't.  Internal floppies are no longer natively supported by Windows Virtual PC or XP Mode.  They have not been supported since VPC 2007.  Check your XP Mode Settings.  There is no floppy drive listing anymore.   Scripting is required in order to access an internal floppy.  A USB connected floppy could work since USB is now supported. 

    Parallel ports are not supported by WVPC.  SCSI drives are also not supported by WVPC.  That support was removed from Virtual Server when VS was rewritten to become WVPC.  (WVPC is NOT descended from VPC 2007.  It is descended from VS.)

     


     

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.


    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Friday, December 16, 2011 11:58 PM
    Friday, December 16, 2011 11:18 PM
  • Internal are supported, if your PC has floppy support on the MB.

    If your motherboad has the interface, Your bios has the connect point, ( enable floppy), XP mode will show it from the host. 

    Friday, December 16, 2011 11:53 PM
  • To use a Floppy in XPMode, you need to either have a USB floppy attached or use the scripts posted here:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2009/10/01/using-floppy-disks-with-windows-virtual-pc.aspx

    Internal floppy drives don't just work.  While XP Mode may "show it" you won't be able to access the floppy disk or VFD without running the scripts.

    Saturday, December 17, 2011 12:17 AM
  • The floopy works, look to the host to comfirm.
    Saturday, December 17, 2011 12:35 AM
  • Back to the man who posed the original questions!

    I vauely understand "host". The implication seems to be that there must be the right host file/s to allow the virtual XP to connect with a Drive A.

    I don't at all understand "scripting".

    What is "third party virtualisation"? How is it different from a (large) hard disk partitioned so one can run either Windows 7 or XP? I can't find my Win XP Pro original system disk, but new copies of this OS still seem to be for sale, so I would buy one if I can't use the Microsoft arrangement.

    I wonder if the disagreements set out above on whether or not XP Virtual PC supports Drive A/25-pin parallel printer port are down to whether the connections for these devices are or are not present on the computer's motherboard? I believe you can plug a freestanding Floppy Drive into a USB port. But if the mobo has no parallel printer port  is it possible to emulate one in a way which would "fool" my DOS programs into recognising it? (If so, goodness knows what the print-outs would look like!)

     

     

    Sunday, December 18, 2011 10:25 AM
  • I wonder if the disagreements set out above on whether or not XP Virtual PC supports Drive A/25-pin parallel printer port are down to whether the connections for these devices are or are not present on the computer's motherboard?

    No.  It really doesn't matter what the motherboard in the physical computer (host) supports.  Windows Virtual PC is the program that manages virtual machines (guests) like XP Mode.  What matters is the emulated hardware presented to the vm by WVPC that matters.  There is no emulated parallel port nor does WVPC pass through the one on your motherboard. 

    WVPC virtualizes the physical cpu and memory but emulates other devices.  See

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2005/01/26/361361.aspx

    For the difference between virtualization and emulation, see

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2004/10/18/243821.aspx

    Both of these blogs are old now but the principles apply.

    So it does not matter what video card you have, etc.  The vm cannot see the video card because WVPC does not present the bus it is on to the vm.  Instead all vm's managed by WVPC see an emulated S3Trio card and use its driver.  The same for other devices.  While that is limiting it also makes virtual machines highly portable between host computers.  As long as the operating system installed in the vm has drivers for the original devices emulated by WVPC the OS will run inside the vm without regard to what the host has.

    Just use VMWare Player if you have your own XP and you don't have to worry about any of the points you express concern about.  I see no need for you to struggle with these issues in order to use Windows Virtual PC when VMPlayer is already designed to deal with them.  It is free, just use it.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Sunday, December 18, 2011 2:24 PM
  • Hi Colin and Larsel

    Very interesting and sensible. Many thanks. I agree 100% about not trying to grapple with difficult issues when I don't need to!.

    Would you be  kind enough to clarify the following:-

    1. Is this correct:- If I buy a suitably powerful computer with Win 7 and have my own XP system disk I can useVMWare Player to run the XP.

    2. Will the XP run as if the hard disk was partitioned, so I would start the computer up in the mode of either version of Windows, as required (I assume this is what happens with a partitioned hard drive)? Or would it run from within Win 7?

    3. How is running XP via VMWare Player different from a partitioned hard drive?

    4. Let's suppose I get a computer built which is well up to all the work required, with a motherboard including a parallel port (do any  mobos now exist allowing this?) and with a Drive A either installed or able to be plugged in to a USB port. This so far  imaginary computer will basically run Win 7 and will also run, via VMWare Player, XP.

    Will the XP be able to see the parallel port and the drive A?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As I mentioned originally, two of my DOS programs are only on floppies. However, I think I am right in saying that these files can be copied to a USB stick (using my present computer, say) which will then install the programs within the DOS accessed from XP exactly as if the computer was reading floppies. This must be the case, because all three DOS programs also run on our 2009 Toshiba laptop, and this has no drive A. The DOS programs are useful on this laptop (mainly the Money Manager program) only when we are away from home because, of course, they cannot print (no LPT port). These comments may mean that, while a parallel printer port remains essential, I may be able to manage without a floppies drive.

    It was the tech guy who built the Vista PC who did the installation on the laptop. This was in May 2009 (not 2008). He managed the Locoscript installation on his own. He also installed the three DOS programs on the soon-to-be-rejected Vista machine.

    Several months later it became clear that our old machine - which we had brought back into use (it is configured for Win 98, as it has two USB ports, but was running 95 when I bought it s/h but more or less unused in 1999), by now upgraded in hard drive and volatile memory and running Win 98 - was hopelessly slow for internet access. So I bought the present Packard-Bell Imedia 5070 desktop s/h in December 2009. This machine, which dates from 2002, is configured for XP, but originally ran XP Home. As bought, it was running XP Pro upgraded first to SP2 and then to SP3. I was able to install the Money Manager and Supercalc 5 myself onto it wthout problems, using the original floppies. I tried to do this with Locoscript (also only on floppies!), but it would not install. I was baffled. The guy who built the Vista computer had installed it using these same floppies! The company now owning Locoscript advised that it was impossible to install it within XP in this way. Hm! They sold me a USB stick with an updated installation program on it, which works fine. All very curious! I wonder how the dickens did that tech guy do it in May 2009, without this stick?! I remember it took him a long time, and then there was the toing and froing with DOSBOX and the unsuccessful attempts to get Locoscript to print.

    Best wishes, and thank again for the help. Answers to what I hope are my last questions (above) would be much appreciated.

    Carl

     

    Sunday, December 18, 2011 5:01 PM
  • 1. Is this correct:- If I buy a suitably powerful computer with Win 7 and have my own XP system disk I can useVMWare Player to run the XP.

    If the computer will run Windows 7 it will run VMWare Player and an XP virtual machine just fine. 

    2. Will the XP run as if the hard disk was partitioned, so I would start the computer up in the mode of either version of Windows, as required (I assume this is what happens with a partitioned hard drive)? Or would it run from within Win 7?

    No.  WVPC and VMWare Player are Windows programs and Windows must be running to start a virtual machine.  A virtual machine looks like a data file to the host.   You do not partition any drives in order to install the guest OS.  You create a virtual machine using WVPC or VMWare Player and then install the guest OS in the vm.   WVPC and VMWare Player create the needed vm files and these bear no resemblance to a partition.

    3. How is running XP via VMWare Player different from a partitioned hard drive?

    Answered above.  You do not dual boot to run a virtual machine.  You boot the host and then run the virtual machine as a window on the host's desktop.  You need to use the VMWare links and read how it works and what it can do for you.  This is not a VMWare forum.

    4. Let's suppose I get a computer built which is well up to all the work required, with a motherboard including a parallel port (do any mobos now exist allowing this?) and with a Drive A either installed or able to be plugged in to a USB port. This so far imaginary computer will basically run Win 7 and will also run, via VMWare Player, XP.

    If the computer does not have a parallel port you can always buy a card.  As for the floppy, VMWare Player will automatically detect an internal floppy drive.  If the computer doesn't come with an internal floppy, purchase an external floppy drive (USB).  They are inexpensive.   You will be fine.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Sunday, December 18, 2011 7:53 PM
  • Dear Colin (and anyone else who might be interested!),

    My last question I hope!

    Unfortunately I don't have the system disk for the Win XP Pro 32-bit SP3 installed on my present PC. That's what I  meant (poitely!) by "can't find it" in my note on 18/12/11, 1025 hours.

    I did not realise at the time of buying this machine s/h in 2009 that I should have got this disk with the PC, and not purchased without it - or at least been given a COA.

    I've looked at CDs of this OS for sale. There seems to be a bewildering variety. No point in buying it in 64-bit format as a back-up for the OS currently installed on this computer. This PC is not for 64-bit. It might be if the RAM was expanded, but I would need new drivers for the 64-bit XP, and goodness knows what other repercussions there might be!

    Thinking instead of a suitable edition of XP to run via VMWare Player on a Win 7 machine, what edition/version would you advise me to get/try to get? Being realistic, I would use the XP only as a means to use its DOS. (I don't have Windows apps for XP which won't run in Win 7.) I would use Win 7 for everything else.

    Should I join a VMWare Player forum for you to be free to advise me on this? I imagine you belong to such a forum. If so, would you mind telling me which one?

    Cheers,

    Carl

     

    Monday, December 19, 2011 5:33 PM
  • Purchase a full license copy of XP Home or Pro (boxed copy like in the store).  Do not purchase an OEM or upgrade copy.  You don't need the 64bit version. 

    You cannot transfer the OEM copy of XP that shipped with your computer anyway since the an OEM license is only good on the original computer.  An upgrade copy would require another copy of Windows to uprgrade from. 

    Full license retail copies are hard to find on ebay, but here is what you are looking for.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Windows-XP-Professional-SP1-RETAIL-FULL-EDITION-XP-Pro-/300636888431?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45ff5add6f

    Copy the link and paste it into your browser if it does not launch from here.  Most of the copies on ebay are OEM and upgrade copies.  Be careful.  If it doesn't say full retail edition it isn't.  Avoid buying just a disc.  You need the product key.

    Home edition is OK for your needs but Pro is fine if the price goes that way.  You do not need SP3 included since it is a free download from Microsoft anyway.

    Changing the subject, "host" refers to the computer itself.  The Windows 7 computer is the host.  The guest is a virtual machine running on a host.  It has nothing to do with host files.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Monday, December 19, 2011 6:02 PM
  • If you use Windows 7 Professional or above and install the VPC & XP Mode you can then install VMware Player and it will migrate that XP Mode to VMware player and it is fully usable.  You actually end up with two instances of XP Mode and the one in VMware player has a few more feature than Microsoft's VPC XP Mode.
    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Monday, December 19, 2011 6:18 PM
  • Hi Colin

    Many thanks again - now I know why to avoid copies stated to be OEM, upgrade, refurbished etc, and why the COA is vital for installation.

    Bidding on the copy for sale on the link you give above has now finished, and I don't see another PROMISING copy still for sale on the US ebay site.

    I have seen the floowing on the UK ebay site, and wonder what you think:-

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MS-Windows-XP-Professional-incl-SP3-English-Pro-/160663726017?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item25684de7c1

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Microsoft-Windows-XP-Professional-SP3-Original-key-xp-pro-/110795437988?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item19cbec37a4

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Microsoft-Windows-XP-Professional-SP3-MAR-Edition-/180777306683?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item2a172aca3b

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Microsoft-Windows-XP-Professional-SP3-Original-key-xp-pro-/110795437988?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item19cbec37a4

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Windows-XP-Professional-SP2-Full-Install-COA-NEW-/260915311277?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item3cbfc3b2ad

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Microsoft-Windows-XP-Professional-Service-Pack-2-SP2-Boxed-Retail-WOW-OS-/170747336674?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item27c15597e2

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Windows-Xp-Professional-Sp3-/120830230986?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item1c220b01ca

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Microsoft-Windows-XP-Professional-SP2-1-Licence-/130618635805?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item1e697a361d

    Guess you probably saw all these and for various reason rejected them, but at least two of them look to my innocent eyes as if they might be suitable and pukkha!

    Best wishes,

    Carl

     

     

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011 9:37 AM
  • I only checked the North American eBay.  I haven't bought from eBay UK.  I don't think UK software is geo-locked so I guess they will be fine.  Windows sold in some developing nations are geo-locked to prevent activation outside their regions.  Retail prices are low in those regions so Microsoft geo-locks to protect the markets in developed countries from price-dumping.  I don't think that a UK copy would present much of a problem though the language and keyboard would be set for UK.

    Before you buy a copy reread Rick Dee's reply just above.  I hadn't thought about using XP Mode in VMWare.

    "If you use Windows 7 Professional or above and install the VPC & XP Mode you can then install VMware Player and it will migrate that XP Mode to VMware player and it is fully usable."

    "Import Windows XP Mode VM" is right on the File menu on VMWare Player and it is very automated.

    You can simply buy your computer with Windows 7 Home Premium and use Anytime Upgrade to upgrade it to Professional (about $90).  Then you can just download and install XP Mode and then use the conversion function in VMWare Player to change the WVPC virtual machine you downloaded to a VMWare Player virtual machine.  You can do all this without leaving your house or checking the mailbox.  XP Mode is a fully functional XP Pro SP3.  No need to buy Windows seperately after all.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.


    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Tuesday, December 20, 2011 4:12 PM
    Tuesday, December 20, 2011 1:55 PM
  • Colin's comment (below) prompts me to thank you for this. I've found what seems an excellent article in HowtoGeek on how to perform this installation. You point out that virtualizing Win XP via VMWare Player provides a version of XP with "a few more features" than the standard virtualization.

    What I need above all to achieve with such an arrangement is nothing to do with XP as such. It is to access what I hope would be a DOS emulator as good as the one in my "real" current version of XP Pro. That DOS runs my three hiighly valued DOS programs impeccably, but the computer has to have a floppy disk drive to install two of these programs (copying the floppy files onto a USB stick also allows installation, but the results, for some reason, are not as good as installing straight from the floppies). It also has to have a 25-pin printer port (LPT port) as these programs can't "see" a USB printer port. I have a recent monochrome laser printer (H-P P2035). This has both LPT and USB connections and is set up with LPT. It prints excellently from Windows files etc. Curiously, although H-P said it was suitable for DOS files, it prints impeccably only from one of the three DOS programs: Locoscript - ironically the oldest. Also ironically, this is the only one of the programs still to be supported. A USB installation stick is available for XP - fortunately, since I could not get it to install through XP from its floppies. The other two programs installed fine from these, but their print results are awful on the H-P. I therefore have a 3-port 25-pin printer switch and use an older but excellent (though slow and noisy) Epson LQ100 DM printer for these other two programs.

    I imagine that I could get a new computer, suitable to run virtual XP and VMWare Player through Win 7, specially built (if there is a suitable mobo) to include a floppy disk drive and LPR printer port. This might be preferable to "plugging in" these as separates using USB/PCI ports. Colin advised me that the normal virtualised XP in Win 7 would not see these ports, so two of the DOS programs could not be installed and none would print.

    Would the enhanced version of virtualised XP which appears through VMWare Player improve on this, or would I have to acquire a new non-OEM XP system disk with a COA ((I don't have these), and install that via VMWare Player?

    Does Win 7 see a 25-pin (parallel) printer port? If it does, that would allow me to use the present printer switch/the H-P set up to use this type of port. Otherwise I would have to have a third printer connected to one of the computer's USB ports when I wanted to print from Win 7!

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011 9:51 AM
  • Sandgrown'un,

    I believe that your problem can be easily solved with an USB stick.

    You could install DOS and applications to your USB stick and boot your new computer from the stick and keep using your native DOS apps in native DOS environment. No virtualization and no messing with disk partitions and dual boots and so on.

    You could also solve your printer issue by redirecting your printer to a file. Since you need to print from DOS, I suppose that your output files would be readable with simple Notepad program in Windows.

    So, when you'd like to work with your DOS apps, boot from the USB stick and print into a file.

    When you want to print a file, boot into Windows and print your output using Notepad or some other application.

    I would also suggest you ask some technical person to help you set up bootable USB DOS stick.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011 11:09 AM
  • Colin's comment (below) prompts me to thank you for this. I've found what seems an excellent article in HowtoGeek on how to perform this installation. You point out that virtualizing Win XP via VMWare Player provides a version of XP with "a few more features" than the standard virtualization.

    What I need above all to achieve with such an arrangement is nothing to do with XP as such. It is to access what I hope would be a DOS emulator as good as the one in my "real" current version of XP Pro. That DOS runs my three hiighly valued DOS programs impeccably, but the computer has to have a floppy disk drive to install two of these programs (copying the floppy files onto a USB stick also allows installation, but the results, for some reason, are not as good as installing straight from the floppies). It also has to have a 25-pin printer port (LPT port) as these programs can't "see" a USB printer port. I have a recent monochrome laser printer (H-P P2035). This has both LPT and USB connections and is set up with LPT. It prints excellently from Windows files etc. Curiously, although H-P said it was suitable for DOS files, it prints impeccably only from one of the three DOS programs: Locoscript - ironically the oldest. Also ironically, this is the only one of the programs still to be supported. A USB installation stick is available for XP - fortunately, since I could not get it to install through XP from its floppies. The other two programs installed fine from these, but their print results are awful on the H-P. I therefore have a 3-port 25-pin printer switch and use an older but excellent (though slow and noisy) Epson LQ100 DM printer for these other two programs.

    I imagine that I could get a new computer, suitable to run virtual XP and VMWare Player through Win 7, specially built (if there is a suitable mobo) to include a floppy disk drive and LPR printer port. This might be preferable to "plugging in" these as separates using USB/PCI ports. Colin advised me that the normal virtualised XP in Win 7 would not see these ports, so two of the DOS programs could not be installed and none would print.

    Would the enhanced version of virtualised XP which appears through VMWare Player improve on this, or would I have to acquire a new non-OEM XP system disk with a COA ((I don't have these), and install that via VMWare Player?

    Does Win 7 see a 25-pin (parallel) printer port? If it does, that would allow me to use the present printer switch/the H-P set up to use this type of port. Otherwise I would have to have a third printer connected to one of the computer's USB ports when I wanted to print from Win 7!

    XP Mode IS XP Pro SP3.  It is XP already running in a virtual machine.  There is no need to acquire a copy of XP since it is already provided by XP Mode.  It needs to run in VMWare Player to have direct parallel port access since VMWare provids this but WVPC does not provide that even if the Windows 7 computer does.  Any mainstream computer that runs Windows 7 will work.  If you build your own computer use an Intel or AMD cpu.  There is no need for USB sticks or anything else except VMWare.  You are making this out to be more compclicated than you need to.

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Wednesday, December 21, 2011 3:13 PM
    Wednesday, December 21, 2011 3:03 PM
  • No, he doesn't need to use a usb stick.  He doesn't need to print to a file.  He doesn't need to boot into DOS and then boot into Windows 7.  XP Mode and VMWare are free.  Why try to turn him into a geek with work-arounds when he can work seamlessly by following my suggestions?  Do you even understand virtualizations?  He buys a Windows 7 computer, he downloads XP Mode, he downloads VMWare Player and lets VMWare Player convert XP Mode to a VMWare virtual machine and just does his work in XP when he needs to right on his Windows 7 desktop.  Done.
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Wednesday, December 21, 2011 3:19 PM
    Wednesday, December 21, 2011 3:17 PM
  • I'm  sorry if I've made it out to be more complicated than it is. This will be due to ignorance/apprehension about the unknown!

    I had at first understood that I needed an XP system disk to get the full capabilities of XP through VMWare Player.  You then pointed out Rick Dee's comment, which means that I don't. If that is the case, and if Win XP Virtual works as well through VMWare Player in Win 7 as my current "real" XP (including allowing my DOS progtrams to install from floppies and print through a LPT port), then you are obviously right.

    Then, all I need is a new PC of appropriate capability, preferably with the floppy drive and LPT port built in (if this is impossible, then as plug-ins on a ready-made PC) plus the appropriate version of Win 7 (Professional, I think. 64-bit?).

    Win 7 programs won't see the LPT port, so I shall have to have three printers (though only one computer ):-

    PARALLEL

    LQ100 for the two DOS programs which don't print properly on the H-P P2035.

    H-P P2035 for Locoscript

    USB printer for Win 7.

    Or could I connect both LPT and USB leads to the H-P? What I want to print would look for the appopriate port. Don't know if the H-P can be set up for both modes. It's probably one or the other. Pity.

    I note the point about the CPU - thanks again.

    Have I got it at last? Thanks for your patience, and apologies again for being a slow dinosaur! School reports always said "room for improvement"!

    Carl

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011 4:27 PM
  • Why won't Windows 7 programs see a parallel port?  The problem with a printer is always the availablility of a printer driver for Windows 7 that sees the port, not Windows 7 itself.  Really old printers won't have a Windows 7 driver for any port and that's the problem.  You need to check with the printer manufacturer to see if there is a Windows 7 driver.  If not, then print from XP, for which there should be drivers for all the old printers.

    For the rest, I think you have it now.  Stop worrying until after you have a new computer up and running Windows 7.  It should all work.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Wednesday, December 21, 2011 5:01 PM
  • Hi, Colin

    The printer is a H-P P2035 Laserjet, just over 2 years old, bought new by me on 26/11/2009 in the UK (from Misco) - I am UK-based). I have tried to access info on the H-P website, having previously registered this printer, but it keeps telling me it does not recognise the printer number or that this printer (which is still listed for sale by them new in exactly the same form as mine - including boasting both parallel and USB connections!) is not supported. No wonder I worry!

    I also tried ringing H-P for technical support but was referred to the website with an address which did not work! Same comment as above!!

    Possibly there are other ways of accessing the apparently simple information which I need:

    Is there a driver available for this printer for Windows 7?

    There is unlikely to be one in the driver or drivers installed in the present host (this is what the H-P CD tells me about the drivers) as the Windows is XP, and Win 7 had not appeared in November 2009, I think.

    The driver for this printer for the XP OS must be the one referreed to as "installed in the host" (but who installed it if it isn't on the H-P installation and set-up CD?). It most certainly allows me to print from XP programs. As you say, I could leave it like that - reinstall this printer with the same CD on a new Windows 7 computer, but within the virtualised XP, and print only from that so I could retain the parallel connection. But that would be counter-productive and would deter me from using Win 7 if I couldn't print from its files etc.

    What do you advise me to do to find out the apparently dead simple info which you are clearly right in saying I must inform myself on?

    By the way, I was right about the two connections. You have to go through installation to change from parallel to USB/vice-versa, so it's not an option to imagine that I could have both leads in place and switch when required. I'm sure you knew this.

    Best wishes,

    Carl

    Thursday, December 22, 2011 4:42 PM
  • Windows 7 released to manufacturers on July 24, 2009, six months before you bought your printer.  The beta and release candidates of Windows 7 were available to HP at least a year before that.  HP is a major partner and works closely with Microsoft througout the Windows development cycle.  asAs soon as you connect the printer to the new computer the hardware wizard will wake up and look for a driver in your driver store in the OS or on the internet.  If it doesn't find one it will tell you and then you can download one from the HP website.  HP lists Windows 7 x86 and x64 drivers for the P2035 and P2035n here in the US at

    http://tinyurl.com/3m2f6x2

    (I shortened the url, which is quite long)

    There should be a corresponding link for the UK models of the P2035 as well.  HP has retroactively written drivers for Windows all the way back to Windows 2000 for this particular printer. 

     


     

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.


    • Edited by Cbarnhorst Thursday, December 22, 2011 5:11 PM
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 5:00 PM
  • Your printer is listed on the HP U.S. website and lists the 2008 Vista drivers to be used in Windows 7:

    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=18972&prodSeriesId=3662025&prodNameId=3662026&swEnvOID=4062&swLang=8&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=lj-76558-1

    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareIndex.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=3662026&prodTypeId=18972&prodSeriesId=3662025&swLang=8&taskId=135&swEnvOID=4063

    And you are right that you are not presented a driver by Windows 7.  Microsoft does not have drivers listed on their Windows Update Catalog site: http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/home.aspx


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 5:13 PM
  • Thanks very much, Dee. I'll print this off so I have the record, if needed, when I get the Win 7 machine.
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 5:30 PM
  • Sorry, I  meant Rick!
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 5:30 PM
  • Many thanks again, Colin. I'll print all this off so I know (!) what to do when I get the  new computer.

    Cheers, thanks again for all your help and have an excellent Xmas and New Year,

    Carl

    Thursday, December 22, 2011 5:33 PM
  • I also use SC5. It runs perfectly in Windows XP. I use the Windows 98 Command Prompt and is able to configure it so that SC5 can use the maximum amount of Expanded memory (EMS). Now using Windows 7 Pro with XP Mode and VMW virtual machine, it is possible to configure the Command Prompt for EMS memory, but it is not possible to find a full screen for SC5. 

    Any solutions?

    Peter Co

    Thursday, June 28, 2012 4:31 PM