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Tips: How to optimize Windows 7 to run 16-Bit and MS-DOS-Based Programs

Though Windows 7 is the latest so far, it is still capable of running older programs using a virtual machine that mimics 386-enhanced mode used by Windows 3.0 and Windows 3.1. The most successful and existing 16-bit and MS-DOS-based programs were originally written for Windows 3.0 or Windows 3.1. On Windows 7 each 16-bit and MS-DOS-based application runs as a thread within a single virtual machine. However, this feature was not available on other recent releases of Windows. If you run the multiple 16-bit and MS-DOS-based applications, they will all share a common memory space. The main problem is that if any of the applications freezes, other applications will freeze too.


However, you can still prevent one 16-bit or MS-DOS-based application from causing others to hang or crash by running it in a separate memory space. Follow the following steps to do this:

  • First, it is required to right click on the program’s shortcut icon and then click Properties. (If the program doesn’t have a shortcut, create one, and then open the shortcut’s Properties dialog box.)

  • Then, on the shortcut tab, select the Advanced button to view the Advanced Properties dialog box.

  • After that, it is required to select the Run In Separate Memory Space check box.

  • Now, click OK twice to close all open dialog boxes and then save the changes.

Important Note: If you run a program in a separate memory will use additional memory. At the same time, you can still find the program more responsive and you can run multiple instances of the program.

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