How-to-play classic games on modern computers with VirtualBox


How-to-play classic games on modern computers, downloaded from the web and on PinkysWorld Weblog. With VirtualBox, you are able to play 16-Bit/DOS applications on modern computers.

I give you a short tutorial, so you can enjoy a lot of classic games on different systems with the help of
In this article, I focus on Free DOS.

Get VirtualBox

VirtualBox is a virtualization platform for Linux, macOS, and Windows. It is free and allows you to run different operating systems on almost every machine. For example, you can Linux on Windows or macOS, DOS on MacOS, etc.

Download VirtualBox on your system and simply install it. As the next step download the FreeDOS VirtualBox image from PinkysWorld Weblog.

Import the VirtualBox Image and configure

VirtualBox Main menu

After the start of VirtualBox, select “Add” and chose the preconfigured file from PinkysWorld Weblog from your hard disk.

Now the image appears on the left side. Its pre-configured, but if required you can adjust the settings. You can mount a CD-ROM or Floppy to the guest.

VirtualBox, configure shared folder

The problem is VirtualBox is not offering VirtualMachine Guest additions for DOS. So we have to find another way to exchange files. In this case, mount an image (ISO file) to the virtual CD-ROM drive of the machine.

Free DOS, VirtualBox mass storage window

Not in every case, you might have an ISO file of the game. VirtualBox offers you to create an ISO file from a folder. For example, Mad TV is delivered as a ZIP file.
Click on the little CD button on the right and choose “Virtual optical Medium select/create…”

Virtual optical Medium select/create...

Select the first entry to create an ISO.

Copy folder to Image, VirtualBox

In the next window click the first button in the middle of the window to copy a whole folder.

Confirm with “OK” until you are back in the main window.

Startup Free DOS virtual machine

FreeDOS Startup, after boot
FreeDOS Startup, after boot

After the first start, your image is automatically mounted as a virtual CD-ROM drive. I give you some base DOS commands if you are not aware of these.
To switch the hard disk/drive simply enter D: on the command prompt and press <ENTER>.

After that, you can show the contents of the selected drive with “dir” followed by the enter key. Now, switch the directory with “cd madtv”. “CD” means change directory.

Again list the contents with the “dir” command. Executables can be run from the command prompt. Todo this, enter the filename and press enter. For running Mad TV in this example enter “mtv.exe”.

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