This is super cool, building on Takeda Toshiya’s excellent MS-DOS Player, is a fusion of the MS-DOS emulation with portions of Wine to run Win16 applications on Win32 capable OS’s.

Excel 3.0a

Yes, it really can run Excel 3.0a.  I don’t know how much people will want a 27 year old spreadsheet, but here we go!  It’s incredibly buggy, and many Microsoft programs don’t like their accelerators, or menus, more things don’t run than do, but when they do it’s great.

The releases on the github page are quite old, and you’ll really want to bulid this from source.    You will need Visual Studio 2017 to build this, and I used the Community Edition.  While trying to compiling I got this error:

Really it’s no help at all

Performing Custom Build Tools
The system cannot find the path specified.

Well that doesn’t help us at all!

Setting the Tools -> Options -> Build and Run, MSBuild sections to both detailed verbosity revealed:

“C:\Users\neozeed\source\repos\winevdm-master\Release\convspec” “krnl386.exe16.spec” KERNEL > “krnl386.exe16.asm” && “C:\msys32\mingw64\bin\as” –32 -o “krnl386.exe16.obj” “krnl386.exe16.asm”
Performing Custom Build Tools
The system cannot find the path specified.

So it turns out it is using GNU GAS to assemble itself.  So I just copied in an ‘as.exe’ from another MinGW install I have lying around.

c:\msys32\mingw64\bin\as.exe –version
GNU assembler 2.17.50 20060824

So it doesn’t even have to be a hyper modern version, as you can see with the –32 we are building 32bit based stuff anyways.

And with that all done we have a release build.

F2c Dungeon

I had no luck with Sim City, but Sim Life & Sim Earth load at least, but not being able to use the menus means you can’t really use them.  Microsoft Word 1.1 won’t load at all, while Word 2.0 will load but again no menus, and it’s unable to register enough OLE to open documents so it’s not very useful again.  Although my ancient QuickC for Windows F2c port of Dungeon, works okay, although QuickC for Windows itself does not currently run.

WinHelp 3.00

Another great thing is that you can run WinHelp for all your ancient documenation fixes!  Also MS Write from the ancient days of Windows 3.0/3.1 works as well


You can download my binary build here: WineVDM_2018_07_30.7z.  It’s almost a given that you will need the Visual C++ 2017 runtime.

The latest version allows the menus to work properly so you can actually use Word for Windows 2.0 and SimEarth & SimLife now!  Further updates let you actually select and open files in Word for Windows 2.0!

12 thoughts on “WineVDM

    • Yep, I just updated the build and I can open files directly in Write now. And things crash with a bit more detail, except for Sim City for Windows.

      It’s still pretty amazing stuff!

      • This new build appears to turn off Aero/themed windows for Win16 applications. Perhaps that was causing problems?

    • The latest update let’s me open files within Word for Windows 2.0 now! I’m so close to just dumping ‘modern’ office.

      • It can even run Program Manager… and launch programs. Problem is it launches them in a shared VDM ala Windows 9x, so things crash pretty quickly.

  1. No issues with Windows 3.11’s Solitaire…

    nder if it’ll handle Chip’s Challenge or some of the other WEP stuff. xD

    • I just tried the 3.0 stuff and I have to maximize solitaire to play it.

      I’ve always been of the opinion that Word 2 and Excel 3 were basically all anyone needed, at least I can put Excel 3 to the test this week!

    • Chip’s Challenge runs fine, music and all. I did some stress testing with SimTower and it works well too. The VDM is kinda pokey on a Core2Duo though.

      • Yeah the MAME 80386 engine is many things, speedy though it really isn’t. I found that re-generating a world in SimEarth slows to a crawl, I wonder if it’s 80387 emulation..

        • 386 eh? Wonder if this can (needlessly) run Win32s stuff….. or those Win386 Watcom runtime binaries. Otherwise there isn’t much use for 386 emulation vs. 286 for Win16 stuff.

          • It just up and crashes right away.. I suspect that wine isn’t quite ‘under the covers’ work alike enough for Windows 3.0

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