[hemmerling] DOS Extenders for Protected Mode ( 286 / 386 Mode ) on x86 DOS

DOS Extenders

386Power 32-bit DOS Extender


  • BlincINC ( - 2009-05-08 ).
    • BlincINC ( - 2009-01-31 ).
      • “Blinker 7.0 - Save time, memory and disk space with the fastest available 16- and 32-bit Windows linker, combined with a royalty-free DOS extender for C/C++, an integrated super “SPAWN” package, and much more. Over 75,000 users worldwide”.

Borland Power Pack for DOS & TASM



  • DJGPP FAQ "4.4 What Files to Download?" - Comparison of DOS extenders.
    • v2misc/csdpmi4b.zip - CWSDPMI, the DJGPP free DPMI server. DJGPP programs require DPMI services, which provide a way to run 32-bit protected-mode programs under real-mode MS-DOS. (If you can get DPMI services in your environment, like if you run under Windows, QDPMI, or OS/2, you don't need CWSDPMI, but I recommend downloading it nonetheless so you can try it in case you have trouble with other DPMI servers.)
    • v2misc/pmode11b.zip - This is an alternative DPMI server, PMODE/DJ. Its memory footprint is smaller than CWSDPMI and it can be bundled with DJGPP programs to make a stand-alone executable that doesn't require a DPMI server to run. PMODE/DJ doesn't support virtual memory and its implementation of the DPMI spec is a bit more restricted than that of CWSDPMI, but it is faster, and therefore more appropriate for high-performance interrupt handling.


DBOS by Salford Software



    • “The general concept of DosWin32 pack is the same as that in Borland Power Pack: the main task is not to support the DPMI applications (although some DPMI functionality is present), but to support win32 console applications in pure DOS”.
    • “The DOSWIN32.RTM file is the 'core' of the system. It also includes the win9x and WinNT drivers (for development and debugging in the Windows environment) and the DPMI host (for working under DOS)”.
  • EN.Wikipedia "DOS extender" - “DosWin32 provides limited Win32 support”.

DOS/4G and DOS/4GW



Ergo ( formerly Eclipse, formerly A. I. Architects ) OS/286 and OS/386 Extender


HX DOS Extender

  • EN.Wikipedia "DOS extender" - “HX DOS Extender provides limited Win32 support to allow Windows console and some Win32 GUI applications to run under DOS. It contains both 16-bit and 32-bit DPMI servers (HDPMI16/HDPMI32) for use with protected mode DOS programs”.
  • DE.Wikipedia "HX DOS Extender" - “Die fast einzigartige Eigenschaft des HX DOS Extenders ist es, einige für 32-Bit-Versionen von Microsoft Windows geschriebene Programme unter DOS starten zu können. Da die Nachbildung der grafischen Benutzeroberfläche von Windows noch nicht weit entwickelt wurde, wird der HX DOS Extender bisher vor allem für Kommandozeilen-Programme verwendet. Auch einige Programme, die die Windows-Schnittstellen nur zum Darstellen einer komplett eigenen grafischen Oberfläche verwenden, sind ohne Einschränkungen lauffähig”.


PROT by Al Williams

  • EN.Wikipedia "DOS extender" - “PROT by Al Williams, a 32-bit DOS extender published in Dr. Dobb's Journal and in two books. This extender had the virtue of running DOS and BIOS calls in emulated mode instead of switching back to real mode”.
  • DDJ:
    • Dr. Dobb's Journal of Software Tools, Volume 15, Number 10, October, 1990: Al Williams “Roll your own DOS extender: Part I p16–18, p20, p24”.
    • Dr. Dobb's Journal of Software Tools, Volume 15, Number 11, November, 1990: Al Williams “Roll Your Own DOS Extender: Part II, p74, p76, p80, p81–83, p85, p122–128, p130”.
  • CodeProject "Toby Opferman: 32 Bits on 64-Bit Processors" - “It wasn’t that long ago that most PCs were running 16-bit operating systems on 32-bit processors. In those days, MSDOS reigned, 'Ralf Brown' and 'DPMI' were familiar names, and everyone knew that port 3DAh was for vertical retrace. Okay, so there were a few people who used 32-bit operating systems such as OS/2 or a flavor of UNIX. As for developers, they generally had to target applications for 16-bit operating systems, thereby losing out on the benefits that could be gained from 32 bits. DOS Extenders—libraries that enabled Protected mode and let applications utilize 32-bit instructions without a 66h instruction prefix—addressed this problem. They also let you access memory up to 4 GB, depending on the characteristics of the particular extender you were using. The most popular DOS Extenders were PROT (see 'Roll Your Own DOS Extender,' by Al Williams; DDJ, October 1990), DOS4GW (Microsoft’s 32-bit extension), Pharlap’s DOS Extender, and Trans PMODE (which integrated nicely with Watcom’s C/C++ compiler). Most extenders simply used DOS Protected mode Interrupt (DPMI), which abstracted the implementation of Protected mode through an interrupt. They also provided an easy method for executing 16-bit BIOS interrupts, so you would not need to implement things like switching video modes yourself. Others simply implemented 32-bit protected mode themselves, while some just did 'Big Real mode' (also known as 'Unreal mode')”.


Wuschel's DOS eXtender ( WDOSX )

X-32 VM DOS Extender

C-Compilers shipped with DOS Extenders



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