How to Play 16 Bit Windows Games That Require a Floppy Drive

In a previously published guide, we discussed how to play 16 Bit Windows games on a modern computer system through DOSBox. However, some games we’ve tested seem to hang on the loading screen. It turns out that some games require you to emulate a floppy drive. In this guide, we show you how to emulate a floppy drive in the Windows environment as that can be the cause of some games not working.

Emulating a floppy drive in DOSBox can be a very straightforward process. Unfortunately, support for a Floppy drive in DOSBox is a little more complex mostly because this requires a workaround due to a glitch. Still, it is more than possible to get these games working again. We should note that this method might not get all of those non-working games working again, but it does for some games. So, it is worth at least trying if you run into general problems.

For this guide, we are using a game that apparently requires a floppy drive in the Windows environment: Quatra Command. This guide also assumes that you have already followed our previous 16-Bit Windows guide and are running into problems.

Mount Your Drives

Open your DOSBox application:


Mount your C drive (to wherever you have the contents of the applications you want to emulate, NEVER your actual root C drive) with the standard mount command:


Mount your A drive (luckily, this is very flexible and any directory can be mounted as your A drive. So, it is wherever you have the contents of the game you want to emulate) with the standard mount command:


Now, switch to your C drive in DOSBox by simply typing in “c:” (without quotes):


browse to your Windows 3.x directory:


Type “win” (without quotation marks) and hit enter:


This will take you to your Windows environment:


This is where a known glitch takes effect. If you go to your file manager, you’ll notice the A drive is missing and you can’t browse to it (when the a drive is empty, it reappears for some reason). So, you’ll have to access the A drive by another means. This is through the “Run…” feature of Windows. So, to do so, you click on “File”, then click on “Run”:


A new window will appear:


At this stage, you have to manually type in where the executable is actually located as far as your Windows 3.x operating system is concerned. Because you have mounted the A drive as the directory of your game, all you need to do is point Windows to the executable in question. In this case, it is merely “quatra.exe”. So, type in “a:\quatra.exe” (note the backslash, not forward slash. Forward slash after the “a” causes error messages) like so:


Hit enter and the game should start.

We should note that this might not be the solution to get every hard to run 16 bit Windows game to run, but this might be at least one possible solution. In the case of Quatra Command, this was what got the game to work. Our only hint was that upon entering the loading screen, the game would freeze and we realized that this game did, in fact, come on a Floppy drive.

Happy gaming!

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