I want to burn a bunch of old DOS games that require a DOS emulator onto a disc for a gift for my sister. In DOSBOX, you need to mount the drive with the game on it and type the file name you want to open. I was wondering if there is any way to turn this process into an .EXE file that will automatically run the game. I don't want it to be some messy thing where she has to mount the folder with the games and all that. I just want her to be able to pop the disc in and have a list of .EXE files come up that will automate the process of mounting and running the game.

Is there a way to write a program that will automate this? I've taken a Java programming course so I know some of the basics and have friends that can help me if I get stuck. I have a month to figure this out and I'm sure I can figure out how to use other programming languages. Thanks for any help.

  • You can run a java program by writing a batch file that contains the line (for example) java -jar games.jar and naming it start.bat and double clicking it. Java can also execute system commands. So, if there's a way to mount the folders from a command prompt, then yes it should be possible.
    – Eric B
    Nov 25, 2012 at 16:48
  • 4
    I wouldn't use java for that, if you are just executing a Command line script, use the good old batch file format. Nov 25, 2012 at 17:12

5 Answers 5


You could also use D-Fend Reloaded as another alternative. It's basically a frontend for DOSbox -- you'll need it for running D-fend, it shows a list of the games you have and uses it as a parameter to call and run dosbox). You can even generate and use screenshots for the game.

In my opinion it is more user-friendly than having a folder full of shortcuts and having to manually generate and edit shortcuts. It is as easy as clicking on the game's name to use it.

Disclaimer: It has been more than six years since I last used it. However, it was quite straightforward at the time.

  • User @Jeffrey Lin suggested a few edits, I accepted all except one saying I was not responsible for damage to the games. As D-Fend Reloades is just a frontend for dosbox, I don't see how there could be any damage going on. Nov 25, 2012 at 21:09
  • 2
    So you'll accept responsibility for any damage that gets caused? If not, it seems like a valid thing to disclaim.
    – Frank
    Nov 25, 2012 at 21:14
  • 2
    I see no reason for putting a warning on some risk when I see no risk present. Nov 25, 2012 at 21:28

Just add shortcut that calls dosbox to execute it.

The target should be something like:

C:\Path\To\Dosbox.exe -conf startplayingmygame.conf -noconsole -c "exit"

Then in startplayingmygame.conf you add the following stanza to the end after all the config options:

mount C .

This will cause dosbox to immediately start the game once the shortcut is called, and exit once it's done.


I'm pretty sure that DOS games sold by GOG.com work that way - they are somehow wrapped up in DOSBOX and run by it, but it's all handled by Windows installer, users don't have to deal with DOSBOX at all.

Maybe you could just buy them there, they have a LOT of abandonware and pretty good prices.


I created a simple batch file (.bat) with a dos based menu linking to all my folders for my dos games. I used c:\ as my base directory and installed dosbox portable on a flash drive with all the games. Using this method all I need to do is mount c and run the batch file to play any game with specific startup options and settings. Check out the images below...

Menu Screenshot

batch menu


You can edit the dosbox.conf and put them in the map where the old exe is located. When you drag the old game exe on top of the dosbox.exe it takes the config file from that map if it exists. Otherwise it takes the default config file.

Alternatively you could create a bat file with all options in it. Like Shadur sugests but instead of making a shortcut you make a .bat file. It's pretty easy if you know how dos works.

Anyway most games run fine on default dosbox so just tell her to drop the game.exe on the dropbox.exe and show her to play with the cycles and frame skipping if there are problems.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .