I would like to get specific step by step instructions on how to use an old word processor called IBM Filing Assistant on DOSBox to be able to access old 1980s documents.

How to use DOSBox other than with games?

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    It looks like File Assistant doesn’t work in DOSBox... Mar 24 '17 at 8:12
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    Unless perhaps with a patch. Mar 24 '17 at 8:17
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    the short answer is "you don't". DOSBox is not intended to be used for applications, especially ones where preservation of data might be important. It is intended to run games and only games. Your best option is to use VM software such as VirtualBox, install real DOS inside that VM, and then run Filing Assistant there. Apr 11 '17 at 19:08
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    @peterferrie - DOSBox is perfectly good for running most applications. VirtualBox + MS-DOS might also have different incompatibilities, as it's really intended for virtualizing 32/64-bit OSs. DOSBox is a good first try.
    – scruss
    May 10 '17 at 13:54
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    Maybe you should tell your docs people that, as the application section of the DOSBox website contains no such warning. It sounds like this old IBM software is expecting to run on real IBM hardware, which no Virtualbox (or DOSBox) setup will ever support. DOSBox is a great piece of software, and is much less tedious to set up than a VirtualBox MS-DOS image
    – scruss
    May 11 '17 at 2:05

If it doesn't work in DOSBox then take a look at PCEm. It's a PC emulator that lets you emulate specific machine configurations.

Try to set up an emulated machine that matches one of the computers that the program could be used with.


  • 1
    How do you know PCEm will not have the same issues that DOSBox has emulating the software?
    – JAL
    Mar 24 '17 at 17:42
  • I will try with PCem.
    – Ron
    Mar 25 '17 at 20:39
  • Has someone tried with DOSBOX and did not work for IBM Filing Assist?
    – Ron
    Mar 25 '17 at 20:42
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    @JAL: From the thread linked by Stephen Kitt, it seems the problem with IBM Filing Assistant is caused by DOSBOX's emulation of a DOS filesystem. PCEM doesn't emulate the filesystem; it uses an original copy of DOS, so would be unlikely to have that particular incompatibility.
    – john_e
    Mar 26 '17 at 13:11
  • DUDE, now that is interesting software! Apr 7 '17 at 11:26

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