Remote connection to Win95 pc
April 27, 2005 12:06 PM   Subscribe

I have a Windows 95 pc on my network at work. The pc runs some software which operates in a dos window, which will only run in fullscreen mode. I need to set up remote operation of this pc from a number of Win2000 & XP pcs on the network.

I have tried RealVNC/WinVNC to no avail as they will not display the dos window in fullscreen mode, only if it is in a window. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can get around this problem please? Will pcAnywhere do it? And please don't say 'upgrade from Win95' as this is not an option sadly!
posted by kenchie to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
Which part requires Windows 95? You might have success using Compatibility mode in 2000 and XP (available if you right-click on the shortcut to your executable, then look around in the tabs there), and/or use something like DosBOX if necessary for the DOS program. I've successfully migrated old applications to Windows 2000 machines with these techniques.
posted by odinsdream at 12:11 PM on April 27, 2005

OLD copies of PC/Anywhere did it, from what I recall of trying. When I say old I mean *OLD*. I might still have the software lying about. Hmmm...

Depending on the way the software is coded, you might get away with setting it up on a BBS door (GOOD LUCK). :-)
posted by shepd at 12:13 PM on April 27, 2005

The program that runs in DOS is on the Win95 box. The software was installed by the manufacturer who no longer supports this old version. Upgrading would be prohibitive as the software controls various pieces of hardware (boilers etc.) which would all have to upgraded as well!
posted by kenchie at 12:17 PM on April 27, 2005

Can you use the Win95 box as a "server" of sorts and run the application accross the network on the Windows 2000 and XP boxes? Or is it absolutely necessary to view the remote PC's desktop? You'll need to make sure only one person uses it at a time, most likely, but you'd need to do that anyhow.
posted by bDiddy at 12:17 PM on April 27, 2005

Just found this software called NetOp Remote Control. I've never used it, but it might work for you. There's a free trial!
posted by bDiddy at 12:20 PM on April 27, 2005

Okay, since no one is writing back I'll keep posting other things. Check out DameWare. It says it works on Windows 95. I use it here in my office, but we're all Win2k and WinXP. You could try that and see if it works.
posted by bDiddy at 12:50 PM on April 27, 2005

What odinsdream asked. I haven't yet run into an issue that compatibility mode won't solve. Because Symantec doesn't sell w95-compatible PCAnywhere anymore, you'd have to consider getting a back-versioned host copy of PCAnywhere, like version 10, from a scrummy software remaindering site. DameWare is reliable but can be very slow. This might be a crapshoot but give it a try.
posted by nj_subgenius at 1:21 PM on April 27, 2005

I can't use the Win95 box as a server, the software HAS to run on it. I need desktop control rather than the ability to run the program on another pc.
posted by kenchie at 1:25 PM on April 27, 2005

OK henchie, what have you tried and why doesn't it work? And why does this have to be full-screen and not windowed? And is there any special hardware or software on this box that communicates with the boilers or whatever they are?
Your W95 box would be a host for a remote control session, most of us get that. But how much is it to upgrade your software etc. so that it wouldn't be some kludge?
posted by nj_subgenius at 2:08 PM on April 27, 2005 kenchie. sorry. need new glasses.
posted by nj_subgenius at 2:08 PM on April 27, 2005

Try these out:

TelnetXQPC Telnetd

Or maybe you could run Cygwin, and do some sort of trickery through that...
posted by jackofsaxons at 4:05 PM on April 27, 2005

Or could the software run under Wine?
posted by jackofsaxons at 4:09 PM on April 27, 2005

old, old, old version of pcAnywhere. This will allow you to run DOS windows fullscreen. Try and find version 5
posted by seanyboy at 4:38 PM on April 27, 2005

if the program puts the computer's video card into a graphics mode (i.e. has its own VGA driver or something, like an old DOS game) then that'll rule out a bunch of remote control applications (possibly not pcAnywhere but I can't seem to find much info.. you'll probably be stuck with version 10 or 9 though, or on preview 5 like seaneyboy said). you might be able to use something like Bochs or VirtualPC/VMWare to run Win95 on top of your XP session, thereby allowing you to control the machine remotely (just don't log out). this's probably not an option if you require realtime control though (unless you have a pretty fast host computer), or possibly if the software uses some sort of hardware device outside of a reg. parallel port/serial port (which I believe you can re-direct, at least in VirtualPC).
posted by mrg at 5:08 PM on April 27, 2005

I second Odinsdream's recommendation of DOSBOX, and suspect it will let you run a windowed version.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:12 AM on April 28, 2005

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