Dec 052017
Run DOS programs outside of Windows, but launch them from the Program Manager.
File OUTSID2A.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Windows 3.X Files
Run DOS programs outside of Windows, but launch them from the Program Manager.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
OUTSIDE!.WRI 16896 6796 deflated
OUTSIDE.EXE 12544 4551 deflated
README.OUT 480 311 deflated

Download File OUTSID2A.ZIP Here

Contents of the OUTSIDE!.WRI file


?ooo.;olo]_[^;[^?P/X'[email protected]@Ypy|_xqp< pP_`~`_02Outside! version 2a
a utility for Microsoft WindowsTM 3.1 and Microsoft Windows for WorkgroupsTM 3.1
Copyright, 1992,1993 (All Rights Reserved) by David Warren

Certain DOS-based programs just don't run well in a DOS session under Windows 386 Enhanced Mode. At least that's what my kids and I discovered. Games with high resolution video or support for sound boards sometimes need more system resources that Windows is willing to give up. The result is often slow, jerky motion or garbled sound. There are also disk and memory utilities that can't be run in multitasking environments.

One solution I tried was to abandon Enhanced Mode but that defeats the purpose behind having the 386 in the first place. Then I wrote a menu program that came up after exiting Windows. That was a drag, and difficult for young users to follow.

Finally I wrote this little utility. With one double click, my kids can happily run their DOS-based programs under DOS, with the full resources of the computer, and return automatically to the Windows shell when done.

Installation and Use:

Outside! requires the Microsoft runtime module VBRUN200.DLL. If you do not already have VBRUN200.DLL, you can download a copy from Compuserve (MSBASIC forum, Library 5) or many other bulletin board systems. Copy the program, OUTSIDE.EXE, and the runtime library, VBRUN200.DLL, to the same directory where Windows is installed on your computer.

Outside! uses a special Windows API function call to terminate Windows, run the program you specify (under DOS), and automatically reload Windows. There are three ways to use Outside!

1. The Outside! Icon Option:

You can create a program item in one of your Program Manager groups for Outside!

In Program Manager, pull down the File menu and click New. Select Program Item. Under Program Item Properties:

Command Line:Outside.EXE

Click on OK.

The Outside! icon will appear in the your program group.

Start Outside! by double-clicking the icon. A file selection box will appear from which you can select the drive, directory and program to run outside Windows. Click your selection and the OK button to terminate Windows and run the program.

2. The Command Line Option:

With Outside! installed in your Windows directory you can run DOS programs outside with a single command: From the File/Run Menu option, type:

Outside [d:][\path\]programname.[exe, com, or bat] [parameters]

where d: is the drive ID where the program is located;
\path\ is the full directory path to the program;
programname is the name of the program to run;
.EXE, COM, or BAT is the program file extension (required); and
parameters are command line parameters you would normally
include from the DOS prompt, separated from the program name by
a space.

You may or may not need to include the complete path, depending on your DOS program and the PATH= statement in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. You must include the period and three-character extension.

3. Permanent Outside! Program Items.

You can also create program icons for each of your DOS programs using the complete Outside! command line in the properties selection. I usually include Outside! in the program description as a reminder that starting the program will terminate other open windows. The Outside! icon will appear in Program Manager unless you specify one of your own. For example, the program item properties for Chuck Yeager's Air Combat are:

DescriptionAirCombat Outside!
Command LineOutside C:\COMBAT\YEAGER.EXE
IconC:\WINDOWS\P51.ICO (my son's rendering of a P51)

Using DOS Batch Files:

Some DOS programs need to be started from their own directory. If this applies to the program you are trying to run Outside!, the solution is to run a DOS batch file. Use Windows Notepad (or another ASCII editor like DOS 5.0 EDIT.EXE) to create a batch file that changes directory to the specific directory, runs the program, and then changes directory back:

REM Sample Batch File
CD > C:\RETURN.BAT;find the current directory
CD \YOURDIR;change to the desired directory
PROGRAM;run the program
CALL C:\RETURN;change back to where you started from

Save the batch file and use Outside! to run it, instead of the program itself. If your Windows directory is listed in your PATH= statement and you normally start Windows from the root directory, the line "CD > C:\RETURN.BAT" is unnecessary. Eliminate it, and change the last line from "CALL C:\RETURN" to "CD \".

Some DOS utilities display information on the screen and then give you back a DOS prompt. When run with Outside!, the display may be erased before you can read it as Windows restarts. For these programs, make a batch file with the PAUSE command:

REM Sample Batch File with Pause

This example will run CHKDSK (with the "fix" switch). After the disk specifications are displayed, the system will stop and display the prompt "Press any key to continue . . ." (may differ depending on your version of DOS). When you press a key, Windows will restart. This, by the way, is the only safe way to run CHKDSK from Windows.

Other comments:

Before Windows can terminate, it must close every open window. You will be asked to save any unsaved data in open windows. Open DOS sessions, however, won't respond to a request from Outside! to terminate and must be closed before you can use Outside! With all windows closed, Outside! will terminate Windows and run your program under DOS. When you exit the DOS program, Windows will automatically reload.

Naturally, you cannot run Windows applications outside of Windows; Outside! checks first, and gives an error message if you try.

Outside! is intended primarily to provide easy access to DOS for 80386 or higher processors, running in Windows Enhanced Mode. Normally, 80286 processors or others running Standard Mode gain no direct benefit from using Outside! because their DOS sessions are not limited in the same way as under Enhanced Mode. There are, however, some utilities or functions which cannot be run from a DOS prompt inside Windows. Outside! is ideal for these.

Outside! and BOOT.COM

BOOT.COM, a tiny utility available from bulletin boards everywhere, is a popular program for rebooting your computer from a batch file. This is commonly used to restart the computer with different configurations or drivers, but BOOT.COM (which simply makes the software equivalent of the Ctrl-Alt-Del key combination) won't work in a DOS session under Windows in Enhanced Mode. You can, however, run BOOT.COM with Outside!, either by itself or embedded in a DOS batch file.

Using Outside! with Windows for Workgroups:

Windows for Workgroups requires some special considerations for using Outside!. Any user sharing your disks or printers will be disconnected when Oustside! closes Windows. Windows for Workgroups will display a dialogue box advising you if others are connected to your computer and giving you a final choice whether to exit or not. Disconnecting a user who might be updating a spreadsheet or database on your machine will likely result in data loss.

In addition, when you exit Windows for WorkGroups with Outside!, any connections you have made to other resources in your workgroup will also be broken. If the DOS program you want to run Outside! will require those workgroup resources, you must use a batch file to first establish a DOS connection with the NET START WORKSTATION command. For example, to use Central Point Backup 8.0 (which won't run in a DOS Window) to back up a network drive, use Outside! to run a batch file:


NET START WORKSTATION will make your computer a network client. In most installations it will automatically make the same connections that are normally made when Windows is first loaded. Be sure you use the NET STOP FULL command at the end of the batch file before Windows restarts. The /YES parameter eliminates the "Are you sure?" prompts for the disconnect.


Microsoft Diagnostic (MSD), Norton Disk Editor and other utilities that test for the presence of Windows will report that Windows is running, even when run with Outside! According to Microsoft, in order to reload, Windows leaves a small portion of itself, inactive, in memory. Some of these programs see this and believe they are running in a DOS session under Windows. They are not! After running Outside!, Windows is completely terminated, inactive, and removed from memory (except for that small part of the kernel which serves only to restart Windows). You can test this yourself by running CHKDSK without the /f (or MEM if you have DOS 4 or higher) before you load Windows, in a DOS session under Windows, and with Outside! On most computers you'll see that available memory (conventional, EMS and Extended) is very similar between no Windows and Outside! Windows (with Outside! conventional RAM is about 5K less on most computers I've tried), while the results from the DOS session under Windows may be drastically different.

A few disk utilities will, as a safeguard, absolutely refuse to run if Windows is present. The few we have found so far are:


Please notify me of any others you find so I can update this list periodically.


Use the Shareware Edition of Outside! for up to 30 days to see if it meets your needs. If you like Outside! and continue to use it after the 30-day period, please register. A single-user license ($10) entitles that person to use the software. You can install it on your computer at the office, at home, on your notebook, wherever. A site license ($50) entitles a company or institution to install and use the software on any or all computers under its domain. As an added incentive, the registered version of Outside! has features not available in the Shareware Edition.

To register your copy of Outside! send check or money order to:

David Warren
1642 Elda Court
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-3012

CompuServe: 72500,1406
Internet: [email protected]

Single License:$10.00
Site License:$50.00

(All applicable sales taxes are included)

In return, you will receive the Registered Edition (without the "Please Register . . ." notice). Future versions of Outside! will be distributed to registered users free of charge.

BBS Sysops:

I know where this was originally distributed and am curious where it gets to. Legitimate BBS sysops receive free Registered Edition of Outside! when you notify me that your board carries the Shareware Edition.

Legal Stuff:

You should read the following terms and conditions carefully. By using this software you indicate your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

You may use the Shareware Edition of Outside! for up to 30 days. If, after 30 days you find Outside! useful, and continue to use it, please register. You may copy and distribute the Shareware Edition of Outside! freely, provided that it is distributed in its complete, original and unmodified form, together with any copyright notices that appear in the software or documentation, and that you request or receive no payment or donation in exchange for distributed copies. The Registered Edition of Outside! may not be copied or distributed, except as provided above. No portion of Outside!, whether Shareware Edition or Registered Edition, may be distributed together with, or as part of, any other product without the express written consent of the author.

Disclaimer of Warranty:

This software and the accompanying files are distributed "as-is" and without any warranties either expressed or implied. The user accepts full liability for any damages of any kind arising out the use of this software.

For More Information:

You may contact me at the address above, on Compuserve at 72500,1406, or through the Internet at [email protected]

Microsoft, Windows, and Windows for WorkGroups are registered trademarks of Micorsoft Corporation
Chuck Yeager's Air Combat is a registered trademark of Electronic Arts
Credit given to the original author of BOOT.COM, whoever he or she might be.
small part of the kernel vrnjf_[T#[email protected]$;w=pClhd%`'\/XTP6L>H>Bw`sok8

This [email protected] are distributed "as-is" and without any warranties either expressed or implied. The user accepts fu&R Y*y kind arising out the use of this software.

For More Information:

You may contact me Arials above, on Compuserve at 72500,1406, or through the Internet at [email protected]

Microsoft, Windows,

 December 5, 2017  Add comments

Leave a Reply