Does NT run 16bit applications?

A. There is no definitive answer. NT does not allow an application to directly access hardware, so any application that directly tries to access hardware would cause a violation, also private device drivers are not supported (such as a VXD). A VXD is usually a .386 file.

Besides direct hardware access, some 16 bit apps will not run under NT because they use a 16 bit API function call that either has no 32 bit equivalent, or the 32 bit equivalent has a completely different function call (different number/types of arguments) and NT can't convert the 16 bit version to the 32 bit version. If either of these things occur, NT will halt execution of the 16 bit app and throw some sort of error similar to the one it throws when direct hardware access occurs. This doesn't happen very often, but it seems that NT 4.0 has more problems with 16 bit code than NT 3.51 due to the 16 bit to 32 bit conversion process.

As a side note, this conversion of 16 bit code to 32 bit code is one of the reasons that NT will run 16 bit code slower than Win95 given all other things held equal. This has nothing to do with the Pentium Pro's problem with 16 bit code, it is an NT problem.

NTVDM simulates MD-DOS environment for MD-DOS-based applications. Applications that run in user mode do not have direct access to hardware. The VDDs intercept the applications' h/w calls and interact with the Windows NT 32-bit device driver. This process is transparent to the application.

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