Many years ago I wrote a program in 320x200x 8 bit video mode. I'd like to capture the graphical display somehow from a Windows XP machine.

I can run it on Windows XP in full screen mode, but the Print Screen key doesn't function. Is there a free program that will take a screen shot 10 seconds or so after I press go? It just needs to write a file in some modern image format: PNG, BMP, etc.

  • I assume you do not run a virtual machine for the XP. If you happen to use it via virtual machine (as this is a tendency for this OS since MS are soon abandoning it) then you could try to run the machine in a window mode (the game still being on full-screen) and print-screen trough the host OS. Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 21:23
  • 2
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 21:34
  • You do need to run it on full-screen mode? Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:22
  • Years later : SnagIT and FastStone Capture do not capture true DOS-based VGA 320x200 screens. So they were a both waste of time trying. I too am trying to do the same thing (think 1993 era VGA programs that were written for MSDOS 5 and 6) --- grabbing screenshots of these old demo's. Most of these programs can not run in their own window within Windows, and, even a handful of these demos wont even run in DOSBOX because of their time-related and hardware critical nature. ...Time to pull out the phone, taken a happy snap, edit it, and save it as a RAW image.
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 23:26
  • Dave, please see my updated answer.
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 14:25

3 Answers 3


You can always use DoSBox to run your application and then use this tutorial to take fullscreen screenshots in a decent quality.

Tutorial: http://www.glennsguides.com/2008/11/how-to-capture-screenshot-in-dosbox.html

DoSBox: http://www.dosbox.com/


I know you asked for free, but you may want to consider Snagit from TechSmith. They do offer a 30-day trial (so if this is indeed a one-shot task, you should be able to get that done during the trial).

See http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html

(I have used this tool for multiple years now, it is quite useful for many tasks and you may find you want to purchase it after you use it.)

  • Are you sure it can capture screenshots of full-screen DOS programs? Dave's comment on the question says otherwise.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 6:15

For screen capture, I don't think that you can beat FastStone Capture. It does what you want and sooooo much more.

It has become commercial, but the last free version did what you want.

That should do it, and it's the one that I use & recommend, but you will find other options at http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-screen-capture-tool.htm and you can record video with one of these http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-screen-session-recorder.htm

[Update] I don't know if it is 100% what you want, but here is a screen capture from FastStone Capture of Wizardry 8, which is a DOS game, running from Good Old Games, which might persuade you to give it a try.

enter image description here

[Update - from comments below] Left click on the tight most icon (the menu) and choose settings. On the capture tab, I changed "Delay capture" to 10 seconds, which is the max, to allow me time to start the game. Then, I chose the leftmost icon - capture full screen (why capture partial, when you can capture full, and use the excellent built-in image editor (particularly under "draw", where you can add text, arrows, shapes, etc)?

The only problem that I can foresee would be if you wanted to capture mid-game and the game would not let you alt-tab. I don't have one to test it with. When in game, press Shift+Print Scr to capture full-screen.

With Wizardry, it captures then brings the capture to foreground. There are far too many settings for me to trawl through (left as an exercise for the reader), but you ought to be able to get it just to capture every time you press the hotkeys (set a zer0 delay), without showing you the capture (if that is what you want).

You may also get it to capture every X seconds (I can't remember if it capture video too - the current version does for a very reasonable $19.95 lifetime license, but I am still using the last free version ;-) Just play around, or read the website for the current one, to see all of the myriad possibilities. Good luck :-)

  • 1
    So let it be written. So let it be done. OP does it work for you?
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 9:15
  • @kmort, did you try this?
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 13:56

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