When the "This program cannot be run in DOS mode" error appears, it is because a piece of software that is designed to run in DOS mode is incompatible with the Windows DOC compatibility software. Several solutions to this issue exist. Two include booting the computer up in DOS mode and changing the settings for MS-DOS compatibility mode.
In some versions of Windows, making it easier for MS-DOS programs to detect programs in DOS mode can fix the issue. First enter "command" in the Start Menu text box. On systems using Vista or older versions of Windows, select Run option in the Start Menu, and then enter "command". After you hit Enter a DOS-mode window will appear. Right-click on the title bar of the window, and select Properties, followed by Advanced. A dialog box will appear. Select the option labeled "Prevent MS-DOS-based programs from detecting Windows” and run the program that generated the error message again.
If the program producing the error is a program for an older version of Windows, starting the computer with the installation disc in the appropriate drive boots the computer into DOS mode. Otherwise, a boot disc can be created for DOS by using a blank USB drive. Download the Rufus software, run the program and connect a USB drive. Select the inserted drive under the Devices drop-down menu, then make sure the "Create a bootable disk using:" option is selected. Select FreeDOS from the drop-down menu, then select Start. Copy the program that produced the error onto the USB drive as well. Once the operation is completed, restart the computer with the USB drive inserted. This will boot the computer into DOS. Find the software using DOS commands such as "cd x", where "x" is the name of the directory in which the software is located. Run the software that is giving the error message from the command line.
Another potential solution is to emulate a DOS installation process. To do this, first download a copy of DOSBox, and install the program. Copy the program that is giving the error code into the installation directory for the DOSBox program. Once the software is copied to the correct location, run the DOSBox program. A DOS window should appear. Using DOS commands, run the program giving the error from the installed location.