"Unsupported 16-bit Application" or HTML?

Published: 2023-02-19
Last Updated: 2023-02-19 09:53:10 UTC
by Didier Stevens (Version: 1)
1 comment(s)

Sometimes I download a Windows executable and when I run it, I get an error message "Unsupported 16-bit Application":

This happens when I download a Windows executable via the command-line, and fail to pay attention to the URL.

Like this executable on GitHub:

Downloading with curl from this URL:

And when I run this, I get the Unsupported 16-bit Application" error. That's because I made a mistake, and downloaded the HTML page from GitHub in stead of the PE file:

When you make this mistake, Windows will often show you that 16-bit error.

With this example from GitHub, I should have downloaded with the "raw" URL.

Didier Stevens
Senior handler
Microsoft MVP

Keywords: 16bit html windows
1 comment(s)


Remember .COM files from MS-DOS?
They were only 64KB big, didn't had a file header and weren't relocatable.

This strongly reminds me of them.

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