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How to install Win XP software on Win 7 Home Premium

Dec 24, 2010 8:10PM PST


I recently bought a new pc with Win7 because my old pc with Win XP (5 years old) was failing in addition to being very slow. All of my software from Win95 to WinXP worked on my old XP pc. My new pc is Win7 Home Premium and I cannot get any of my older software to work. I've since learned that Win 7 Home Premium is not compatible with WinXP and earlier software. I do not want to spend hundreds of $$ buying new software, especially since some of my favorite programs are no longer available. Is there any way to use my older software with Win 7 Home Premium? Thanks.

Discussion is locked

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That's not true
Dec 24, 2010 10:18PM PST

That's not true, it's just a handy excuse people toss up when they don't know what they're talking about.

Probably better than 99% of all software that worked on XP will work on 7. There are a few little caveats however. If your new system is a 64-bit system, then older 16-bit programs will not work because there is no 16-bit subsystem in the 64-bit version. Ultimately this is a good thing, because 16-bit apps are able to bypass all the normal protections Microsoft started adding to Windows starting with Win95 and bring down the entire system quite easily. The same goes for a lot of older DOS programs, but those would have had issues working on XP as well, when Microsoft started enforcing the rule of no programs directly accessing the hardware. Some programs may depend on depreciated APIs that were removed in either Vista or Win7, in which case you'll just need to find a new version of the program or an alternative to the program.

Also, have you tried the compatibility modes that have been a standard part of Windows since XP SP2? There's no guarantee they'll work, but it's already on your system, so why not at least give it a try?

Finally, there is the Pro version of Win7, which has the XP Mode option. You run a copy of XP in a virtual machine in essence, but this is really one of those options that should be considered a last resort for some program you absolutely must have and there are absolutely no alternatives anywhere that will meet your needs. There comes a point when clinging to a particular version of software just isn't worth it anymore. Learn a lesson from the financial industry during the whole Y2K thing. They've been clinging to these ancient COBOL programs written in the 1970s when memory was so scarce they truncated the year to just the last two digits because every byte counted. They kept using the same software for around 30 years, and it eventually cost each of them MILLIONS individually to fix. At any point along the way, had they spent maybe 10 grand to hire someone to recreate the program in a more modern language, they would have saved themselves huge piles of cash come that fateful day about 11 years ago. At some point you have to be willing to say that it just isn't worth going to such great lengths to try and save a particular piece of software.

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Clinging to a particular...
May 7, 2013 11:48AM PDT

I voted thumbs down, not because the information wasn't helpful. I read more helpful information elsewhere. The comment about "clinging to a particular version of software" was immature; more indicative of a Microsoft or Oracle employee attitude. Happy Ten grand to write or rewrite a program doesn't come close to the real number of hours that go into an extremely reliable, debugged program unless you hire 10 people in an apartment or half-way around the world. For example, Microsoft marketed a report writer as a database and continued to sell Access as a serious db with a Jet engine that crashed with 3-simultaneous users; even allowing multiple users to think they were making changes; only to come back and see data someone else had entered. The fact that Windows 7 & 8 behave they way they do is more about profit and trying to keep their stock prices up than actually deliver what they advertise. Finally, it is worth it if you have thousands of records and data or hundreds of hours in becoming efficient and productive actually doing real work...instead of playing with the latest buggy software for droids, apples and nokias. Go back and read the pre-release book on Microsoft NT, and what a great product they almost delivered on. Accept my apologies.

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Would that be
May 7, 2013 12:34PM PDT

Would that be how Intel's issues getting the 486 out the door on time had Microsoft's developers sitting around twiddling their thumbs for about 6 months, and having nothing to do really but debug the software? Know the story, not really sure what it has to do with the post.

While maybe I opened the door for it a bit by using the Y2K example, the discussion was about the average user. Sure, it's annoying if a program crashes on us, but that's really pretty much all it is.

It is also very wise to know that the business model of companies like Microsoft is to keep pumping out new versions of software. A good chunk of the bugs you are so concerned about are in the legacy components of Windows, kept around specifically to support legacy programs. The people who wrote the code have likely long since left Microsoft, and anyone who's done much programming at all knows that sometimes your own code is near indecipherable six months later. That's why you rarely see anyone with any actual programming experience make comments like yours. When you have no concept of how much effort goes into writing even a "simple" program like Notepad, it's easy to say how Microsoft should just go in and fix all the bugs. There are millions of lines of code in Windows, and it's not just the sheer volume of code, you have to contend with developers coming and going, you have who knows how many course changes during development trying to track future trends which will always be a guessing game at best. Plus these days we're all about the instant gratification, so as soon as you push some new product out the door, consumers are demanding the next version yesterday.

Maybe it's not a perfect system, but it's what we have; so you can either roll with it or be passed by.

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Seems super here.
Dec 25, 2010 2:28AM PST

The new OS worked so well that we dumped XP at the office and I think there are only 2 machines left just to support some old app. Love the new stability and won't go back.

If you want to get an old app running you might have to share its name and version. Your post is more rant than a plea for help.

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Re: Seems super here. - New!
Dec 25, 2010 3:24AM PST

I wasn't aware that I was "ranting" in my request for help. I explained the problem and the first response answered my questions. You on the other hand, need to stop looking for hidden meanings in messages that don't exist. If you consider a request for help a "rant", then I can do without yours.

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To get old apps to work.
Dec 25, 2010 3:39AM PST

There is no one solution. If you want to move to discussing solutions you may want to make a new post with "just the facts" and ask something like "How do I get Doom 1 to run on Windows 7?"

But be prepared to get replies about google. Many titles have been discussed.

All apologies in advance but your first post did not explain the problem. I didn't see what title or titles were in need of help. Again, I apologize if all this is unsettling but there are lots of titles and some will work, some may not. Let me state that the worst to get working and usually never do are the old disk editors and antivirus apps.

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Use Vmware
May 8, 2013 10:12PM PDT

You can install your XP in a virtual machine, in this way you can use your softwares.
You don't have to remove Win 7 > just use Vmware

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Watch those discussion dates.
May 8, 2013 10:14PM PDT

This one is from 2010 so it's closed for now.