Question

Running older Windows Programs on Windows 7

I have a computer based training program that is designed to run on older Windows versions.
The last version that I had it working on was XP
I am trying to get it to run on my new Windows 7 machine, with no luck
Windows has a patch to run XP programs, but it is not available for my home verion of Windows
Does anyone know of a workaround to my dilemna?
Thanx

Discussion is locked
Follow
Reply to: Running older Windows Programs on Windows 7
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Running older Windows Programs on Windows 7
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Comments
- Collapse -
Answer
What is it?

Without a title we can't see if there is a known workaround.

- Collapse -
Answer
It's not a patch

It's not a patch, it's an add-on, and it just runs a copy of XP in a virtual machine. It's woefully unimpressive once you see it in action.

But before you go plunking down money for a Professional upgrade, have you tried the compatibility modes that have been a standard part of Windows since either XP SP1 or SP2 (I forget which)? Worst case scenario, you're no worse off than you are now, but there's at least probably a decent chance you can coax it into working with compatibility modes that doesn't require any additional cash outlay.

- Collapse -
Program Title

Its a Wicat Systems computer based training program

- Collapse -
Wicat Inc filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on 14th October2005

They are no more.

But they did predate Windows 95 so it is possible to run this on the 32 bit versions of Windows. There is NO KNOWN method to run it on 64 BIT WINDOWS UNLESS!!! you upgrade to Windows 7 Pro.

Given the problem why not use refurbished 250 buck XP Laptops?
Bob

- Collapse -
32 bit

I realize that I am running the 64bit version on Windows 7 .. is there any way to run it in 32 bit mode?

- Collapse -
No

No, and the 64-bit version of Windows lacks any and all 16-bit support.

You could try something like DOSBOX, or installing a copy of FreeDOS in a virtual machine like VirtualPC. Or you could look on ebay or craigslist for someone who found a 386 or 486 in the back of some closet and are looking to get rid of it.

Still not exactly sure how a DOS based training program is going to be all that relevant today, but I suppose that's your problem.

- Collapse -
Compatibility

Good idea .. but I have tried every variation that there is .. no joy

- Collapse -
You expected an MSDOS 6.22 program to...

...run under a deep into the 21st century world of very advanced Windows platforms. You must be kidding me.

- Collapse -
I can't tell if this is a MSDOS program.

What you find are folk that just use the machines. When you ask for details they may not know what is needed.

I suggest we keep asking for details and keep trying.to get the details.

There are solutions from DOSBOX to Virtual Box as well as 250 buck laptops running XP (refurbs.)
Bob

- Collapse -
Suggesting a forum poster to invest in...

...an older machine is never good advice. Especially when the newest software will cost way less for that poster's Win. 7 machine.

Spending a mere 50 to 80 dollars for a new training software instead of a refurbished XP Laptop of 250+ dollars is considered a sound investment and, forces that poster to learn new ways of teaching new ways of computing. Not the ancient, old ways all over again.

- Collapse -
The member has to decide that.

Just recently a machine shop was faced with a similar dilemma. A Dell refurb for 250 included XP Pro and has the required serial port and avoided for another few years upgrading some apps.

Savings? Over 10K USD.

Let folk make the decision.
Bob

- Collapse -
That depends

That depends on what the training is for. There are probably plenty of old legacy systems around people need to know how to use, but for various reasons, not much in the way of training material exists anymore. You could certainly argue that any company still depending on this sort of ancient tech is going to doom itself, but look at how many companies were "caught by surprise" over the Y2K bug 12 years ago.

- Collapse -
Older program version

If you put windows 7 into windows xp mode it should work.

- Collapse -
windows 7 into windows xp mode

How do I do this?

- Collapse -
XP Mode

XP Mode is an optional add-on that would require you first upgrade to Win 7 Professional, THEN you have to basically download a customized version of VirtualPC and then after that, download and install a copy of Windows XP into that virtual machine.

If you have a legal copy of XP, you can probably just skip all that and download a copy of VirtualBox. Otherwise, if this is a DOS program, there's also the possibility of FreeDOS. It's free, as the name implies, and their aim is to be 100% compatible, warts and all, with MS-DOS. So because MS-DOS has the rather shortsighted solution of himem.sys to handle RAM over 1MB, so does FreeDOS to maintain program compatibility. You could potentially download the free VirtualBox VM, and then install FreeDOS into that, at which point if the program runs inside this VM you have zero cash outlay again, and a working setup that should last a bit more indefinitely.

Longer term however, you really should be pointing out the increasing lengths that are required to train people on this equipment, and get the beancounters to factor those things into their TCO calculations. It's not always a matter of whether or not the equipment still works and can do the job, pretty soon you're going to have to develop your own in-house training program for it, and that will likely cost a fair bit of money. You have to be looking at secondary expenses that go beyond just the purchase price of new equipment and the upkeep costs. That will probably at least push the replacement date up a little, which is good, because your training system is getting increasingly fragile and convoluted. Anything goes wrong, it's going to be that much harder to troubleshoot because of all the extra layers you have added. And just buying an old refurb unit doesn't really help much either, because most of those components are old and have started oxidizing. Plastics become brittle, capacitor gel compounds start breaking down, parts rust, solder joints go cold, cables go bad, drive motor bearings seize up, the list goes on. You just trade one set of potential problems for a different set of potential problems.

- Collapse -
That was exactly my point also.

I did not have the patience and time to elaborate on the subject at the time I wrote that previous post of mine. Nonetheless, could not tell that story better myself. Good work Jim.
Wink

CNET Forums