Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/172768/why-old-programs-dont-run-on-modern-versions-of-windows-and-how-you-can-run-them-anyway/
Windows is all about backwards compatibility, allowing people — especially businesses — to keep using their important applications on new versions of Windows. But there are limits. The older a program is, the more likely it will break.
Wait a minute... that means I can't use QBASIC on my Windows 8 laptop! Scandalous!
I've experienced problems running old progs on Windows 7 64 bit, but...
I dual boot with XP 32 bit, and, so far, in every case - including Pagemaker 6.5, and Quake II, when I install those programs on XP, boot into Windows 7, navigate to the relevant .exe file on the XP hard disk, and run it. Fine. The only oddity is that some large, changing digits appear in the top left-hand corner of the screen in games.
Forgot, I also put links to them on my Windows 7 Desktop, and so they are readily accessible.
I would love to figure out how to get old versions of Mechwarrior 2 to run on my Windows 7 computer. I've tried a little bit of research online but haven't really be able to get the game to a playable state. I suppose if I could find an old copy of Windows 95 to run in a VM that might work. Anyone have any suggestions?
One of my favourite bits of old software is Lotus 1-2-3 v1.1 which I used yonks ago in W3.1 days. I still have occasional use for a couple of db's I have, which I tried (and failed) to convert all the facilities I have in them to Excel. I happen to have 1-2-3 in the nested remnants going back about 3 desktops and 15 years or so. I created a suitable shortcut and away I go straight from quick launch happy as a sand-boy !!
Looking back through the remnants, I see I last played SOKOBAN in Jan 2003. That dates back to 1992. Still works. (thinks .. what was stumping me then ? Oh, level 20. Let's have another go !)
Actually, when I get the yen for an old game, I first check on GOG.com if they have it.
(Usually they do!)
They sell these games at a low low price, completely wrapped in a customized DOSBox environment that you don't see or need to tweak. Just install & play (maybe check 'run as administrator' if required).
Still waiting on Diablo 2 & FF7, though...
I have an old copy of Photoshop 3.0.5 that I run on Windows 7 64 bit. I think it might even be a 16 bit app. I had to fudge something with a patch intended for another program to get it to run. But anyways, it was cheap, runs very fast, and doesn't have all the junk that I don't need. It has many more features than paint, but really lightweight.
This topic is now closed. New replies are no longer allowed.