Installing old software on Windows7 64-bit

  Jolan 20:45 14 Feb 2010

My prized Collins Electronic Dictionary & Thesaurus (produced years ago by the WordPerfect Corporation)has installed on all my computers from Windows 95 to Windows XP. Trying to install it on Windows7 64-bit gives me the error message ending in "try the software producer for a X86 (32-bit) or 64-bit version". The product is no longer produced and Harper Collins has nothing like it nowadays. I wonder if anyone knows a possible way around this problem? My first cry for help on the forum.
PS My old Chambers installs as does an old Oxford Dictionary.

  bionicle 20:52 14 Feb 2010

You can run it in XP compatability mode but only if you have the correct version of Windows 7 i.e. Professional or above.

See click here

Without wishing to appear smug I read about this issue before getting windows 7 and chose the profesional edition for this reason. I have needed to use it for one old program and am pleased to say it worked very well

  GaT7 22:05 14 Feb 2010

You can try installing AND running it in Compatibility Mode for XP - click here for instructions.

This is different to what bionicle refers to above, & is functional on any version of Win7. It is not guaranteed to work, but worth a try. Remember to right-click both the installer's & installed program's executable when choosing XP (hence my emphasis on 'AND' above).

Btw, WinXP Mode (which bionicle refers to) & the related Windows Virtual PC, also requires a CPU capable of hardware-assisted virtualisation. G

  Jolan 16:16 15 Feb 2010

Many thanx Bionocle.
And to you,Crossbow7. Highlighted 'install' 'props' 'compat' and tried various compatibility settings right back to W95 and clicked "apply". Then double-clicking Install (the programs install file) produced the original message, as above. Many thanks for your efforts. I reckon I may have to consign Collins to the 'deep six'

  Sbrads 17:11 15 Feb 2010

I've had a couple of oldies where the install.exe crashes can install in 7 by unpacking the install.exe file first using UniExtract (I did this bit in XP, haven't tried it in Win7)and then copy the files to a folder in 7 and run from there. I suppose whether this works depends whether much is written into the registry during install.

I even got one program working just by copying the XP Program Files relevant folder straight across to 7's Program Files. Again, I don't suppose anything critical in the registry was required, or files put into system folders.

  robin_x 22:30 15 Feb 2010

You don't have to ditch it John.

I am not an expert but is props / compat etc actually running in XP mode.? I can do that on my Home Premium W7. They are two different things?

Investigate further if you have Professional or Ultimate W7.

If like me, you have H.P., try virtual machine solution.

eg VMware.

click here

I havent tried it myself but it is widely mentioned.
(you will need original XP install disc and key)

It's on my "to do" list when I stop cruising forums long enough to get the time.

Probably in the New Year.

Have fun. Nil desperandum...

  Jolan 12:37 16 Feb 2010

Gee guys, I'm so grateful for all the efforts to help (on my first, but not last, visit). Sbrads & Robinofloxley, I've tried all your suggestions (I'm using Home Premium) but no success at all. I contacted WordPerfect (the producer) but they were unable to help. I used the "troubleshooter" in all modes back to W95 and ensured the version was running (1st from the CD drive and then having copied everything to a folder in W7. Nothing worked. My program was created 3/94. I'm abandoning the Dict/Thes now as I've have a full version of Crossword Compiler which has all the facilities I require. Once more, I SINCERELY THANK YOU ALL. John

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