visual basic 5 and Windows XP

  dunnock 12:34 13 Jul 2003

I have recently replaced my old PC, running Windows 98se, with a new unit runnung Windows XP. I am having problems installing some programs written for Windows 95,98. On inserting the disc I get the message 'cannot load this program without VB5. please install vb5 and try again. I have looked on the Microsoft website but I cannot find a download for this, even though there are plenty of references to it. However , I do not want to load vb5 unless I know it will not conflict with XP. Any suggestions please.

  jazzypop 12:40 13 Jul 2003

click here - the Msvbvm50 files are the VB5 files.

Note that even once it is installed, you will probably have to right-click the .exe file and choose one of the compatability options.

  dunnock 12:43 14 Jul 2003

jazzypop.Thanks for the reply. I followed your advice and downloaded the vb5 file. However when I got the same message on trying to install my program again I realised that it said install the latest 'service pack' for VB5. What a wally!
Anyway I did this but it still keeps coming up with the same message. I guess this is something else which won't run on XP as well as my old scanner.

  jazzypop 18:41 14 Jul 2003

Assuming that the setup file is an exe file, try right-clicking that, choose Properties and select the Compatability tab. It may take a bit of fiddling with the various options, but is worth spending 5 minutes on, I presume?

  jazzypop 18:59 14 Jul 2003

I just came across this article from an old Fred Langa newsletter that might help. It has been slit into 2 parts, due to the 800-word limit on a single posting on this Forum -

Part 1

!1) Making *Really* Old Software Work In XP

Reader Harley Witham ran into a common problem for users upgrading to XP from earlier version of Windows. The one-click solution--- though
nonobvious--- is actually much easier than the ways Harley first tried:

Fred, I'm stumped! Have been running Win-98 on my old computer
and also some DOS programs I've been using for a dozen years.
(With a dozen years of data which would be a pain to attempt
conversion to any WIN program, if I could find one which was

Just bought a new SONY RZ22G Vaio computer with XP Home on it.
When I attempt to run these DOS programs in XP's DOS window,
they are very small and difficult to use. The window will not
enlarge to fill the screen, but is like a minimized screen.
I thought I had a solution: Make a DOS Boot floppy and run
these programs under pure DOS from it. Accordingly, I
formatted a floppy and transferred the sys files using WIN-
98's DOS. I then copied Himem.sys, EMM386.EXE, and a Device
driver for CD ROM to the floppy and it now reads as follows

device = himem.sys

device = emm386.exe NOEMS


devicehigh = vide-cdd.sys /DIBMCD001



Problem: Computer boots, and all appears normal until I
attempt to change directories, at which time I get a message
"Invalid drive specification."

What am I forgetting? Anything you can suggest would be very
much appreciated. ---Harley Witham"

  jazzypop 18:59 14 Jul 2003

Part 2 -

"Your way can work, Harley, and we'll get back to it in a moment, but there's usually a much easier solution. You see, XP can usually handle old software (including DOS apps) pretty well on its own, with three

First, as you've seen, many old DOS apps (and games) were meant to run at either 25 lines by 80 characters (if text) or maybe 640x480 resolution (if graphics), and sometimes much less for very early software. You probably now run your system at a much higher resolution, but the old DOS apps haven't a clue how to work in a larger environment. The result can be a tiny window on your much-larger screen.

But XP offers solutions: First, each window in which your DOS apps run can have its own properties: Right click on the window's menu bar, and explore the options for window size, font size and style, and more. Enlarging the font, for example, may make old text-based apps far more usable on today's large screens.

You might also try altering the way the DOS programs actually run: In XP, right click on the DOS program and select Properties/Compatibility/Run in 640x480. XP will then try to run the app or game in low resolution, restoring the classic look and feel. Note that the "compatibility" property offers other options, too, to fool older apps into thinking they're running on the hardware or OS for which they were designed. This is one of XP's nicer features--- it's far more flexible in handling older software than Windows 2000, for example, even though XP is based on Win2K.

For more info, go to the XP help system, and search on "compatibility."

But there's some old software that XP won't handle: Some really, really ancient software tries to control the PC hardware directly, bypassing the OS. This is a trick used when machines ran at very slow speeds--- speeds about 1/500th as fast as today's. It's not only unnecessary now, but actually causes trouble: If an app takes over the hardware and then crashes, it will take down everything else with it--- including the OS.

This is actually one of the reasons why the early versions of Windows got their reputation for being crash-prone--- a rogue app or game might have a problem, but in doing so, would also undermine the OS causing it to crash and thus taking out any other apps that happened to be running at the same time: Only one program would have to fail for the whole house of cards to come down. This is a problem that plagued all versions of Windows in the 3.1 and 9.x families, including ME.

NT, Win2K, and XP get their reputation for being crash-resistant because they don't allow other programs to take over key systems in the PC. In this way, the essential services of the OS are protected from bad apps: An app itself still may crash and burn, but it will have a very hard time taking out the OS. This also protects other software that may be running at the same time: No one software crash is likely to take out everything, as can (and does) happen in Win9x: Instead, in XP, software problems are usually confined only to the program that's having trouble.

Most software applications--- even old DOS versions--- are "well behaved" (that is, they don't try to "own" the screen, or printer, or hard drive, or other hardware) and can work fine in XP. But some very old applications and games are badly behaved (designed to take over all or some of the PC): XP won't allow that software to run because it's too dangerous.

For that kind of software to work, Harley's boot disk idea is a good one. But you'll also have to put the old DOS software itself on floppies or on a non-NTFS partition of your hard drive, because on its own, DOS cannot access NTFS drives. (See click here
for more info, including how to add NTFS drivers to your DOS

Fortunately, with most DOS/Win3/Win95/Win98 application software, the "compatibility" system in XP will be all you need.

(BTW: The above also explains why XP uses different drivers and low- level utilities from Win9x. Older Win9x drivers and utilities may try to communicate directly with the hardware, which--- just like old DOS
software--- can cause trouble if the driver or utility hangs or crashes. XP-style drivers and utilities tell the OS what they want done, and the OS then does it. This makes it much harder for a bad driver or utility to take out the PC--- but it does mean that old Win9x drivers and low- level utility software won't work in XP.)"

  dunnock 18:53 17 Jul 2003

Thanks for all the advice. I will certainly try some of the suggestions you made. I understand now why some of my old software won't run but some are O.K. I was a bit apprehensive buying a new PC running XP, but after only using it for a week, after using '98' for several years, I am beginning to get used to it.

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