Running old games in Windows 7




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  1. #1
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    Running old games in Windows 7

    Anyone have any tips for trying to get older games (like, Windows 95/98 era) running on a Windows 7 x64 laptop?

    I've got an Acer Aspire 5532 that I use mostly when traveling (which is not very often) and I figured I'd be able to install some of my older games (with lower requirements) on it using compatibility mode. However, the first two older games I tried seem to be giving me no love. They both start up and either chug away at 100% CPU until killed or just end immediately. Neither of them show any visible signs of doing anything.

    I'm trying to get Icewind Dale running at the moment. I've tried setting it to run in a few different compatibility modes (95, 98, and XP) with no luck. I disabled my antivirus, in case that was killing it for some reason, and I added it to the list of Data Execution Prevention exceptions. Still nada.

    Any other suggestions? Or should I put these games back in my closet where they are doomed to forever yearn for the light of a computer screen?
    Adventure is not outside; it is within.
    --Found in a fortune cookie on game night

    Law's Gaming Style: Storyteller 92%, Method Actor 75%, Tactician 75%, Butt-Kicker 67%, Specialist 50%, Power Gamer 50%, Casual Gamer 17%

 

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    Have you checked into Steam? It offers plenty of old games that run on Win 7. They do it by using Dosbox, which is a pretty robust program that you can configure to run just about any x86 game.
    Last edited by Felon; Saturday, 18th September, 2010 at 07:50 PM.

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    I know where I can get games that have been remade or adjusted to run on Windows 7, but I was hoping I could bring back to life some of the games I already had instead of spending money on new (to me) ones.

    Edit: I re-read your post and noticed this time that you mentioned DOSBox. Can that run Windows 95 games? I thought from the name that it would only run DOS games.
    Adventure is not outside; it is within.
    --Found in a fortune cookie on game night

    Law's Gaming Style: Storyteller 92%, Method Actor 75%, Tactician 75%, Butt-Kicker 67%, Specialist 50%, Power Gamer 50%, Casual Gamer 17%

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    That's odd that Icewind Dale won't run. I haven't tried running Icewind Dale yet, but both Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II run fine on my Windows 7 64-bit notebook, without any compatibility mode settings. Given that it uses the same engine as BG1, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work.

    If I have a chance, I'll try installing Icewind Dale and see if it works for me or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merkuri View Post
    Edit: I re-read your post and noticed this time that you mentioned DOSBox. Can that run Windows 95 games? I thought from the name that it would only run DOS games.
    Depends on which game you're after! There is a full compatability list here and the official website has a basics guide which is worth checking out:
    Basic Setup and Installation of DosBox - DOSBoxWiki

    If nothing else, there is always Good Old Games who are very cheap anyway

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caprica View Post
    Depends on which game you're after! There is a full compatability list here
    Hmm, looks like this won't help me with Icewind Dale, but it might with Dungeon Keeper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caprica View Post
    If nothing else, there is always Good Old Games who are very cheap anyway
    I use this laptop so rarely that buying games for it just doesn't seem worth it, even if they're $5-$15 games. But I have seen GOG before. Maybe I'll pick up something that'll run on both my main machine and my laptop... hmm...
    Adventure is not outside; it is within.
    --Found in a fortune cookie on game night

    Law's Gaming Style: Storyteller 92%, Method Actor 75%, Tactician 75%, Butt-Kicker 67%, Specialist 50%, Power Gamer 50%, Casual Gamer 17%

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    GOG released Baldur's Gate a few days ago, and promises more "Habsbro Licenced" games, coming up, so you might avctually get IWD in a few weeks.

    What you really pay the $5 or $10 to GOG for is that they have done all the work of getting it working on Windows Vista and Windows 7. To me at least that is worth the money many times over (even though I have all but 1 of my GOG-games in original boxes on the shelf )

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    We've had no problem running ID on Win7. Probably best to try with another computer if something that old isn't running. How does Win7 work on that machine? Does it have 4 gigs of RAM and all the other requirements?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulla View Post
    GOG released Baldur's Gate a few days ago, and promises more "Habsbro Licenced" games, coming up, so you might avctually get IWD in a few weeks.

    What you really pay the $5 or $10 to GOG for is that they have done all the work of getting it working on Windows Vista and Windows 7. To me at least that is worth the money many times over (even though I have all but 1 of my GOG-games in original boxes on the shelf )
    Quite often you will get extras too - soundtrack, artwork, etc.

    For me though, the convinience outweighs the time involved in setting up DOSBox (or whichever emulator you're usuing), tweaking various settings and getting part way through the game only to discover that a graphics-related glitch has stopped me playing any further (Toonstruck )

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Crichton View Post
    We've had no problem running ID on Win7. Probably best to try with another computer if something that old isn't running. How does Win7 work on that machine? Does it have 4 gigs of RAM and all the other requirements?
    Win 7 seems to work fine. I don't have the machine in front of me (left it at work this weekend - I also use it as a backup machine in the office because I was tired of them giving me crappy laptops or giving me nice laptops and then taking them away because someone else needed it), but I'm fairly certain it has all of the requirements. It runs Civilization IV just fine (which was a complete surprise to me... I didn't think a non-gaming laptop would be able to handle something that modern).

    I wouldn't be surprised if my Norton antivirus was killing it or if it killed part of the installation. I clicked the "disable auto-protect" option on the antivirus while I was trying to play it, but I didn't shut it down entirely.

    Did you need to do anything special to get it running? Did you have to install a particular patch or set it to run in compatibility mode for a certain OS? It would be nice to compare notes with someone who has it working so I know I'm at least heading in the right direction.

    I don't have another Windows 7 machine to try it on (unless I try it on my work desktop, but I don't think they'd appreciate that ) and I don't really have the desire to have it installed on my Vista desktop (the machine I'm using right now). I just wanted some other miscellaneous games on my laptop so that when I travel I have a little more choice in what games I play.
    Adventure is not outside; it is within.
    --Found in a fortune cookie on game night

    Law's Gaming Style: Storyteller 92%, Method Actor 75%, Tactician 75%, Butt-Kicker 67%, Specialist 50%, Power Gamer 50%, Casual Gamer 17%

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