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Last post Author Topic: Win 7 XP mode  (Read 10093 times)

oblivion

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Win 7 XP mode
« on: March 05, 2011, 11:20:04 AM »
Hi...

I have a problem.

My mother-in-law has a Win 7 64-bit desktop PC, that they bought when their XP box died.

My father-in-law's favourite computer game won't run on Win 7.

Microsoft's virtual XP/compatibility mode thing is a 500Mb download. It'll fix their problem.

They live in the middle of nowhere and their home broadband connection is Miserably Slow. It also suffers dropouts and general unreliability.

So... I want to download the relevant installation package for them. I have a nice quick broadband connection and a 500Mb download probably won't take much longer than the last time I downloaded a linux distro.

Thing is, if I try to download from Microsoft, it wants me to do a WGA thing. And I can't run the download on a machine that has an acceptable version of WIndows 7, as my netbook is Starter edition (dual-booting with Ubuntu!) and my desktop is Vista.

There must be a way to download it some way that doesn't require the download to happen on the machine it's to be installed on, but I can't find anything useful out. Anyone got any helpful suggestions? (I expect I've missed something obvious somewhere, but hey, I'm old and grumpy and entitled to make the occasional small mistake!)  ;)
-- bests, Tim

...this space unintentionally left blank.

f0dder

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 01:29:36 PM »
Hm, dunno how to legitimately grab the XP compat mode files without a WGA-authenticated Windows version, sorry :)

What's the name of the game? Perhaps there's some way to get it running without XP compat mode after all.
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2011, 01:49:16 PM »

...

Thing is, if I try to download from Microsoft, it wants me to do a WGA thing. And I can't run the download on a machine that has an acceptable version of WIndows 7, as my netbook is Starter edition (dual-booting with Ubuntu!) and my desktop is Vista.

There must be a way to download it some way that doesn't require the download to happen on the machine it's to be installed on, but I can't find anything useful out. Anyone got any helpful suggestions? (I expect I've missed something obvious somewhere, but hey, I'm old and grumpy and entitled to make the occasional small mistake!)  ;)

Sorry.  f0dder is correct. "Them's the rules." :(

Trying to get around Microsoft's WGA requirement is seldom successful; and is generally more trouble than it's worth even when possible.

It's also generally not a good idea to try and circumvent Microsoft's recommended way of installing system software unless you really know what you're doing. Otherwise, you're opening yourself up for all kinds of grief. Especially if it isn't your machine.

I'd really try doing an overnight download from their machine if at all possible. Even carting their PC back to your place and doing the download and installation from there would be a wiser move.

If you still insist on trying it "manually" (as in not recommended) then the MajorGeeks website has a link to an XP Mode file. Look here. Date on this file is 02-19-2010, so it might not be the most recent or correct version to use. Note: you'll also need to download the Virtual PC installer in order to use this file.

My recommendation? Don't do it that way...

 :)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 01:53:49 PM by 40hz »

mwb1100

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2011, 08:33:15 PM »
No idea if it'll work, but this thread on Microsoft's support forum has a Microsoft employee suggest calling "Microsoft Supplemental Parts team" to ask for a CD:

In the United States and Canada, you can reach the Microsoft Supplemental Parts team at the contact numbers that are listed here:

    * United States: (800) 360-7561, Monday through Friday, 5:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Pacific Time.
    * Canada: (800) 933-4750, Monday through Friday, 5:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Pacific Time.
    * TTY customers: Contact Microsoft at (800) 718-1599, Monday through Friday, 5:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Pacific Time.

I am not sure, but I believe the Microsoft Supplemental Parts team may be able to supply you with XP Mode on a CD.  If they can, it will most likely cost the price of shipping and handling.

I hope you're in the US/Canada since only 800 numbers are given...

mwb1100

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2011, 09:16:46 PM »
Update: These are direct links (to Microsoft servers) that should not be subject to Windows Genuine Advantage or other platform checks:

  - Windows XP Mode for Win 7

Also, my understanding is that you'll probably also need to download (or otherwise have installed in the Win7 machine) the "Windows Virtual PC" package:

  - Windows Virtual PC (Win 7) - x64
  - Windows Virtual PC (Win 7) - x86

You'll also want to make sure they have Win7 SP1 installed if the machine doesn't have hardware virtualization support - I'm pretty sure that Windows Virtual PC requires hardware virtualization support prior to Win7 SP1.

  - Windows 7 SP1 - x64
  - Windows 7 SP1 - x86
  - Windows 7 SP1 - x86 and x64 in a very large ISO


Edit: add keyword WinXP because I had a hard time searching for this post!
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 12:13:50 AM by mwb1100 »

Ath

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2011, 04:29:13 AM »
Wouldn't getting VirtualBox or one of the free VMWare options be better than XP-Mode? The big downside is ofcourse you need a legitimate XP license to install as a virtual inside it, but there are 'manuals' for installing the XP-Mode session (legitimate if you own Win7 HomePro or better, AFAIK) into that on the interweb.

But if it's a graphical based game you're already hosed, as that will run with lousy performance in any of the virtualized systems :(

Carol Haynes

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2011, 05:10:18 AM »
VMWare is probably the best choice as it now has video acceleration which is probably necessary to play any sort of game.

XPMode is OK if you want to run an old business app that doesn't work in 7 but I wouldn't have thought it was up for gaming.

If you want to use a virtual XP system my recommendation would be to use:

VMware - difficult to use the free version (by comparison to the others) or expensive to buy the Workstation edition but with best hardware support. You can download VMWare Server for free and set up a VM and then use VMWare Player for simpler use by your father-in-law.
Virtualbox - free and easy to set up
Parallels - not free and mainly aimed at the Mac market - the Windows version is a couple of versions behind.
MS VirtualPC - the advantage of being free but just isn't nearly as good with hardware and slower than the other offerings. Advantage is a free copy of XP for Win 7 Pro or Ultimate.

in that order.

The reason you need to go through the WGA nonsense with the download is not to stop you downloading the product it is because you are issued with a free unique license to Windows XP so just copying someone else's disk is not ideal as you will be using their license too and at some point both copies might get stopped by WGA when you update them.

It's important to note too that whichever VM you go for they will need to be updated for security patches etc. as they will be intenet connected. If bandwidth is an issue this isn't trivial as there are vast numbers of updates to download - even since SP3 was released and it takes a long time even on a fast stable connection. Also you can't install it on your PC, do the updates and then transfer it to your parents computer as the activation will be broken. The VM 'sees' the underlying hardware and it will recognise it isn't the system it was installed on. (Just had this problem when I move my old XP box into a VM and transferred it to my new Win 7 box).

FWIW I am running Win 7 on a Phenom x6 processor with 16Gb RAM and I still don't think any VM would be tolerable to get games running even if it has sufficient VM hardware support.

It might be simpler to find him another game to get hooked on ...

One last thought - have they tried installing the game and running it in XP compatibility mode? A lot of games will run with a bit of effort - just make sure you force them to install and run in XP compat mode and that you run with admin privileges. Worth a try. You can do that by right clicking on the executable file or a shortcut to is and choose the Compatibility tab. Select run this program in compatibility mode for Win XP SP3 and also select Run the program as an administrator.

Probably best to do a full backup of their computer before you try it (Windows Backup System Image is very good for this) just in case it screws something up.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 05:15:35 AM by Carol Haynes »

40hz

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2011, 07:37:21 AM »
It might be simpler to find him another game to get hooked on ...

@Carol- I believe you've come up with the most elegant solution of all. Brilliant! :Thmbsup: 8)


Ath

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2011, 10:16:44 AM »
VMware - difficult to use the free version (by comparison to the others) or expensive to buy the Workstation edition but with best hardware support. You can download VMWare Server for free and set up a VM and then use VMWare Player for simpler use by your father-in-law.
VMWare Player 3 and up allows you to easily create complete virtuals from the ground up, no need to get the (quite outdated) Server version first.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2011, 10:38:41 AM »
Thanks Ath - I didn't know that.

Begs the question then - who buy Workstation (apart from me?)  :-\

Ath

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2011, 11:48:19 AM »
Workstation has multiple snapshots (and gets earlier updates), which is quite usable when testing several phases of a software installation...

Carol Haynes

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2011, 01:04:03 PM »
Workstation has multiple snapshots (and gets earlier updates), which is quite usable when testing several phases of a software installation...

True but it is easy enough to make snapshots anyway (just copy the folder before you run the VM)

Ath

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2011, 01:11:53 PM »
Well, and then there is the issue of support...



I use an employer paid-for Workstation license, but I've never even once used the support options available, either it's found in the VMWare forums, or googling, or in a just released update.

mwb1100

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2011, 03:07:53 PM »
This page a has a pretty good description of the differences between Workstation and Player: http://vmfaq.com/entry/5/

For Most purposes - especially personal use -there's probably not much need for Workstation over Player.  But if you're a developer or tester the snapshot management (which handles complex scenarios much easier than copying folders) or the debugging features are something that paying for workstation is easily worth.

Actually, I haven't used the debugging features yet, so I'm not sure if they're worth paying for.  But they sound pretty nifty.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2011, 05:07:07 PM »
Actually VMplayer looks pretty good for standard desktop virtualisation.

I have to say I do like branched snapshots and use them quite a lot but whether they alone are worth the cost now that VMP does almost all the day to day tasks is debatable.

Shades

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2011, 09:48:19 PM »
What about getting your parent's PC over to your place, hook it up to your internet connection and start downloading the necesaary stuff?


hamradio

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2011, 11:14:07 PM »
Carroll - HamRadioUSA.net

4wd

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2011, 04:18:54 AM »
Don't forget VMLite XP Mode which uses the XP Mode installation image you download from Microsoft.

oblivion

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2011, 02:10:02 AM »
I don't think I expected quite this much help!  :D

Thanks, everyone!

The "need" is a BigFish game they already have a license for -- Luxor 2, I think -- and there's a long and mostly frustrated thread on the BigFish site that pretty much flattens any idea of getting it to work in Win7 native.

I don't want to flirt with anything illegal or risky -- the in-laws do NOT have any computer skills worthy of note and I've pretty much got their computer running without me having to go and interfere with it too often -- and I also don't want to do anything too obvious or needing of complicated stuff to make it happen.

The first go at this will therefore be borrowing their PC at the weekend while they're away and not needing it and setting up the MS solution, with a view to making the game run it seamlessly (which I gather is possible.)

If performance really sucks, I'll try one of the other virtualisation options -- I can always use the XP license from their old, dead PC.

-- bests, Tim

...this space unintentionally left blank.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2011, 02:51:17 AM »
You can get things to run seemlessly in XP Mode - you can even pin an icon to the taskbar and it launches just as though it were a Win 7 app (albeit rather slower because on first launch the VM also starts up invisibly in the background.  After XP Mode is installed you need to run it in a window to install apps and then shutdown the VPC. You can then find installed apps in the Win 7 start menu under Windows Virtual PC.

Once running VirtualPC runs invisibly until you shutdown or restart the computer at which point VPS hibernates - so shutting down appears to take a long time too.

Depending on how much RAM they have this could be a performance hit in Win 7 too.... Just so you are warned ;)

Best thing to tell them is when they have played the game (assuming it works) and finished to restart the computer.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 02:54:50 AM by Carol Haynes »

oblivion

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2011, 04:12:02 AM »
Depending on how much RAM they have this could be a performance hit in Win 7 too.... Just so you are warned ;)

Considering I spec'ed the machine for them, you'd think I'd be able to remember how much RAM it has. At least 4Gb, maybe 8. I generally try to persuade people to stuff in as much RAM as the machine can take!

They don't often restart the machine. Last time I tried a scheduled overnight restart, they complained because they never switch the speakers off either. (Now I've said that, I seem to recall having seen something somewhere that could mute a system on a schedule. I must have a dig around.)

Quote
Best thing to tell them is when they have played the game (assuming it works) and finished to restart the computer.

Mm. I might try to force that to happen.

Thanks, Carol.

Oh, by the way... "waffles for England?" As in (my affliction) verbal diarrhoea? Or promoting the American breakfast?  ;)

-- bests, Tim
...all the way from 1066 Country...
-- bests, Tim

...this space unintentionally left blank.

f0dder

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2011, 04:16:48 AM »
oblivion: a quick looking around revealed that one of the 0-day cracking groups have released an "OS fix" for luxor2 back in October 2007 - not sure if it fixes your in-law's problem, but it does hint that it's a problem that might be fixable. Funny if the developers aren't willing to fix something that's apparently fixable without even having access to the source code.

Grabbing that fix will require a detour through some of the slightly murkier areas of the internet, though.
- carpe noctem

oblivion

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2011, 04:48:38 AM »
Funny if the developers aren't willing to fix something that's apparently fixable without even having access to the source code.

I think the developers HAVE fixed it. It seems, though, that the BigFish version of it hasn't been.

Quote
Grabbing that fix will require a detour through some of the slightly murkier areas of the internet, though.

I don't really want to do anything that might compromise the legality of software on their machine.

My current game plan -- slightly evolved -- is make a backup image, apply Win7 SP1 if it's not already there (don't think it is as I don't think it's automagically applied), see if I can make Luxor 2 work through normal versions of compatibility mode and, if not, go on to the various strategies suggested here, in order of relative invisibility and staying as safe as I can. (I like computers I don't have frequent contact with to be as self-maintaining as possible -- I've given up trying to explain things I consider to be completely simple to people who glaze over at the first mention of the phrase "right-click" and, by the time you've got to storage concepts, are quite clearly in "lights on but nobody home" mode.

-- bests, Tim

...this space unintentionally left blank.

f0dder

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2011, 04:58:09 AM »
I don't really want to do anything that might compromise the legality of software on their machine.
Understandable. I can't see how applying a fix for a game you legally own is wrong - but that's from a moral standpoint. From a lawyer-legal standpoint(*), things might be different. FWIW, the files involved in the fix is purely the fix, not the full game and data.

(*): when lawyers are involved, I'd prefer gunpoint to standpoint.
- carpe noctem

4wd

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Re: Win 7 XP mode
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2011, 05:10:14 AM »
The "need" is a BigFish game they already have a license for -- Luxor 2, I think --

If it's the same game as this, (and the screenshots look the same), then I downloaded the demo, installed it and played the first level fine on my Win7 HP x64 machine.