How Can I Run Old PC Games In XP?

Probably a stupid question, but I have a hankering to fire up Doom 2 and Quake 2 again: unfortunately, the game specs listed are only up to Win 2000, whereas I’m running XP. Is there a skilly way to get around this, or am I stuffed?

Have you tried running these using XP? I should think this will work.

Yes, and no.

An copy of Homeworld I have worked fine on purchase about two years ago on my WinXP machine. Whatever “upgrades” MS have sent my way seem to have left it unable to run.

Right click the shortcut or main program executable icon. Choose compatability mode and change it to Win98. That should work. At least it works for a bunch of really old Dos based games that I just tried it on.

Ah, now that sounds promising…

I hope it works out for you.

Great! Thanks, Xploder. It still needs a bit of fiddling with the graphics configuration, but it’s up and running. Yer a star, mate.

Any time.

For really old games that you’re having problems running, DosBox is a very nice dos emulator that is compatible with a huge list of games now. All sorts of retro fun.

Would that work for my (original release) Warcraft 2 problem? It runs way too fast, even if I put all of the “speed” settings down to the lowest.

For Doom 2, you may wish to download Doomsday. Not only will you get prettier graphics, but most importantly, you’ll be able to mouselook. It’s like playing a whole new game.

Mouse look is great, but I can’t keep two players going on a network.
Anyone have advice on that?

For most games that claim compatibility with a pre-XP, NT-family OS, they can be made to work on XP; many of those that only mention Windows up to 9x will still run, but it’s not as likely. Games not designed to run on NT family OSes may attempt to directly (effectively bypassing the OS) address hardware such as graphics or sound cards - NT/2000/XP simply won’t allow this to happen.

I’ve tried using dosbox and other things to get ‘flashback’ and ‘little big adventure’ working. No luck :frowning:

I have run MORDOR - THE DEPTHS OR DEJENOL (a Win 3.x game), DEMISE - RISE OF THE KU’TAN (a Win95 game), and ULTIMA VII (a DOS game) via the EXULT ENGINE FOR WINDOWS (also available for unix, Mac, and BeOS) on XP without many headaches.

The biggest problem from old games has been with sound - it gets flakey sometimes.

My experience at getting dos games to work under XP has been rather abysmal. Judging from comments on the web, most people have had a lot better luck that I have, but it’s kind of a hit and miss sort of thing.

This page has a lot of useful info:

Some of the isssues may be machine specific. I know people have gotten Unreal to work under XP, but on my system I can only get it to run in a window (which is really annoying). I’ve also had very little success with VDMSOUND (mentioned in the link), and many people have reported that this worked beautifully on their system. A lot of “ymmv” things apply here.

Dual booting win98 and XP is another solution you can try, but a lot of newer systems don’t have 9.x drivers for many of their devices, so often this isn’t an option either.

I would expect that if the game is listed as compatible with Win 2000, it would run under Win XP with no problem. I believe that XP was built on the NT core, so should respond similarly to 2000.

I have Doom II and Ultimate Doom and they won’t run on my XP machine. I emailed the mfg. and they “Nope. It’s not compatable with XP.” I asked if there was an upgrade or something since I’ve purchase these sometime back and now can’t use them and they said no.
The link to Doomsday is intersting. Will it somehow make my DOOMs work?
Anyone find a way to salvage these great games? as someone else said, I can get the visual going but not any of the sounds.

Doomsday is great with XP and Doom with a single player. I can’t make the network function, dammit. The players quickly get out of sync. I see the other player at a different location than she sees herself and she can’t interact.

I’m ruined on regular Doom because of mouselook in Jdoom. You can look up and down. Very cool.

My solution was to set up to old slow PCs running Win 98 so Mrs. Plant and I can play. But there’s no mouse look. Damn!