How do I run Win95 program on WinXP?

That’s pretty much my whole question in the thread title. I thought WindowsXP (Home) was supposed to support programs written for previous versions of Windows, but, alas, it doesn’t seem to be the case.

Disclaimer: The programs I wish to run are, in fact, programs which I’ve purchased over the years from authorized outlets and are not pirated versions.

Right click the shortcut, click on the compabilitiy tab and select the operating system of your choice in compability mode. I have a couple really old games and this worked for me.

Thanks, racer72; but, alas, it’s still not working. Maybe I’ll have to wait until I get back to the US next year and get my stuff out of storage, thereby getting to use my old computer.

Some software that ran on older systems has trouble on new machines with lots of RAM. You may want to try and set the high and low end of virtual memory to 512 MB.

Bump this thread tomorrow; there’s a poster (CandidGamera, maybe?) who has spent a lot of time getting older programs running under XP.

Tell us the name of the program(s) and what they do. Also tell us everyting you know about how they fail, error messages, etc.

Games and utility programs are the usual sources of compatibility problems, while more vanilla applications are usually OK. In addition to the basic compatibility settings mentioned above, there are some specific tricks you can use to fool some programs some times, but which trick depends on which program and what it’s tripping over.

You can also try Googling their names and [XP compatibility]. Perhaps somebody else has solved the problem.

      • With some old programs, they were written to be hardware-RAM resident and are limited at how much RAM they can enumerate into. They may need to run on a machine with less-than-some-number of hardware RAM, 512 megs is a common limitation (is this the Win95 RAM support limit?.. I know no PC that came with Win95 probably came with 512 megs of RAM, but I recall when I built my first computer with over 512 megs of RAM, lots of older programs wouldn’t work right…). You can try turning down the virtual mem, or even disabling some RAM in BIOS if that is possible and one stick is 512 megs.
  • The other solution is to get a dinosaur PII or 586 machine (with <512 megs of RAM) running Win95 or 98 and use the program on that.

If you’re trying to play the older Leisure Suit Larry’s or Baseball Pro 98, I guarantee they won’t work. I have an older machine running Win 98 just to play those and others.

      • While searching for a method to run a couple of my own abandonware programs, I ran across something I had not found before: Resplendent Resolver. It used to be payware, now has been changed to freeware.
        It allows lots of very-specific settings to be faked, much more so than the regular WinXP compatability tool. You can generate false readings for your OS, drive types, physical and virtual memory, paging file, screen resolution and color depth, processor type & number and current date and time.

The program I tried it with has not been successful so far (Macromedia Fontographer 4.1) but that particular app is known for mysterious problems on later systems and OS’s.

I’ve found that some games just simply don’t work no matter how you try to futz with the settings. But the first option is always the Compatibility tab. If that doesn’t work, then Google to see if anyone else solved the problem before.

I recently helped my parents upgrade from a an ancient '97 vintage Win95 machine to a modern XP machine and found that their Scrabble game simply wouldn’t work no matter what I tried. Naturally, its was no great loss other than the loss of the high scores they had built up in the past 7 years or so, the local Staples had a more modern Scrabble game for $10. Would have been interesting to try the Resolver program though. Oh well.

You could install VMware or Microsoft Virtual PC, and then run Windows 95 inside Windows XP.