I live in an area of the country where there are many elderly people. Many of these wonderful people still have old computers that are running old software. However, little by little they are beginning to upgrade their computers and Operating Systems to the latest and greatest 64-bit Windows 7 – but they want to keep using their beloved old software. Therein lies the problem!
The other day I set up a new Windows 7 machine for a client. He was extremely happy and then he said “OK, now let’s install my wife’s American Greetings CreataCard Gold 5 and my Hoyle Card Games“. He and his wife had used these same programs for years and they couldn’t live without them!
Well as you can probably imagine, these two programs would not install. Both of these older programs are 16-bit and will not install on the 64-bit Windows 7 OS. If my client had purchased a computer running 32-bit Windows 7, he could have run his programs in Compatibility Mode but this function will not work in 64-bit Windows 7.
So, the guy was very disappointed but I stayed as “cool as a cucumber” because I knew that there were several, great, free virtual machine programs that will allow you to run these older 16-bit programs on Windows 7 64-bit.
These are the programs that I recommend:
1) DOSBox (DOSBox is a DOS emulator and only runs 16 bit MS-DOS programs and not 16 bit Windows Applications).
2) VirtualBox (a “virtual machine” that allows an unmodified operating system with all of its installed software to run in a special environment, on top of your existing operating system).
3) VMware Player (a “virtual machine” that will run legacy Windows applications on top of your existing operating system without interfering with the original OS).
Professor Randy says: 64-bit Windows 7 is great but it does have it’s drawbacks – it will not run 16-bit software. Not to fear though, because there are several great free programs that will run your 16-bit software within Windows 7 64-bit. You can truly then “have your cake and eat it too!”