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Playing old PC games on modern hardware

dud

Diamond Member
Feb 18, 2001
7,631
72
91
Do you ever get the urge to go back in time and play some of your old venerable titles ...but your newer, modern hardware will not support this? A case in point might help:

Recently I've wanted to try out some of my old games from the '90. They are not ancient, just dated. I don't know why I want to - I just do. I had so much fun playing back in the '90s I just want to relive it ... even for just a few hours. Well, my modern hardware and OS (XP) will not allow the program to run properly (it is unplayable). My question is there an application that will "slow down" my system or do I have to go out and buy an old PC/laptop that is slower and runs Win 98?


Thanks ...
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
670
126
DOSBox? free!

Virtual PC is free from MS, VMWare Server is free from VMWare and had a better faked video card last I checked.

Parts for a Pentium 3 system should be almost free except the case, even that if you can find one locally.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,122
389
126
I can still play Zork I II and III without any progs, runs great in XP! :)
 

dud

Diamond Member
Feb 18, 2001
7,631
72
91
Guys,

Sorry but I should have mentioned the game I am trying to play. It is:

Lords of the Realm II

It came out in '96 and does not work well on my later PC. I was just wondering what people do to get older games, written for older hardware and operating systems to work on newer ones.
 

nanobreath

Senior member
May 14, 2008
978
0
0
There are several things to do to get old games to run in XP.

For problems that consist of games just running so fast they are unplayable, there are programs like moslo. There are many different ones that do the same thing. They work the processor so that it slows down the execution of the game.

For compatibility problems where games just won't run, first try the basic compatibility modes by rightclicking the shortcut or .exe and select a version of windows. Also you can make the program run in 256 colors, 640x480 resolution etc.

I found in some games the graphics can be screwey, and in these cases turning hardware acceleration on your graphics card down or completely off can fix things. Access this by right clicking the desktop->properties->settigns TAB -> Advanced -> troubleshoot TAB.

For complete compatability control use Compatibility Administrator in the Application Compatibility Toolkit from microsoft. ( http://www.microsoft.com/downl...6DA2971&displaylang=en ), its got more options than I ever used.

DOSbox is AMAZING for your old dos games. Its all you need to run any of them. Seriously, this got games working I hadn't been able to get to work for awhile. It is basically a VM program for dos, emulates all the things games need to run. Also can speedup/slowdown to get them running at the correct speed. Also there are a TON of old dos games available for free download.

Finally you have the option of faking the computer with other VM stuff, dualbooting with win98, or just using an older computer. Generally though if you cannot get a program to work with these other tools, it probably never ran in the first place.

 

nanobreath

Senior member
May 14, 2008
978
0
0
I have that game, however I haven't tried to get it working in XP. I imagine compatibility problems are all that need to be fixed.

List the problems you are having and I'll see if its similar to other problems I have had before. Might be able to steer you in the right direction.
 

dud

Diamond Member
Feb 18, 2001
7,631
72
91
nanobreath,

Thanks for the offer. When I get the chance I will PM the symptoms to you.

BTW, welcome to Anandtech ...
 

manko

Golden Member
May 27, 2001
1,846
1
0
I haven't played this one, but your discussion got me interested. I found a link that says this is playable on Wine for Linux, so there must be a way to get into run in real Windows.

Wine AppDB

Did you also play the Siege Pack?

 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
78,923
11,848
126
Gee thats funny, I have been playing Lords 2 recently and it runs fine.

Try disabling one CPU if you have multiples.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,855
229
106
I play a variety of old games all the time. If the only issue you're having is that the game is running too fast, try using CPUKiller. Also, if it's a 3D game, make sure vsync is on. Some old games actually run faster at the very high framerates that are attained on modern cards.

Virtual PC is free from MS, VMWare Server is free from VMWare and had a better faked video card last I checked.
I'll need to try VMWare if it's free. I use Virtual PC to run a few early Windows games that don't work on XP, but it does not support any 3D acceleration at all.

DOSbox is AMAZING for your old dos games. Its all you need to run any of them. Seriously, this got games working I hadn't been able to get to work for awhile. It is basically a VM program for dos, emulates all the things games need to run. Also can speedup/slowdown to get them running at the correct speed. Also there are a TON of old dos games available for free download.
Yeah, Dosbox is extremely polished and reliable these days. I have yet to come across a game that doesn't work on the 0.7x versions of it. I wish there was something as feature rich for early Windows or Mac games.
 

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