Help playing Windows 95/98 games in Windows 10

BrutalMoose

Active Member
Hello there, I am trying to install several Windows 95/98 games onto a new Windows 10 computer. I have gone to dozens of websites, and followed their instructions, but it still does not work. I get the same error for all of them. It says “This app can’t run on your PC"

I have already tested every combination of the Windows application compatibility modes: 256 color, 16 bit 8 bit, windows 95/98/xp/7. I have turned off Smart Screen filter I believe. I was told this error comes from Smart Screen, but I think I turned that off in the Settings panel.

Why is this error happening, and how do I install these games for my customer? How do I avoid not only this error, but all problems and errors that might occur? Thank you.
 

GDany

Senior Member
You should install a virtualization product like Oracle's Virtualbox and then create a Windows 95/98 virtual machine by using a Windows 95/98 setup disk. The newly created virtual pc will enable you to run all your old programs, after installing them on to the machine.

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BrutalMoose

Active Member
Here is the thing about 95 & 98 games. First THEY ARE 32-BIT GAMES. But they are the older version of 32-bit programs...

You are going to have to run a virtual box program that allows you to install a version of the 98 Windows OS that allows you to simulate a Windows 98 environment for your games. A virtual box is a fancy way of saying a "computer WITHIN a computer. A VB allows your 98 Windows environment to work just like it did in the past except with newer equipment, drivers, and peripherals...

This is the ONLY WAY you are going to play those 95/98 games; even then they might not work 100% like they did work in the past.

Cheers!

《♤》Sawuwaya / Spirit Wolfe《♤》


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I got one of them to work so far, so virtualization isn’t the only way.
 

zirkoni

Extraordinary Member
Here's a few different options you can try:

1. DOSBox works for DOS games (not for Windows games): DOSBox, an x86 emulator with DOS

2. DxWnd is a program that can intercept old system/DirectX calls and translate them for newer systems: DxWnd

3. dgVoodoo 2 is a similar program as DxWnd: Dege's stuffs

4. DDrawCompat is a simple drop-in dll replacement for improving compatibility with old games: narzoul/DDrawCompat

5. Instead of VirtualBox I'd recommend using PCem which is a full PC emulator (requires more CPU power than VB, though): PCem

What works for you really depends on the games you're having problems with. Also, some of these programs might be a bit tricky to set up but there should be plenty of tutorials online. I'd probably try googling the game name with DxWnd or something first...

BTW, if any of the games has a 16-bit installer and you're running a 64-bit Windows then your only option might be installing older Windows version in PCem or VirtualBox. I know it's possible to convert some 16-bit installers to 32-bit but it really depends on the game as well.
 

BrutalMoose

Active Member
Here's a few different options you can try:

1. DOSBox works for DOS games (not for Windows games): DOSBox, an x86 emulator with DOS

2. DxWnd is a program that can intercept old system/DirectX calls and translate them for newer systems: DxWnd

3. dgVoodoo 2 is a similar program as DxWnd: Dege's stuffs

4. DDrawCompat is a simple drop-in dll replacement for improving compatibility with old games: narzoul/DDrawCompat

5. Instead of VirtualBox I'd recommend using PCem which is a full PC emulator (requires more CPU power than VB, though): PCem

What works for you really depends on the games you're having problems with. Also, some of these programs might be a bit tricky to set up but there should be plenty of tutorials online. I'd probably try googling the game name with DxWnd or something first...

BTW, if any of the games has a 16-bit installer and you're running a 64-bit Windows then your only option might be installing older Windows version in PCem or VirtualBox. I know it's possible to convert some 16-bit installers to 32-bit but it really depends on the game as well.


Thank you Zirkoni, that was a wonderful and very helpful reply. I look forward to visiting Windows Forum more, after reading that. I have a 2 hour time window with my client, and I must complete this task in that time. Which of the solutions you mentioned is the most robust, and least likely to need troubleshooting? I can read a little documentation, but I cannot spend hours reading and troubleshooting, as it is not a home project. They are turn-based wargames: Pacific General, Panzer General, Allied General.... (the Win95/98 versions. He does not want the Windows 10 versions for some reason) If you had to choose one method for me to focus on, which would it be?
 

zirkoni

Extraordinary Member
Only one method and a 2 hour time limit for setting it all up? I guess I'd try PCem since it's pretty much guaranteed to work with every one of those three games. I'd install Windows 98 SE in PCem and then install the games in Windows 98.

The installation of PCem should be portable so you can do the complete setup in advance on your PC and just transfer the necessary files to the customer's PC.
 
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