Playing older software on Windows XP

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Many older software titles can be installed and played on Windows XP than most people realise.  Over 90% of Windows 95/98/Me titles work on XP if you just know how.  

You simply need to try using the Program Compatibility Wizard (it comes standard in all XP versions ) to install the title.

Step 1.  Insert the cd-rom you wish to install into your cd-rom drive and close any windows that may pop up, as you will not be installing it traditionally.  

Step 2. Select Start, All Programs, Accessories, Program Compatibility Wizard and click Next.

Step 3. Click the "I want to use the program in the cd-rom drive" option and click next.

Step 4.  A list of compatibility options will appear.  Read the system requirements for the game you are trying to install if you have them.  They will help you select the options you require.  The most common for Windows 95 and 98 games are the 256 colours and 640x480 display.  If you don't have the requirements, try just selecting either Windows 95 or Windows 98/ME only at first. Always select the Disable Visual Themes option in this screen. Click Next.

Step 5. A window showing the heading "Test your Compatibility Settings" will appear.  Click Next to begin the program installation.  Once the installation is complete play the title for a couple of minutes to ensure it is working correctly eg there are no sound or visual issues.  If it is OK you can close it and the wizard will still be open underneath, asking you if it worked OK.  You can then complete the wizard.   If it is not working OK you can say no and go back and select more compatibility options such as the display size and colour settings and try again. 

Step 6. Sending the information to Microsoft at the completion of the Wizard will help them to program better compatibility modes into future Windows versions, but also to ensure Service Pack releases for XP take into account current user requirements. Service Pack 2 has proved this. We can now play more pre-XP games than under the original release and Service Pack 1. Please take the time to send these reports to Microsoft, it will help you now and in the future.

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