Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
There are several software options available for running an older game on a newer computer, but you may have to take a step further.
I had a 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium OS. I've got a 64-bit Windows Home Premium. Now I want to play a certain game that only works on 32 bit. How do I install my 32-bit OS and still have my 64-bit OS? I have two internal 500 GB drives and two external 500 GB drives.
In this excerpt from Answercast #15, I look at various ways to run a 32-bit game on a 64-bit computer.
There are a number of different approaches to this problem and it really, really depends on the characteristics of the game.
It is possible; I don't know if you tried, but it is possible that the game will just work. I know that I run 64-bit Windows on both of my primary machines and they play games just fine.
I play World of Warcraft; I've mentioned that before and the game runs just fine on 32 bit or 64. I really don't see an issue there.
Now, not all games are like that; I understand that. Games often take a more advantage of hardware specifics than your average run-of-the-mill application does.
Some of them do that in ways that aren't necessarily portable between 32 and 64 bit.
The first thing I would suggest is to see if the game will run properly in a virtual machine.
There are several alternatives; I believe Virtual Box is the one that's free from Oracle (of all places). You could set up a 32-bit version of Windows in a window in 64-bit version of Windows. Then you could try running your game in there.
The concern I have with that scenario (and the reason it may or may not work) is that the game may rely too much on hardware specifics or direct access to the hardware to work at all. If it does work, it may work so slowly as to not be playable.
I think it's worth trying because I find this the most flexible alternative.
You can leave your Windows 64-bit running and just fire up that 32-bit virtual machine when it comes time to play the game.
The other alternative (and it's not something that I touch on very often... I try and avoid it if at all possible) is to set up a dual boot machine.
That way, when you want to play your games, you need to reboot and select the 32-bit version of Windows to start.
Personally, I find that very cumbersome. I don't talk about it much at all on Ask Leo!
Dual-boot scenarios... In the long run, most people find that solution to be so cumbersome as to be unacceptable.
I strongly recommend you start with a virtual machine solution.
The other solution that comes to mind is if you've got an old machine (a second-hand machine) that meets the specs for the game, it might be worth it to set up a second machine to play this thing.
It really depends on what your personal scenario is, what your personal resources are.
Finally, the last solution (of course) is to get a hold of the game manufacturer.
64-bit is definitely growing in popularity, by leaps and bounds, and the game manufacturer needs to be addressing that. They should be pressured to update.
If they're still in business, if this game is current, if they're still around, then they should be getting a lot of pressure to get their game to work on 64-bit Windows. Because ultimately, that's where everybody's landing.
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