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Old windows program error  message "Overflow".

Posted on 2015-01-22
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Last Modified: 2015-01-23
Hi,

I'm trying to install an old Windows program (back from the days of Windows 98, maybe) onto Windows 7 x86.

The install went through seemingly ok, but when I try to execute the program, I get a very non-descriptive error of "Overflow".

I realize that this isn't much to go on, but I'm hoping someone can help. Thanks.
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Question by:Go-Bruins
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40565310
The chances of Windows 98 stuff working on Windows 7 is pretty remote indeed.

If you have Windows 7 Pro, you can get XP mode for free and the program will likely run in XP mode. That is your best option.
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40565324
Is XP mode something that you download?
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John Hurst earned 300 total points
ID: 40565335
Yes, go to Microsoft Downloads and look for XP Mode. It can be downloaded and installed. Look at the documentation notes for it. XP mode is an XP virtual machine supplied by Microsoft
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40565337
If it's a virtual machine, it may not solve my problem. I installed this legacy program onto one of my VMware XP virtual machines, and I'm getting the same "Overflow" error.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40565358
You can probably find Windows 98 on eBay. Get Windows 98 and install that as a VM (I have a Windows 98 VM). That will work. With Workstation you can run in Unity Mode which is handy to make it look like it is running in the host machine.

If your software will not run in XP, it for SURE will not run in Windows 7.
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40565368
I've been told that this program did indeed run in XP.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40565389
I do not know what it is. Try installing it in XP in Compatibility Mode to see if it runs that way.

It sounds old enough that you are probably better off sourcing Windows 98.
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 200 total points
ID: 40565417
Get rid of such antique software.

Sometimes you can get such stuff running using DosBox:

http://portableapps.com/apps/games/dosbox_portable
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40565426
i don't think they can. they have years of company data in the legacy program, and the company has gone out of business.

i think i have a handle on the error. this program relies on a parallel port (anti-piracy) dongle. i'll have to try the program with the dongle to see if that's the problem.

down the road, even the dongle will pose a challenge because many MB's don't come with parallel ports now...
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40565431
Your user DOES need to move on. However, in the shorter term, get a Windows 98 machine as I suggested. I looked, they are available. Then you can get a USB to Parallel converter. I have one.

Be sure to use VMware Workstation for good USB support.
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 200 total points
ID: 40565487
Such dongles usually won't work in virtual environments as the OS must have hardware access to the port, which in a VM isn't the case (besides that, most modern PC's don't have any parallel or even serial ports anymore).

If that ancient software really is still needed I'm afraid your only option is to get an ancient PC and install windows 98 on it...
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40565491
So even if we virtualize the computer using something like vCenter Converter, the "snapshot" of the dongle doesn't come along for the ride, correct?
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40565497
If you make the machine from scratch, it might work. It is worth a try.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40565501
The converter probably won't even work with Windows 98... But even if it would, no, it wouldn't work. Those dongles need direct hardware access to the port, and you just don't get that in a virtualized environment.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40565506
I have tried USB but never a dongle. Dongles are dead technology.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40565544
I like John's suggestion of getting a Win 98 machine.  I still have a couple (not for sale) and even a Win 3.1 system that has a dongle on it for PCB CAD software.  That still makes me money.
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40566460
Thanks all. I learned quite a bit.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40566466
@Go-Bruins - you are most welcome and I was happy to help.
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