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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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by:John Hurst
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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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by:Go-Bruins
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Is XP mode something that you download?
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John Hurst earned 300 total points
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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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by:Go-Bruins
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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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by:John Hurst
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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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by:Go-Bruins
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I've been told that this program did indeed run in XP.
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by:John Hurst
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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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by:rindi
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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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by:Go-Bruins
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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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by:John Hurst
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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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by:rindi
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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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by:Go-Bruins
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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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by:John Hurst
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If you make the machine from scratch, it might work. It is worth a try.
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by:rindi
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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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by:John Hurst
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I have tried USB but never a dongle. Dongles are dead technology.
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by:Dave Baldwin
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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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by:Go-Bruins
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Thanks all. I learned quite a bit.
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by:John Hurst
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@Go-Bruins - you are most welcome and I was happy to help.
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