View Full Version : WinXP "to act like" Win98 ?

14-01-2003, 11:46 AM
Several times I have heard that WinXP can "act like" Win98, apparently in order to 'force' WinXP to run old programs that otherwise will not work on WinXP.

Is this true? If so, how do we activate this feature, and under what circumstances can it be used? Thanks.

14-01-2003, 11:50 AM
Its called Compatibilty Mode, and it works to limited effect.

I personally dont have XP, but have used it a fair amount.

From what I undestand it allows programs to work as though they were running on Win95 to a certai degree.

I think that the Windows Help File explains it well (Thats what I heard).

Sorry I cant be a bit more specific... But the help is supposed to be good.

Look for Compatibilty Mode :)



14-01-2003, 11:56 AM
Right clicking a shortcut to a program should give a "compatability" tab, which allows Windows to pretend that it is 95/98-ME etc.

Apart from "lying" to the application about its identity, I am not sure of what other effects are able to be made.

14-01-2003, 11:59 AM
Id like to know if you can run things like DX installer in comp. mode... or I've got an old tweaker program for 98 only, wonder what effect that'd have...

Could be interesting.

If I ever get my hands on my own copy, I'll put that on my "To explore" list!

Disclaimer: dont try this at home, its a dumb idea.. even though none of it may work..

14-01-2003, 12:31 PM
Wonder if you can get explorer.exe to run as though it were a Win95 app? ;)

14-01-2003, 01:01 PM
>>> or I've got an old tweaker program for 98 only

It might run, but you will probably stuff things up, as a tweaker usually plays with system settings/registry to tweak windows, and there can be a fair difference between 98 and XP. Compatibility mode is to make programs not designed to run under XP to think they're actually running under 98 and be able to run. It's not designed to allow you to run WIndows 98 system tools to tweak a 98 system as the OS is completely different.


14-01-2003, 01:04 PM
> Wonder if you can get explorer.exe to run as though
> it were a Win95 app? ;)

Or, copy a 98 explorer.exe and run it in comp. mode....

*Goes off to search out the cheapest price for XP*


14-01-2003, 01:18 PM
Remembers last summer holidays when I tried to make me WinME look and run like XP

If you're gonna try that, under XP, go to the task manager 'processes' tab, kill off explorer.exe, then click 'new task' on the 'applications' tab, and run the 98 version of explorer.exe. But you'd probably be better off trying it with an NT or 2K version of explorer.exe coz they'd be far less likely to come up with errors about missing system files.

Babe Ruth
14-01-2003, 01:28 PM
Windows XP's Compatibility Mode attempts to present an environment for software that expects to be run in a particular version of Windows.

Some older programs, especially games, don't run correctly under Windows XP or 2000. Compatibility mode under Windows XP emulates previous versions of Windows--Windows 2000, NT 4.0, Me, 98, and 95. Compatibility mode can also set the display to the lower resolutions that were standard several years ago. If you have a program that used to run well but balks at Windows XP, compatibility mode may fix the problem.

Don't use compatibility mode to run programs that are specifically designed for older versions of Windows. For example, a virus checker that is designed for use with Windows 95 should not be run with Windows XP.

You can set all your compatibility modem options by creating or editing a shortcut for the program, or by working with the .exe (executable) file that you run to start the program. Right-click the shortcut or .exe file for the program that has compatibility problems, and choose Properties from the menu that appears. Click the Compatibility tab on the Properties dialog box. Click the Run This Program Using Compatibility Mode check box and select a previous version of Windows from the drop-down menu. You can also run the program in 256 colors (also known as 8-bit color, a much smaller set of colors that are standard for Windows XP), 640 480 screen resolution (lower than the usual 800 600 minimum for modern PCs), or without visual themes (with desktop themes disabled).

You often must set the compatibility mode of both the installation program and the actual program for them to work properly. First, set the compatibility mode for the installation program and run it. Once the program is installed, find the installed executable program and give it the same compatibility mode. If it doesn't work the first time, try another mode.

P.S. Explorer has a lot of hooks into the kernel of the OS it wouldn't be advisable to replace one with a previous version from (in particular non-NT OS) operating system version.

Babe. :-)

14-01-2003, 01:34 PM
Whacks self on head

I completely forgot about XPs compatibility when I tried installing Symantec VisualPage a few weeks ago, and it came back saying I was running an OS too old for what it wanted (more like the version number of XP is far outside whatever it accepts), so I'll go off and try that now!

14-01-2003, 01:37 PM
how about right clicking taskbar or desktop and going to the themes and choose windows 98 or classic whatever it is. so now you don't have all that gay xp style in which is gay

Babe Ruth
14-01-2003, 01:45 PM
You would still be running Windows XP but using the Windows 2000 style instead.


14-01-2003, 01:47 PM
Righto, well if you're saying that, you might as well be saying it about Red Hat 7.x and later, Mac OS X, Lycoris, and all the other OSes that have nice 3D icons, are much more colour-rich, and add a whole new meaning to the words Graphical User Interface.

14-01-2003, 02:10 PM
Others have told you how to use compatability mode, here's an example of when to use it.

We have a collection of kids edutainment software including some of the Reader Rabbit series. Much of this software was designed to run in Win95 640 x 480, 256 colours and we always had trouble with Win98, ME & 2K. For example you would have to change the screen resolution each time a particular program was run, then back again afterwards. A bit tricky for a 5 or 6 year old. With compatability mode we can set it to run as Win95 640 x 480, 256 colours and we have no trubles at all. Software that hasn't been used for ages now gets a new lease of life. Thanks Bill.

14-01-2003, 02:41 PM
> Software that hasn't been used for
> ages now gets a new lease of life. Thanks Bill.

See! I knew there was some good in the man!

*Chilling_Silence goes off, seeking to expose bill's plot to rule the world through the use of compatibilty mode!*

14-01-2003, 03:00 PM
Well I suppose if old Bill opened his brain a little, he might build in a compatibility feature so you can run Linux and Mac programs...

14-01-2003, 03:07 PM
Forgot to say, if Bill did that, then he would have the potential to satisfy many more people. After all, it's already been done on both Macs and Linux.

Imagine being able to run Linux or Mac on Windows through a MS program called something like "Microsoft Virtual OS".

14-01-2003, 03:30 PM
>Well I suppose if old Bill opened his brain a little, he might build in a compatibility feature so you can run Linux and Mac programs...

Already been done. I run Win98 and Linux in windows on WindowsXP. Dunno about Mac though, no point in runng a niche machine like that.

15-01-2003, 07:27 AM
G'day 'Chilling', et. al.,

Thanks for the replies - I found the Compatibility feature and it works OK. The rest of the thread here is (as so often found here on F1) ...amusing. Cheers - Steve