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Why is my 32-bit not compatible with a 16-bit computer game

Last response: in Video Games
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March 5, 2012 8:05:16 PM

I haven't played this game since I was little and my 32-bit Windows XP won't let me play it. What do I do?
March 5, 2012 8:11:17 PM

Hi :) 

Which game ?

All the best Brett :) 
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March 5, 2012 8:28:54 PM

Totally Angelica, Boredom Buster. It's for my nieces and when they're not here, I was planning on playing it to pass time. And I can't play it cause every time I click on "go" it says "32-bit blah blah blah" and shuts down the game. :/ 
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March 5, 2012 10:28:24 PM

There are a few DOS games that won't run on a 32-bit OS because they expect complete control over the hardware. You could try running it in Dosbox, which runs everything I've tried.
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March 5, 2012 11:43:48 PM

That or make a duel boot with DOS or Win98 installed. Although I'm not 100% sure the new 64-bit CPU's are even capable of 16-bit.
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March 6, 2012 2:06:06 AM

bystander said:
Although I'm not 100% sure the new 64-bit CPU's are even capable of 16-bit.



MS has stopped 16-bit program support with the release of Win Vista. They did release Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate which should allow you to run a 16-bit program, but it is not for games since there is no support for accelerated video. It's mostly meant for old productivity programs.
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March 6, 2012 2:09:46 AM

jaguarskx said:
MS has stopped 16-bit program support with the release of Win Vista. They did release Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate which should allow you to run a 16-bit program, but it is not for games since there is no support for accelerated video. It's mostly meant for old productivity programs.


Yeah, that's why I said dual boot with Win98 (if you can find a copy), but I'm not sure if the 64-bit processors even support 16-bit commands.

EDIT: although if you can install 32-bit OS's on them, and they support 16 bit to some degree, I guess that would mean they can.
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March 6, 2012 3:37:49 AM

bystander said:
Yeah, that's why I said dual boot with Win98 (if you can find a copy), but I'm not sure if the 64-bit processors even support 16-bit commands.


64-bit x86 CPUs will happily run 16-bit code unless you're running them in 64-bit mode. One day that backward compatibility will probably be removed, but not for some years yet.
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March 6, 2012 11:43:12 AM

if you have 32bit o.s then dosbox or similar is the way to go, you could even get a gameboy or ps1 emulator and run it on that.
16 bit games wont install on a 64bit o.s because the 16bit installer is incompatible even if its xp 64. but it should install no problem on xp 32bit, but as you say its getting it to run thats the problem... you say the game starts the CTD (crash to desktop) if so then check the event viewer (ctrl panel/admin tools/event viewer) and see if the games crashing or if its 1 of the games other files causing the issue...
as the game is listed as being xp compatible.
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March 8, 2012 2:24:21 PM

DOSbox is probably your best option for this situation. It may take some tweaking to get them to run properly (remembering in X-Com the globe rotation spinning at about a month per second), but it will work in most situations. You have to run the installer from the DOSbox program too and if the game requires IRQ and DMA settings it can be a PITA, but if it gets you into that old game you want, it is worth it. You can even find DOSbox launchers for some games that some of the DOSbox configuration command strings have been pre-coded like a .bat file.

Or pick up a old set of hardware and run Win98 on it, I still have a Pentium 200MMX system laying around for whenever I get frustrated trying to figure out an old game on modern hardware/software.
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