I have put this together from two sources and it has allowed me to both put Freecell XP and my statistics onto my Win8 laptop:
If you have the old XP machine accessible, the problem is easily solved by the following:
XP machine –
1) Create a folder called "XP_Games" on your desktop. Actually any name will do so long as it does not conflict with other Windows sub-directories
2) Open Windows explorer and navigate to C:\WINDOWS directory. Select Search and type 'Freecell' in the filename box and press Search. The files should show up very quickly.
3) Select all the files and copy&paste them into the desktop folder you just created.
4) Use the same procedure 2&3 above for the file 'cards.dll'.
To get your Freecell statistics:
5) Use Start - run and type in 'regedit'. Browse to: HKEY_CU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\FreeCell
6) Click File - Export to the desktop folder.
7) Now save the folder to a pen-drive or similar
Win 8 machine –
1) Plug the pen-drive in and copy the folder into C: [where-ever you want] on your new machine.
Note - the cards.dll file MUST STAY in the new folder (where freecell.exe resides). This method merely exploits the long-standing concept of link-files and accessories always being searched for in the immediate environment of the executable itself. So the Win8 version (if enabled) is still operational in same way (if you feel the need to play it!) and no ambiguity or interference results.
2) In Win8 file explorer, type regedit in the search box, run the .exe file and use File - Import to import your statistics.
3) If you then right-click on the freecell.exe file and select 'Send to' --> Desktop you will end up with a shortcut on your desktop that works in the normal way - with the old program behaviour and appearance. Then, when you run freecell and press F4, your stats should be there.