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I have MS Windows C++ version 6.0 on XP. I'd like to move it to a Windows 7 platform but when I try to install it there I get some garbage about it not being compatible, proceed at your own risk etc. When I proceed, it (not surprisingly) doesn't work.

Is there a way to convince these Microsoft tools to play nice with each other? I have Win7 home edition, but I would be willing to upgrade to Win7 Pro IF I knew it would work under the "XP emulation" mode.

Failing both those options, what is the least expensive "upgrade" path for C++? I don't need a bunch of other junk, just the C++ compiler. The goal is to retire my XP system since currently the only reason I keep it is to compile C++ programs that eventually are run under Win7.

Thanks, Hotei

Added info:

I tried the free download of Visual C++ Express 8 several months back. If I recall correctly it lacks a resource editor. That's a deal-killer for me since I need to edit dialogs, menu items, embedded string text, images etc. I'd prefer to stick with MicroSoft but I cant find any evidence that they still support a robust standalone C++ version and I truly resent them making me buy Visual BASIC or C# as a package when I don't want/need it.

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8 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

If you are using the windows 7 Home edition, you may want to try using Virtualbox (which is free) and use your old XP copy on the virtual machine. These days machines are fast and you can use that.

I concur with taspeotis that Visual C++ Express is another option.

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Thanks, I just looked at Virtualbox and it may indeed be a solution to the problem. I'll post results after some experimentation. –  hotei Jun 6 '10 at 13:55
    
Installed Virtualbox. Installed Windows 2000 on virtual machine. Installed C++ 6.0 on virtual machine. Copied project folder to virtual machine. Compiled project. It works. I used Win2k because its idle memory footprint is only 68 MB and it runs C++ just fine in a 512 MB VM. Initial impression is all smiles :-) –  hotei Jun 8 '10 at 17:56
    
Glad to hear that. –  bubu Jun 8 '10 at 18:02
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Is there a way to convince these Microsoft tools to play nice with each other? I have Win7 home edition, but I would be willing to upgrade to Win7 Pro IF I knew it would work under the "XP emulation" mode.

It should work under "XP emulation" mode because the tool will be running under a virtualised XP computer. You may want to "try before you buy" using Microsoft Virtual PC and installing a copy of Windows XP in there. Virtual PC uses the same technology as XP Mode.

Failing both those options, what is the least expensive "upgrade" path for C++? I don't need a bunch of other junk, just the C++ compiler. The goal is to retire my XP system since currently the only reason I keep it is to compile C++ programs that eventually are run under Win7.

Microsoft makes Visual C++ Express available for free, although if you are used to Visual C++ 6 then you are in for a bit of a shock. I would choose it for myself, however.

You could also try NetBeans C++ or Eclipse with the CDT plugin. Dev-C has also been popular, although outdated. Not that I think it matters for you.

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thanks for responding. I tried the free download of Visual C++ Express 8 several months back. If I recall correctly it lacks a resource editor. That's a deal-killer for me since I need to edit dialogs, menu items, embedded string text, images etc. I'd prefer to stick with MicroSoft but I cant find any evidence that they still support a robust standalone C++ version and I truly resent them making me buy Visual BASIC or C# as a package when I don't want/need it. –  hotei Jun 6 '10 at 13:42
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I installed Windows Virtual PC - XP Mode on my machine with Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit and MSDEV 6.0 runs fine in the XP Window. I recommend it.

It is not easy to get Windows XP Mode to run though.

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If you only want the compiler, then Visual C++ Express includes a command line compiler which can avoid the .Net stuff. (The link talks about Visual Studio 2005 but the information is still valid for Visual Studio 2010.)

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thanks, but Express wasn't sufficient for my requirements –  hotei Jun 6 '10 at 13:46
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I think you're stuck with running VC++ 6 (still the best one in a lot of people's eyes :) ) in a VMware XP image, or in a Windows 7's 'XP Mode' image. They're both the same, you run a virtualised copy of XP in its own sandbox. Access to the rest of your hard drive can be awkward, but it'll run.

I use it to run old drivers that Windows 7 refuses to acknowledge.

I personally, would get VMware (its free) and use the migration tool to copy your existing XP machine into a virtual VMware image. That's the easiest way to keep all your stuff. If you go with XP Mode, then you'll have to reinstall and copy your data across. I also prefer VMware a lot over the Microsoft VM offerings.

If you want just a C++ compiler, you can get by with some open source offerings, there are a lot of compilers and editors available. Apparently (not tried it myself) code:blocks allows you to compile .rc files, and integrate the VC6 compiler. there are free resource editors available too. Given that, it would be worth getting a newer compiler and running it under these altrernative IDEs.

Or, of course, migrate your entire app to the (better) QT environment. They have a MFC to QT migration feature.

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If you do now want to use XP mode / Virtual Software but just your windows 7 then please read this:

How Do I run Visual C++ 6 IDE on Windows Vista or higher?

In short:

The link states that you need to customise your VC++6.0 installation by removing the debug package and replacing it by the CPP package. This will fix many issues, running in compatibility mode and setting other stuff will improve stability aswell.

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. –  Tom Wijsman Aug 11 '12 at 14:50
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You could use VC++ Express + ResEdit

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I figured that I would post an update to this since I was having difficulty installing Visual Studio 6.0 even while following the previous steps.

Here are the steps I took to install Visual Studio 6.0 onto my Win7 Pro 32bit system. You should take care to follow these steps exactly and not deviate. The failed installs are due to the outdated DLL files that fail to register. These procedures will help avoid them.

Step 1: Copy the files to a hard drive. A. when copying the second CD, copy them into the same folder as you did CD 1. This will give you a full install setup.

Step 2: Go into each of the folders and set comparability mode for all the .exe files to Windows 98. Also check the disable desktop composition and display scaling on high DPI settings.

Step 3: Run the install program.

Step 4: Select Custom Installation

Step 5: Uncheck 98DCom

Step 6: Uncheck every option except Visual Basic. Ignore any caution messages. As much as people may hate VB, this is the one time VB is your friend. The object of this is to get a successful install.

Step 6: Once you have a successful install, run the Programs and Features program from the control panel.

Step 7: Select the Visual Basic 6.0 program in the list and click the modify/uninstall button.

Step 8: Check only the Visual C++ option to add Visual C++.

Step 9: Run the Visual Studio 6.0 Service Pack 6 program. This should fix the open file crash.

Step 10: Enjoy using Visual Studio 6.0 on Windows 7.

Scott Tovey

Update: The VB6 Service Pack 6 prevents the open file crash but you must run Visual C++ as Administrator.

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