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I have Windows 7 (x64) at home and I want to play some old games (specifically Lands of Lore 3, but also some others). This game does not work properly on Windows 7, and there are no patches that I'm aware of to fix its issues.

Can I use XP Mode to play this game (and other non Windows 7 nice games), or is there a better way?
I only have one PC and dual booting scares me... (so no to dual booting!)

Another question: Will I have full hardware support (full use of my graphics card, etc) when I use DOSbox or a VM?

I have decided to go with VirtualBox or VMware, I'll check which one gives the best performance.

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I think XP Mode is your only option, but on a recent computer I expect that even a VM is more powerful than Windows 95 – Ivo Flipse Feb 1 '11 at 11:35
XP Mode is not going to work -- it emulates an S3 Trio card and does no sort of DirectX or OpenGL acceleration. You'll need a more advanced program like VirtualBox or VMware that can give you accelerated virtual graphics. They can't give you full use of your graphics card, but should be performant enough for older games. – afrazier Feb 1 '11 at 14:42
Also XP mode connects with RDP in seamless mode. – sinni800 Feb 1 '11 at 15:20
XP Mode has worked for me on several games. I don't recall exactly which ones but Battle For Middle Earth comes mind. – Dunk Feb 1 '11 at 17:51
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You could try VMware Workstation, which is a virtualisation program like VirtualPC XP Mode, but it gives the VM direct hardware access to the graphics card through Direct3D.

It's not free, but there is a free trial, which will give you the opportunity to see if it works with your games.

VMware Workstation

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VMware Player is free, has all the performance and graphics support of Workstation, and can create new VMs in the latest versions. – afrazier Feb 1 '11 at 14:41
Well, Oracle VirtualBox is free and works fine! – kokbira Feb 3 '11 at 20:45

You'll probably find that DosBox is a better bet. It emulates an x86 machine running MS-DOS.

I've found a solution on RPG-watch:

  1. Go to C:\, delete the Westwood folder.
  2. Open DosBox.
  3. Mount the ISO image of Disc 1 (I actually mounted drive D as a CDRom)
  4. BEFORE YOU RUN Install.exe - adjust the size of Drive C that DosBox will recognize. This is what keeps messing people up, even WITH DosBox. The command I used was "mount c C:\ -size 50000" or something like that.
  5. Now type "D:" to select the D drive, and run Install.exe. Or Setup.exe. I forget which one, it's in one of the subdirectories too, so you may have to remount D:\ while specifying one of those inner directories.
  6. It'll bring up a bround framed EULA, hit enter - NORMALLY THIS IS WHERE IT WOULD CRASH. However - since we told DosBox to allocate and utilize more memory through the -size command, it should bring up the actual Setup. It'll first bring up the "Sound test", click Detect sound, etc. next -
  7. By default the cache available says 50000, whereas 82000 (I think) is what is needed. Readjust it to 83000.
  8. Hit next, let Setup do it's thing. It won't get hung up at 93%, it won't crash, etc. It'll install fully.
  9. After finishing installation, exit DosBox, tweak the options, etc. At the bottom of options under [autoexec], type below: mount d D:\ -t cdrom mount c C:\westwood\lolg c: lolg
  10. Regardless of the game coming up in either fullscreen or windowed mode, it should come up - full detail - everything. Enjoy!!

You still have to use DosBox to play, however - at least we won't need a virtual machine!

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And if the game requires windows?? – Stingervz Feb 1 '11 at 11:03
Thanks for your search, unfortunately that solution is for lands of lore 2 installation problems, I'm struggling with lands of lore 3 and other various games, however dosbox could still be an option – Stingervz Feb 1 '11 at 12:24

As Alan B said, you can use DosBox. But also you can use VMWare or VirtualBox (or another similar program) to emulate another SO inside yours, for instance to play some Windows 98 and XP games that are incompatible with Windows 7.

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