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Install and run 32 bit on 64 bit machine

Today I tried to install Quake 3 from my original 1999 CD on a Windows 7 laptop. Windows 7 resolutely refused to run the installer, helpfully explaining that I might need a 32- or 64-bit version, depending on what my OS is (you have to love those Windows error messages: absolutely correct, but as unhelpful as humanly possible).

In any case, of course the 1999 software is 32-bit, and the laptop is 64-bit. But I was pretty sure that 64-bit Windows versions could handle running 32-bit software. What gives?

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marked as duplicate by KronoS, Simon Sheehan, Renan, techie007, 8088 Jul 17 '12 at 0:20

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

According to this Facepunch thread, the Quake III CD comes with a 16-bit "Autorun" launcher. (Windows refuses to run it since 64-bit x86_64 does not support running 16-bit code natively.) However, you can bypass the launcher and run DEMO32.EXE directly, which contains the actual installation program; when prompted for a file, give it QIII.DBD.

Method 1: If you MUST have a classic QIII/Q3TA installation

Instead of launching SETUP.EXE, just run DEMO32.EXE and a file open dialog should appear. Point it to QIII.DBD on the CD.

[...]

Remember to apply the 1.32 point release AFTER installing both Q3A and Q3TA. The official 1.32 point release is available from the official ID Software site - www.idsoftware.com

Method 2: Using ioQuake3

There is an engine update called ioQuake3. It's less buggy and more efficient than classic Q3 1.32

Install ioQuake3 first (http://ioquake3.org/get-it/) and then from the same page, grab the data installer as well. It will unpack your CD for you.

(KD007 on Facepunch)

In the earlier days of 32-bit Windows, many 32-bit programs would come with 16-bit installers (especially InstallShield) or at least having an initial 16-bit stage; one possible reason for this was to display a proper explanation message when the user attempted to install the program in Windows 3.x.

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Excellent, that works flawlessly. I note with some amusement that the error message could have said that setup.exe was 16-bit, but did not explicitly mention it. –  Ernest Friedman-Hill Mar 29 '12 at 23:08
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