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I have been having problems lately when trying to install older games onto my PC. It is only with 32 bit applications. A few games that will not install are:

  • Drakan: Order Of The Flame
  • TA Kingdoms (Total Annihilation installed fine)
  • Baldur's Gate.

In Baldur's Gate, when I use autorun.exe and choose install, the autorun closes and the computer loads for a second (as it should) then nothing pops up. Ten minutes later still nothing, so I try again, still nothing. So next I use Setup.exe. Still nothing. I run it in every compatibility mode, and as Administrator in every mode, still nothing. Then I open Task Manager, and there are about 80 setup.exe processes running, all of them doing nothing and taking up next to no resources.

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From what I was able to tell, Baldur's Gate can run on Windows 7. It is possible you need to be a little "inventive" with the setup. Do however remember that 64-bit systems aren't designed to run 32-bit applications, particularly apps as old as those. –  Doktoro Reichard Sep 2 '13 at 21:13
    
Tell me what you mean by "Inventive" because i have tried everything i know how to try and it hasn't worked. Same game with the same operating system and it worked for two of my family members, so it should work on my pc but will not. –  user250712 Sep 2 '13 at 23:41
    
Is the OS on both family members' PC 64-bit? –  Doktoro Reichard Sep 3 '13 at 8:42
    
@Doktoro: Actually, 64-bit systems are designed to run 32-bit applications as well as 64-bit ones. They can't run 16-bit applications, though, and most old installers are often 16-bit. –  Zr40 Oct 23 '13 at 10:49

3 Answers 3

This is just a workaround.

For older games using a VM is an option. Modern machines are strong enough to be able to run 2D graphics on VMs. Baldur's gate should work OK.

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I have had the same problem with some old games in the past that just refuse to install to 64 bit windows no matter what. The way I decided to solve this was to run a virtual machine inside Windows. If you have Windows 7 Professional (or ultimate) you can install Microsofts XP Mode which gives you a XP virtual machine. If not you can try VMWare and install your own copy of windows XP onto that. Just install the games on there and full screen the virtual machine. Whilst these virtual machines do not use all of the resources from your main PC, these old games do not have very high recommended specifications so these virtual machines should be plenty powerful enough.

EDIT: In regards to Zr40's comment about 16 bit installers, before running on a Virtual Machine you could try and open the installer or any data files that are on the disk in an archiver (7-zip or winrar). You may be able to extract the game files directly and then try and run them. If the game does not need to use the windows registry the game may work. If not a VM is the best option.

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I had the same problem with Baldur's gate, impossible to install on windows 7 x64, the setup program hangs with no error message. I know it may sound unrelated but in my case the following worked: I booted in windows "safe mode" and the setup program worked properly (i suspect a video driver issue but cannot be sure). I then rebooted in windows regular mode and now i can play the game normally (only the setup program need to be launched in safe mode).

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