I have two versions of software, one is an old beta version, one a new distributable version. I need both as they each include specific capabilities. However, the old version refuses to install when a newer version is pre-installed, the newer one auto-deletes the old version upon install. This all in a Windows 10 environment. The software is specific purpose software to fit hearing aids (PhonakTarget).

edit: To emphasize the difference with the previous question I'll elaborate on the situation:

The thing is both software packages use one and the same local database and it would be great when both versions can access that data base. This makes a virtual machine a lesser favorable option. I may be able to work around it (copy the database to the VM or the reverse) but that will increase the chance of making human errors. Best would be to find a solution such that both versions can run on the same Windows install. They do not need to run simultaneously, however.

Stuff I tried but did not work:

  • installing both versions in a different folder resulted in the same behaviors as detailed above;
  • generating another user in Windows didn't help, because both users have access to the same C:/ components.

Hence, I am stuck. Two options provided under this previous question I tried above, and generating a virtual disk has the drawback of the split local databases. There is no database on a server or anything; all must be dealt with locally due to safety restrictions in my company (laptops can't access the intranet).

  • 1
    In general (since you provide no specifics), VM is the way to go. Nov 17, 2016 at 14:52
  • @RedGrittyBrick - if I can add something useful, let me know. I might dive into generating a VM then I guess. Thanks for that. I was hoping for a somewhat lesser impact fix, though :-)
    – AliceD
    Nov 17, 2016 at 14:54
  • 1
    Generally speaking, there is no way. They might conflict in non-obvious ways, so just don’t. VMs are safe though.
    – Daniel B
    Nov 17, 2016 at 16:22
  • 1
    Yeah, a VM is overhead for running just one application, but so is what you're trying to do, if it is even possible. It'll be extremely dirty and complicated, since you'd need to deal with the registry quite in detail; again, if at all. I too recommend on running a VM
    – Dr.Ping
    Nov 17, 2016 at 17:18

3 Answers 3


Best bet would be to install into different directories which you mentioned didn't work. It could be because there are registry entries that he installer references. You could try doing searches for the folder name and see what comes up in regedit.exe. You could also try using one of these tools: https://www.raymond.cc/blog/tracking-registry-and-files-changes-when-installing-software-in-windows/ to track the entry changes to make sure you catch them all.

Other than that setting up a virtual machine is your best bet.

If you require Windows, you may need to buy another license key or use a free beta release for temporary use.

  • Install the old version.
  • Find the program folder (probably somewhere in C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86)) and copy it somewhere else.
  • Install the new version.
  • Try to run the old version from the folder you copied it to.

This will work if the installation is "basic" and just copies files in a folder and creates shortcuts.

When you try and tell us what errors you get (if any) we can see if there's a way to make it work.


You can use Docker for that. Docker is the world’s leading software containerization platform.

See: https://www.docker.com

  • Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link(s), as the answer can become invalid if the linked page(s) change.
    – DavidPostill
    Nov 17, 2016 at 20:46

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