We have an in house custom app that was built in VB 6. The in house app is a SQL database app and was built for Windows XP. We have to replace a computer here an there, and since we are buying Windows 8 computers, our app doesn't work on Windows 8.

We have also tried:

  • to run the app in compatibility mode
  • XP Mode, back on Windows 7

Rewriting the app is going to take time. So for the time being we started to use VMware. VMware works alright, we have a few kinks here and there. I was wondering are there other options out there besides virtual machines? We would like to keep Windows XP on alive on the network as long as possible.

  • There isn't any technical reason a VB6 application shouldn't work on Windows 8. Have you tried simply to launch it using the Windows XP comapatability? If that doesn't work youre pretty much limited to a Virtual Machine. – Ramhound Jul 1 '13 at 19:15
  • There are many technical reasons. API calls, filing system changed, new frameworks, etc....... – nate Jul 1 '13 at 19:21
  • What API calls are not working, What filesystem changes have effected you, why cant you use the old framework? – Scott Chamberlain Jul 1 '13 at 19:38
  • Well you mentioned Virtual Machine, Compatibility Mode and Rewriting the App. I can only think of the Windows XP Mode which is actually not officially supported for Windows 8, but you could still run it, check this here: lifehacker.com/5965889/… – Devid Jul 1 '13 at 19:38
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    Aren't there API calls to return paths like those? A well-written app wouldn't be using hard coded paths anyway. – Karan Jul 1 '13 at 20:29

One alternative to using a VM is use the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit and create a shim to intercept the invalid calls and redirect them to the correct places (for example your hard coded C:\documents and settings\username can be redirected to %UserProfile%. The program is very large and can even help you scan and figure out what API calls are not working correctly, connect to a database of known problems, and give automatic recommendations on what fixes need to be applied.

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    This is very useful, thank you. This will help in the recreating the app part. But we would still like to keep windows xp alive on the network somehow. Machine died all the time. – nate Jul 1 '13 at 20:24
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    @nate Don't try to keep Windows XP going. Extended Support ends in less than a year. After that point, there are no more security patches (Windows Updates), even if critical vulnerabilities are found. – Joel Coehoorn Jul 1 '13 at 22:17

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