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 Post subject: should I include old HDs with old Win in new PC build?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:28 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:58 am
Posts: 2
I'm considering building a gaming PC and have been wondering if I can install hard drives from old PCs I've saved to run old games.

I've got my first PC an old Gateway with probably a 66mhz DX2 (was actually an upgrade processor going from original 33SX) Pentium and Win 95 that has old the old games like Doom
a Dell with Win Xp that had a Radeon 9700 Pro card, Rambus mem
a Gateway with Win Vista

assuming I install a EIDE controller card for the old hard drives...

is it easier or workable to install the old hard drives and then optionally boot up from them into the old OSs

or is it better to run the old OSs in virtual machines in Win 7 or 8?

or should I just fuggetaboutit?

Currently with Windows Vista on my current outdated desktop PC, earlier games that installed on Win XP or Win 95 won't install such as an old Access/Microsoft Tex Murphy game.

I live in a small apartment and don't have room to set up all of the computers and the video was going on the fritz with the Radeon 9700 pro (VESA slot) (2nd card after first being replaced under warranty by Dell for overheating)

The new rig would have as the master HD a SSD and maybe a new 1 or 2 TB conventional-disc based HD. The old drives would all be slaves.


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 Post subject: Re: should I include old HDs with old Win in new PC build?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:22 pm 
Coppermine
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:40 pm
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Quote:
or should I just fuggetaboutit?

I just don't think with some of the older HDDs - set up to run Win95 or XP - that you can easily boot into them, or even do a virtual machine - mainly because of drivers for the hardware. How would Win95 know how to communicate with a newer system? the OS won't have the drivers and the new hardware wouldn't have drivers for 95. XP is a little more feasible but I could see you running into a lot of headaches.

If it were me, I would see if I could find the old games online (Doom, for example, is available on Steam and would be compatible with Win 7/8) and I would buy what I can.

I don't want to dissuade you from trying, but I see this as an uphill battle.

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: should I include old HDs with old Win in new PC build?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:20 pm 
Thunderbird
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
All the 32-bit apps that run on Vista or XP should run on Win7 or 8.

Any that balk you should try compatibility mode. This may work on any 32-bit app.

Unfortunately, 16-bit apps (dos, win3.x, win9x) won't run on 64-bit Win7, but if you install 64-bit Win7 Pro you can likely run them under XP Mode.

Unfortunately, any security vulnerabilities running XP will exist in XP Mode. If that bothers you.

*I am afraid Win8 has no such XP Mode option but you could try running them under XP in virtualization with say VirtualBox.
*Or under dual boot Linux with appropriate Windows emulation apps installed: Wine and PlayOnLinux.
*Or you could set up a dual or triple boot with Win9x and XP, and a bootloader, but this would require an IDE card with a controller (supports Win7 and 8) so you can boot from it and that might be challenging on an EFI setup running Win8.


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 Post subject: Re: should I include old HDs with old Win in new PC build?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:52 pm 
Smithfield
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The best absolute way to play all your old games is to get a machine that was the software was meant to run on. Of course this isn't exactly feasible if you don't have the space (a decent gaming rig for 1996 won't set you back more than $200 or so at the worst today).

Otherwise, Windows 8 can generally run most 32-bit software that ran on 32-bit Windows 9x software without a hitch. I mean, I just fired up Unreal Tournament 1 last week without problem. A lot of other games may not work so well, but depending on its popularity, fans probably made patches out the rear to get them working.

For 16-bit applications, you can either dual boot a 32-bit OS and hope it works natively, or just run it through a VM. And if it's a really old game, a VM might be the best bet. I also have a feeling most of those 16-bit games don't even need a 3D card, since those weren't really a thing until 1995-1996 with Quake. Plus VirtualBox has experimental D3D support now.

But trying to run the hard drives as is on a modern computer as everyone else mentioned is probably more work than it's worth.


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 Post subject: Re: should I include old HDs with old Win in new PC build?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:36 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:58 am
Posts: 2
Thank you all for the tips.

I'm thinking maybe I'll have to hang onto the old (1993 or 94) Gateway with Win 95 that's sitting patiently in a small attic over my bedroom, for playing the mid 90's games (16 bit?) and then it sounds like the newer 32 bit games could be played in the new rig in Win 7, 8 or 9.

I found it interesting that an article on tomshardware.com today quoted John Romero as saying (supposedly in an interview for Gamesindustry) the old PC games can be played in current versions of Windows.

""With PCs, it's a continually evolving platform, and one that supports backward compatibility, and you can use a controller if you want; if I want to play a game that's [made] in DOS from the '80s I can, it's not a problem. You can't do that on a console."


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 Post subject: Re: should I include old HDs with old Win in new PC build?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:53 am 
Thunderbird
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Well with DOS games you could likely use a DOS emulator. As LatiosXT pointed out the requirements to run these old games are miniscule versus the resources a fairly entry level PC possesses today.

And again, running such on Linux would be a option.


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