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Old 02-02-2010, 11:10 PM   #1
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Super Nerdy Computer Issue. In Search of Super Smart Suggestions and Enlightenment

Hello All,

Long time.

So, my GF has this CAD program for work that she uses, and her company purchaced licenses some time ago. Whoever they were, they are no more, so asking them for support is not an option, and no one at my gf's company has a remote clue.

Anyways, this program is calculation and database heavy. When you install it it installs the GUI layer, microsoft jet engines, SQL servers, MDAC stuff etc. It's a beast.

Long story short, we have been told that it's XP only compatable. This was before W7 was even on the horizon. No vista, no sweat. But now with W7 here, and being a much better OS, we are dying to get off of XP and on top W7. She wants a new laptop and it sucks to have to stay with xp.

My whole mind started going down this path when I heard of the W7 "run in xp" compatability mode, so I was excited to try.

Well, i haven't even been able to try and see if it will run b/c I can't get it to install yet. Here comes the nerdy stuff. This program uses microsoft data access control (MDAC) 2.8, which is the last version ever released for XP. Windows 7 uses something like V.6 and it's actually part of the architechture. When I try to install MDAC 2.8 on windows 7, it's not happy and it yells at me. Don't think I can.

**Solution 1 - possible to fuck with MDAC and hand jam something to get this to work? Doubting so but thought I'd ask.

I know I can go back to XP but I got a new laptop for her and windows 7 is bright and shiny n stuff....not even sure if my hardware will work with XP, but there's usually work arounds for that.

**Solution 2 - admit defeat, be lame, and install xp on new laptop. Ugh.

As mentioned, this program is tied to all sorts of databases, SQL etc..if I installed XP on a different partition or drive (think I might be mixing up words here) could I have a shortcut on the windows 7 desktop that would point to the program and have it reference the databases and sql setup on it's hope xp drive?

**Soultion 3 - some sort of virtual drive/partition etc (i only have 1 HDD on this new lappy and have 136 gb free of 220 total), a small external drive, or something else..I'm not sure.

I guess that's it. Hope you get the general idea and what I'm looking for..

Thanks!!
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:31 AM   #2
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What's the name of the package?
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:46 AM   #3
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inTouch Design Manager, but i don't think google has anything out there
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:06 AM   #4
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Does she absolutly NEED this specific program? Something with that many dependencies sounds iffy to me. There may be better open source alternatives to whatever she is doing. I have dealth with many software packages and from experience anything PC based that really can only run on one specific OS tends to be shitty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categor...gement_systems

That being said, you are working with microsoft, not linux. A weakness of M$ is that when you have dependancy problems they are often built into the system in a way that they cannot be fixed and this is by design. I am not familiar with MDAC, so there may be a workaround, but my simple bet would be to Dualboot XP and Windows 7.

DO NOT TRY TO INSTALL WIN XP ON AN EXTERNAL HARDDRIVE. IT IS A NIGHTMARE. Not that it can't be done, it's just that WinXP is designed to hate you when you try to do that.

Last edited by VentuSag3; 02-03-2010 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:13 AM   #5
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Can you recommend any good dual boot guides? Including partition stuff? I know google is my friend but if anyone has used one that they feel is comprehensive..
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:00 AM   #6
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I've only done dualboot for Linux Distro+Windows, never two versions of windows. I doubt many here have had to do that before since there is almost never a reason to have two different builds of Windows.

Google is going to have to be your friend.

Another huge longshot that may just be a waste of time in the end, but produce good results is trying to see if the program will run under Linux with Wine set to WinXP32 ( preferably Ubuntu, since Ubuntu tends to work best with wine ) Your chances of that working are low, but according to ( http://wiki.winehq.org/NativeOdbc ) There is a winetrick to install MDAC2.8 successfully into linux with wine. I mention this because having a dualboot of WinXP and Win7 is kind of lame just for one app. A secondary Linux OS would be much more useful for other things.

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Old 02-03-2010, 08:05 AM   #7
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Actually dual-booting Windows is pretty easy, especially if you install Windows 7 second. If you install XP second, though, it could get messy.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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Isn't there an xp mode native with windows 7 depending on the version?
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:51 PM   #9
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I run into this all the time. Older software still critical but no longer supported or the devs just don't want to update components. Especially with MDAC.

1. You could keep the old XP install and RDC to it.

2. Dual boot XP. Win7 comes with boot manager. Otherwise dl grub

3. Super Nerdy - (my choice) VM the XP install. VM worksation is FREE in the form of VMWare Player. That way you can just fire up your xp application. And close it without rebooting. It's just another window on your slick win 7 desktop.

https://www.vmware.com/products/player/

Don't want to re-install both win 7 and xp?

https://www.vmware.com/products/converter/overview.html

Fucking with all those old MS data access components and keeping VB Runtimes around is time consuming.

if you go the vm route do NOT jump into it. Read, read some more then read it again.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:23 AM   #10
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You have another option. Virtualization. You can run Windows XP virtualized on Windows 7...assuming that your Windows 7 is one of the version that has the built-in virtualization AND your system has a cpu and motherboard that supports the Intel or AMD virtualization technology. If not you can still virtualize you just can't do it using the free feature built into Windows 7. If you cannot use the free integrated virtualization you can either use virtual box or VMWare Workstation.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:50 PM   #11
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Instead of VMWare player, I recommend VirtualBox. Same price (i.e. free), but you're not getting a crippled VM with only a few features. It's a full VM solution.

However, Windows 7 should have this built in XP VM thingy depending on the version you have.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent Buckshot Moose View Post
Instead of VMWare player, I recommend VirtualBox. Same price (i.e. free), but you're not getting a crippled VM with only a few features. It's a full VM solution.

However, Windows 7 should have this built in XP VM thingy depending on the version you have.
Since this post I have been playing with Virtual Box hardcore. I have 2 VM XP machines running on Ubuntu Karmic Koala as a host os. I have fucked with every setting and feature the hypervisor contains. So it's official:

Virtual Box kicks ass and so does Ubuntu.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:07 PM   #13
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W7 Pro, Enterprise, and Ultimate support XP Mode, which uses Microsoft's virtual machine software.

Running IE & Firefox in XP and W7

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Old 03-10-2010, 08:14 PM   #14
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I still dont get the point of XP mode, though. I havent ran into a single program since my vista days that refused to work on vista/7.

Anyway VirtualBox does own, yeah! One of the best free things out there by far

e: i didn't read OP about that program ..
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