September 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Computers, Economoney, Software | 1 Comment

In this case, software compatibility with your operating system. When you upgrade to the latest and greatest computer, sometimes you find that your expensive software is no longer supported. The suppliers response is often to tell you to buy the upgrade. If it’s something you use only occasionally, it can be hard to justify the cost.

You may find a suitable free alternative, like GIMP instead of Photoshop or PDFill Tools instead of Acrobat.      (More suggestions @ Go Free)

If it’s software you prefer, have trained on, or has special features, you may be able to keep it rolling. I’ve been surprised what will sometimes work. I had a client who wanted to use an old DOS 16-bit program in 64-bit Vista. The installer couldn’t even find itself. The developer grudgingly offered instructions for a manual install; creating directories, extracting the files and moving them manually into place. The software worked fine thereafter.

The disadvantage of tweaking software to run where it wasn’t designed to is lack of support and possibly bugginess. You’re largely on your own although good suppliers will describe the issues. Perhaps they’re not an issue for you. It depends on the features you need.

For example, there are a few features in full Adobe Acrobat that are not found in other software, like Web Capture or the ease of rearranging pages in a PDF. But it’s expensive software. If you already have a satisfactory old version, will it work in 64-bit Windows 7?**

According to Adobe, you should upgrade to the latest version 10. However, it turns out version 9 is also fully compatible. The big issue further back is the PDF printer: it requires 64-bit drivers for Win7. Version 8 has them but doesn’t know how to extract them. Thus, if you manually extract the DLL (driver) and point to it when the installer asks, it works fine too.

Version 7 doesn’t have 64-bit drivers. But if you have the free Bullzip, PrimoPDF or other PDF printer* already installed, you don’t need it. Just do a custom install of Acrobat and turn off PDFMaker. It will still throw a “20225” error but otherwise installs fine. Adobe also observes you can print to Postscript, then use Distiller to create the PDF. (in older versions, Form Designer and Distiller were separate programs)
(*always watch for “extras” being installed along with free software, unchecking anything you don’t want. Even Adobe is doing this now.)

I also found that if you’re installing an upgrade purchase of 7, it will ask for prior media but be unable to find it. I was able to install version 6 which allowed installing 7. 7 then uninstalled 6 during the install.

While Version 6 installed, it threw a compatibility error when launched. Some compatibility tweaking would be necessary. According to Microsoft Compatibility, Acrobat 7.1 IS compatible with Win7. As is version 6 and version 5.1. (you can search other software on the site)

While not supported, Adobe makes updates for older versions readily available, right back to version 3. You may find it useful to update the software to the compatible version before running it post-installing.

Other Options
If there is other compatibility issues with running a 32-bit program, you can right-click a programs launch icon and choose Troubleshoot Compatibility. This site talks about how to get 32-bit programs to work in 64-bit and the options available. Note that some software like Acrobat wants a reboot post-install. Do reboot before you play with compatibility.

Finally, if the program really isn’t cooperating or is 16-bit (a la Windows 3.1 and 95), it may be worth exploring adding a virtual machine. For example, I have a very old piece of software that will run in Windows XP (32-bit can handle 16-bit) but not Win7. By adding the free VirtualBox software and installing my old XP license into VirtualBox, I can install and run the old software there. It runs in a window inside a window. To use it, you have to boot XP, then the software but this may be worth it for gems. (you don’t have to reboot the computer)

More Here

Good luck,

**And don’t forget to deactivate your Adobe products before you uninstall or do a major OS upgrade. Otherwise, you use up a license. You can call Adobe to sort it out but this is much easier.

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  1. […] still build Windows 7 machines and pro-actively make the migration, like a friend did last week. For old software that is not cost-effective to upgrade, seek out free versions. Or you can use that old XP licence: […]


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