Troubleshooting guide/Installation and download problems

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Compatibility errors[edit]

Error messages such as "This app can't run on your PC" or "The version of this file is not compatible with the version of Windows you're running".
Compatibility error messages can also occur if attempting to run a 64-bit program on a 32-bit version of Windows (see Determine which version of Windows is installed).

DOS games[edit]

Use DOSBox. Some games may need an unofficial build in order to work correctly.

16-bit Windows games[edit]

These games will never run natively on 64-bit versions of Windows. Some games can be run using winevdm for Windows or win3mu. Other solutions include dual booting and virtualization.

32-bit Windows games with 16-bit installers[edit]

The solution for 64-bit versions of Windows varies depending on how the installer works. Pre-made solutions are available for many games (see the individual game pages for details).

Copy CD folder[edit]

Some games include the complete game folder on the CD rather than having it compressed into an installer archive. Simply copying this folder may be enough to have a working installation of the game.

InstallShield[edit]

InstallShield games include _inst32i.ex_ in the installation files. Use InstallShield Wrapper or replace with a 32-bit setup executable (InstallShield 2, InstallShield 3, InstallShield 5).

Other single-file installer[edit]

Some single-file installers can be extracted using Universal Extractor.

Install through 32-bit Windows[edit]

If all else fails the game will need to be installed on a 32-bit version of Windows and then copied to the 64-bit system. Some games need registry keys to work correctly so those may need to be copied over as well.

"This product cannot be installed on Windows NT" (or similar)[edit]

Errors like this are common when installing or playing Windows 95-era games on modern versions of Windows.
Run in compatibility mode
  1. Right-click the .exe or shortcut file.
  2. Choose Properties from the menu.
  3. Go to the Compatibility tab in the window that appears.
  4. Check the box next to "Run this program in compatibility mode for:"
  5. Choose Windows 95 (or another version listed as supported in the game's requirements).
  6. Click OK to apply the change. Run the file again normally.

Notes

This method will not work for some games (see the individual game pages for game-specific workarounds).

Setup hanging / not starting[edit]

Specific modern applications can keep old installers from working. Usually the setup can be found running but not progressing in the Task Manager, since it will indefinitely wait for specific tasks to finish. 32-bit setups in particular are prone to suffering from this issue.

Prominent culprits are:

  • Logitech Gaming Software (logitechg_discord.exe)
  • NVIDIA Experience (nvcontainer.exe)

Terminating the processes that cause the hangup will allow the setup to continue normally.

Windows 10[1]
  1. Open up the Task Manager and switch to the Details tab.
  2. Find the hanging setup process, eg. "32-bit Setup Launcher (32-bit)", rightclick it and select Analyze Wait Chain.
  3. If another process is blocking it, the system will show which one it is and offer the user to terminate it directly.
Windows 7[1]
The Task Manager on Windows 7 works slightly differently and only the Resource Monitor (accessible from the Performance tab) has the Analyze Wait Chain feature to find the responsible process.
  1. Open up the Resource Monitor.
  2. Under any of the tabs at the top, find the hanging setup process in the list, eg. "32-bit Setup Launcher (32-bit)", rightclick it and select Analyze Wait Chain.
  3. If another process is blocking it, the system will show which one it is and offer the user to terminate it directly.

Alternatives:

  1. Find out which process the setup is waiting for with a program like WaitingOn.
  2. Terminate that process manually via Task Manager.

"Feature transfer error" when installing from physical media[edit]

This error may occur if physical media is damaged or cannot be read easily. Try manually copying the installation files from all discs to the hard drive and then running the installer from there.[2]

"You Do Not Have Enough Disk Space" (DOS games)[edit]

For some DOS games in DOSBox it is necessary to specify an amount of free space as part of the mount command, e.g. MOUNT C C:\DOSGAMES -freesize 1024. See the DOSBox MOUNT documentation for further details.

References