Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Trick a program into thinking it's running on older Windows?

  1. #1


    Posts : 32
    Windows 8 Home 64-bit

    Trick a program into thinking it's running on older Windows?


    I've got this one program that's essential to using my laptop: it's for connecting to the WiFi at my university. I was set to use W8 as my main OS on the laptop, but without that I'm stuck with XP.

    The problem is that the program detects what OS I'm using, and it doesn't detect W8 (it calls it "Unknown OS"). I'm hoping someone here will know a way to trick the program into thinking I'm using something else. I've tried compatibility mode and it still says "Unknown OS".

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,851
    8250 x86 + 7 SP1 x86 + Ubuntu 12.04 LTS x86


    You can contact the helpdesk and they will help set things up manually for you without the program. I saw it on the page you linked to, under Other OS section.

    There's really no other way to do that besides editing the code for the program I suppose.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 32
    Windows 8 Home 64-bit


    I was hoping it wouldn't come to that, their hours are terrible.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    I don't know the program you need to install, so the following is just a general guide on uncompatible program installation.

    There are more ways than one to do a successful compatibility mode install. There again, there are no guarantees it will work on all programs.

    Apart from just Run in compatibility mode, which tries to best guess the OS which may have run the program, there are other options in the properties menu for the program.

    First the setup program - is it a compressed executable that first unzips itself to a temporary folder and then proceeds to run the install of the extracted files there?

    If the setup.exe, or setup.msi is of this type, it may be necessary to do the extraction first.

    I use 7-Zip because it is so versatile and easy to use. Download 7-zip by googling 7z and follow the downloading links, and install it.

    Right click on the file you suspect is a compressed executable, and select 7-zip from the menu. Otherwise open 7-Zip file manager from the programs on start, and navigate to the location of the install file and click on it and open the archive.

    If there are a load of new files in the 7zip window including a setup.exe or an install.exe or something like that, then you should extract everything to a new folder.

    Navigate in Explorer to the new folder and right-click the install executable. select properties, and on the compatability tab, go to compatability mode and select to run the program in compatibility mode for the system you know it worked in. Also run this program as an administrator.

    That should take care of the installation, but some programs are snotty about version checking, and install will still fail. It may be possible to copy the components to their respective directories, register any dlls copied to \windows\system32 folder using regsvr32 dllname.dll at the elevated command prompt, and run the program that way (in compatibility mode as above).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 1,851
    8250 x86 + 7 SP1 x86 + Ubuntu 12.04 LTS x86


    It's just an .exe file to download/run - no installer at all. I tried the compatibility/admin stuff, no dice unfortunately.

    It didn't even want to find my network adapter either, and mine is completely standard Realtek.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Sorry this program is totally recalcitrant, but it does work on XP SP3 to the SIMS username/Password prompt!

    Virtual machine with XPMode then Internet Connection Sharing back to host?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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