Old Software on Windows 7

I’m hoping someone can help me clarify a few things regarding using Windows 7 with older design software. I’m currently running on a 8+ year old laptop running XP. I use Adobe CS, Rhino 3.0, and SW 07 all “old” stuff I know, but I don’t have the $$ to upgrade everything. My computer has reached the point of dying, so I’d like to replace it. However, that pretty much means jumping into Windows 7. I’ve read that it has an XP mode that will run older programs, but does anyone have experience with this switch (XP to 7)?

Would appreciate any feedback or experiences before I jump in and buy something that won’t work.

Thanks in advance.

You should not have issues running any of those apps in Windows 7. I’ve run a lot of older software without issues, and without needing to use the XP compatability mode.

Thanks for the quick response. I was hoping that was the case. Only reason why I ask is because I’ve seen a bunch of comments online with people having trouble with CS3, which seems to be an Adobe issue. Wasn’t sure if CS would have same problem.

Thanks again.

One more question then…is it safe to get the 64bit Win 7 Home Premium then? or should I get a system with the Professional version installed? I believe the Professional is the only one with the XP compatibility mode.

Looking at getting something from the Dell outlet, but most units just come with the Home Premium.

In my opinion, if you are doing anything more than creating Word docs, or surfing the web, you want 7 Professional. That way if there is a compatibility issue, you can roll it back as you need to.

Other than XP mode, the main reason to have Professional is if you ever need to join a network domain (which pretty much any office will have).

I run Windows 7 home edition with Photoshop 7.0 and Illustrator 9…no probs. As others have said though, it depends on your goals. I use PS to resize family photos now, and work at the office. PS 7 is plenty and takes less hard drive space.

Thanks for the comments. Is the Professional version something you should buy upfront with the computer, or is it cheap enough just to upgrade later if you find you need it? I believe windows 7 has an “instant” update feature that you can do right on the machine, right?

Personally, I’d have it done when you buy it so that your drivers are all squared away from the start. Just in case.

The only issue I’ve had is drivers for old peripherals. Windows 7 is meant to run Windows Vista stuff, but I cant for the life of me get an old Canonscan to work, even though it was fine on XP and ME (woof)

Thanks again.

I didn’t realize the drivers would be different between the two Win7 versions. Thought it was basically just a feature add on. Thanks for the time.

Kinda sucks, cause that limits me to ordering a new machine. Most of the outlet computers all have the home version, only ones that don’t are the $$$$ workstations.

Again, thanks for the help. I’m out of my element with the computer stuff.

Jackal - I think this is being mis-interpreted.

Windows 7 has a feature called “compatibility mode” which will help you run older devices that don’t have drivers for Windows 7. Frankly it’s buggy at best and I have never used it and said “wow this works!”. It is really more ideal for older applications (like if your business runs a proprietary piece of software that hasn’t been re-written in 10 years) that make references to specific Windows XP features.

The easiest way to know if this will effect you is to 1: Ask yourself if you have any super old peripherals that you need (old scanners, SCSI drives, etc). If you don’t you’re fine.

The next thing to do is you can download a Windows 7 upgrade checker that will go through your hardware and devices and see if anything is incompatible. It will flag everything as good, bad, or needs investigation.

If you don’t need to join a domain, home should be fine.

Cyber - Thanks. That makes sense now, you’re right I misunderstood. Appreciate all the help. I know you must get tired of answering all these questions for us non-tech guys, but it is a great help.

I run a 64bit windows machine, and had to upgrade Solidworks to a 64 bit compatible version. Just a heads up.

UGhhhhh! Damn it!

How can you tell if your version of SW is 32 or 64 bit? I’m running 07, so I’m sure it’s not 64.

Pretty sure Not 64. I think the first 64 was 08-09, maybe.

Would I have the same problem trying to run CS, and Rhino 3.0 then? I think all of that is pre-64 bit.

Is there some secret way of affording all this upgrading that I’m missing?!

Guess the only way to know will be to run the Win 7 Upgrade Adviser. I’ll have to try that tonight and see what comes up.

Interestingly I was faced with this same problem. I have a compaq evo laptop, use rhino 4, PSE6, SKBpro all on XP. I opted to fix the computer, replacing the HD, ram, and power jack. I thought of buying a newer computer and installing XP on it because I bought XP years ago, doing that may be an option for you.

There are a lot of misconceptions here about what 64-bit means.

64 bits ultimately has to do with how much memory your operating system (Windows) can use.

32 bit operating systems are limited to a maximum of 4 gigs of system memory (2^32 bits). Windows basically divides your RAM and video memory among itself and your applications. With modern computers, this can be a wall when working on very complex products or designs. In reality - most people never hit that wall unless they are running many very intensive apps at the same time. If you hit CTRL+ALT+Delete while running your programs you can see how much memory each one is using.

64 bit eliminates that barrier which lets your applications effectively use as much as they could possibly want (at least for the next few years).

The only difference between a “64 bit” program and a “32 bit” program is how much memory it can use. 64 bit operating systems run 99% of 32 bit software just fine. The only examples where it has an issue is when it involves the software physically accessing your hardware. For example backup or anti-virus software, or any driver related software won’t work because the hooks into your hardware are not the same.

So if you have a copy of old anti-virus software you purchased, you may need to ditch it if it’s not upgradable, outside of that you should be fine. Adobe and Rhino do not have issues, I use them all the time. Most of the Adobe apps are still 32 bit even in CS5.