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By LilFlightTest (Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:45:04 AM EST) (all tags)
At work we have a program that runs an older piece of equipment. it was working wonderfully, right up until our computers all got replaced according to the lease terms. now, instead of running win2k, it runs XP. this software was written before XP...and won't run on xp because it has no idea what it is. rather, it won't INSTALL on XP, so i dont know if it will run or not. i dont see any reason it wouldnt, but when it installs it checks to see what you're running, and thus has no idea what to do with XP. already tried running setup in compatability mode, which didnt work.


so, i had an idea...i looked at the setup.txt file to see what it said. there was a parameter called "suppress wrong OS" and i changed that to "n"...burned all other files to a cd with the changed one instead of the original, and still no go, though it got a little farther. down the line there's some stuff about acceptable OS...if i add xp to this list, and fill in the details, will it run then? and if it will, what the hell do i put in for the build, etc...

if i'm on the right track, wrong track, if it's impossible, etc, please tell me. tell me how to fix this, and make it run! (aside from the obvious solution of running it on a 2k machine, because they wont give us one...we checked.)

< Interview Post Mortem | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Help! | 57 comments (57 topical, 0 hidden)
Suggestion by The Fool (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:47:32 AM EST
Go to the website for the software vendor. They will have either a patch or a new version for XP.

(Unless, of course, they are out of business.)


they are by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:22:21 AM EST
which is why this sucks so much. the company that sells the machine is trying to see if they have any solutions, but unfortunately, they probably don't. i wonder what will happen when it comes down to a choice between buying us a computer to run this on, and buying us the new version of the machine.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
Bummer by The Fool (4.00 / 2) #15 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:54:11 AM EST
In that case, you really should use a Win2K machine, since the software was tested on that platform (apparently) and you have no hope of a fix if something in XP is incompatible.


[ Parent ]
It might work by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:00:21 AM EST
but down that road lies madness.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
how so? by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:24:12 AM EST
it doesnt seem to be that complicated...but might you be able to help me anyway?
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
Well, by blixco (4.00 / 1) #19 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:03:26 AM EST
basically, it could install, but then you'd find that one out of every X operations is fucked because XP's memory handling has a different way of handling 16bit resources.

Or you could get it to install then use the really keen XP compatibility feature.  But first you have to install it.

Is the install progrm an .exe?  If so, try copying the entire CD toa directory on the hard-drive, say c:proggy.  Then right click on the install.exe in c:proggy, and select "properties."  From there, click the Compatibility tab, and select "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" then select Windows 2000 from the dropdown box.

Clcik Apply, OK, and try running it again.  The compatibility mode is not very good, though, for install programs because they inevitably call a bunch of other exes.  You can try selecting all .exe files that setup references and doing the same trick.

Anyhow.  Once it's installed you may have to do the same trick with the installed .exe.

Hope that helps.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
What he said by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:43:11 PM EST
Plus, if you later need to uninstall it, you won't be able to, and if it has settings that are configurable on install (like optional components) they'll be all hosed.

You'll also never be entirely sure it installed correctly because even if all the binaries are there, you'll never know if the registry was modified correctly.

I really think it's not worth it. I mean, it might work, but I wouldn't put any money on it.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
i dunno by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #37 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 02:33:45 PM EST
we use just one function of the software: powering the machine. we dont use any of the database options, none of the barcode crap, we just want the machine to scan.

also, while i'm coming from a relatively ignorant corner here, i cant believe the os would be that much different. i keep feeling like if i can tell this installer that the OS is fine to use, and we're not a mac or something...it actually checks for OS by name, and this was before the existance of XP. i cant help but feel like this is the only reason why not...but because the software company went out of business between then and now, nobody can fix it (or nobody knows how).
Send me to Austria!

[ Parent ]
Heck, by blixco (2.00 / 0) #39 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 03:06:44 PM EST
send me the damn thing, I'll fix it.  Or not be able to fix it.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
Honestly, I don't know. by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #41 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 03:29:31 PM EST
But foresee all sorts of unforeseen difficulties.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
[ Parent ]
tried it by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #35 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 02:26:03 PM EST
didnt work.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
Yeah, by blixco (2.00 / 0) #38 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 03:05:46 PM EST
install programs don't do well in that mode.

Do you still have the installed version on a windows 2000 harddrive?  Was this XP install an upgrade?  You might be able to copy over the installed program, then look for (search for) the program in the registry and hand-copy the entries?

I dunno.  It's a tough call.  The only other thing is to find every single reference to OS checking and trick the damn thing.

There aren't huge differences between xp and 2k, but there are enough to throw off programs that were really made for DOS and poorly ported to win2k.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
we do, but again by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #40 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 03:13:07 PM EST
IT refuses to do it, and they won't give me the machine to try it myself.

all i think i need to give you is the setup textfile. i havent gotten to the actual software part yet, because the setup blocks it, and again, i dont know that much about software, but i wanna see if we can get away with minimum effort here, and still have our machine. where do i send it?

i tried to explain what i was planning to the 3M tech support dude, and he called me an "inventive little bugger" and congratulated me for exceeding his level of knowledge.
Send me to Austria!

[ Parent ]
Send it to my by blixco (2.00 / 0) #45 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:31:22 PM EST
gmail acct.  blixco at.

I'll check it out, but again: setup programs call a lot of other binaries, and those binaries may detect OS version.  Trickier would be: find out how it calls the OS, then give it false info via environment variables.

But yeah, send me the file.  Blixco at g mail.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
well by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #48 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 06:09:16 AM EST
nick came home, fiddled with it, no worky. it seems that there's a few more things he can do, so we're going to try, but after that, fuck em.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
You can still by blixco (2.00 / 0) #51 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 07:01:14 AM EST
send me the inf, and I'll take a crack at it.

Heck, if there was a place I could have you FTP the entire CD, I'm almost positive I could re-package the fucker.  Anyhow.  Drop me a line if I can do anything.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
One word by thunderbee (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:08:22 AM EST
VMWare (GSX is free now)

okayyyy by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:23:11 AM EST
tell me more...
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
you can push the mouse around by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:41:54 AM EST
but don't know how to google ?

a-maaaayy-zing.

[ Parent ]
fine. by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:45:01 AM EST
it pisses me off, though, when suggestions are made but not explained or supported.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
you want help by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:53:09 AM EST
then you need to take an active part in it and not expect answers delivered on a platter where all you do is push the easy button.

If someone says "I can't make a fire" and you give them matches, should you also be expected to walk them through the entire process ? No, you gave them matches. They now have all they need to make a fire.

The VMWare suggestion was entirely valid, does not require any overly technical knowledge to do so, and your follow up was essentially looking for hand-holding through the process with out having given any thought or investigation.


[ Parent ]
okay by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:59:34 AM EST
i guess i didnt wanna put that much work into something that i will likely not be allowed to install. any installations have to be approved.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
Amazing. by Weapon of Pack Destruction (2.00 / 0) #46 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:38:45 PM EST
In the same time, space and effort it took you to be a prick, you could have been helpful.

[ Parent ]
yup, by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #49 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 06:25:43 AM EST
and then I would have done someone elses job for them, and they would have been none the wiser for it.


[ Parent ]
Yes and no by Weapon of Pack Destruction (2.00 / 0) #53 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 04:25:36 PM EST
You would have done someone else's job for them.  That person being somebody in the IT department, not lilflighttest, who was also trying to do someone else's job in order to do her own job.

Here's a knife, and there's some slack.  Start cutting.

[ Parent ]
VMWare. by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #26 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:52:46 PM EST
Is a program that emulates a computer, so that you can run another OS on top of your OS in a Window. Any of the following reasons are valid reasons for calling the parent poster an arrogant, pretentious annoying loser who can burn in hell.
  1. Assuming it's the only program these machines are used for, the overhead of VMWare + 2000 + Your Program will wind up running slower than just running it'll end up running slower than Your Program on the old machines.
  2. If it's not the only program, it'll still hog your resources.
  3. You'll still need a license for/install of Windows 2000, but you also now need a license for/install of VMWare.
  4. Anyone who responds with a request for help with a reply of "google" is inherently an arrogant pretentious annoying loser who can burn in hell.


--
Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
It's not drastically slow. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #32 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 02:00:17 PM EST
It only adds a bit of overhead to virtual machine switches, but runs code native, with input and output piped through the host OS. It's less than a 50% slowdown.

And yes, I haven't forgotten the humiliating rebuke I got in front of our chief investor (an ex-VP of Adobe) when my boss was trying to pitch for money for a testing suite and hadn't briefed me, as general code and testing dogsbody at the time. All I wanted was a copy of VMWare, but when I said that would meet most of my needs, I was somewhat shouted at. Arsehole.

[ Parent ]
eh by martingale (2.00 / 0) #33 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 02:14:28 PM EST
Hello? Fish shop? This isn't rocket science. VMWare is plenty fast enough (I'd go so far as to say too fast) for anybody who even has the word webmail in his or her vocabulary. Don't talk about performance unless it's going to be needed, say you have a few terabytes to look at from the last time you sent an electron spinning.


--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

[ Parent ]
I'll take asshole for 500 alex by sasquatchan (4.00 / 2) #50 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 06:30:43 AM EST
and point out the response below.
i didnt wanna put that much work into something
and look at how many willing people there are to help someone who has admitted they didn't really want to put much work into it. Bite me.

[ Parent ]
Sorry by thunderbee (2.00 / 0) #56 Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 10:12:56 PM EST
Wasn't there this week-end.

As explained in the middle of the starting flame, vmware is a pc emulator, mostly used to run windows on a linux machine.

But you could use it to run a windows 2000 (or 98 or whatever you need) on a windows XP.

At least one of their version is now free.

You'll need a licence for the running windows, but it's cheaper than having another PC and the windows licence.

VMware is a resource hog, but depending on what you need to do it could save you the trouble of hacking it to run on XP.


[ Parent ]
Why not by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:32:48 AM EST
Install W2K on the new machine? While it's old it was a pretty good OS, as far as Windows goes.

That said, I would look for a new piece of software from a vendor in business that can support it. Old software on new PC's can be problematic. Is it a speciality type application?

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

two possibilities by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:33:40 AM EST
it may violate the terms of their lease, AND they may not have install media if their computers are leased.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
hell by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:43:36 AM EST
we didnt want new computers to start with. first off, we've had nothing but trouble with the new ones, even though they claim nothing but the OS changed.

that said, we're not ALLOWED to install 2k. we told them we wanted it, they said no. we explained that we can't use this equipment without it, they said they cant do anyhting about that. i'd love to buy a new Plate Reader and charge it to IT, but that won't fly.

this thing is an extremely special piece of equipment. it's a 3M thing, made to scan their petrifilm. since they hold patents on petrifilm and all things resembling it, nobody else is going to bother making a machine to read them, thus, no new software. even so, we have the old model that they dont really support anymore...it works perfectly for our applications, since we only use it intermittently, but we still need to have it.
Send me to Austria!

[ Parent ]
In that case by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:54:26 AM EST
I would just buy/lease a machine that has W2K on it. There has to be someone who will take care of that for you.

I mean, you're the customer and you have specific needs, so why not find a vendor who is interested in meeting those needs.

At least that's my attitude, I don't have much patience in matters like that. Computers are tools, if you need a hammer why would you lease a screwdriver?

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
its not up to me by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:57:48 AM EST
if it were, we'd be fine. unfortunately, getting permission to spend the money on a computer will be impossible. "you have a computer, why do you need another one?" the guys in IT are idiots (i am told i could singlehandedly replace them all, and i dont even know that much) and when purchasing consults them, they'll totally ignore what we want and not let us have what we need.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
Yeah by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:04:42 AM EST
If you can find a copy of W2K then VMWARE is a viable solution. I guess at this point that's where I would put my energies if I were you.

VMWARE lets you run multiple OS's at the same time.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
I own two CD keys for win2k by Forbidden (2.00 / 0) #54 Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 01:16:35 PM EST
Find yourself some CDs, and I'll sell you the licensce for free.

You once was.
[ Parent ]
Whaaa? by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:48:14 PM EST
It's your job to fix the problem but they won't let you fix the problem?

Something doesn't make sense here.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
Doesn't make sense by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #31 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 01:52:23 PM EST
doesn't mean "is an unusual situation", of course.

[ Parent ]
vmware by martingale (2.00 / 0) #34 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 02:16:47 PM EST
Look it up. You simply install win2k in a file and run it from there.
--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
[ Parent ]
I don't know enough to say by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:33:00 AM EST
one way or the other whether or not what you are doing will work. It depends heavily on what the software does.

(a) it sounds like what you are doing will probably get it to install, eventually. You're on the right track in that regard.

However, what you are doing is basically lying to the installer, and it's not clear from your description of the software if that's workable. If the software involves low-level device drivers, it is likely to not work, because the driver model changed. If, on the other hand, it didn't do any low level stuff, it will work.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

well... by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:47:34 AM EST
upon plugging the machine in, the computer instantly knew what it was. we just couldnt use it without the software installed. i have all the needed software...it just sort of bugs me that it won't work. when the installation requirements say "minimum win98" i expect it to mean it'll work on anything above that.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
The hard solution by lm (4.00 / 3) #21 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:08:56 AM EST
  1. Grab a W2K box without the software.
  2. Make a copy of the registry.
  3. Install the software.
  4. Compare the registry copy to see what has changed.
  5. Copy the program files from the W2K box to an XP box.
  6. Make the same changes to the XP registry that the program made to the W2K registry.
  7. Hope that it is just the installer that checks OS version.

Easy solution

  1. Find an old PC with W2K.
  2. Install and run the software on that.
  3. Hide W2K box from anyone not on your special list.

Political solution

1a. Write a grant to procure a new watchamajig that will run on XP. Or ...
1b. Write a letter to grand high poobah explaining the quandry and ask either for a lonesome old W2K box or a new watchamajig.


Kindness is an act of rebellion.
This is one of those problems by FlightTest (4.00 / 3) #22 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:15:59 PM EST
That managers get paid to resolve. You have exhausted your abilities to fix this, and other departments have put up roadblocks. Someone higher than you needs to go over or through those roadblocks. Simply express to your manger in simple terms;
  1. New computers have been thrust upon you.
  2. The new computers came with a new O.S.
  3. The software for the device does not work with the new O.S.
  4. You have explored work-arounds but don't feel comfortable spending large amounts of time without your manager's knowledge of the problem.
  5. IT will not allow you to have a computer with the old O.S.
  6. Therefore, said device can no longer be used.
  7. Device is essential to the business. Do no assume your manger knows why, even if he/she does know why. Remind them what the device does and why it is necessary. Explain that no other device currently owned by company can do this task, or if it can, provide a realistic estimate of how much longer it will take to use other device to do this task and the limitations of using other device.
  8. A decision needs to be made to either overrule the IT department or buy a new device. Provide realistic costs for both these options.
  9. Remind manager once again that device can not be used until this situation is resolved.
Really, you have some responsibility to attempt to solve the problem on your own. You have fulfilled that responsibility. It is time to let your manager know of the situation, your attempts to resolve it, and ask for their help, as you have neither the authority to overrule the IT department nor order the purchase of new equipment.



alternatively, by garlic (4.00 / 1) #24 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:44:53 PM EST
software install should be the IT groups responsibility, especially when you run into problems like this.


[ Parent ]
True, except by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:58:04 PM EST
One can also argue there is a long list of things IT should have or should not have done. Had IT done its job properly, this problem would not have happened or at least would be solved by now. The point is, she has to deal with things the way they are, not the way they should be.

She can make suggestions as to the future as to how things should be, but that is not part of the solution to the problem now at hand.



[ Parent ]
I disagree by Forbidden (2.00 / 0) #55 Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 01:22:39 PM EST
Working in a large organization (medical) where technology comes into play quite often, I can honestly say that this is (probably) not IT's fault. It's a management oversight caused by managers who don't understand the technology that they're working with or what's involved.

Here's why:

|<---IT guy's job description--->|    |<---LFT's job description--->|

Note the gap. A good manager will see this gap, usually before anything bad happens and fill it by extending the job descriptions until there is no gap. A bad manager will ignore the gap until a problem arises, let a bunch of fuss and hard feelings be created because of the problem, and then continue to leave the gap after the problem has been resolved.


You once was.
[ Parent ]
well by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #57 Mon Mar 13, 2006 at 03:54:17 AM EST
i've explained to them what the machine does. showed them why we need it. showed them the problem with XP. asked for a win2k machine...preferably our old one back, but any will do. they say we cant have one, i ask them to please fix it. they say "they dont feel comfortable" with that. i dont think it's a matter of the fact that our job descriptions don't match. i'm a lab tech, they're computer guys. they dont have to understand what we do, but it IS their job to make it work.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
Heh by kwsNI (4.00 / 1) #28 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 01:31:44 PM EST
Spoken like a Californian beauracrat ;)

[ Parent ]
Meh by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #29 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 01:45:20 PM EST
The California bureaucrat response would just be to scrap the device that doesn't work with the new O.S. and just don't do whatever it is the device does, no matter how important that function is.



[ Parent ]
Excellent. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #30 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 01:50:29 PM EST
Common sense, written out and codified clearly is a very useful and very rare commodity.

Thank you for giving me insight.

[ Parent ]
Thanks by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #44 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:19:10 PM EST
And despite Mr. NI's snarky comment, it stems not from being a state drone, but something one of my professors is stressing right now; how to be a "good" engineer. Don't go to your boss with only a problem, go to your boss with a problem, what you've done to try to fix it at your level, possible solutions that require his/her level (or higher), and a recommended solution with justification.



[ Parent ]
manager knows by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #36 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 02:29:40 PM EST
and replies "call IT". she has not yet lost her faith in them. i tell her why that will not help, she says "that can't be" and thats it.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
1 word: escalation by lm (4.00 / 1) #42 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:02:37 PM EST
Surely IT has managers and those managers have directors.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Answer: by FlightTest (4.00 / 1) #43 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:13:40 PM EST

"I already called IT. They have refused to either supply a computer with Win2K or try themselves to make the driver work." Of course only tell her that if you have in fact called IT. It is not enough to say "it won't work". You have to (honestly) say "They have refused to fix it".



[ Parent ]
Addendum. by Weapon of Pack Destruction (4.00 / 1) #47 Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:51:45 PM EST
Do everything in writing and CC your supervisor.  Request a solution from IT.  Forward their response to your supervisor, if they respond.  If not, start sending out "it has been one week since my request.  When will this matter be resolved?"

If you don't get satisfaction, you've discharged your responsibilities and you can wash your hands of it.  If anyone asks why work isn't getting done, forward the email record to them.

[ Parent ]
That is absolutely right by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #52 Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12:48:25 PM EST
Document everything. Always.



[ Parent ]
Help! | 57 comments (57 topical, 0 hidden)