Windows 8/Windows 8 and XP



My dad bought a program for music, and we are noticing that it requires windows XP. His computer has Windows 8. Can I still use this program? The download isn't working. What should I do?


Hi Jolene!

The way software is expected to work changed from XP to Vista, and is continued through Windows 7 and 8.  There are several options for running old/incompatible software - it just depends on what the actual problem is:

- You can try running the program in Compatibility Mode:

Right-click the program launcher/shortcut, Properties, Compatibility tab, check the Compatibility Mode checkbox and select XP SP3.

- You can try installing the program to a non-default location:

Programs, by default, install to C:\Program Files\.  Programs, starting with Windows Vista are NO LONGER allowed to WRITE to the Program Files folder after it has been installed, so if a program attempts to write to its Program Files folder - settings, data, etc. - then the program will crash or simply not work.  Uninstall the program, then reinstall it - when it asks where you want to install it to, choose another folder - for example, create a folder in the root of C:, something like C:\yourprogramname\, then install it to that folder.

- You can run it in a "virtual machine":

This is a more advanced topic, and if you would like more information regarding this option, feel free to ask, but basically, you install an XP operating system within the Windows 8 operating system, using special "virtualization" software.  This method requires that you have a valid and unused license for XP (usually requires purchasing such a license).

- You can upgrade to a compatible version of the software:

This isn't usually peoples' favorite option, but it remains the best option - upgrading to a version that is aware of the requirements of a modern OS.

Feel free to follow up with any questions you might have.

Good luck!

Windows 8

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I can answer nearly all questions about Windows 8 - installation, upgrade, virtualization (Hyper-V, etc.), configuration, how to get the most out of it, how to buy it, etc. I won't pretend to know it all - nobody can - if I don't know, I will try and find the answer. If I can't find it, I'll tell you.


I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I have been using Windows 8 since the early Developer Preview days and use it on all of my primary PC's for a number of activities.

I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

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