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  1. #1
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    Software incompatibility

    I work in an industrial learning lab where factory workers use my computers to take on-line classes. We use courseware from several vendors. Our machines run on Win 95, and they're all Pentium 300 or better. The stuff we get from Vendor A is super material, but, as a teacher might say, the courseware "does not play well with others." We have to put Vendor A's software on one dedicated computer--the stuff from Vendors B, C, and D populate four other machines and get along quite well. We'd spoken with Vendor A, and they give us the "mechanic's shrug." They're at a loss to explain why their stuff causes our machines to crash when we load their stuff with someone else's. Yes, they'd be happy to send a tech rep to our site, but it'll cost $1,100 a day! Any ideas on what we can do to remedy this problem?

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    Re: Software incompatibility

    Sounds like you need to dual-boot your systems! It's time consuming, and takes some effort, but I think you'll be pleased with the results. Dual-Boot gives you the ability to load various 'instances' of opertaing systems on your machine, so that when Vendor A is over-writing and crowding your registry, you can re-boot for vendors B, C, and D.

    Here are some resources on setting up a Dual-Boot System:
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://windows-help.net/techfiles/dualboot.html>http://windows-help.net/techfiles/dualboot.html</A>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.winplanet.com/winplanet/tutorials/494/1/>http://www.winplanet.com/winplanet/tutorials/</A>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.generation.net/~hleboeuf/boot.htm>http://www.generation.net/~hleboeuf/boot.htm</A>

    You can find more links <A target="_blank" HREF=http://search.dogpile.com/texis/search?q=Dual+Boot+windows+95&geo=no&fs=web>here, at dogpile.com</A>.

    You may also want to examine the Hard-Drive Caddy Route, <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.wopr.com/cgi-bin/w3t/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=hard&Number=19552&page=0&vi ew=collapsed&sb=5>Click here for details.</A>

    Hope that helps!

    Drk.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Software incompatibility

    So, you're suggesting that we set up our machines to dual-boot with W95 and/or W98 and load the troublesome courseware under W98...? I'm not the office geek, you understand. Are you saying that perhaps this quirky stuff will operate better under W98?

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    Re: Software incompatibility

    You can dual boot windows 95... Two instances of Windows 95.

    Generally, a program 'not playing nice' is most likely hogging registry entities, which control virtually every aspect of your computer, from the way your desktop looks, to how your mouse/keyboard behaves, to how your windows appear on your desktop, the registry is where it's at. By dual booting your systems, you supply yourself with two operating systems, (they can be any combination really, 95 & 95, 95&NT, 95&98, etc..) and hence, two registries, essentially 'isolating' the problem product.

    The simplest method would be to go the Hard-drive caddy route however... You would go out, buy a small hard-drive, install everything on it as if it were new, and just swap them out when you needed the other training program.

    Hope that helps!

    Edit: It is possible that Windows 98 will run your 'quarky' stuff better, it is, in fact a more stable OS, (in Service Release 2, that is..)

    Drk.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Software incompatibility

    Thanks! I'll pass this advice on to our computer guru. He's the guy who'll have to do the work!

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    Re: Software incompatibility

    Dual booting is not simple and I just about guarantee you won't do it with w98. In the end it will cause more trouble than it's worth. Drive swapping could be an easier solution and you can buy swappable drives in a tray that can be removed from the front when the machine is asleep.

  7. #7
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    Re: Software incompatibility

    If you are willing to consider these extremes, you may want to try these two options. The best thing about both of them is that they are free to try.

    Both options require that you replace your primary OS with Linux. Then...

    Option 1: Install win4lin. Win4lin allows you to run a copy of Windows95 in a Linux window. You can run separate copies of windows -- simultaneously -- keeping your incompatible programs apart. There will be some performance hit, but you can adjust around it, mininmize it if you are not also running a big Linux app simultaneously. The biggest benefit, from my understanding, is that if there is a windows crash, you can reopen/reboot your windows window in under 15 seconds.

    Option 2 involves installing VMWare to run your windows programs under Linux. VMWare is supposed to be more configurable in terms of allocating resources among simultaneously running operating systems. Each copy of windows runs in a "virtual machine".

    I haven't tried either of these programs, but both get great accolades in a list I subscribe to. Essentially, the people using them want to use Linux as their primary OS but have a piece of windows software or two that just don't have a Linux eqivalent, Quickbooks for example. Nonetheless, if just keeping your set up the way that it is not acceptable and you are considering a dual boot, you should consider these also.

  8. #8
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    Re: Software incompatibility

    Thanks for the tip, but going Linux is not a possibility. Interesting idea, though.

  9. #9
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    Re: Software incompatibility

    Windows 95 ships with a little-known utility that lets you run renegade DOS and Windows 3.1 programs in Windows 95. The key to making these programs work with Windows 95 is using the settings stored in the [Compatibility] section of the Win.ini file. If you open C:WindowsWin.ini, you'll see entries like these:


    [Compatibility]

    ACAD=0x8000

    AMIPRO=0x04000010


    Each entry tells Windows 95 how to force the program to work--for example, "Lie about Windows version number," or "Give application more stack space." Fortunately, you don't need to memorize these settings. Simply click on File, Run, type in MKCOMPAT, click on File, Choose Program, and check off the appropriate restrictions.

    I'm not sure if this would work with win95 based applications but it doesn't hurt to try. Anyway it can be undone anytime.

  10. #10
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    Re: Software incompatibility

    Interesting. I believe the software we're having trouble with is Win95-based, so they SHOULD play well with others without monkeying around in the .ini files. But thank you for that tip--maybe it'll lead to something.

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