Will Windows 7 play older games or should I install Vista or Windows XP?

by on March 3, 2010

Q: I have two new 1TB WD caviar hard drives. I am interested in installing one with 64-bit Windows 7 and the other 64-bit Vista Ultimate. I was led to understand that Windows 7 has difficulties installing and playing many older games.

Will Vista Ultimate be any better at playing them or do I have to go further back to install Windows XP to be certain I can play the older games?

2 Responses to “Will Windows 7 play older games or should I install Vista or Windows XP?”
    Picked as best answer

    My suggested setup for you is this:

    Just install Widows 7 and run that as your primary operating system. If you run into any older games that have trouble running (maybe 1990’s stuff), your easiest option is to just run a virtual instance of Windows XP. This runs from within Windows 7, making it really easy to setup and manage.

    If you’re running Win7 Pro or Ultimate you can download “Windows XP Mode” for free from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/default.aspx

    If you’re running a different edition of Windows 7 you can install VirtualBox: http://www.virtualbox.org/ and then use that in combination with your own Windows XP install disk and get the same result.


    thanks very much for your help in this matter. i intend to take your suggestion, thanks again.