Ideas for running a VB4 application on modern hardware?
aloha at blastpuppy.com
Mon May 2 21:51:52 CDT 2016
While I can’t however speak to the vagaries of VB4 specifically, I’m reasonably certain (having run 16-bit only software on windows 7 and 8) that ll 32-bit versions of windows continue to support NTVDM/16-bit applications. With windows 8 you have to install the subsystem (its not installed by default) but it does work.
Email:aloha at blastpuppy.com
Email:alohawolf at gmail.com
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> On May 2, 2016, at 11:43 AM, mark at markesystems.com wrote:
>> I have a Visual Basic 4 application that I need to run on modern 64-bit
>> hardware I can do this in a VM, but I really need this VM to be wicked
>> small, like under a gig. The smallest XP VM I?ve seen is 600MB (which might
>> be good) but XP is becoming very hard to source these days.
> VB4 was a bridge between 16-bit Windows 3.1 applications and 32-bit everything later (such as the DOS-based Win-95, -98, and -ME, and all of the NT-based operating systems, which is everything else through Win-10 64-bit). As such, the package included both a 16-bit an 32-bit compiler. If your application was compiled using the 16-bit version, you're pretty much stuck with XP-32 or earlier (in a VM, if necessary), as it will automatically spawn a 16-bit virtual environment (ntvdm.exe) to run the 16-bit applications. Win7 and beyond, and all 64-bit versions, do not support this feature (I supported a VB3 application for 20 years; Win7 was what finally broke it for good.)
> If it was compiled to 32-bit, then you should be pretty much good to go; you may run into a few insurmountable problems with some now unsupported OCX's. Other than those, all of the 32-bit code should run fine on anything current.
> If you have the source, you're also in pretty good shape. VB4 is very easy to port to VB6; there were almost no backward-incompatible features of the later Visual Basic classic languages. Find an old copy of VB6 SP6, re-compile it (perhaps replacing some of the failed OCXs with others that will work - a common one was DBGrid, which is quite easy to replace with FlexGrid), and you're golden. I currently support just such an application, and although the development environment requires a couple of tricks to get working smoothly, the compiled application works just fine on Win10-64.
> Drop me a note off-line if you'd like any additional or more specific help with this; I have a reasonable amount of experience with just this problem.
> Of course, there are always older versions of Wine...
> Mark Moulding
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