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Windows 7: questions about running old automotive programs

02 Dec 2015   #1

questions about running old automotive programs

Ive got a few issues running some old automotive programs. Ive got a ford tuner program that is only supported by windows xp. I tried to run it on my windows 7 no luck. So I bought a old computer off a guy at work with xp and works flawlessly. (it is pretty complicated alone as I had to enable drivers and do a bunch of stuff I barely know how to do) Anyways I got it to work tuned a few cars good to go.

Now I just picked up a series 1 AEM stand alone ecm with the program called AEMPRO which is only supported yet again by windows xp. It is capable of real time changes to engine fueling and timing but the battery on my old crusty 2nd hand xp capable computer only lasts 5 min.

Ive also got a few other programs that are xp only and need a solution.

Id like to buy a brand new computer with xp that I can use on the internet without corrupting.

Ive attempted to use a vitual machine on my toshiba satelite originally and I almost fired the thing was so slow. So that was a terrible idea. I love the idea of getting an apple and using a vitual machine of xp on it. Honestly id love a xp apple computer. So it can run my stuff and not get bogged virused up from surfing car forums....

Anybody got a good solution to that problem.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2015   #2


Im aware xp is no longer supported by windows for updates as far as internet protection. At least thats how I took that.

So in other words if you get on the internet with xp you'll likely fry it because new video streams of links or whatever wont come out right and "corrupt your computer". Slow it down because it reads stuff wrong. Prone to a virus or "incorrectly written program" for 32 bit xp.

I might be pretty far off on all that but thats my a mechanic no computer wizard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2015   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

You mentioned trying a virtual machine... With virtual machines you are running another operating system in a program environment from your primary operating system. This is a good way to do it, but you need to configure the VM properly to get decent speed. For windows XP 768 MB of memory is around the sweet-spot for good speed. Make sure your main computer has enough memory to run your primary operating system ( Windows 7 x86 or 32bit needs 1gb minimum while x64 needs 2gb minimum ) plus enough to get Windows XP to the sweet spot or a little more, say 1gb or 2 if you can spare it.

I run VMs frequently from XP to Windows 10 on my Windows 7 machine. I only have 8GB of memory but I manage to make it work by leaving myself at least 4 to 6gb on my primary os and associating 2 to 4 to the VM depending what I'm running.

Another thing you can try is using the Windows 7 troubleshooter to run a program in compatibility mode and choose "The program worked in a previous version of windows" > "Windows xp SP**" and see if it works. In a lot of cases compatibility mode will work and some cases it will not.

Having an extra computer for XP isn't a bad idea, especially if you're using it to tune a vehicle, then an inexpensive sub 10" laptop is perfect ( netbook which usually don't have optical drives so a usb cd/dvd drive helps if you don't have a usb drive to use as windows installer )...

Even though Windows XP isn't "officially" supported anymore, a lot of people still use it. Viruses come out every day but virus makers tend to target what is trending, ie what the most people are running. Windows XP is slowly going out making it less of a "hot" target. Mac users used to think they were invincible and viruses couldn't penetrate their systems; they were very wrong... Virus makers typically didn't target Mac OS because it wasn't as widely used as Windows.. Same with traditional Linux Distros.. Essentially every system has weaknesses that can be exploited or access can be gained one way or another.

Get a good anti-virus ( not Mcafee or Norton ) or one that uses a cloud-based service of 50+ antiviruses ( such as an automated type scanner such as Panda AV ), use Google Chrome with uMatrix, TamperMonkey, Adblock Plus, Personal Blocklist, etc... so you don't have to worry about drive-by downloads while on the net... and keep those programs up to date. Keep a restore disk handy in the event you do need to restore but I haven't detected a virus on any of the machines I have that still run XP in years; just browse safely, don't visit unfamiliar sites and block ads on sites that use them which also allow the advertiser to host the script / content ( which is very bad because the advertiser can inject code once per ip and browser combo and per site which uses a competitor, etc... at a random moment which is how drive-by downloads are typically handled which also makes it very hard to detect which advertiser is doing it too )...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Dec 2015   #4

Windows 10 x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lexcrob View Post
... if you get on the internet with xp you'll likely fry it because new video streams of links or whatever wont come out right and "corrupt your computer".
Perhaps you'll suggest putting an aluminum foil hat on the computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2015   #5


I think I have 3 gigs of ram but it is partitioned for recovery so 2.87 left is what my system information says. I suppose that is why the virtual machine didnt work out well. I guess ill start hunting for a new laptop. I had purchased one a few years back that was smaller to use for automotive. I think it was called a chrome book. Anyways the thing was like apps. and browsing only. I dont even know what to call the thing. Couldnt store stuff on it, no word processors and to top it off no cd drive. I just brought it back told them I wanted a computer not this thing...... Any recommendations for a compact machine that possibly even has a disc drive that can handle a VM.

Or should I buy a refurbished tough book off ebay and a 60$ xp boot disc license whatever?

Do they even make a boot discs for xp. I had no idea about the partition thing till I got on toshiba website looking for a boot disc.

I read somewhere its 10 cd's....not sure if thats accurate....
Also read I can just call the manufacture of the computer and most will send boot discs for a small fee.

Anyways thanks for all the information again! Ill be back on here im sure trying to get the AEMpro working. (usb to serial drivers? com ports?) Even I know serial ports are ancient technology. Im only using it to get familiar with their software so I can justify buying there new stuff which is pretty pricey.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2015   #6


anyone heard of kaspersky causing motherboard failures?

Like I bought a 1200$ all in one toshiba desktop and pooped out after 4 boot ups mother board failure. Get it repaired by best buy...... same thing again after a few months mother took a crap again...

...then say "well"..... maybe ill just put AVG free and 2 years now not a problem.

Guess who sold me the free trail of kaspersky. Yep best buy where I bought the computer. Weird.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2015   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

I don't use Kaspersky any more; didn't like it.
Many do like it and have used it for years.

I have never heard of Kaspersky or any other security program damaging a motherboard.
I can't think of any program that damages a motherboard other that other than changing bios wrongly.

With the little spec of your system you have given us it will be hard to tell you if your system could run a VM for such a project.

You say the program runs fine on your XP computer; good.
I would stick with that method.

I have several old Ford Motor Co. DVD's of shop manuals and other things that the last Dealership I worked at gave me and I have never been able to get them to work on Windows 7.

If I really wanted to use them I would do a VM or a dual boot with XP but I have more than enough hardware to handle the task.

Retired Ford Motor Co. Master Mechanic.

Layback Bear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2015   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64

The last time I purchased a store-type computer ( was actually a gift ) was early 2001 and it was a Compaq. The thing went through motherboards like no-ones business. We actually had two of them and both had issues with motherboards...

One thing you can look for is to make sure the board is properly mounted ( ie no extra screw-stands where they shouldn't be causing bad connections, make sure the foam some boards come in is NOT installed in the computer [ electrically conductive material, bad enough they wrap boards with it but some people actually install it under their board ] ). It could be bad caps from a bad product run. Could be too little power. Etc...

I had a little netbook ( 8.1 inch screen or so ) which was great for the car but they're so small they don't have room for a cd drive ( as mentioned ). I'd recommend getting a USB cd / dvd drive for those computers.

I couldn't with a clear conscience recommend Mac ( or Dell [ majority of repairs coming in were Dell so they're good for repair businesses but not good for use ] / Alienware [ overpriced ] ) because they're overpriced for what they are. Sure, you get proprietary hardware which goes into quite a few machines and is fully supported through the OS but it's still overpriced for what it is and Windows supports a lot of variation so you're able to build a machine to fit your specific needs.. You may end up with an issue with certain combinations of hardware but it's typically rare. I think Mac has gotten better over the years but they're still nowhere near what I'd consider reasonable in terms of pricing and hardware options.

If you get a cheap little netbook laptop which is 1GHz or higher with 1 to 2GB memory and need to use a USB cd drive to install the os ( it'd be faster over USB anyway ) then so be it. You'll likely use a USB adapter to communicate with the vehicle from then on after you install the software ( which can also be done via USB or over the network ).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 questions about running old automotive programs

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