Computer Application Mystery Needs Solving!
November 18, 2008 10:05 AM   Subscribe

I have an old program that I would like to run. It's on a CD-ROM and it's something that I helped to design and create in 1998 but did not program. I just can't get it to open in Windows XP. Argh. And, other than the files themselves, I have a limited amount of information about the application. Any programmer detectives want to help?

This is a stand-alone application that (I believe) was created in Macromedia's Authorware. I can view the folders and the files on my laptop, but can't get it to launch.

It used to launch WAY back when in Windows 98. I don't have a machine running '98 anymore and I'd like to figure out how to get this to launch.

I'm happy to post any file information that I have here. This application contains content that I worked a few years on and would like to reference again. The file extensions include the following: .ANI, .RLE, .DBF, .DLL, .PTH, .PRT, .IW, .IWM, .ICO, and .GIF (natch).

The two .EXE files read as follows:

BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\REGSVR16.EXE
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\REGSVR32.EXE

What else could I share to help to solve this mystery?

Help, AskMeFi! You are my only hope!
posted by jeanmari to Computers & Internet (19 answers total)
 
Have you tried to run in compatibility mode already?
* Right click on the program file (the .EXE or .COM file).
* Select Properties from the menu that pops up.
* Select the Compatibility Tab in the dialog.
* Change the options so the program opens in Windows 95 or 98 compatibility mode. Note the other options in the dialog as you may have to experiment a bit and change some of them as well.
posted by acro at 10:15 AM on November 18, 2008


Those two .exe's you listed are system files that register .dll's; in other words, they aren't the files you're looking for. I think a complete list of the files and folder structure is needed.
posted by bizwank at 10:19 AM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


You may also want to include the error message you receive when you try to launch the application. If the message involves those REGSVR* executables, there may be problems with the .DLLs that are required to run your Authorware standalone (one may be missing, for instance.)
posted by Spatch at 10:37 AM on November 18, 2008


bizwank is right... REGSVR is not the application you're looking for as it's published by Microsoft. That functionality is very much included in XP.

XP compatibility mode is mainly a joke btw.

Please publish the entire directory contents. What would really help is the shortcut you used to click, and any pathing information it included (command line options, etc), as it's possible REGSVR is registering the a fore mentioned DLL's for use by another application.
posted by teabag at 11:03 AM on November 18, 2008


Thanks all. Here's more information. Let me know what else I can dig up:


Screenshots of the folders, files and their extensions.


When I try to open the present.exe file using the Compatibility suggestion, I get a window with information from a company called AimTech, if that information is revealing in any way.

I don't get an error message because I'm not sure which of these files is the file we used to launch it. If I remember correctly, there used to an icon that I recognized and used to launch this but none of the icons are displaying properly anymore in this operating system.

My memory is hazy, I apologize. I was incorrect about the timeframe that this was created. The project was done in 1997 and could launch in Windows 95 and Windows NT. I believe that I could also launch it in Windows 98. But I haven't used it since then.

FWIW, this is a computer based tutorial that allows the user to perform a generic root cause analysis on an organization. The user can experiment with making different cause and effect connections through the organizational events. I spent almost a year drawing enormous root cause maps of organizational events. (They were gigantic. We couldn't even print them on legal paper, I had to sketch them out on rolls of paper for the programmer/designer.) Of course, this is the only record I have of those maps because I didn't keep the enormous rolls of paper. Frustrating.
posted by jeanmari at 11:05 AM on November 18, 2008


When I try to open the present.exe file using the Compatibility suggestion, I get a window with information from a company called AimTech, if that information is revealing in any way.

The program could be Aimtech's IconAuthor. What happens if you try to run the "setup" app in \present?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 11:23 AM on November 18, 2008


What happens if you try to run the "setup" app in \present?

I get an error message that says as follows:

Cannot execute SetUp while running run-time program.
posted by jeanmari at 11:26 AM on November 18, 2008


Hmmm. I just closed all other programs and tried to run it again. I got this error message:

Unable to copy files required for setup.
posted by jeanmari at 11:28 AM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


did you try reading the "asetup" file with notepad? (looks like a text file)
posted by canoehead at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2008


Contents of ASETUP file:

GD:\VM
GD:\VM\animate
BD:\VM\animate\X.ANI
GD:\VM\database
GD:\VM\graphics
GD:\VM\iconware
GD:\VM\present
GD:\VM\text
GD:\VM\variable
BD:\VM\database\QVIC.DBF
BD:\VM\database\VICR.RPT
BD:\VM\database\VICR.DBF
BC:\\VRPT.FMT
BD:\VM\graphics\PREN.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\PRB.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\PR1.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\PR.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\NTPAD.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\NBUB.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\MASK.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\IBACK1.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\HRSMOD.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\HELP.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\HBUB.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\GLOS1.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\GLOS.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\GBUB.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\EXIT1.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\EXIT.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\EXGUY.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\ENMOD.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\ENM1.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\EN.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\EFF.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\EBUB.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\CHELP.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\CHBUB.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\BSMOD.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\BRMOD.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\BLD1.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\BLD.RLE
BD:\VM\graphics\INTERC.PAL
BD:\VM\graphics\WHITE.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\vrw.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\V9.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\TUTOR.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\TEACH.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\SSMBMOD.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\smmbshdw.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\SMMBMOD.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\SMGLOBE.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\SMBMOD.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\SHAKE.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\sb.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\RPT4.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\RPT3.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\RPT2.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\RPT1.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\ret2.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\resta.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\REST.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\PUZ.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\PRB.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\PLSPHR.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\pb.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\opn1.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\opn.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\open.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\O9.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\O8.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\O7.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\O6.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\O5.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\O4.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\O3.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\O2.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\O10.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\O1.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\NN.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\N1.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\N.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\mwopn2.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\MTGRP.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\MONEY.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\MOD.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\mobile2.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\MOBILE1.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\LTG.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\INTERC.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\INEXT1.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\IBACK1.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\ib.gif
BD:\VM\graphics\EG.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\EGS.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\EL.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\EN.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\EXB.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\FLIP.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\FRS.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\GROWTH.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\GRW2.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\HELPH.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\CMP.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\CMT.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\CND.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\CNS.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\COACH.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\COVER6.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\CUL.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\DISK.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\EF.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\EFF.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\BASE.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\BBUT.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\BC.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\BINOCS.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\BLD.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\BLD1.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\BLNK.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\BLNK1.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\BMODSHDW.GIF
BD:\VM\graphics\ALIGN2.GIF
BD:\VM\iconware\REPVIC.HLP
BD:\VM\iconware\VIC.HLP
BD:\VM\iconware\CBTRUN.ICO
BD:\VM\iconware\REPORT.ICO
BD:\VM\iconware\LOGIN.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\LVL0.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\LVL1.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\LVL2.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\LVL3.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\LVL4.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\LVL5.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\LVL6.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\LVL60.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\LVL7.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\TESTA.IW
BD:\VM\iconware\NVIC.IWM
BD:\VM\iconware\DELETE.PRT
BD:\VM\iconware\REPORT.PRT
BD:\VM\iconware\SYSTEM.PRT
BD:\VM\iconware\WINHELP.PRT
BD:\VM\iconware\NVIC.PTH
BD:\VM\iconware\TESTA.PTH
BD:\VM\present\ACCUSFT5.DLL
BD:\VM\present\AIMRES.DLL
BD:\VM\present\AIMTECH.DLL
BD:\VM\present\AMTAPP.DLL
BD:\VM\present\AMTLNG.DLL
BD:\VM\present\CRPE.DLL
BD:\VM\present\DECO.DLL
BD:\VM\present\DUNZIP.DLL
BD:\VM\present\DZIP.DLL
BD:\VM\present\EXTCALL.DLL
BD:\VM\present\IAPRTCOM.DLL
BD:\VM\present\IAUTILS.DLL
BD:\VM\present\LNGPRSNT.DLL
BD:\VM\present\LNGSMO.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SETUPUTL.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOAPP.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOBUTTN.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOCOMBO.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOGRAPH.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOIANI.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOKEY.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOLB.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOPAL.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOSCRN.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOSYS.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOTEXT.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOTRANS.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOVAR.DLL
BD:\VM\present\SMOWND.DLL
BD:\VM\present\WYSEDIT.DLL
BD:\VM\present\WYSEDRTF.DLL
BD:\VM\present\CBTRUN.ICO
BD:\VM\present\REPORT.ICO
BD:\VM\present\IAUTHOR.INI
BD:\VM\present\SMARTOBJ.INI
BD:\VM\present\REPORT.PRT
BD:\VM\present\WINHELP.PRT
BD:\VM\present\WORD.PRT
BD:\VM\present\IAPRTSHR.EXE
BD:\VM\present\PRESENT.EXE
BD:\VM\present\SETUP.EXE
BD:\VM\present\SMOIANIT.EXE
BD:\VM\text\STDI.FTT
BD:\VM\text\EXTRA.SMT
BD:\VM\text\TEST.SMT
BD:\VM\text\VM.SMT
BD:\VM\variable\LVL1.VAR
BD:\VM\variable\LVL2.VAR
BD:\VM\variable\LVL3.VAR
BD:\VM\variable\LVL4.VAR
BD:\VM\variable\LVL5.VAR
BD:\VM\variable\LVL6.VAR
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\ATM32.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\COMMDLG.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\COMPOBJ.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\DAO2516.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\DDEML.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\KBDUS.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\LANGENG.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\MMSYSTEM.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\MSAJT200.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\MSJETERR.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\MSJETINT.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\OLE2.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\OLE2DISP.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\OLE2NLS.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\PDBDAO.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SHELL.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\STORAGE.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\TOOLHELP.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\TYPELIB.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VBAJET.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VBAR2.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VBRUN300.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VER.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\W32SYS.DLL
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\WIN87EM.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\WINSCLIP.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\WINSDDE.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\WINSMSG.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\XBS200.DLL
BC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\REGSVR16.EXE
AC:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\REGSVR32.EXE
CHA Performance Support
DVirtual IBR Coach
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posted by jeanmari at 11:36 AM on November 18, 2008


If your computer is of recent vintage, the CPU probably supports hardware virtualization, which means virtual machines can run at speeds approaching native (and given how lightweight Windows 98 is by modern standards, that's much more than enough.)

Anyway, you could take a crack at installing Windows 98 in a VM on your machine and trying to open it there.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:38 AM on November 18, 2008


Many of the windows\system DLL's listed above are nowhere to be found on a Windows XP system.
posted by shinybeast at 11:55 AM on November 18, 2008


is it supposed to run from the cd? otherwise I would copy to your c: drive then try running setup.exe or the .exes from there as it may be a problem with read only nature of cdrom.
posted by canoehead at 11:59 AM on November 18, 2008


Your best bet may be to run this on an old Windows '95 computer. If you are anywhere near Philadelphia (USA), I have one lying around (if I can get it to work after all this time) - MeMail me. Or you could install Windows 95 or 98 from a separate partition (which will probably need a copy of Partition Magic or some similar program (http://www.majorgeeks.com seem to have some Freeware partition managers, plus a shareware Partition Boot Manager that will provide you with a bootable Win 98 partition - also see http://www.sadevelopment.com). You'd need to buy a copy of Windows 95 on eBay if you don't use a Partition Boot Manager. Don't try this unless (a) you are technically competent, and (b) you have a complete backup of all your existing data and applications!
posted by Susurration at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2008


It's a stretch, but have you tried opening the GIFs? Perhaps one of them is a gigantic version of your diagram?
posted by pkphy39 at 12:18 PM on November 18, 2008


Yeah, I second zed_lopez. Rather than futzing around with all this, virtualizing is much easier and will certainly work better. You can get Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 for free, and you can "acquire" Win98 or Win95 install media fairly easily from various sources if you don't have a copy handy. From there, just create a new machine in a VHD file using the wizard, then configure it to share your cd drive (but not your network connection, unless necessary). Then fire up your VM and install Windows as you normally would through the console. Easy as pie, and equally delicious.
posted by tracert at 1:51 PM on November 18, 2008


I use both virtualization and a stack of old windows machines (Thinkpads) that go back to Win95 and DOS. THey are cheap and compact. Sometimes, even virtual machines run too fast, and you have to have slow down programs to make them work.

I've resurrected some ancient software.

Email me (in MeMail) and I'll be glad to try out a copy of the software on one of my old machines and report back.

Good luck!
posted by FauxScot at 4:35 PM on November 18, 2008


Yeah, try virtualization. Pick up VirtualBox (free & legal) and a copy of Win98 from somewhere.
posted by chairface at 4:55 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is just more confirmation that my $5 MeFi membership was the best $5 I've ever spent.

I would love to run VirtualBox (etc) but I'm running Bootcamp on an iMac for Windows apps. So, I would be virtual in virtual, and I'm not tech savvy enough to feel comfortable executing that. I have tested the CBT on a friend's Windows machine with XP, so I know it doesn't work on XP for sure.

I'm thinking of picking up a laptop running 95 or 98 off of eBay or something. Many thanks to the MeFites that offered free, in-person tech support if I happened to live nearby (I wish!) I'll let you know how it works out. Thanks!
posted by jeanmari at 3:15 PM on November 19, 2008


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