I recently had someone call me who had PCLaw 7 and had bought a new Windows 7 64 bit PC. They wanted to run PCLaw 7 under Windows 7. Not supported, and as usual LexisNexis wanted an arm and a leg to upgrade and pay the punitive reinstatement fees. Could it be done anyway?
Turns out, it can. There are a couple of tricks.
As always with Windows 7, I recommend turning off the User Access Controls – really annoying and the utility is marginal. This will make it a lot easier to install and customize programs.
First of all, old Windows Help files will not run under Windows 7. So you have to download winhlp32.exe from the Microsoft site. You can find instructions here.
If you don’t do this you will get really annoying messages that the help file cannot be opened. The messages won’t go away and you have to manually dismiss the program, so do this first.
We copied the old data to an external hard drive, reinstalled the program on the Windows 7 and then linked up to the data. When you install the program, you want to right-click on the autorun or setup file and select Compatibility. Set the executable to run as if it were Windows XP SP3, disable the fancy screen fonts for Windows 7, and set the program to run with Administrative rights. Do this to the PCLaw executable as well.
With those two things done, everything went very well. PCLaw is up and running under Windows 7.
The same approach may work for other legacy programs as well. As usual, your mileage may vary.