Question Need to keep my Win7 install but I have a new build

tinpanalley

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Basically I've updated my build with new hardware (mobo, ram, CPU, even PSU). In my current system I'm running one SSD with Windows 10 and another Windows 7. The problem is that I'm being told Windows 7 won't run on the new Ryzen 3600 and B450 motherboard. I currently use the Windows 7 SSD not connected to the internet to run a handful of games from roughly 20 years ago that only run on Win7 or earlier. Unfortunately due to SecuRom, early directx and other issues, these games simply will not play on Win10. And no, they're not on GOG.

I know, I know, there are virtual systems and I've had the discussion several times with people who thought they were going to crack the code and make these games run on virtual emulation and they never work. Let's just accept that I need the Windows 7 drive. So, the old motherboard I'm no longer going to need is ATX and the CPU is an i5-2400. In short, it's too big to keep just for occasional use. Would it be possible to pop the CPU out and put it in some (now) very cheap micro-sized board only for these games to run? I don't mind keeping something the size of a console, but another ATX tower starts getting silly. If you happen to have other solutions, I'm all ears.

Thank you!
 
I had a similar situation.
I wanted to continue running civilization 2.42.
When I did an upgrade from a i5-6600K, I kept the processor and bought a ITX motherboard for a small case I had around.
Now, I think your situation is a bit different. I doubt that your games need anything fancy from the graphics or cpu power point of view.
Do you now use dual boot to switch between win7 and win 10?
One option might be to buy a second small pc that will run windows 7.
Here is a lenovo m92 tiny example for $110:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkCentre-M92p-Tiny-i5-4570T-2-9GHz-4GB-RAM-500GB-HDD-Windows-7-Pro-64/123884031816?hash=item1cd8104f48:g:nhgAAOSwutFcxwU5

If you want to go dual boot route, The Z370 asus motherboards will have driver support for all but integrated intel graphics. nvidia drivers also support windows 7.
Here is the procedure:
https://www.overclock.net/forum/6-intel-motherboards/1642446-how-install-windows-7-coffee-lake-pc-z370-chipset-mb-asus-maximus-x-hero.html

If you need 32 bit support for old 16 bit programs(like civ2) you are mostly out of luck on any modern hardware.
The latest to support windows 7 32 bit will be the z170 chipset, and that does not include integrated graphics.
That is what I needed to use.
 

tinpanalley

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USAFRet

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What other options do I have?
Options for what?

I'm just saying that it is highly unlikely for an existing Win 7 installation to simply 'just boot up' in a new Ryzen 3600 system.

You could try it, though.
I would do it with a cloned drive, instead of the only drive.
Obtain another HDD, make a clone of your Win 7 drive, and use one of them.
 

tinpanalley

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You will need to backup data and reinstall.

You will have to find proper drivers for w7 on ryzen, but it should work. You may run into issues tho.
That would be great. I had read somewhere that with the 3rd Gen ryzen it won't work at all. Can you give me a sense of what kind of problems I could potentially come across.
 
If you run windows 10 pro, you should have the resources to set up your current win 7 drive in a virtual machine.
You can upgrade to pro in place simply by paying for the upgrade online.
As a plus, pro gives you better options on controlling how windows pushes updates out to you.
Here is how to set it up:
https://www.onmsft.com/how-to/how-to-install-a-virtual-machine-on-windows-10-using-hyper-v-now-even-easier-with-quick-create

The problem with finding a small/slim ATX case is the physical size of your motherboard.
Look for a media center case like this silverstone
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16811163257
Even then, you will need to have a way to switch or duplicate monitor, keyboard, and mice.

Seems to me that learning how to set up a virtual machine is the way to go.

OTOH, since you already have the parts why not go ahead and try it.
Before, I would clone your windows 7 to a ssd and use the ssd to experiment with, saving the original as backup.
Reinstalling windows 7 may not be a chore, but you will need to reinstall any apps that use the registry.
 
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tinpanalley

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If you run windows 10 pro, you should have the resources to set up your current win 7 drive in a virtual machine.
You can upgrade to pro in place simply by paying for the upgrade online.
As a plus, pro gives you better options on controlling how windows pushes updates out to you.
Here is how to set it up:
https://www.onmsft.com/how-to/how-to-install-a-virtual-machine-on-windows-10-using-hyper-v-now-even-easier-with-quick-create

The problem with finding a small/slim ATX case is the physical size of your motherboard.
Look for a media center case like this silverstone
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16811163257
Even then, you will need to have a way to switch or duplicate monitor, keyboard, and mice.

Seems to me that learning how to set up a virtual machine is the way to go.

OTOH, since you already have the parts why not go ahead and try it.
Before, I would clone your windows 7 to a ssd and use the ssd to experiment with, saving the original as backup.
Reinstalling windows 7 may not be a chore, but you will need to reinstall any apps that use the registry.
I do have Win 10 Pro already. And so virtual machine is interesting but these games in particular don't play well on virtual machines. It's a securom and directx thing mostly.

The slim case thing seems more doable. But as I said I'm not against the die of getting myself a little microboard, I just don't know what to get. And I dont know if it would need a dedicated GPU for these older games. No clue on that.
 

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