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First post, by jgf

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Trying to install the patch for Aces Over Europe. Whether just double click in win7 or using elevated command prompt I get the same result - "Patch.exe is not a valid win32 application".

Wasted an hour searching online for solutions; either very nebulous - check advanced options for ACHI drivers (no such thing on this system), or maybe bad HD ; or very specific - usually to windows program installers; or painfully obvious (this is not a 64 bit exe). But nothing for a simple dos exe that throws that message when run in a dos window ....er, command prompt.

Reply 1 of 30, by darry

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jgf wrote on 2021-05-04, 22:51:

Trying to install the patch for Aces Over Europe. Whether just double click in win7 or using elevated command prompt I get the same result - "Patch.exe is not a valid win32 application".

Wasted an hour searching online for solutions; either very nebulous - check advanced options for ACHI drivers (no such thing on this system), or maybe bad HD ; or very specific - usually to windows program installers; or painfully obvious (this is not a 64 bit exe). But nothing for a simple dos exe that throws that message when run in a dos window ....er, command prompt.

64-bit versions of Windows do NOT support running

- 16-bit Windows executables
- DOS executables

Your patch file is likely one of the above .

Reply 3 of 30, by darry

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jgf wrote on 2021-05-05, 02:00:

system is 32bit win7 ultimate

I assume patch.exe is a dos program, AOE is dos, ca. 1994.

Is the patch this one : http://sierrahelp.com/Files/Patches/Ace ... OEPAT).zip ?

Reply 5 of 30, by DosFreak

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Test it in DOSBox. If it doesn't work then the exe is corrupt. If it works then something with your OS is broken.

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Reply 7 of 30, by Jorpho

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jgf wrote on 2021-05-05, 03:52:

Thanks. How would I run in DOSBox? (Have several games running via DOSBox but not sure what to do with a patch.)

It's just an .exe file, so try running it the same way you would run any of your games. Even if it's not patching anything, it should at least provide an informative error message.

What happens when you try to run your DOS games in Windows instead of in DOSBox?

Reply 8 of 30, by jgf

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-05, 04:06:

....
What happens when you try to run your DOS games in Windows instead of in DOSBox?

Would one would expect, 🤣; either nothing, a brief flash of a DOS window, or a complaint that it cannot be run in windows.

Reply 9 of 30, by jgf

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FWIW, the patch apparently worked in DOSBox; had to mount the parent folder of AOE not the AOE folder since the patch required a path even though located in the folder with the file it patched.

Still confused why windows would complain of "not a valid win32 application" for a small DOS exe being run in a DOS window; isn't that what the DOS window is for. Could understand if this were an actual game/program file that hooked into graphics, sound, etc.; but this patch is little more than an editor taking instructions from an rtp file to edit the game exe. But I long ago decided computers actually have nothing to do with logic.

Thanks for the input; AOE is now working decently ...with the joystick. (An older thread here lead me on a wild goose chase of trying to load non-existent drivers in the resource.cfg file, which at one point had me with non-functional keyboard, mouse, and joystick.)

Reply 10 of 30, by Jo22

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jgf wrote on 2021-05-05, 19:41:

Still confused why windows would complain of "not a valid win32 application" for a small DOS exe being run in a DOS window; isn't that what the DOS window is for. Could understand if this were an actual game/program file that hooked into graphics, sound, etc.; but this patch is little more than an editor taking instructions from an rtp file to edit the game exe. But I long ago decided computers actually have nothing to do with logic.

The (once) normal 32-Bit versions of Windows used to be able to execute DOS and Windows 3.x applications.
Except if the application tried to directly access the HDD or its FAT, used SHARE.EXE and so on.

With XPDM drivers, the 32-Bit versions of Windows XP-7/8 were still able display VGA graphics, too.
In these days (2k/XP; 2000s), before DOSBox was popular, VDMSound often was used to run old games on NT.

On Windows x64, 16-Bit applications are nolonger supported at all.
Not even the pure textmode type (but Win32 Console programs are not affected - they run fine).
It requires utilities such as OTVDM/WineVDM, DOSBox or MS-DOS Player to run them here.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 11 of 30, by Jorpho

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jgf wrote on 2021-05-05, 19:25:

Would one would expect, 🤣; either nothing, a brief flash of a DOS window, or a complaint that it cannot be run in windows.

Well, usually if you run them from a command prompt, you can see some sort of coherent message rather than a "brief flash".

I'm not entirely clear why you're running the 32-bit version of Windows 7 at all if it can't run DOS applications?

Reply 12 of 30, by jgf

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-05, 21:06:

Well, usually if you run them from a command prompt, you can see some sort of coherent message rather than a "brief flash".

Often clicking a bat, com, or even exe in windows explorer merely causes the instant appearance of a DOS window, which disappears just as quickly. Or, as with the patch, I type in the command, hit enter, a few words appear but scroll off, replaced by the prompt before I can read them. Admittedly this could be some arcane system issue; this old laptop originally had Vista, when I got it (yard sale a couple of years ago) W10 was installed, I immediately wiped that out and installed Win7.

Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-05, 21:06:

I'm not entirely clear why you're running the 32-bit version of Windows 7 at all if it can't run DOS applications?

From W95 on I don't think any windows, 32 or 64, will run DOS programs natively, gaming life would be so much simpler if they did. Even worse, some software from XP days will not run on Vista or later, and that's just one generation difference. (If Linux could run my windows games without requiring a programming expert to configure the emulators, there would be nothing Micro$oft on my system.)

Reply 13 of 30, by Jorpho

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jgf wrote on 2021-05-05, 22:00:
Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-05, 21:06:

Well, usually if you run them from a command prompt, you can see some sort of coherent message rather than a "brief flash".

Often clicking a bat, com, or even exe in windows explorer merely causes the instant appearance of a DOS window, which disappears just as quickly.

...Yes, that's why I said "run them from a command prompt", not "windows explorer". In Windows 7, you can easily access that by holding down Shift while right-clicking a folder and selecting "Open command window here".

Or, as with the patch, I type in the command, hit enter, a few words appear but scroll off, replaced by the prompt before I can read them.

Isn't there a scroll bar on the right side of the window that you can use to scroll back up? Otherwise, typing the command followed by "|more" often works. (To be clear, this does not work in DOSBox.)

Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-05, 21:06:

I'm not entirely clear why you're running the 32-bit version of Windows 7 at all if it can't run DOS applications?

From W95 on I don't think any windows, 32 or 64, will run DOS programs natively, gaming life would be so much simpler if they did.

That depends on what you mean by "natively". All 32-bit versions of Windows include NTVDM, the NT "Virtual DOS Machine". This has many limitations and is in many ways inferior to DOSBox (especially today), which is why VDMSound was created (among other things), as noted in the earlier posts in this thread.

But my question remains: I'm not entirely clear why you're running the 32-bit version of Windows 7? I suppose you're running 16-bit Windows applications or older devices that don't have 64-bit drivers?

ETA: Just to make absolutely sure that we are in fact on the same page here, what does it say next to "System type" in the System control panel?

(If Linux could run my windows games without requiring a programming expert to configure the emulators, there would be nothing Micro$oft on my system.)

It's getting a lot better lately, particularly with Proton. But then, everything in Linux always seems to be tantalizingly close to working the way it should.

Reply 14 of 30, by jgf

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-06, 04:02:

.... why you're running the 32-bit version of Windows 7?.....

Why not?

And trying to get some of these older games working on a 64 bit system would be an even greater can of worms.

Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-06, 04:02:

But then, everything in Linux always seems to be tantalizingly close to working the way it should.

Exactly why I've shied away. People trying to get games from flight sims to rpgs running in Linux are always reporting, "well I've got it working, but.......". At my age I do not need a new irritant, I'll stick with the known aggravation of windoze.

Reply 15 of 30, by Jorpho

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jgf wrote on 2021-05-06, 06:33:
Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-06, 04:02:

.... why you're running the 32-bit version of Windows 7?.....

Why not?

Because you restrict yourself to about 3 GB of RAM, which really isn't as much as it used to be.

And trying to get some of these older games working on a 64 bit system would be an even greater can of worms.

Not really? The biggest problem alleviated by 32-bit Windows 7 would be 16-bit installers, and people have worked out many ways of dealing with those.

Reply 16 of 30, by Jo22

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It are situations like this that make feel sad that Microsoft continued to release 32-Bit editions of Windows. 😢
The company should have stopped this after Windows XP.
OSes like Windows Vista/7 are as equally demanding as they are powerful.

The OS itself needs roughly 2GB of the 3,5GB that's maximally available (the remaining 512MB are reserved for PCI/PCIe i/o).

Also, the 32-Bit editions hindered progress. Developers had to continue to take care of 32-Bit support, so making 64-Bit binaries effectively wasn't worth it.
This also slowed down the availability of 64-Bit device drivers. Very sad.

And it's still not over yet. Win 10 still exists in 32-Bit flavors,
despite the fact that they require BIOS support which is soon discontinued.
Personally, I think that's the only good about the end of the BIOS - it takes down with it all the 32-Bit editions of Windows.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 17 of 30, by DosFreak

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Are we really asking someone why they are running a 32bit version of Windows on this forum? Really?

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Reply 18 of 30, by Jo22

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DosFreak wrote on 2021-05-06, 18:23:

Are we really asking someone why they are running a 32bit version of Windows on this forum? Really?

Um, yes? Running a 32-Bit vintage system like Windows 98SE is one thing,
but running a 32-Bit edition of a modern system such as Windows 7/8 is another.

That's akin to running Windows 3.0 in Real-Mode on a 486. Sure, the user can do that. It's nothing illegal, after all.
But why, just why? 😕

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 19 of 30, by jgf

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DosFreak wrote on 2021-05-06, 18:23:

Are we really asking someone why they are running a 32bit version of Windows on this forum? Really?

Good point. I don't need Win7 64 on an 8 core 4gig CPU with 32gig RAM, 8 gig vid card, and 1kW pS to run a quarter century old DOS game.

FWIW, I'm doing all this on an old Inspiron 1720 that, while a giant in its day (near $2k msrp, and a default resolution higher than my desktop's 32" monitor), is not 64bit compatible, nor worth the cost of adding more RAM even if it could use it.