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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 12, by darry

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jgf wrote on Yesterday, 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 12, by darry

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jgf wrote on Today, 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 12, 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 12, by Jorpho

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jgf wrote on Today, 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 12, by jgf

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Jorpho wrote on Today, 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 12, 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 12, by Jo22

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jgf wrote on Today, 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.

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Reply 11 of 12, by Jorpho

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jgf wrote on Today, 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 12, by jgf

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Jorpho wrote on Today, 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 Today, 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.)