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Older Windows Screensavers...

Stone

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Does anyone know if it's possible to run the older (.SCR) type screensavers from Windows 98 on a newer Windows, e.g., Vista? I've had no success in finding a method to do this -- if it's even actually possible. But I figure if there's a way... somebody here will know what it is.
 

vwestlife

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.SCR files are really just executable programs with a different extension -- if you double-click on one, you can run it directly. That's why many viri and malware have been able to spread themselves through "screen saver" files.
 

krebizfan

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Not quite that simple. Win98 screensavers also expect administrative equivalent permissions. There is (was) a third party Windows Vista/7 theme that was designed to replicate Win98Plus and allow the running of older themes and screensavers.
 

Stone

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Have you tried running it in a full-screen DOS command prompt session?
I just tried that and got nothing useable.

Not quite that simple. Win98 screensavers also expect administrative equivalent permissions. There is (was) a third party Windows Vista/7 theme that was designed to replicate Win98Plus and allow the running of older themes and screensavers.
Any idea what it's called?
 

Agent Orange

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I've got the WIN98 Plus CD (boxed) and it's got a bunch of screen savers. I'd like to be able to run the 'haunted house' theme on my W8 setup - it was my favorite.
 

SomeGuy

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Is it a 32-bit executable? Some early 9x screen savers may have been repackaged 16-bit Windows 3.1 files, and won't run at all on 64 bit windows. You can use the Dependency Walker tool to determine the format and if there are any needed DLLs. You should be able to rename an SCR file with an EXE extension and run it from a command prompt followed by an "/S" parameter. Without the "/S" parameter, they will usually show a configuration dialog.
 

barythrin

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SomeGuy did nail it on the head though, the older screen savers require /s for the argument to run. I'm not sure if they changed that over the years though. I tried and failed to get Johnny Castaway to run on my Windows 7 box however that conflict is because it's a 16-bit exe and I am on 64-bit Windows. Have you dissected a newer .scr by chance?
 

Stone

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That didn't help, either. It's a Windows screensaver, Dangerous Creatures, and it comes with Windows 98 so it's nothing too exotic. :)
 

vwestlife

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Is it just a single scr file or does it have an exe and other data files?

An SCR file is an EXE file, just with a different extension. :) If you rename it to EXE and try to run it from DOS, it will give you the usual "This program requires Microsoft Windows" message.
 

SomeGuy

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That didn't help, either. It's a Windows screensaver, Dangerous Creatures, and it comes with Windows 98 so it's nothing too exotic. :)

In that case you are likely running in to one of several other problems. The the 98 screen savers may be making some API calls that NT based OSes don't like. I've seen that the other away around where seemingly simple EXEs with NT/2000/XP will quietly refuse to run on 9x.

Also, since it is a 98 component, it has obviously not been "properly installed". Just at a glance, it looks like those screen savers require some external data files but I don't see what they are. There could also be missing registry entries that it needs.
 

barythrin

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An SCR file is an EXE file, just with a different extension. :) If you rename it to EXE and try to run it from DOS, it will give you the usual "This program requires Microsoft Windows" message.

Correct, that wasn't what I was referring to though. I've seen a few screen savers that had their own folder and additional exe or dlls with sounds, etc so I think the initial .scr was just some loader. (I'm thinking it was a Symantec screen saver or perhaps that Sierra Scenic Ocean/interactive shark screen saver that you could actually take over and swim around). I could see those having more issues than a simple single .scr file, but I'm blowing a bit of smoke right now since I really haven't played around much since Windows 2000 and the one easy but unrelated to the OPs fail of my 16-bit screen saver on a 64-bit OS. Is this a free screen saver that we could play with also?

It might be more of a PITA than it's worth but you could try running it in some debugger like Ollydbg or run something like winiternals regmon/filemon/procexp (whichever it's called now) that you can filter for that file and see what registry and file handles it looks for and what the result was (not found, etc).
 

SomeGuy

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You need the files Wildlb32.dll and Wl32dll.dll. These are linked at run-time instead of at load. If it can't find them it just sits there like a lump on a log.
 

Stone

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That worked a treat.

You have no idea how long -- off and on -- I've been trying to get that ported over.

I owe ya' one -- big time!
 
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