It's the holidays and I'm feeling a bit nostalgic so I've decided to break out my old copy of Stars!.

Unfortunately I can't get it running on Windows 7. The troubleshooter suggests running in XP SP2 mode but when I try to test the game, the mouse spins for a couple seconds and nothing happens. I've tried 98/ME as well as 95 compatibility mode both with the same results.

Can anyone help me get this running?

FYI, I did get this running last year on my Linux box (+1 for Wine) so I know that the zipped up files are still okay. Worst case is I'll just have to use something other than Windowz 7.

  • Anyone with enough rep, can you create a stars! tag?
    – hafichuk
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 4:25
  • Can't seem to create [stars!], but I have added [stars] as a tag, instead. Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 4:29
  • @galacticninja +1
    – hafichuk
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 4:31

1 Answer 1


First of all - Stars! is a 16-bit application, and for technical reasons, 64-bit versions of Windows cannot run those directly - if you have 64-bit Windows, you cannot run this game without a secondary OS. 32-bit Windows 7 should have no problem running the game, but I haven't tested it personally.

If you have Windows 7 Pro or Ulitmate, you can download the Windows XP Mode virtual machine and install and play Stars! from there. I do this myself on my 64-bit Windows 7 install. Thanks to the integration features, it can feel very seamless, since you can run just that one program without displaying the entire OS. However, I have not been able to get the interstitial CD audio tracks to work this way (but maybe that's not a big deal for you anyway).

If you have a "lesser" version of Windows 7 (Starter/Home Basic/Home Premium), you can install any other 32-bit version of Windows (e.g. an old copy of Windows XP) in a VM (e.g. Virtual PC) and install Stars! in there. If you have a copy of Windows 3.1x lying around, you can download DOSBox, install Windows inside DOSBox, and install Stars! in there.

  • 1
    Thanks. It looks like I have 64-bit Premium. I don't have a copy of XP (or other) versions so I'm guessing my only option is to install linux and use Wine.
    – hafichuk
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 20:24
  • The Windows 3 inside DOSBox works well. Here is a site describing how to do that in Boxer on a Mac. Commented May 7, 2015 at 18:26
  • Does this allow multiplayer on a local network? Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 20:46

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