Trying to run on VERY Old CPU

Not really an issue with the software, but I am attempting to run the machine using an old CPU I’ve had laying around for at least…9 yrs give or take. Its running Windows Vista and is having issue with the Arduino program no opening. Keep getting an error about Runtime not being present, but I just downloaded the newest version. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I can’t help on the windows problem, but was successful with old hardware using Linux. You can make a startable USB-Drive and test everything, without having to install it on the harddrive. If you happen to like it and have space on the disk, it can be installed aside of Visa, so at boot you can choose what OS to start. One issue that might come up, independent of the OS is the OpenGL version that the graphic chip supports. I have Kivy complain about this on my linux manjaro, but GroundControl still runs. If it’s a desktop with a slot for a graphic card, some cheap card from a garage sale can solve this. Let me know if you would like more details on any above.

Is it possible that the CPU will run windows 7? There is a 32bit version of 7, and that might be new enough to have the stuff to run the Arduino program…

Both @gero and @iRoc999 have good suggestions. The trade-off here is that a newer version of Windows will cost money, perhaps more than you’re willing to spend on old hardware, but will feel familiar. Linux is free, but you will have a learning curve getting started. I’m sure the community will be able to help if you decide to try Linux.

I’m pretty sure what you are trying to do is possible because when I was working on Makesmith (our last can project) I had a windows Vista computer and used it to program the same Arduino Mega we use now all the time. I’d maybe try to get an old version of the Arduino software and see if that works for you

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Try starting with the basics. Type the exact error message into your favorite search engine; likely somebody else has had the exact same problem before. From what you’ve said you need to install something else, either because you had an installation problem or because there were some prerequisites that you missed/they forgot to mention.

No offense to @Gero , but Linux develops very devoted users, and they tend to recommend you remove whatever you’re using and install a Linux distribution. Not a bad idea if you’re a <ducks> fanbois, but not necessary otherwise. As a former systems programmer and *nix user since 1979 (user/programmer/sysadm bsd, sys v, solaris, microport, a large # of linux distros, etc., longer if you count using a PDP11 console as a footrest at WE Greensboro) I can tell you it’ll be a big learning curve, and unless you like that kind of thing not necessary to solve this problem.

Exactly what was the error message you received from installing the Arduino IDE? Which version of the IDE (it can matter…)? I should know what version Maslow requires but don’t; can somebody else mention it? Undoubtedly it’s not the version currently installed on the laptop planned for the Maslow.


running an unsupported OS that doesn’t get security fixes in today’s environment
is questionable. You should run something current, both because it gets the
updates needed to resist being hacked, but also because people are going to be
able to help you a lot more if you are running something current.

Old systems may not be able to run current Windows versions, and windows can
cost more than just buying a new computer. Linux gives you a way of using that
older hardware with currently supported software.

Newer software may not be able to run on older versions of windows. They do
change the system API from version to version, and people tend to not test their
software against older versions of the OS.

Yes, there is a learning curve (but there’s also a learning curve to moving to a
new version of Windows), but it is not nearly as bad as it used to be.

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@FormerMachinist, did you ever get this sorted out?

It’s would be a good idea to provide a precompiled firmware file in addition to the full source download. Most users aren’t going to modify the source, and having a precompiled image would eliminate problems like the one FormerMachinist is having.

Some open source projects are moving from the Arduino IDE to PlatformIO. Marlin was doing so the last time I paid attention; iirc among other things it eliminated including multiple copies of library routines and saved a noticeable amount of firmware memory.

The PlatformIO environment is even more of a challenge to set up than the Arduino one. There is as enhancement request to enable GroundControl to program the Mega. That might serve in a case like this.

Offering pre compiled firmware, and using GC to program the Mega would be a solution for @FormerMachinist.

I went a bit off topic with the PlatformIO comment, I was thinking about the current firmware issues at the same time.

I’m very late to this thread - however for most OS pre windows 10 Microsoft has set to End of Life and removed update servers, as previously mentioned this effects security but also means underlying dependencies are also unavailable. In a nutshell if the OS is EOL it can do anything it is capable of doing today. It cannot do anything requiring dependencies that are no longer offered. Also if a system file becomes corrupted you can no longer download the replacement. Windows 8.1 & 10 - see this note - Windows 8.1 lasts until January 10, 2023, with Windows 10 extending that date to October 14, 2025.

Windows 7 has been OEL for a long time - you can cheat by making your PC emulate an ATM to gain access to some updates but I don’t suggest it.

On a VERY old CPU it eventually could be possible to install a minimal Debian with a very basic GUI (or no GUI at all, not sure what GC depends on to run)

At boot you then could run GC and have the machine to ONLY run the bare essentials. (On a VERY old PC that would eventually make sense)
Think: Industrial PC104 mainboards

About 5 years ago I installed Win98 on one of those vesa mount 386 boxes, no problem installing updates that predated the EOL. Know that’s not a recent data point.

Tried Linux first, the sis graphics driver was so slow it was unusable. 98 (comparatively) flew. Just needed a 19" photoviewer at the time.