Recently I upgraded my fathers pc with a new motherboard (Gigabyte GA-H77-DS3H), processor (Intel Core i5 3550) and memory. He already had a SSD, housing and power supply are sufficient, being a nice set for Windows 8.1.
The old motherboard was running Windows XP. Updates for Windows XP ends april 8 2014: http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/04/09/the-countdown-begins-support-for-windows-xp-ends-on-april-8-2014.aspx
The Windows 8.1 wouldn’t run on the old motherboard, an upgrade was indeed necessarry. With the new motherboard I run the Windows 8.1 installation twice: I started with internet disconnected so Windows doesn’t ask an online account. Somehow after connection to the internet the password wasn’t accepted… The quickest and cleanest solution was a new installation and that went well.
My parents only use one user account, so I set up an automatic logon with netplwiz, going online apperently affects that. And of course straight to the good old desktop.
My father being a frequent user of Freecell, we were in for a surprise. To get Freecell the “Microsoft Solitaire Collection” app had to be installed and is only useable with a online account. Freecell in the Microsoft Solitaire Collection is slow and enough for my father wanting the old system back.
But low and behold, the good old Windows XP Freecell also runs on Windows 8.1 with the files cards.dll and freecell.exe. They can be found on Windows XP – when installed – in the system32 folder. On a Windows 8.1 32 bit (x86) system that also the place to put the files. On a Windows 8.1 64 bit (x64) system that has to be the SysWOW64 folder.
I have put these 2 files online at http://qatsi.ath.cx/diverse/freecell_xp/
The files can’t saved straight to the system folder, first saved them anywhere Windows allows it and then move the files to the system folder.