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Thread: How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

  1. #1

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    How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

    I just got a new laptop, and it has Windows 10, so I've decided to move my software development to this latest computer of mine (it's faster, and better in every way than any other PC I have). I managed to install VB6 on Windows 10, and SP2 for VB6 as well. However, I found found out that I can't use DX8 on it, because it's missing the required DX8 ActiveX DLL file. So I searched the net for a long time, and managed to finally find a copy of this SDK on a 3rd party website (MS got rid of this a LONG time ago on their own website). Unfortunately the installer refuses to run, saying it won't run on any version of Windows above XP.

    What I'm looking for is a tutorial, on how to bypass this restriction, and proceed to install the DX8 SDK. I NEED to be able to use this, because you see, DX8 provides the easiest way (by far) to access sound input and output capabilities, which I use for such scientific things as signal analysis, experimenting with transmitting data over sound (something used a LOT in the ham radio community) and other such cool things. There is no equivalent to do this in Windows 10, or at least not something that is easily implemented in VB6. And even if there was, it wouldn't be backward compatible with Windows XP, Vista, or 7 (and possibly not even compatible with 8.1).

    When I write software, I do it with the intent of covering a wide range of potential users, not just those who have the latest cutting edge OS on their PC. My intent for writing software is to make sure it is compatible with all versions of Windows back to XP (that means, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10). I don't care if it is compatible with Windows 2000, ME, or 98, as those are not only too old, but also not nearly as widely adopted as XP. XP is I believe the single most widespread OS that MS ever released, and there are MANY people who still use it. So cutting out XP users would be cutting out a HUGE number of people who might find my software useful.

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    Re: How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

    I can't find a link to send you to, but in 2006 Microsoft said DirectX support was one of the things gone for VB6 programs in the post-XP world.

    Some people got some things to sort of work by copying a wrapper DLL from Windows XP into Vista, but it was never supported and Microsoft claimed it violated the DirectX license terms. I had the idea that even if people spurned those warnings and went ahead, it all stopped working at some point when DirectX got updated to version 10 or maybe 11.

    I doubt the story was much different for Windows 7, which is just a slightly altered Windows Vista (most of the changes were to the Shell UI and a reduction in UAC security).


    If you look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_...ptop_computers you'll see that Windows XP has only tiny lingering market share at this late date. You pretty much don't find anyone using it at all aside from those grappling with old hardware lacking proper Longhorn-era driver support and the "still living in Mom's basament at 30 years old, gaming" crowd.

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    Re: How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

    I find glimmers here and there of custom typelibs and wrapper DLLs to keep DirectX usable in VB6 post-DirectX 9 but there doesn't seem to be anything stable and in common use. Microsoft of course has never done anything to help since VB6 is basically dead to them.

    Windows XP is dead and buried, and unsafe to be connected to the Internet at all.

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    Re: How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

    Well i have tried to locate any of the materials from Microsoft that elaborated on this issue back in 2006. Sadly almost everything has been removed and all of my links are dead.

    The sole except is an MS KB article, but that has been heavily redacted down to almost nothing left:

    Visual Basic 6.0 DirectX applications fail to run on Windows Vista and later

    Visual Basic 6.0 applications that run on Windows XP will also run on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. However, this applies to the core Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 components running on Windows Vista. The DirectX for Visual Basic 6.0 components are not available on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. There is no official or supported way to install these components on Windows Vista. These components will not be installed by the DirectX Runtime setup packages on Windows Vista or future versions of Windows.

    I know none of this has been helpful and I regret that, but it just is.

    The only paths forward appear to be .Net or else some combination of typelibs and C++ wrapper code DLLs you create yourself or obtain from a 3rd party.

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    Re: How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

    If you haven't read it yet, see DX8VB.DLL, DX7VB.DLL, VB6 and Vista Compatibility.

    That's a 2007 thread at Microsoft on game technologies where help on this very thing was sought.

    Short summary: After requesting help from Microsoft Support, making this happen was turned down flat:

    We raised this issue with Microsoft through the support channels. A formal request was made to include DX7vb.dll and DX8vb.dll on Vista (or an alternate means of providing the needed functionality) and the request was denied. I was informed this decision is absolutely final. During the course of this process, I was informed (off the record) that David Weller actually went to bat for the VB6 developers, but as I stated earlier, the decision to not support DirectX using VB6 on Vista is final.

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    Re: How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    I can't find a link to send you to, but in 2006 Microsoft said DirectX support was one of the things gone for VB6 programs in the post-XP world.

    Some people got some things to sort of work by copying a wrapper DLL from Windows XP into Vista, but it was never supported and Microsoft claimed it violated the DirectX license terms. I had the idea that even if people spurned those warnings and went ahead, it all stopped working at some point when DirectX got updated to version 10 or maybe 11.

    I doubt the story was much different for Windows 7, which is just a slightly altered Windows Vista (most of the changes were to the Shell UI and a reduction in UAC security).


    If you look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_...ptop_computers you'll see that Windows XP has only tiny lingering market share at this late date. You pretty much don't find anyone using it at all aside from those grappling with old hardware lacking proper Longhorn-era driver support and the "still living in Mom's basament at 30 years old, gaming" crowd.
    Actually, I don't remember how I managed to do it, but I installed it on my previous laptop (which ran Win7) a long time ago. It seemed to already have the required DirectX 7 and 8 support built in, and I assumed that this was because the required DLLs for the DirectX support came built-in with the VB6 installer or the VB6 Service Pack 6 installer. However, I've installed both of these on my Windows 10 PC now, and there is no DirectX 7 or 8 support.

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    Re: How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

    Ok, I managed to install it manually. Here's how I did it.
    I went into the ZIP file, which you can download at https://web.archive.org/web/20081120...DX81SDK_VB.exe (actually it's a .exe self extracting zip file, but you can rename it to .zip and open it in Windows Explorer, or directly open the exe file in 7Zip like I did, if you don't feel safe running an exe file that's not directly hosted on Microsoft's website) and then went to this folder in the zip file:
    DXSDK\SDKDev\retail\
    In there, I extracted the DirectX.cab file.
    Inside that cab file, I extracted the two files DX8VB.DLL and DX7VB.DLL (thank you so much @dilettante for mentioning their names, that was the key to solving this), and copied them to the c:\windows\syswow64 folder.
    I then started a command prompt in administrator mode, and went to the c:\windows\syswow64 folder, and then ran the following 2 commands:
    regsvr32 dx8vb.dll
    regsvr32 dx7vb.dll

    I haven't tested out the DirectX7 one yet, but I have tested the sound output of DirectSound from DirectX 8, in VB6, and it does work. AWESOME! As for distributing these required files with software I write, that's very easy, considering that the Package And Deployment Wizard that comes with VB6 automatically packages any dependencies for any program you write in the installer. That way, the end-user always can run the software after installation (no problems with missing dependencies).
    Last edited by Ben321; Jul 21st, 2016 at 12:40 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

    DirectX support never came with VB6 and was never added to it via VB6 Service Packs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben321 View Post
    Inside that cab file, I extracted the two files DX8VB.DLL and DX7VB.DLL (thank you so much @dilettante for mentioning their names, that was the key to solving this)...
    Yes, I realized that and that's why I went digging to try to find them.

    However I hesitated even mentioning them, because what you are doing explicitly violates Microsoft's EULA for the DirectX 8 SDK and I try to avoid assisting in piracy.

    At least you have your answer. I just can't recommend or condone it, but I don't have another easy alternative either.

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    Re: How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

    It looks like things are getting rough even for those willing to program in a .Net language:

    (Where is the) DirectX Tool Kit For DirectX 12 - 3D For The Rest Of Us?

    The Tool Kit seems to be a very light wrapper for the raw DirectX 12 with some additional resources - DirectXHelpers, GeometricPrimitives, Effects, SpriteBatch and so on.

    In addition you also get the Tool Kit for Audio, GamePad, Keyboard, Mouse and SimpleMath. This targets Windows 10 and makes use of XAudio 2.9 and WIC2.

    Of course, you can only make use of all of this if you program in C++. If you want to use C# then look elsewhere.

  10. #10
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    Re: How do I install DirectX 8 SDK on Windows 10?

    Unfortunately Dil is right on this. I could only find a copy of the EULA as distributed with Mech Commander but, none the less, this is the EULA for the DirectX 8 redistributable. Under redistribution it has the following clause:-
    (f) you must use the setup utility included with the REDISTRIBUTABLE COMPONENTS to install the Redistributable Code;

    Ben, I have considerable sympathy for you in this case but I hope you'll understand that we can't allow you to discuss something on the forum that would break one of Microsoft's EULA conditions. With that in mind I'm going to close the thread. I hope you're able to find an alternative approach.
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