Windows 8 has replaced our good old desktop modes of Solitaire and Minesweeper with full-screen experiences following Xbox visual features. Thankfully, there is still a way to get the previous looks back if you so desire.
A matter to mock at by serious gamers, none the less, the truth remains intact: Solitaire and Minesweeper had been and for some, still remain the most popular time spending venture. Ever since these games made to our desktops with the release of Windows 3.0 and Windows 3.1, they met no major changes until Windows 8 decided to deal with them.
New Solitaire and Minesweeper
To try the newer versions of Solitaire or Minesweeper out, simply click the tile labeled ‘Games’ on the Start screen.
The Xbox games app will be launched. You can then install the games you would like to have under access all the time, including Solitaire and Minesweeper or other games from earlier time like Mahjong and Pinball.
Click on the specific game’s tile you want to play and click on Play button, once the game window opens. You can also Explore the game if you don’t know about it.
You will be presented the option to install from Windows Store.
Get the game by clicking the Install option. Windows 8 also gives you the Store app option on Start screen to directly look for any game be it Solitaire, Minesweeper or any other.
For each game you install, a tile will be added to your Start screen. Click the tile to play the game.
A variety of modes is available for every game. You might recognize Klondike from classic Solitaire.
Some might find this ridiculous but as simple as Solitaire and Minesweeper is, they still have Xbox achievements added to them.
Don’t worry you can get an achievement by losing too. “Happens to Everybody”, indeed.
Get Back Windows 8 Solitaire and Minesweeper
Unfortunately, Windows 8 has gotten rid of the older classic versions of Solitaire and Minesweeper. If you want to get them back, you can copy these from a Windows 7 computer to your Windows 8 computer and make a few amendments to make them work.
On your Windows 7 system, go to C:Program Files and find the folder named Microsoft Games and copy this folder to a removable media like a USB drive.
You need to copy another file to the same media or USB drive. On Windows 7 again, go to C:WindowsSystem32 folder and look for CardGames.dll file. Copy this file to USB drive.
Your USB drive has all the necessary files now. Connect it to your Windows 8 computer and copy copy the Microsoft Games folder to the same place as it was in Windows 7 i.e. C:Program Files.
Go to Solitaire subfolder and copy the CardGames.dll file to it. This same file will need to be copied to other similar games FreeCell, Spider Solitaire and Hearts subfolders to make them playable.
There is still a minute hindrance you need to fix before these games can run uninterrupted. This is to patch out the Windows version check that runs automatically each time you start a game. s
You can achieve it manually by opening the .exe file of every game and looking for these bytes:
7D 04 83 65 FC 00 33 C0 83 7D FC 01 0F 94 C0
First put EB in place of 7D in the series above and save the file. Repeat this step for each .exe file of every game.
Alternatively, you can simply use Microsoft Games Patcher that performs the above step for you. All you have to do is download it, open it by double clicking and hit Patch button.
It is important to note here that Windows 8 integrated Windows Defender will identify this patcher as a malware or malicious software with the categorization being HackTool:Win32/Patch.P. According to Microsoft’s malware database, it is termed as “is a generic detection for a series of hacking tools intended to “patch” programs that may be evaluation copies, or unregistered versions with limited features.” Since it is identical to tools used for cracking software by pirates, it is also flagged.
Once you are done with hex editing and patching, you will have the classic versions of Solitaire and Minesweeper running smoothly on Windows 8.
To pin it to your taskbar, make a shortcut or put it to your Start screen right-click on the game’s .exe file.
You can now experience a classic version of these games and that too, in full screen experience also called classic Windows desktop!