I need to install Java 8 into Windows XP for an ultra-specific purpose, but I cannot do it.

Before you say anything, I 100% understand that ALL of the following are true:

1. Java 8 is not officially supported on Windows XP.
2. Java 8 is not officially supported anymore, at all.
3. Java 8 might not work correctly on Windows XP.
4. Trying to install Java 8 on Windows XP is a dumb idea.

However, I NEED it for a super-ultra-mega-specific purpose I won't get into. My problem is that I cannot do it. When searching online, I see plenty of people who have done it, yet they do not say how, like this guy who got Java 8 Update 231 working (second comment):


and plenty of people on reddit, like this one:


However, when I try to do it, it either refuses to open claiming "not a valid Win32 application" despite it being the 32-bit offline installer, or immediately closes without making any attempt to run the installer. I'm even using the exact version mentioned in that first thread that I linked.

I cannot find any info online about how to actually do this, yet I see so many people who have done it like it's nothing. So, why is this information so secret? Also, how do I do it? I'm willing to try anything at this point, as long as it doesn't require an Oracle account. Real scummy move on their part hiding old versions behind a login, I'm not going to give them that victory if I don't have to.


  • edited February 2023
    Well, here is a note I copied from somewhere when I tried to do something similar a while back:

    The last installer version for XP is reportedly Java 8 r151 or 152.
    MSI version may still work

    "JDK 8u152 will install out-of-the box, and I have it working on my XP 32-bit laptop. I have not been able to install u162 or u161 successfully thus far.

    It's worth noting that some of the later updates break compatibility with parts of JavaFX. Starting with u112, the JavaFX WebView does not work on XP (it works on u111), and starting with u151, nearly any JavaFX action will crash the VM. Thus I recommend an update in the u60 to u111 range if you are using JavaFX (u60 added additional JavaFX controls). These issues affect both XP 32-bit and XP Pro x64.

    I have not found any other bugs with Java 8 on XP over the past 4 years, but there are areas of the JDK that I don't use.

    Hmm, I see both a jre1.8.0_231full.msi and jre-8u131-windows-i586.exe sitting in the same folder as this note, but I don't remember what the results were.

    Historically, Java has been very bone-headed about dropping support for things during a release's update life cycle rather than waiting for a major release. The result is you wind up having to search back through every old minor update trying to find one that works.
  • I ended up figuring out that flat release 8 (no updates) and the first update do install just fine. Unfortunately, Java 8 has a lot of issues with what I'm doing, such as the dreaded non-disable-able security prompts every time you do something, it randomly not being able to find files that Java applets need, even though Java 6 and Java 7 can find them no problem, etc.

    I do have one question though - is it possible to force a Java applet to run on one Java version older? The project is that I'm preservng a buttload of Java applets from a website that isn't being taken care of but surprisingly hosts all its files to this day. There's over 100 Java applets on this site and one of them refuses to run because it needs Java 8 according to its Major-Minor version. Is there some way to get this one app to run on Java 7? If so then I can do away with Java 8 for this project entirely.
  • I'm not a Java expert, there could be some way to do that. But from my limited experience, Java applications are very picky about wanting the specific runtime revision they were designed and tested for, even if they aren't artificially limited.
  • This site hosts the source code for all the Java applets, if that would help. I do find it weird that all of them work perfectly on Java 7 but this specific one needs a minimum of Java 8, especially since a slightly altered version is linked on the site that works with Java 7.
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