Run Your Digger Disks on Windows 7 64-bit

Until very recently Australians have not had the ability to search Australian BDM indexes online at all, so we’ve used the ‘Digger’ disks. Released state-by-state, these indexes are an invaluable tool when researching your Australian history, but they are not cheap … and it has been a known fact that sadly the Australian ‘Digger’ disks will not work newer systems like Windows 7 64-bit.

So for many who’ve gone to the trouble of updating your computer, this comes as a rude shock, which turns quickly into frustration as you’ve paid hundreds of dollars for these CDs to find out they’re now unusable … GRRRRRR!!!

Well, we finally have some good news.


And here’s how …

The various editions of Windows 7 come in 32-bit and 64-bit variants. Digger itself should work without any problems with 32-bit Windows 7, however it will not work with 64-bit. If you are unsure which type of Windows 7 you have, click on Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System, and look for the System Type.

If you want to use Digger with Windows 7 64-bit, it is suggested that you download and install Windows XP Mode. Windows XP Mode makes use of Microsoft Virtual PC, and it integrates with Windows 7, so you can launch Digger from the Windows 7 Start menu. Windows XP Mode and Microsoft Virtual PC are both free products from Microsoft. Windows XP Mode is only available for Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Ultimate. You can download Windows XP Mode and Microsoft Virtual PC from

The Digger CDs that are currently available are:
Bounty Immigration New South Wales 1828 to 1842
Northern Territory Census, Electoral Rolls and Directories 1881-1940
Northern Territory Deaths 1824 to 2004: Part 1
Queensland Pioneers Index 1829-1889
Queensland Federation Index 1890-1914
South Australian Birth Registrations Index 1842-1906
South Australian Birth Registrations Index 1907-1928
South Australian Marriage Registrations Index 1842-1916
South Australian Marriage Registrations Index 1917-1937
South Australian Death Registrations Index 1842-1915
South Australian Death Registrations Index 1916-1972
Tasmanian Pioneer Index 1803-1899
Tasmanian Federation Index 1900-1930
Tasmania Collection of Records 1830s to 1930s
Victorian Federation Index 1889-1901
Victorian Marriage Index 1921-1942
Victorian Death Index 1921-1985
Inquest Index Victoria 1840-1985
Marine Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria 1853-1920
The Argus Newspaper Index, Victoria: Births 1914-1931 and Marriages 1931-1941

12 thoughts on “Run Your Digger Disks on Windows 7 64-bit

  1. Meredith Bell says:

    Why can’t Home Premium users get the download?

  2. Windows Home Premium is a cut-down operating system that has most of the front end popular use inclusions but deliberately does not have networking and compatibility components included. All/most PCs ship with Windows7 Home premium. This is by design so that you get hooked on Windows7 and then find you need more and thus have to pay for a Professional or Ultimate version of windows 7 (either 32 or 64 bit. 64 bit is the trend as it runs much better on newer hardware.
    If you want to compare the versions of Windows 7 look here:

    Quite often, the problem is not with the operating system but rather with the browser. Internet Explorer 9 has a compatibility mode that can be turned on to view older style web pages on the internet and or that are used to view CD databases. You can always download and install Mozilla Firefox browser and use it to view older web pages such as those on older CDs. The Monzilla browser doesn’t seem to demand the latest of everything “web” to function.

    I have personally run into some issues with Family Tree Maker 2011 running on the Windows7 64 Bit Ultimate operating system. The Family Tree maker support people could not confirm that FTM 2012 was optimised for 64 bit compatibility and I have thus delayed upgrading and may even change my family tree software as a result.

  3. That’s because the capability was geared for business which uses Windows 7 Professional and also costs more. So keeping costs down for home users meant sacrificing some features – this is one of them, sorry. If you have 7 Home Premium the only way to get virtual xp is to buy a Windows 7 Professional upgrade pack. So it is a shame that Macbeth will not bring out an updated version. After all it costs quite a bit to get the disks.

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  6. Neil – why not download a free copy of Legacy and try that on your computer – i know it works perfectly on 32 bit but don’t know about 64 bit

  7. Legacy seems to work quite OK on Windows 7 32bit or 64 bit Operating system.
    I am rather fond of Family Tree Maker and and don’t want to change at the moment. Hence I will make thge move to FTM 2012 in the near future and bring forward my database.
    Unfortunately, FTM + membership is getting more expensive every year. When I retire in a few years time, I will be using open source and free software to save spending money unnecessarily and I think that I will split up my large database into many smaller family branch databases, possibly running on different shareware family tree software, that I can choose to work on if and when I choose.

  8. Well it is not news that you can run things in XP emulation on W7, BUT….not if you have premium home edition. You need the professional edition which is more expensive. I have seen methods to tweak home W7 to get it to run the XP emulation, but it is complicated and quite frankly too much hassle. I am a computer competent person and I just can’t be bothered. So when are you going to deal with the issue and offer a truly W7 64 bit version. Oh and Windows moves on what about the next Windows version.
    Meanwhile I use my notebook with XP on it.

  9. The trouble with win 7 (64 bit) running XP mode is that it is slow and temperamental. If you have Win 7 home premium, it won’t run XP mode. XP “mode” is nothing but a virtual machine running windows XP, which is why it is so sluggish.

    Best solution is to take advantage of the fact that you Purchase a KEY when you bought Windows 7 and NOT the software which is owned by Microsoft. If you REPLACE Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit with Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit (This can be from someone else’s copy), but most importantly use YOUR key originally supplied with your equivalent 64 bit version, then the installation is legitimate.

    Best of all Digger runs perfectly under 32 bit Windows 7 Home Premium, without lag.

    Computer shops use a legitimate (production copy) of Windows 7 that includes all versions of Windows 7. You select the version you own and the 32 or 64 bit version you are switching to. It then asks for your key as you install it. If you have a legitimate key then you can install it. The 32 and 64 bit key for the same version is interchangeable.

    From Microsoft’s own site:
    “Yes, it is valid for either 32 or 64 bit, its up to you which architecture you want to use. Please note 1 key, 1 license. You can’t install 32 bit one computer and install 64 bit on another computer using the same key. “

  10. BDM Revival will allow you to run DOS programmes in 64 bit without Windows XP mode.

    Go to

    It works and it is really easy to use.



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