Single Use licensing is no longer supported - to run workstation you must be able to access a concurrent license from a license server (ArcGIS Advanced "ArcInfo"). Check-out is not supported: if you want to work disconnected you need to install a local ArcGIS license server and authorize a concurrent license to that machine.
If performance is an issue for your application, and you are running on x64 hardware, you may want to consider installing the (retired) ArcInfo Workstation 9.3 version. You can install ArcInfo Workstation 9.3 side-by-side with ArcGIS 10.x version with no system conflicts. (Unfortunately, the ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 Coverage Tools will not work. But you want to run the old Arc prompt anyway, right?)
There is a known issue with Win 8 and 8.1 with the WORKSPACE command failing to work.