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Beginners Guides: Making Old Software Compatible with Windows Vista

Beginners Guides: Making Old Software Compatible with Windows Vista - PCSTATS
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Abstract: Upgraded to Windows Vista? Have you discovered a lot of the software (and even some hardware) you've been using for years is no longer compatible? You're not alone... Buying all new software isn't the answer, instead PCSTATS will guide you down the path to getting your old programs working once more in Vista.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Apr 09 2008   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Beginners Guides: Making Old Software Compatible with Windows Vista


Upgraded to Windows Vista? Have you discovered a lot of the software (and even some hardware) you've been using for years is no longer compatible? You're not alone... Buying all new software isn't the answer, instead PCSTATS will guide you down the path to getting your old programs working once more in Vista. - Version 1.0.0

One of the most common gripes about Windows Vista even now, almost a year and a half after its release, is that it doesn't play nicely with a LOT of older software. It has some pretty big software compatibility issues, and nothing is more frustrating than purchasing a new Vista based computer system or upgrading your old PC to Vista, only to then find out that the games and applications you're accustomed to no longer run.

Time to throw your hands in the air and go back to Windows XP? No, not quite...

At PCSTATS we haven't been spared these frustrations either; Homesite 4.5.2, an HTML programming tool we've relied on since day one, threw-up error screens like a kid with food poisoning after we made the transition to Windows Vista Business. I just about de-installed Vista and tossed the CD out the window. As I'm sure you can relate, this application and specifically the Design Mode tool it contains, are considerably more important to our daily work than the operating system.

To get Homesite working with Vista we tried all the steps laid forth in this lovely guide, then visited Adobe's knowledge base for updates, patches and whatever other information we could dig up. Of the handful of issues encountered, 4/5ths were quickly solved using the steps in this guide, the last one proved to be a real stickler though.

t eventually took a good solid 6 hours of scanning different knowledge bases before we nailed down the route cause of the remaining error message, and then quickly smoothed it out. For the benefit of other Homesite stalwarts, the PCSTATS guide to Fixing Homesite Design Mode in Vista was put down on pixels.

After an experience like that, it's no surprise there are a huge number of users who choose to run dual-boot Windows XP/Vista computers for compatibility reasons alone. Fortunately, most software compatibility issues are not so challenging to fix. There may be a solution or two to your compatibility woes, either within Vista itself, or available from Internet knowledge bases.

In this Beginners Guide, PCSTATS explores what you can do to make your essential older applications work in Windows Vista by using tools such as Compatibility Mode, Run as Administrator, the Program Compatibility Wizard and the Program Compatibility Assistant. Let's begin.

Why Won't (some) Programs Work in Vista?

While Windows Vista is based off the Windows XP/2000 platform, it does several critical things differently.

Essential files often have different names and are stored in different locations, which may baffle programs based on the file structure of earlier Windows versions. The new 'aeroglass' 3D interface can also cause havoc with programs which make use of the Windows XP desktop interface, rather than having their own internal control environment.

One of the major reasons that older applications might fail to work, is Vista's new set of extensive security features. User Accounts Control (UAC), the ever-present 'confirm or deny' permission boxes that pop up when you try to install a program or open a program that changes system settings is one of these.

A common situation where UAC becomes a problem is during legacy software installation. You may encounter error messages during the installation procedure, or it may fail altogether and suddenly de-installl itself half way though. If you encounter this kind installation issue with an older program, it's very likely salvageable by requesting an "elevated execution level."

In other words, we need to tell Windows Vista to run the installation files for your program "as Administrator". To do this, right click on the installation application file, click "Run as Administrator" just below Open File Location ( or alternatively properties > compatibility > and check privilege level to "run this program as an administrator").

A less visible culprit is the new Windows Resource Protection (WRP) feature which replaces the Windows File Protection feature of Windows XP.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  — Beginners Guides: Making Old Software Compatible with Windows Vista
 Pg 2.  Windows Resource Protection
 Pg 3.  Manual Compatibility Options
 Pg 4.  Compatibility modes in Windows Vista
 Pg 5.  Compatibility Modes continued
 Pg 6.  Drivers and Hardware Compatibility Issues

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