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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
(WRP) feature which replaces the Windows File Protection feature of