Data Centers

Tech Tip: Run older programs

One promise that Microsoft didn't make with the release of Windows Server 2003 was the ability to run all of your older applications. In fact, Microsoft is very clear that some of the new features and increased security mechanisms in WS2K3 preclude certain programs from running.

However, the Program Compatibility Wizard might help you get a few of your older applications up and running on this new system. Here's how:

  1. Go to Start | All Programs | Accessories | Program Compatibility Wizard. You'll receive a warning that the wizard is unsuitable for older virus, backup, and system programs. Since applications are tightly tied to the operating system, running an incorrect version can damage your server.
  2. Choose a method to locate the program you'd like to test. You can allow the wizard to scan your system for executable files, use the program on the CD that's currently in the server, or locate the program manually.
  3. Select the appropriate executable, and the wizard will modify the startup parameters for its compatibility.
  4. Choose the OS that's recommended for the program. If you don't have the original specs, pick one that you know it runs under.
  5. Select a display setting. Your options include 256 colors, 640 x 480 resolution, or disabling the visual themes when running the application.
  6. Select the check box if you want to give nonadministrators the ability to run an application when "access denied" errors occur during program execution.
  7. The wizard will test your settings and provide you with three options. You can use these settings for subsequent executions of the program, go back and try new settings, or indicate that you were unsuccessful but are finished trying.

At the end of the wizard, you're also given the option to send this information to Microsoft for inclusion in later releases.

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