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Windows Vista Program Compatibility Wizard

By bnemec ·
I recently ran into something incredibly useful on Windows Vista. I was trying to install a program that was developed for every version of Windows except Vista because it was released before Vista was. So I tried to install it on my Vista machine knowing that the installation program might halt because it detects the wrong version of windows.
Sure enough I get and error message stating that this version of Windows is no longer supported. So I did a search on the internet for how to trick the application into thinking it was installing on a supported version of Windows. Instead I found out about the Program Compatibility Wizard. It is probably one of the best tools M$ could have included with Vista.
It's not easy to find though. Most of you probably access the "Programs and Features" tool in Vista by viewing the Control Panel in "Classic View". Well you can't get to the Program Compatibilty Wizard through there (at least as far as I can tell, please let me know of another way, if there is one). The way I had to get to it was to view the control panel in "Category View" or by clicking on the link above "Classic View" called "Control Panel Home". I just love how everything is different in Vista >:0.
Anyhow, after you've switched to "Category View" you must click on the Programs category. After in the Programs category you can find a link called "Use an older program with this version of Windows" right under the Programs and Features category. After that it's pretty straight forward. I like this feature alot. I'd like to know if any one else has used this feature and what you think of it.

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Program Compatibility

by Ed Woychowsky In reply to Windows Vista Program Com ...

I've right-clicked on the icon of an application and set compatibility that way. It's also a good place to set "Run as Admistrator" as the default.

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Sneaky little guy

by bnemec In reply to Program Compatibility

Yeah I've used that before but I've only seen it where there's the compatibility tab for console executables. Not anything like what I described before.
Apparently the tool exists in Windows XP also. I just found it the other day. It's listed under Start > Accessories > Program Compatibility Wizard.

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How does one make compatibility info sticky?

by Peter Hers In reply to Sneaky little guy

I have a pre-Vista program which misbehaves under Vista, but runs perfectly well if the compatibility mode is set to WXP.
But this information appears to be stored separately from the file / file system - perhaps in the registry?
When burning the app to CD the compatibility mode info does not travel with it.
Is there some way I can tell Vista that this program needs to run in WXP mode - something I can add to the CD?

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