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Running Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000 & XP software programs on
Windows VISTA using the Program Compatibility Wizard

Windows Vista was designed with backward compatibility for software in mind, so that software designed to run all the way back to Windows 95 should run just fine on Vista. However, some programs may not run well or won't run at all. In that case, there are several remedies built into Vista.

Program Compatibility: What Is It?

It's a mode in Windows that lets you run software programs written for earlier versions of Windows, such as Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, and XP. Most software programs written for Windows XP will work in Windows Vista, but some older software programs might not. If an older program doesn't run properly, use the Program Compatibility Wizard to simulate earlier versions of Windows. If that doesn't work, check with the program manufacturer (website) to see if there is an update or patch for the program.

Getting Older Software Programs to Run in Windows Vista

There are 3 methods Vista uses to run older Windows programs:

Program Compatibility Assistant - Runs automatically when it detects an older program having compatibility problems.

Program Compatibility Wizard -A tool you can run manually on a program if you notice compatibility issues.

Program Compatibility Tab - More advanced users can also change settings for an individual program manually by using that program's Compatibility tab. Not recommended for most people. Use the Wizard instead.

Warning: Do not use the Program Compatibility Wizard on older system programs, antivirus programs, or disk utilities. This may cause data loss or create a security risk.

Program Compatibility Wizard

Running the Vista Program Compatibility Wizard

1) Click on Start
2) Click on Control Panel
3) Click on Programs
4) Click on Use an older program with this version of Windows.
5) Then just follow the instructions in the Wizard.

Vista Compatibility Wizard

Problems Installing a Program in Vista:
Insert the installation disc for the program. Open the Compatibility Wizard. In the Wizard, browse to the program's setup file (Setup.exe, Install.exe, etc.)

Microsoft Help: Troubleshooting a program that does not run as expected
after it is installed

Compatibility Problems from Outdated Drivers
Some compatibility problems arise from drivers. If an older driver is causing problems, you'll need to update it manually.

Microsoft Help: Updating Drivers

Program Compatibility Assistant

The Program Compatibility Assistant detects known compatibility issues in older programs, and makes needed changes automatically, so you don't have to do anything. It can automatically resolve some conflicts, or automatically run it in a mode that simulates an earlier version of Windows. After you have run an older program in Windows Vista, it will notifiy you if there is a problem and will offer to fix it the next time you run the program. No changes are made to the program itself. If the compatibility issue is serious, the Program Compatibility Assistant might give you a warning or block the program from running at all. If that occurs, you'll be given the option to check online for a solution. You can not run this program yourself, but you can run the Program Compatibility Wizard on a program or setup file if a program won't work or install correctly.

Microsoft Help: Additional Information

Compatibility Tab:
Changing Compatibility Settings Manually

To change compatibility settings manually for a program:

1) Right-click the program's icon.
2) Click Properties.
3) Click the Compatibility tab.

Setting: Compatibility mode
Runs the program using settings from a previous version of Windows. Try this setting if you know the program is designed for (or worked in) a specific previous version of Windows.

Setting: Run in 256 colors
Uses a limited set of colors in the program. Some older programs are designed to use fewer colors.

Setting: Run in 640 480
Runs the program in a smaller-sized window. Try this setting if the graphical user interface appears jagged or is rendered improperly.

Microsoft Help: Additional Settings and Descriptions

And more at...

MICROSOFT WINDOWS VISTA: Software Installation, Troubleshooting & Compatibility

NOTE: The offering of this information is not a
guarantee that the above will work on every software
NOT designated as compatible with VISTA.

Run older programs on:  XP, Vista, Windows 7 - Compatibility Wizards:
Tips for XP USERS    Tips for VISTA USERS    Tips for WINDOWS 7 USERS

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