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Last Updated December 16, 2003


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Windows XP Application Compatibility

Even though Windows XP is based on Windows 2000, there are no guarantees that applications written for other Windows operating systems will work in Windows XP. Luckily, Microsoft has introduced a new capability in XP that allows the operating system to "fool" programs into thinking they're running on a previous version of Windows, and even provides some of the runtime and environmental parameters. Here's how to test and tweak your applications...

Where to Start

Windows XP Application Compatibility Technologies
This article describes the application compatibility technologies of Windows XP in detail and then outlines how they can be used and extended to treat a wide range of application compatibility problems. Source:

A Program Compatibility Check List for Windows XP (Q286575)
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 286575 - This article describes a program compatibility check list as well as some common situations that must be investigated when you test a program for compatibility with a new operating system. This list includes the typical scenarios that most programs can encounter.

Description of the Application Compatibility Toolkit 2.0 for Windows XP 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 294895 - This article provides a list of the documents and tools that are included with the Application Compatibility Toolkit version 2.0. This article also provides information about how to obtain and install the Application Compatibility Toolkit 2.0 

HOW TO: Build a Windows XP Logo Testing Environment for Software
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article  Q309630 - Testing Windows XP logo-compliant software requires a consistent Windows XP environment. The Windows XP Logo Test framework provides details of the standard testing environment for Windows XP logo compliance and test cases that must be performed to ensure program compatibility. This article describes how to build a Windows XP installation by using the Unattended.txt installation file and the tools that are provided in the Windows XP Logo Test framework 

How to Determine If Hardware or Software Is Compatible with Windows XP  
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 295322 - This article describes how to determine if your hardware or software is compatible with Windows XP. 

How to Run Legacy Applications Using Windows XP
Installing a new version of the Microsoft© Windows? operating system often poses a problem for the average user when it comes to supporting older applications. Microsoft Windows XP is an exception to this rule. Because of the extensive support for application compatibility within Windows XP, nearly every Windows program available can be run successfully on Windows XP. The first part of this article is intended for an average user who needs to know how to get an old (legacy) application to run correctly on this new operating system. The remainder of the article addresses the needs of an information technology (IT) professional who is responsible for correcting an application compatibility issue for a number of computers. Source: (January 2003)

Support WebCast: Microsoft Windows XP: Troubleshooting Application Compatibility Issues
This Support WebCast session will discuss application compatibility issues in Microsoft Windows XP and how to troubleshoot them. Specific topics will include the Upgrade Advisor, Program Compatibility mode, and Compatibility tools in Windows XP.

Compatibility Tools
Windows XP Application Compatibility Toolkit
The Microsoft© Windows? XP Application Compatibility Toolkit includes new compatibility tools, such as Application Verifier and the Compatibility Administration tool. These tools enable you to create and distribute custom compatibility fixes for applications on Windows XP and profile existing applications for known compatibility problems.

HOW TO: Use Compatibility Administration Tool in Windows XP 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 304530 - The Compatibility Administration Tool is a part of the Application Compatibility Toolkit, which provides an interface for working with the compatibility data and features on Windows XP-based computers. This article describes how you can use...

HOW TO: Use Qfixapp.exe In Windows XP And Windows .NET 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 294416 - This article describes the Quick Fix utility (Qfixapp.exe) that is included with the Application Compatibility Toolkit for Windows XP and Windows .NET. Qfixapp.exe is a tool that includes pre-packaged fixes that provide an easy way to fix a program. 

How to Test Programs for Compatibility with Windows 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 244632 - One of the primary tasks in preparing for testing is to write a test plan. In the test plan, you specify the scope and objectives for the testing and describe the methodology you are going to use. 

HOW TO: Use Windows Program Compatibility Mode 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 292533 - This article describes how to use Windows Application Compatibility mode. This mode provides an environment for running programs that closely reflects the behavior of earlier Windows operating systems.

How to Use Windows Application Compatibility Mode
This article describes how to troubleshoot the most common program compatibility issues you may encounter on your Windows XP-based computer. Note that program compatibility issues are often called ©application? compatibility issues.

HOW TO: Use the Program Compatibility Wizard 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 301911 - This article describes how to use the Program Compatibility Wizard. The Program Compatibility Wizard prompts you to test your program in different modes (environments) and with various settings.

How to Use QFixApp.exe in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003
This article describes the Quick Fix utility (Qfixapp.exe) that is included with the Application Compatibility Toolkit 2.0 for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Qfixapp.exe includes solutions that provide easy ways to fix programs.

HOW TO: Script Compatibility Layers In Windows XP 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 286705 - Windows XP includes technology to dynamically apply compatibility fixes for programs that are not designed to run on Windows XP. The compatibility fixes are provided to assist an earlier version of a program in avoiding any issues that may arise because of the changes in this new operating system. These compatibility fixes may be used individually or in ready-to-use groups called compatibility layers. These layers have been defined for several commonly encountered configurations 

HOW TO: Enable and Use the "Run As" Command When Running Programs 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 294676 - In Windows 2000 and Windows XP you can run programs as a different user than the currently-logged on user. To do this in Windows 2000, the RunAs service must be running, and to do this in Windows XP, the Secondary Logon service must be running. The RunAs and Secondary Logon services are the same service with different names. This step-by-step article describes how to enable and use the Run As command on a Windows 2000 computer or a Windows XP computer. 

Some Control Panel Tools Do Not Support the "Run as" Command 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 281560 - The following items in Control Panel do not display the Run as command when you hold down the SHIFT key, and right-click the tool.  

Troubleshooting Application in Windows XP
WebCast: Tools and Techniques to Resolve Windows Application Compatibility Issues
Level:200 During this Support WebCast, we will introduce the Windows Application Compatibility Toolkit, talk about its various parts, and discuss how to use it to quickly resolve Microsoft Windows 2000 application compatibility issues. We will introduce Appfix technology, and then discuss its history, benefits, and limitations. In addition, there will be a detailed exploration of one tool out of the set, QFixApp, which allows temporary implementation of appfixes. Finally, we'll take a look into the future, to see what improvement Microsoft Windows XP will bring to application compatibility issue resolution.

How to Troubleshoot Program Compatibility Issues in Windows XP
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 285909 - This article describes how to troubleshoot the most common program compatibility issues you may encounter on your Windows XP-based computer. Note that program compatibility issues are often called "application" compatibility issues.

Troubleshooting MS-DOS-Based Programs in Windows 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 314106 - This article describes how to troubleshoot MS-DOS-based programs in Windows.

Certain Programs Do Not Work Correctly If You Log On Through a Limited User Account 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 307091 - After you log on to a computer by using a Limited User Account, you may observe one or more of the following behaviors when you try to use a program that is not expressly designed for Windows XP. 

Using Application Verifier to Troubleshoot Programs in Windows XP 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 286568 - Application Verifier (AppVerifier) is included in Windows XP to promote stability and reliability. You can use this tool to troubleshoot application issues. This article describes how to use Application Verifier to isolate and troubleshoot a program in Windows XP. 

"16 Bit MS-DOS Subsystem" Error Message When You Install a Program 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 314452 - After you install a program on your computer, you may receive one of the following error messages when you attempt to run any 16-bit program: 

Error Message When You Use Run Command to Start a Program with a Long File Name (Q281675) 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article If you click
Run to start a program that has a very long file name, you may receive the following error message: Windows cannot find 'Path to file'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search. 

OpenGL-Based Program Causes Access Violation in Windows XP 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 312505 - When you are running an OpenGL-based program that is rendering an OpenGL scene that contains extremely long lines to a bitmap on your Windows XP-based computer, you may receive an access violation error message. 

Windows XP Hangs When You Try to Install Programs 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 313554 -  When you try to install a program from a CD-ROM, Windows XP may stop responding (hang) with an error message on a blue screen.

Programs May Start, Quit, Lose, and Gain Focus Randomly 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 313176 - Programs may quit, start, or lose and gain focus randomly; text in programs may be unreadable; and the logon screen may appear to be controlled by someone who is remotely connected to the computer. 

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