One of the biggest complaints I have heard about the Windows Vista operating system is the number of pre-Vista programs that either won’t run properly, or won’t run at all. There are generally three reasons why this happens.
1. The program was written for a specific operating system, such as Windows 95 or Windows 98. When the program is run, it doesn’t recognize Windows Vista.
2. The older program was written to use no more than 256 colors, but the Windows Vista minimum is 65,536 colors.
3. The older program was written to expect a screen resolution of 640×480, but the Windows Vista minimum resolution is 800×600.
The solution to this problem is Vista’s Compatibility Mode. Compatibility Mode is an environment set up by Vista to emulate the operating system for which the program was originally written. Here’s how to use it.
- Click Start.
- Click all Programs
- Open the menu that contains the icon of the program you want to run.
- Right-click the icon.
- Click Properties.
- When the program’s Properties dialog box opens, click the Compatibility tab.
- Click the Run this program in compatibility mode check box.
- Click the down arrow and then click the operating system for which the program was designed.
- Click OK.
Windows Vista will then run the program in compatibility mode each time you start it. If the program requires elevated privileges, go back to step 5 and set the property there.
Some older programs, no matter what you try to do, simply won’t run on Vista. In that case, seek out the developer and see if they have released an upgraded version. If not, see if they can offer any work-arounds. If all else fails, you may have to seek out a similar, but more modern application that takes advantage of what Vista has to offer.