How do I make Vista work with my applications?

Michael Morris has the answers.

“I’ve just upgraded to Vista and I’m having trouble getting my applications to work. Any ideas?”

Michael Morris answers: As someone who has been actively using Vista, in beta form, since May 2006, I can empathise with you! With Vista, Microsoft has made a number of changes to the way Windows works in order to give you improved security as well as access to new features. Unfortunately, these changes have altered what some programs can and can’t do, causing some applications to behave erratically.

This will often mean getting an error message when you attempt to run an application. The message may tell you the application will only work on Windows XP, or you might get any one of a number of error messages from the manufacturer of the application.

Security applications such as anti-virus scanning programs are most likely to have problems with Vista and will generally need to be updated to the latest version before they will run. Many people will need to contact the manufacturer of their security program and get an update that will sort the problem out.

One of the first things to do to solve your issue is get on the web and look for updates. Microsoft released a large number of updates on January 30, 2006, to address known issues, and many application developers are working double-time to provide updates for their applications.

Another thing to try is running your troublesome application in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 2). To do this, right-click on the application you are having difficulties with and click “Properties”. On the Compatibility tab, tick “Run this program in compatibility mode”. Click OK and see how it goes.

Alternatively, ticking “run this program as an administrator” when in the compatibility tab may also get an application to run.

If you are worried about whether or not your application will work in Vista, Microsoft has released a tool called the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. This is a nifty little program which you run on your Windows XP machine in order to find out if your installed applications will work on Vista.  


After selling his IT help business, Nerds For Hire, Michael Morris became the technical lead at Gizmo, an Australian owned and operated company that provides comprehensive in-home and phone technical support service for a wide range of technologies used in the home.


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