Getting older programs to run on Windows XP

Most programs run properly on Windows XP. The exceptions are some older games and other programs that were written specifically for an earlier version of Windows. To run your program on Windows XP, you can try the following, Run the Program Compatibility Wizard. As an alternative, you can set the compatibility properties manually. Update your program, drivers, or hardware. These options are covered in detail below.

The Program Compatibility Wizard
This wizard prompts you to test your program in different modes (environments) and with various settings. For example, if the program was originally designed to run on Windows 95, set the compatibility mode to Windows 95 and try running your program again. If successful, the program will start in that mode each time. The wizard also allows you to try different settings, such as switching the display to 256 colors and the screen resolution to 640 x 480 pixels. If compatibility problems prevent you from installing a program on Windows XP, run the Program Compatibility Wizard on the setup file for the program. The file may be called Setup.exe or something similar, and is probably located on the Installation disc for the program. To run the Program Compatibility Wizard click Start, click Help and Support, click Find compatible hardware and software for Windows XP, and then, under See Also in the navigation pane, click "Program Compatibility Wizard."

Set the compatibility properties manually
As an alternative to running the Program Compatibility Wizard, you can set the compatibility properties for a program manually. The settings are the same as the options in the Program Compatibility Wizard. To set the compatibility properties for a program manually Right-click the program icon on your desktop or the shortcut on the Start menu for the program you want to run, and then click Properties. Click the Compatibility tab, and change the compatibility settings for your program.

The Compatibility tab is only available for programs installed on your hard drive. Although you can run the Program Compatibility Wizard on programs or setup files on a CD-ROM or floppy disk, your changes will not remain in effect after you close the program. For more information about an option on the Compatibility tab, right-click the option and then click "What's This."

Update your program or drivers
If your program does not run correctly after testing it with the Program Compatibility Wizard, check the Web for updates or other fixes, as follows:

Check the Web site of the program's manufacturer to see if an update or patch is available.
Check Windows Update to see if a fix is available for the program.
Click Home on the menu bar of Help and Support Center, then click Windows Update in the right pane.

If the program is a game that uses DirectX, ensure that you are using the latest version of DirectX. In addition, check the Web site of the manufacturer of your video card or sound card to see if newer drivers are available for either of them.

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