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Advice for Vista Users

We have found that most programs are Vista compatible on a 32-bit Vista system, unless the programs are very old - the best way to find out is to go ahead and try to install them, then if you have any problems, try some of the suggestions below.

First, Check to see if your Vista system is 32-bit or 64-bit, if it's not a 64-bit system, then programs should run fine for you!

1) Program doesn’t work in Windows Vista

If your program doesn’t work in Windows Vista, this may be due to the "User Account Control" or "UAC" security feature in Windows Vista. To run the program in Administrator mode:

  • Instead of double-clicking on a program icon, you must right click it and select "Run as Administrator." The "UAC" dialog box will then appear asking if you would like to allow the action; click "Allow."

2) User Account Control Settings

If that isn't helpful, try turning off the User Account Control Settings. User Account Control is one of the major security updates in Vista, but it can be rather annoying to be prompted for every change you make in Vista and UAC can interfere with the installation and operation of some software programs. It is simple to enable and disable. Please note that disabling User Account Control will leave your computer more vulnerable than normal, so be sure you have third party anti-virus and anti-spyware software active on your computer.

  1. To find the UAC setting, click on the Start Button and type User in the search box just above the Start button.
  2. Click on User Accounts at the top of the start menu.
  3. On this page, click on the button labeled Turn User Account Control on or off.
  4. From here, uncheck the only checkbox on this page, and hit OK.
  5. It will prompt you to restart, and once you do, no more UAC.

If you wish to re-enable UAC, repeat steps 1-5 and check the box to Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect my computer.

3) Compatibility Mode

Some of your older programs may run fine on Vista if you try using the nifty Compatibility Mode feature that is built into Windows. Compatibility Mode allows you to "trick" your computer into thinking it is running an older operating system. This change only affects how the computer interacts with the particular program you are using it on. To change your PC's compatibility to software made for an earlier version of Windows:

  1. Click on the "My Computer" icon on your desktop.
  2. Right-click on the CD-ROM icon and choose "Explore."
  3. Locate and right-click on the application icon (look for "Setup.exe" or "Install.exe," etc.), then select Properties.
  4. Click the Compatibility tab.
  5. Click Run this program in Compatibility Mode, and then select one of the following (XP recommended):
    • Windows 95
    • Windows 98
    • Windows NT 4
    • Windows 2000
    • Windows XP (Service Pack 2)
    • Windows Server 2003 (Service Pack 1)
  6. If an error message has suggested changing the display properties, do so under Display Settings
  7. Click Apply, then OK
  8. Start the program.
Note: Using the Program Compatibility utility is only permanent for programs that are installed on your hard disk - in this case, you would locate the application icon (Step 3) in your Programs menu. You can use the Compatibility Mode for programs on a CD-ROM or on a floppy disk, but your changes will not remain in effect after you close the program.

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