Advanced methods to troubleshoot a program that does not run as expected after it is installed on Windows Vista

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Article ID: 931362 - View products that this article applies to.
Notice
This article is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you may want to consider one of the following options:
  • Follow the steps in the version of this Microsoft Knowledge Base article that is intended for general users:
    927386 How to troubleshoot program compatibility issues in Windows Vista
  • Ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/
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SUMMARY

This article contains methods to troubleshoot issues that occur when a program is installed but will not run on Windows Vista.

These methods are intended for advanced computer users.

SYMPTOMS

Use the troubleshooting methods in this article if you experience any of the following symptoms:
  • You successfully upgraded an earlier version of Windows to Windows Vista. After the upgrade, a program that used to run as expected before you upgraded to Windows Vista no longer runs as expected.

    Note If a program compatibility issue is preventing the installation of Windows Vista, follow the steps in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
    931360 How to troubleshoot program-incompatibility issues that may stop the Windows Vista Setup program
  • You successfully installed a program on Windows Vista. After you install the program, you cannot start the program, or the program runs but does not run as expected.

    Note If a program compatibility issue is preventing the installation of a program, do not follow the steps in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
    931361 How to troubleshoot issues that may prevent a program from being installed correctly on a Windows Vista-based computer

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

Before you begin, make sure that you have tried the following steps. These basic troubleshooting steps are known to resolve a significant number of Vista compatibility issues.
  • Run the program in compatibility mode.
  • Run the program as an administrator.
  • Contact the hardware manufacture for the following information:
    • Known versions of the program that are incompatible with Windows Vista
    • Any available updates to make your version compatible with Windows Vista
    • Any available configuration changes to make the program compatible with Windows Vista
These steps are documented in detail in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
927386 How to troubleshoot program compatibility issues in Windows Vista

ADVANCED TROUBLESHOOTING METHODS

To troubleshoot a program that does not run as expected after it is installed or to troubleshoot a program that produces an error message after it is installed, use the following advanced troubleshooting methods.

Method 1: Disable Aero Glass when you run the program

In some cases, a program may not be compatible with the new Desktop Window Manager and Aero Glass functionality in Windows Vista. Symptoms that indicate that a program is incompatible with Aero Glass include any of the following:
  • A flickering screen
  • Desktop and window artifacts
  • A program window not painting correctly on the screen
  • A program window not painting at all and possibly causing a black window
To determine whether the program compatibility issue is related to Aero Glass, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , and then type the name of the program in the Start Search box.
  2. In the Programs list, right-click the program that you are troubleshooting, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Compatibility tab, click to select the Disable desktop composition check box.
When you select the Disable desktop composition option in the program properties, Windows Vista disables Aero Glass every time that you run the program. Aero Glass is re-enabled when the program is closed.

If the program still does not work correctly, go to the next method.

Method 2: Run the program in safe mode

Note To start the computer in safe mode, press the F8 key while the computer is starting. You must press the F8 key before the Windows Vista progress indicator appears.

To determine whether the issue that occurs with the program is caused by another program that is running in the background, we recommend that you restart the computer in safe mode and then test the program. If the program runs correctly in safe mode, but does not run correctly in normal mode, there likely is another program that is conflicting with the program in question.

To determine which program is causing a conflict with the program in question, we recommend that you perform a "clean boot" of the computer. A clean boot is intended to disable as many background services and programs as possible. This helps determine which service or program may be causing the problem. For more information about how to perform a clean boot for troubleshooting, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
929135 How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista
If the program still does not work correctly, go to the next method.

Method 3: Repair the program installation

Note Before you repair the program, we recommend that you create a System Restore Point. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , click Control Panel, click System and Maintenance, and then click System.
  2. In the navigation pane, click System Protection
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    System Protection
    . If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or provide confirmation.
  3. Click the System Protection tab, and then click Create.
  4. In the System Protection dialog box, type a description, and then click Create.
Many programs provide a mechanism to verify and to repair the state of the program. To determine whether this is possible for the program in question, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , and then type Programs and Features in the Start Search box.
  2. In the Programs list, click Programs and Features.
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    User Access Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
  3. Click the program name in the list of programs, and then click Repair if the option is available. The Repair option is located in the same toolbar as Organize and View. If the Repair option is not available, the program may not provide a repair mechanism.
  4. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
If the program still does not work correctly, go to the next method.

Method 4: Uninstall and reinstall the program

Note Before you uninstall and reinstall the program, we recommend that you create a System Restore Point. To do this, see the "Method 3: Repair the program installation" section for detailed steps.

If the program does not provide a repair mechanism, you may be able to resolve the issue if you uninstall and then reinstall the program. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , and then type Programs and Features in the Start Search box.
  2. In the Programs list, click Programs and Features.
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    User Access Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
  3. Click the program in the list of programs, and then click either Uninstall/Change or Uninstall.
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    User Access Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
  4. Follow the on-screen directions to uninstall the program.

    Note If the Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA) starts automatically, click Uninstall using recommended settings.
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    User Access Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
  5. Use the original program installation media to reinstall the program. Before you reinstall the program, it may help if you enable the compatibility mode option for the program installer.
Program reinstallation and activation
Be aware that you may have to reactivate the program after it is reinstalled. In some case, activation may be unsuccessful if the software vendor disallows installation under a new operating system. Activation is a process that makes sure that the software that you are using is licensed to run on the computer where it is installed. Typically, activation requires that the software vendor’s Web site is contacted over the Internet to verify the validity of the program installation. Contact the software vendor if you have any questions about the activation process for the software vendor's program.

Note You may be prompted to enter a code that was provided by the software manufacture.

If the program still does not run correctly after you follow these steps, the program may not be compatible with Windows Vista.

REFERENCES

For more information about Windows Vista and program compatibility issues, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
931359 How to determine whether there are program-compatibility issues before you install Windows Vista
931360 How to troubleshoot program-incompatibility issues that may stop the Windows Vista Setup program
931361 How to troubleshoot issues that may prevent a program from being installed correctly on a Windows Vista-based computer

Properties

Article ID: 931362 - Last Review: November 26, 2007 - Revision: 2.3
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Starter
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
Keywords: 
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