What is software compatibility?


I have been trying for almost a year to get help over the internet (Dell, Microsoft, etc). I have had no luck so far.

Here's the problem: I purchased my computer over 1 yr ago. Everything was working fine. I purchased a screensaver and tried to download it. Once I downloaded it none of my screensavers work. Even those that were factory installed. I also downloaded "eyetide" screensavers which worked on my old (Windows 98) computer. They don't work on this new (Windows XP) computer either.

I want to know how to get ANY of my screensavers working. I have uninstalled the store bought screensaver and "eyetide" is uninstalled as well, I think.

Here is what I've tried so far:

I did an SFC/Scannow

I tried a system restore, but can't go back farther than June 11th.

I've tried to restore my factory settings.

Any ideas?



This question was answered on October 24, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

First remove that program through add and remove programs.

Getting older programs to run on Windows XPMost 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, 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 might be called Setup.exe or something similar, and is probably located on the Installation disc for the program.

To run the Program Compatibility Wizard

Start the Program Compatibility Wizard

Follow the instructions in the wizard


To start 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 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

hope this helps,

good luck

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Posted by christopher of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on October 24, 2004