Simply put, older programs will not work with Vista. This is intentional - Microsoft has purposely crippled Vista so that you will have to buy new software.
Over the holidays, I was ask to help and make it work. These pages document some of what I learned. Basically,
When it was discovered that the system was basically unusable, my friend contacted Gateway. They agreed to install Windows XP ... but would charge $60 to do it.
Wait, these guys sold my friend what is now known to be a worthless computer and they want another $60 to fix it. (They said it was to cover the time required to load the new operating system.)
The one additional improvement is really not worth all the other hassles.
How do I change the default home page?
Tools / Internet Options...
The problem was that there was no menu. I do not know if this is a Vista issue or a Gateway "improvement", but the menu was not displayed. The solution turned out to be trivial, but long distance, over the phone, it was too obscure for my friend.
There were 2 separate ways to display the menu
These are not major drawbacks, but they are a major cause of user frustration.
To quote Microsoft
Ever since Windows 3.1, Microsoft included the Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) with new releases. WinHlp32.exe is used to view 32-bit Help files that have the .hlp file name extension. Starting with the release of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has decided to no longer include in WinHlp32.exe as a component of the Windows operating system.
Starting with the release of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, third-party software developers are no longer authorized to redistribute WinHlp32.exe with their programs.
In my opinion, this is an attempt to kill all existing windows applications.
Well, there is a work around - if you are willing to first install Windows Genuine Advantage (Microsoft spyware), then you will be permitted to download WinHlp32.exe and your older software will work.
My question is - If Windows Genuine Advantage is so great, then why wasn't it included in Vista?
Visual Basic 5
Simply put, Visual Basic 5 does not work with Vista. (I created a separate page for the details.)
With Vista, there are frequent dialog boxes asking if you really want to run the program you just requested. I double click an executable file, and then there a usually a prompt asking if I actually want to run the program! Nice security enhancement, but very irritating.
In addition, the programs are run with "user" permissions (by default). If they then try to do a protected function, you will be presented with a dialog box that allows you to permit administrator permissions.
This could be characterized as either a plus or a minus. I have not used Vista enough to decide if the extra hassle is worth the possible security improvement.
Basically, these features should block most pre-Vista parasites. However, there should be several ways to write new parasites that circumvent these controls.
You can configure individual programs to run with administer permissions by modifying the associated properties. Nothing in VB5 worked until this was done.
For most users, this is not an issue ... but I use that feature a lot when creating documentation (like this web page).
(There may still be a way to do this, but I no longer have access to a system where I can experiment. This feature was not available by default.)
c:\$Mft (NTFS Master File Table) c:\$LogFile (NTFS Volume Log) c:\$BitMap (NTFS Free Space Map)
Selecting multiple files
Use checkboxes to select items
Cool idea, but not more useful than old method (for me). This could be useful for people that have a handicap (like only one useable hand).
New directory structure
C:\Program Files C:\Program Files (x86) new with Vista, VB5 was placed here C:\windows\System32 C:\windows\SysWOW64 new with Vista, VB5 ActiveX components were here
When VB5 was installed, the associated (and non-functional) ActiveX components were placed in SysWOW64. With previous operating systems, they were placed in System32.
This new directory structure caused several problems with programs ported from Windows XP.
Virtual directories cause recursion
In a rush to rename/relocate some directories used by legacy programs, a patch was used to maintain backward compatibility .. for some programs. Basically, there are several virtual directories named Application Data that point to their own parent directory. As a result, when a program tries to access all the files in the directory, it keeps coming back to the recursive link .. for infinity.
To be specific, AgentRansack reads the following directory "aliases" recursively finding thousands of files were only a few actually exist
C:\ProgramData\Application Data\Application Data\... C:\Users\All Users\Application Data\Application Data\...
Actually, there are a large number of other virtual directories that do not have
In the directory security settings,
The system I was working on had 8 gigabytes of RAM. (Yes, that is excessive. The salesperson really took my friend.) As a result,
Pagefile.sys is 8,431,888 kb Hiberfil.sys is 8,125,624 kb
As usual, Microsoft has proven again that "changed" does NOT mean improved.
Of course, this took 2 days to discover.
Additionally, many gps units will not work. Specifically, Garmon does not support 64-bit Vista.
These are the specific programs I tried
|LapseRateAnimation.exe||All the control components were place outside the provided window and there was no way to get to them.|
|HITRAN_Data_Plot.exe||This was completely unusable because the tabs were not accessible (for the same reason).|
Sorry - this is not just sloppy programming on the part of Microsoft. There is (was) only one major competitor that provided compilers. (Borland has since gotten out of the compiler business ... I wonder what the real reason was.) It is not imaginable that no one at Microsoft ever tested their "new and improved" operating system with a program created using a competitor's product. <Rest of rant suppressed because it is so obvious.>
Apparently, this problem is caused by a new default font and font size. Well, if that was true, then the compatibility mode should have fixed things.
As a result, I have had to add links to my pages warning users that my code will not work with Vista. To be VERY specific, Microsoft has reduced the value of MY creative work by pushing an operating system that keeps my programs from working.
(This is one of the reasons that I suggest that Vista was designed to intentionally break old software.)
To make things worse, the Firebird database will not run with Vista.
Just a random reference - How to Vista enable your applications. (Requires a free logon to view .. so I haven't read it.)
I have provided the details on how to "fix" this in Delphi 5 code you have written yourself. However, this requires changing and recompiling ALL existing programs.