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Compatibility

XP has been touted as the "gamers' platform," but there are a number of caveats; not all older games work, and neither do all 16-bit DOS applications. This series of Knowledgebase articles covers both general compatibility issues and Windows Compatibility Mode.

16-bit DOS applications suffer due to the Windows 95/98/Me multi-tasking being completely different to that of NT. If you experience choppy sound and motion in 16-bit programs then it's more than likely to be a result of that difference. 16-bit applications use cooperative multitasking, which means they can only use the CPU after something else has finished with it. 32-bit Windows applications use pre-emptive multitasking, where process priority is used to control process interruptions. If you are experiencing choppy sound and motion with a 16-bit DOS application, there probably isn't much you can do about it because no version of Windows NT supports 16-bit programs that require unrestricted access to the hardware layer. If your program requires such access, it will not work in Windows XP, or any other version of NT.

Microsoft don't want you to upgrade your earlier Windows OS to XP, they want you to buy Vista. Consequently the XP Upgrade Advisor is no longer available for download from Microsoft. If you follow the download links in the "How to use the Program Compatibility Wizard in Windows XP" article to get to the package, you will be taken to the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor.

How to use the Program Compatibility Wizard in Windows XP

Describes how to use the Program Compatibility Wizard to see if a program will work in different versions of Windows.

Note: See comment above. This link is retained for information purposes only.
How to use Windows Program Compatibility mode in Windows XP

This article describes how to use Windows Program Compatibility mode. This mode provides an environment for running programs that closely reflects the behaviour of earlier Windows operating systems.
How to Troubleshoot 16-Bit Windows Programs in Windows XP

Many different 16-bit programs designed to run under Microsoft Windows 3.1 have been tested with Windows XP. When you troubleshoot a 16-bit Windows-based program that is not working properly under Windows XP, consider the following items...
How to Obtain the Windows Application Compatibility Toolkit

The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) is a collection of useful tools and documents that enable both program developers and IT professionals to resolve application compatibility issues.
How To Use Qfixapp.exe in Windows XP

This article describes the Quick Fix utility (Qfixapp.exe) that is included with the Application Compatibility Toolkit for Windows XP. Qfixapp.exe is a tool that includes pre-packaged fixes that provide an easy way to fix a program.
Description of the Matching Information (Grabmi.exe) Tool in Windows XP

This article describes the Matching Information (Grabmi.exe) tool in Windows XP. The Grabmi.exe tool is used to "grab" matching file information of applications. Grabmi.exe is a part of the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT).
How to troubleshoot program compatibility issues in Windows XP

This article describes how to troubleshoot the most common program compatibility issues that you may experience on your Windows XP-based computer. Program compatibility issues are often called application compatibility issues.
Overview of the compatibility considerations for 32-bit programs on 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP

Discusses the compatibility considerations and limitations for 32-bit programs that are running on 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.
Program That Is Set to Run in Windows 2000 Compatibility Mode Reports That It Is Set to Run in Windows XP Mode

When you set a program to run in a compatibility mode on a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer, the setting may be ignored, and the program may still run in Windows XP mode. For example, when you set a program to run in Microsoft Windows 2000 compatibility mode, the program may still report that it is set to run in Windows XP mode.
The latest Windows XP Hardware Compatibility List

Discusses the Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility List (HCL).
How To Script Compatibility Layers in Windows XP

Windows XP includes technology to dynamically apply compatibility fixes for programs that are not designed to run on Windows XP. The compatibility fixes are provided to assist an earlier version of a program in avoiding any issues that may arise. This is essentially DIY compatibility setting using scripting.
TechNet Support WebCast: How to use Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 4.0 to manage application compatibility on Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 4.0 (ACT 4.0) is a set of tools and documentation that help you evaluate your application compatibility needs specifically on Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). The WebCast describes how to use ACT 4.0 as part of a comprehensive deployment strategy in three primary phases: evaluation, mitigation, and deployment.

Support WebCast: Microsoft Windows XP: Troubleshooting Application Compatibility Issues

Support WebCast: Tools and Techniques to Resolve Windows Application Compatibility Issues
How Windows XP Determines ACPI Compatibility

This article describes the process used by Windows to enable and install Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) functionality.
Programs That Run Correctly with Windows 2000 Do Not Run Correctly with Window XP

A program that was designed to run with an earlier version of an operating system, and that can be made to run with Microsoft Windows 2000 by using Application Compatibility settings, does not run correctly with Microsoft Windows XP.
Windows Hardware Compatibility Audio Test causes computer to stop responding

When you run the Driver Verifier test in the Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Test (HCT) version 11.0 kit to test audio drivers in Windows XP, your computer may stop responding (hang). A memory dump analysis may show debug information that is similar to the following:

FOLLOWUP_IP: portcls!CPortPinDMus::Init+4cb
bae0df0e 894508 mov [ebp+0x8],eax
FOLLOWUP_NAME:
SYMBOL_NAME: portcls!CPortPinDMus::Init+4cb
MODULE_NAME: portcls
IMAGE_NAME: portcls.sys
DEBUG_FLR_IMAGE_TIMESTAMP: 3d6de2ca
STACK_COMMAND: kb
BUCKET_ID: 0x0_portcls!CPortPinDMus::Init+4cb

Description of the Fast User Switching Compatibility Service

Fast User Switching is a feature that allows multiple users to be logged on to the computer at the same time. Many programs were not designed to run in a multiple-user environment, and would normally have problems when multiple users log on to the computer. To make these programs compatible with Fast User Switching, the Fast User Switching Compatibility service will take one of four different actions when a specific problematic program is being used when user sessions are activated and/or disconnected.
Upgrade Stops Responding During Compatibility Check and You Receive an Error Message

f you try to upgrade your Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)-based computer to Windows XP, your computer stops responding during the compatibility check phase of installation. You may also receive the following error message on a blue screen:

An error has occurred. Press enter to return to Windows. Filename vserver (01)+00004d7d, error: 0e:0028:c1xxxxxx
 
How to Use the Compatibility Database Installer Tool in Windows XP

This article describes how to use the Compatibility Database Installer tool (Sdbinst.exe).

You can use Sdbinst.exe to register a custom database that you create with the Compatibility Administration tool. Using Sdbinst.exe automatically installs and adds fix information to the registry of destination computers.
The AppleTalk Protocol Is Not Available in Windows XP

Support for the AppleTalk protocol has been discontinued in Windows XP. This protocol is not available to install in Windows XP.

If you upgrade from a previous version of Microsoft Windows with the AppleTalk protocol installed, the Compatibility Wizard displays the following message:

The currently installed AppleTalk Protocol is not compatible with Microsoft Windows XP and will be required to be uninstalled for the upgrade to proceed. This protocol is removed from this new version of Windows.

For more information about this, visit the manufacturer's Web site at http://www.microsoft.com. Web addresses can change, so you may be unable to connect to this Web site.

For a list of protocols supported by Windows XP, see the Microsoft Windows XP protocols Compatibility List at the Microsoft Web site.

The DLC Protocol Is Not Available in Windows XP

Support for the Data Link Control (DLC) protocol has been discontinued in Windows XP. This protocol is not available to install in Windows XP.

If you upgrade from a previous version of Microsoft Windows with the DLC protocol installed, the Compatibility Wizard displays the following message:

The currently installed driver for the DLC Transport Protocol is not compatible with Microsoft Windows XP and will be uninstalled during the upgrade. This protocol is removed from this new version of Windows.

DLC Driver for Microsoft Windows XP is available in Host Integration Server 2000. For more information, visit
http://www.microsoft.com/hiserver. Web addresses can change, so you may be unable to connect to this Web site.

For a list of protocols supported by Windows XP, see the Microsoft Windows Whistler protocols Compatibility List at the Microsoft Web site.

A program window may not be visible if the program hangs in Windows XP or in Windows Server 2003

A program window may not be visible if the program stops responding (hangs). A program is considered to be hung if the program does not respond to window messages within several seconds, and a status of "Not Responding" appears in Windows Task Manager. In the problem state, the Win32 IsWindowVisible function does not return the WS_VISIBLE flag.

A Microsoft Visual Basic program may report the following error when the program tries to use the SetFocus method on a window:

Run-time error '5': Invalid procedure call or argument.

You can use the Application Compatibility Toolkit to create and install a custom Application Compatibility database to disable the Ghost Window feature for your program. To download the Application Compatibility Toolkit, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa286552.aspx
How to determine if hardware or software is compatible with Windows XP

This article describes how to determine if your hardware or software is compatible with XP.
The program window is black or you receive an "Access violation" error message when you run a program on a Windows XP-based computer

When you run a program on a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer, the program window may be black (or empty), or you may receive an "Access violation" error message.
Device drivers known to cause instability in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 and Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2) include the Driver Protection feature. This feature helps protect operating system stability by preventing the operating system from loading drivers that are known to cause stability problems. Driver Protection is built upon application compatibility technology that is present in Windows XP. Driver Protection is active at all times. The feature is available during operating system upgrades from prior versions of Windows and at runtime after the operating system is installed. Driver Protection is not intended to be disabled by end users.

Drivers that are known to cause stability problems are listed in the Driver Protection List database that is included with Windows XP. Driver Protection checks this database to determine whether to load a driver in Windows XP.