A solution and workaround to the change in manifest preference behaviour in Windows 2003 SP1 and Windows Vista

Problem Since upgrading to Windows 2003 SP1 or Windows Vista, applications that depend on the components in external manifest files, stop working. For example SxS Registration Free COM. Reason Windows 2003 Server and later Operating Systems including Windows Vista, have a change in the manifest reading behaviour. Previously, in Windows XP the external manifest took…