XXX is not a valid Win32 application

If you have used your Vista SP1-based computer for extended period, you may experience some problems starting large applications, for example, Office 2007 applications. Specifically, you may receive a message “XXX is not a valid Win32 application”. If you do experience this problem, you can install hotfix KB952709.


Windows Vista Sxs Activation Context Cache

Sxs activation model is built on top of Actication Context. To create an activation context, use the API CreateActCtx. Activation Context is used very frequently in Windows. For example, a simple operation like start notepad, open the common file dialog, select a file, will call CreateActCtx many times (I measured 18 times in Vista). With…


The Windows Vista Developer Story: Application Compatibility Cookbook

MSDN has a Vista developer story series on how to develop applications for Windows Vista. One of the particularly useful articles is on Application Compatibility (also at It details many of the changes in Vista and how to change your application to comply with the Vista paradigm. Definitely worth a read.


Installing SxS assemblies in Vista

When installing SxS assemblies in Vista, you may experience MSI error 1935, with HRESULT 0x80073715. 0x80073715 is Win32 error ERROR_SXS_MANIFEST_IDENTITY_SAME_BUT_CONTENTS_DIFFERENT. //// MessageId: ERROR_SXS_MANIFEST_IDENTITY_SAME_BUT_CONTENTS_DIFFERENT//// MessageText://// The identities of the manifests are identical but their contents are different.// #define ERROR_SXS_MANIFEST_IDENTITY_SAME_BUT_CONTENTS_DIFFERENT 14101L   This error means, you have tried to install two assemblies with the same identity but…


Touch the exe, after you added a manifest for it, in Vista

  You are an enthusiastic and responsible developer. You love programming, and you love programming the right way. So you get the latest and greatest Windows Vista. You try your hard-worked amazing.exe application in Vista. Did not work. Apparently, amazing.exe needs admin privilege to do wonderful things. But in Vista, the user by default does…


Application Shutdown Changes in Windows Vista

MSDN documented the Windows Vista changes regarding application shutdown.


Programmatically determine if an application requires elevation in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista, by default, application will execute without administrator privilege, even when the user launching the application is part of the administrators group. You can explicitly elevate the application with administrator privilege using the shell “Runas” verb. There are some cases the OS will decide to launch the application as elevated by default. The decision…


COM activation change in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista, COM will read HKLM\Software\Classes when the process has a integrity level > MEDIUM, and it will read the merged HKLM\HKCU hive otherwise. For information about integrity level, please read Steve Riley’s article Mandatory Integrity Control in Windows Vista. This means, for services running at system context, or elevated applications, COM will only…


Windows Vista System Internals

I was searching for filter driver doucmentations in microsoft Windows Hardware Developer Central site, and I was surprised to find many interesting information about Windows Vista System Internals. For example: Changes to User Mode Services in Windows Vista   Impact of Session 0 Isolation on Services and Drivers in Windows Vista   Kernel Enhancements…



Reg.exe in Vista has gain a new command line option “flags”.  You can use it to see some interesting things, for example, whether a registry key is virtualized. C:\>reg flags /? REG FLAGS KeyName [QUERY |                   SET [DONT_VIRTUALIZE] [DONT_SILENT_FAIL] [RECURSE_FLAG]]   Keyname    “HKLM\Software”[\SubKey] (Restricted to these keys on        local machine only).    SubKey   The full name…