Troubleshooting Application Compatibility Issues – Tools, Tips, and Tricks

When I need to troubleshoot a compatibility problem, there are a handful of tools that I use that are very helpful. In this post, I’ll talk about some of my favorite tools and how to use them to identify compatibility issues. Most applications do a poor job of reporting unexpected errors. A lot of times,…


If I’m an Administrator, Why Do I Get Access Denied?

UAC logo
UAC logo

User Account Control (UAC) can seem mysterious. After all, if I’m a member of the Administrators group, shouldn’t I have access to everything?  If you’re a developer, you’ll run into a UAC issue sooner or later.  In this post, I’ll cover the basics that every developer should know. Standard User by Default Running applications as…


Q: Why Doesn’t Drag-and-Drop work when my Application is Running Elevated? – A: Mandatory Integrity Control and UIPI

UAC logo
UAC logo

If you run notepad elevated (Right click | Run as Administrator), and you try and drag-and-drop a file from Windows Explorer, nothing happens. It looks like it is going to work because the pointer icon changes but the file doesn’t open. Weird, huh?   What’s Going On?   In the traditional NT Security model (prior…


Common Application Installer Issues on Windows 7 (and Vista)

There are some very common application installer issues developers run into due to UAC.  Most of the issues are easy to fix.  I’ll cover the most common issues in this post. Per Machine Installers Need Admin Privileges Unless you have a ClickOnce installer, your installer probably installs to a per machine location. The recommended location…


Tales of Application Compatibility Weirdness – Demystifying UAC Virtualization

We had a customer in the lab recently and they were quite certain their application was Windows 7 ready. To their surprise, it had several issues in certain situations.  In this post, I’ll talk about one of the situations they encountered as well as other stumbling blocks you might run into with UAC Virtualization. Why…


Answers to Several Application Manifest Mysteries and Questions

Recently, someone asked me this question in e-mail — “How do I get my application to run elevated when someone launches it?”   Instinctively, I responded with a “You need to manifest it.”  I got a nice long e-mail in return. 😉 I quickly realized that application manifests appear simple but are quite confusing. Manifests are…


Windows 7 Application Compatibility Testing Guidance document

If you have an existing application, you may be wondering if it’s going to work on Windows 7.  If it works on Vista, you have a good shot at it working on Windows 7. As a developer or a tester, you may be wondering if you have tested your application to uncover potential issues on…


Displaying the UAC consent dialog on the desktop

I had written a draft of this post a while ago (last year).  I use Live Writer as my blog editor.  Between Live Writer and Intellimirror,this draft has survived multiple reloads of interim builds of Windows 7.  So, I think in some ways, it deserves to be resurrected and posted. :-)  Here’s the post with…


Developing Compatible Applications for Windows 7 webcast

I know I could talk all day about application compatibility topics and not cover everything that can be discussed.  Here’s a one hour webcast  I did that focuses on the top issues and most confusing topics for Application Compatibility.  I do some of my favorite demos showing UAC architecture, data redirection, services isolation, and mandatory…


Where do I start?

When you work on a given subject for a while, you tend to jump right in and forget to start at the beginning.   In the Application Compatibility lab, we kick off the week with an overview presentation and cover the basics of common compatibility issues.  Those topics are probably a good place to start with…