We use Visual BASIC for DOS, ver 1.0, to compile BASIC programs on
Win 98SE and Win XP computers. The compiler doesn’t work in Vista. Is
there some way in which we can get the compiler to work under Vista? If
the programs are compiled in XP, the programs run on Vista.
Boy, now there’s a blast from the past. It’s quite possible that you
might actually be using software that I had a hand in creating, many
I can’t guarantee that this will work for any specific program (like
VB-DOS), but Vista does include some compatibility tricks that may be
able to help.
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Using Windows Explorer, locate the executable you’re attempting to
run. Typically, that’ll be somewhere in “c:\program
files\product\whatever.exe”, but since we’re talking legacy programs
here that might not be the case. I don’t recall where VB-DOS installed
itself for example.
Right click on the executable, and click on
Properties. Now click on the
that may be able to help.”
For many programs you can select Compatibility Mode
and choose a prior version of Windows that this program requires for
Partly obscured by the example above are these settings as well:
Some older programs are sensitive to these particular
characteristics, and Windows Vista allows you to specify that this
particular executable should be run with the modifications listed.
There is one potential issue that’s easy to overlook, and tools like
VB-DOS remind me of it:
There may be more than one executable involved.
For example, if I recall correctly, when you compile a program in
VB, it actually runs the compiler separately, and the compiler is a
So if the compiler has problems running in Vista, then you’ll need
to repeat this process for that executable as well. Depending on what
program you’re running, there may be additional executables as well
that could need to be configured like this.
Occasionally, I’ve also seen the options in the Compatibility tab be
grayed out. You probably need to be running as administrator to begin
with, but even so I’ve seen it grayed out at times still. My assumption
is simply that this option is not available for all programs.
In a case like that, depending on the urgency of your need, another
approach might be to actually run Windows XP (or even an older version)
in a Virtual Machine within Vista. Then you’re not just being
compatible with the older version of Windows, you’re actually running
it. Products like VMWare, Parallels, or Microsoft’s own Virtual PC can
be used to create and run virtual machines.