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Windows 2000 emulating another operating system

I am supporting a network where we would really like to upgrade to Windows 2000 Pro and Server; however, we have one semi major problem. We use software called Visual PRO/5. This software is a GUI interface for an inventory/accounting program that does not support Windows 2000 and by the sounds of it, it isn't planning to anytime soon. I have heard a rumor about the ability of Win2K to emulate other operating systems such as Windows 98, which we are currently using. The purpose is to allow programs like this to run while allowing the use of Windows 2000 Pro. Is this true and if it is how is it accomplished?

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Yes, there is a way to resolve some of the common problems. On a Win2K Pro machine, install the Support Tools and run the SupportToolsSetup.exe from the Windows 2000 Professional CD. Then under the Start Menu | Programs | Windows 200 Support Tools | Tools you will see the Application Compatibility Tool. This tool will allow you to emulate to a small degree other operating systems, memory systems, etc. You can save the configuration with the program so it always runs in this mode. This solution may solve some of the problems but perhaps not all. Other common problems have to do with changes to the Windows 2000 Security. Standard Users do not have access to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, which some applications erroneously try to write to during normal operation. You will need to find the registry keys and alter the permissions so that your users can access them. Alternatively, you can make all of your users administrators which I personnel don't like to do.

This was first published in April 2001

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