Friday, 11 February, 2005

Enabling Windows 2000 compatibility mode

Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 introduced "compatibility mode," wherein you can make the operating system act like a previous version for a particular program. For example, my game TriTryst was designed for Windows 95, and has trouble running under Windows 2000 because of a change to the Registry API. But if I create a shortcut and set the compatibility mode to Windows 95, the program works.

That's all great, except that for some reason the user interface to access compatibility mode doesn't get enabled by default when you install Windows 2000 Service Pack 2. I kept getting messages from people who read my TriTryst installation instructions and said that they had no compatibility mode. I'd reply with a message telling them to install SP2, and since I never heard back I figured that they'd solved the problem. Perhaps not, as my friend Steve sent me such a message yesterday and when I told him to install SP2 he informed me that even with SP4 he didn't have have compatibility mode.  Huh?

It's been so long since I installed Service Pack 2 that I forgot about having to enable compatibility mode in a separate step. The instructions for enabling and using the compatibility mode user interface are published in this Microsoft Knowledge Base article.

Another thing to add to my TriTryst installation page, which is one of the most popular pages on the site. I often wonder if the people visiting the site actually have the game, or if they got there while looking for something else.