Software remediation resources
The resources listed below may be useful for resolving Windows 7 application compatibility issues. If you have experience of other remediation tools, please let us know so we can share the details on this site.
Where you have successfully resolved application compatibility issues please enter the remediation details into the university application compatibility database for the benefit of the IT community.
Appdeploy.com has advice and guidance on how to configure many application installs. They also provide free installation capture tools that can create msi installers.
Microsoft Application Virtualisation (AppV)
An alternative to deploying an msi is to virtualise an application and make it available as a virtual package. Although it is common to virtualise applications, this step also effectively provides remediation as applications can run with augmented rights within a sandboxed environment, minimising issues with other installed applications.
Group Policy Preferences
Adding per user registry keys and files sometimes causes problems where users have restricted rights. They can instead be supplied by the creation of group policy preferences. When this is successfully achieved, error messages from applications requiring the content are avoided.
Running applications in compatibility mode
Post installation, it is possible to right click a program's executable in Explorer and specify that it is run as being compatible with previous versions of Windows. Windows 7 then provides a more appropriate and compatible environment for the program to run in.
The Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) is a method of creating automated software installations on a Windows based system. In the context of mitigating software incompatibilities it is useful when the software being mitigated is 32-bit but the automated setup installer for the software is 16-bit, which prevents its use on a 64-bit system. NSIS allows great fidelity to creating installation files from self-extracting archives down to customising the 'scripts' it uses to build the installer to create registry keys and start menu icons which are compatible across 32- and 64-bit platforms. Further to this, the NSIS installs that are then created can also be AppV sequenced, the scripts for the software are easily edited using programs such as 'Notepad++' and guides and examples are given both online and with the software.
LUA Buglight is a tool "designed to identify the specific causes of least-privilege user account (LUA) bugs in desktop applications. Once the specific causes have been identified, the bugs can more easily be resolved by fixing the application's source code or by making configuration changes, letting the application work correctly for non-administrator users."
Microsoft Process Explorer
Useful for seeing what an application is doing when it runs and where there might be DLL-version problems.
Microsoft Process Monitor
Useful for checking which registry keys software is trying to modify when it runs.
Microsoft Standard User Analyser Wizard (SUAW)
The SUAW tool is part of the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT). The SUAW enables applications to be tested for potential compatibility issues related to the User Access Control feature in Windows 7. The wizard provides a step-by-step process for analysing an application and suggests mitigations to enable the application to run as a non-administrative user. An msi containing the mitigations can be created for deployment with the application.