Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


What changed in 8.1??

  1. #1


    Posts : 11
    Windows 7

    What changed in 8.1??


    I work for a software company that sells a graphics package based on .Net framework. We have a licensing system for serial numbers and protection as well. Our system worked on Windows XP thru 7 on both 32 and 64-bit. We also had it working on Win8 so long as the user set our program to run as the admin under the Compatibility tab. After a user updates to 8.1 the licensing system breaks. Even though the user has "activated" their serial numbers they get messages saying their registration is invalid.

    So what kind of administrative level changes did MS make in the 8.1 service pack? Our issues are only present on 64-bit systems that came with Win8 and then updated to 8.1. If a PC had 8.1 from the factory it works with our tools. Reinstalling does nothing, so clearly something in the 8.1 update changed the UAC or admin permissions. When I check user PCs WINVER says all of them are v6.3 and build 9600.

    Can anyone offer suggestions for things to look for? Our developers are stuck and we really don't know which direction to even look. Any comments would be appreciated! Thanks

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  2. #2


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    It's not a service pack by the way, its an OS upgrade. The Windows kernel was updated from 6.2 to 6.3 so technically its a new OS. I tried to hunt up something that compares one to the other but haven't had much luck. Most just list the new features added which isn't really what your after. 8 Things You Need to Know About Windows 8.1 Update | PCMag.com
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  3. #3


    Posts : 11
    Windows 7


    I guess it's not a true "service pack", but it is included as an automatic update. So when my customers call in with their problems that's what they call it. They are rubbing off on me! NOOO

    While I can guarantee something changed behind the scenes, it's extremely odd that a store bough 8.1 system works while an updated OS does not. It defies logic heh.
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  4. #4


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    This is going to sound like nit picking but, update 1 for 8.1 is an update though Windows Update. The upgrade from 8.0 to 8.1 is though the Windows Store and is not automatic. You have to go to the Store to be asked if you want it. Then select it and do it. I don't code or write Apps etc so I can't be of much help, sorry. All of my current installs are clean installs of 8.1 with update 1 via my TechNet ISO's. I've had nothing but issues with the store upgrade to 8.1 so I avoid doing it that way when I can.
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  5. #5


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2
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  6. #6


    You probably won't like this but it needs to be said.

    It appears that the application is making some invalid assumptions about the environment in which it is running or relying on undocumented behavior. These are common application compatibility issues. There have been many significant changes in Windows 8.1 and it is possible that the problem is due to one of them. Or maybe not. It may be due to a change in the OS documented by MSDN. Or maybe the application is assuming behavior that is merely an implementation detail and not part of the contract. Such behavior is subject to change at any time without notice. The Microsoft developer may have made an optimization, fixed a bug, or merely cleaned up the code. And probably unaware that it may have compatibility issues. And it wouldn't if the application was behaving properly.

    I can see one issue in the application, probably unrelated to the problem. Specifically "We also had it working on Windows 8 so long as the user set our program to run as the admin under the Compatibility tab". In the words of Raymond Chen regarding applications relying on compatibility settings: "Don't touch that knob; the knob is there for the customer, not for the program. And it's there to clean up after your mistakes, not to let you hide behind them."

    Application compatibility layers are there for the customer, not for the program - The Old New Thing - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

    The blog is by Raymond Chen, a Microsoft developer since about 1992 and active in application compatibility.

    I am only am amateur programmer but have read much about application compatibility.
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  7. #7


    Posts : 11
    Windows 7


    The big underlying issue is our software uses a sequel database, which must be granted admin permission. There is no way around it at this time. So I agree that this particular "knob" should just be left alone but it's just not possible at this stage.

    What continues to baffle me is this setup will work perfectly on a Win8.1 64-bit system that came from the store that way. But if someone upgraded from Win8 64 to 8.1, no dice. In theory, all background OS shell code should operate identical once the 8 is updated. We certainly aren't excluding fault of our developers for this issue, it's just we need to understand the WHY before we can begin to create a fix. If there are no differences according to MS, it's impossible to fix.
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  8. #8


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    An app should never be granted admin permissions. Same with the SQL dbase it uses. Looks like whomever engineered this software. Needs to go back to the drawing board.

    8.1 has made it so that it keeps problems from happening, when rogue software attempts to run elevated as admin. It is to protect the OS from the user and software. Why MS did this with 8.1.x.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 11
    Windows 7


    I know of MANY apps that use SQL and require admin rights. It was never a problem until the invention of UAC. I still agree we need to change our application to stop requiring admin permission but the point I made is still unanswered; it works on Win8 but not 8.1. We just need to know what was changed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    You will have to dig through the Technet stuff. I would contact Microsoft and work with their engineers. There are a couple of the MVP's on here and a few other boards that can help you work on figuring this out.

    Most like myself are not even digging into 8.1 at this point. Most of us are still using Windows 7 or stuff like MySQL for dbase management.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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