Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can't get rid of Program Compatibility Assistant

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Can't get rid of Program Compatibility Assistant


    I'm trying to set up Virtual PC 2007 SP1 on Windows 8.1 Pro with Update.

    By default, the Program Compatibility Assistant blocks this with the following notice:

    Click image for larger version

    The easy way to get around this is to rename the installer and then rename the main EXE that gets installed. There are a few other tricks (including replacing VMM.sys) and then it works. However, the EXE rename appears to be affecting my ability to double-click on a VM to start it so I thought it would be nice to just disable PCA altogether so I don't have to rename the EXE. Following the various instructions (including some from Microsoft), I haven't been able to disable PCA. Specifically, I have:

    1) Attempted to create an EXE exclusion by editing the registry and creating a REG_MULTI_SZ value called "ExecutablesToExclude" with the full path to the Virtual PC.exe excutable in the following registry locations:
    - HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Compatibility Assistant
    - HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Compatibility Assistant

    2) Changed the following Group Policy settings:
    - Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Application Compatibility:
    Enabled "Turn off Application Compatibility Engine"
    Enabled "Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant"
    - User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Application Compatibility
    Enabled "Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant"

    3) Stopped and disabled the following services:
    - Application Experience
    - Diagnostic Policy Service
    - Program Compatibility Assistance Service

    Despite doing all of this, I keep getting the error popup above. It keeps coming back from the dead like {insert your favorite horror movie villain here}.

    In the Event Viewer logs, I also see a "Critical" error (event ID 2) from source "ApplicationExperienceInfrastucture" that says "The application (Virtual PC 2007 SP1, from vendor Microsoft) was hard-blocked and raised the following: Virtual PC 2007 SP1 is not supported on this version of Windows. For more information, contact Microsoft."

    I'm guessing that Microsoft changed PCA in the Windows 8.1 Update but hasn't documented the changes yet. Does anyone have any ideas how to fully disable PCA?

    Thanks a million in advance!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)


    That program was designed to work in the NT kernel for Vista and that time-frame.

    The newer OS's have a totally different kernel - why do you think it will work without some sort of compatibility issues?

    Use a newer virtual machine - for example, the free VirtualBox from Oracle.

    2007 was a few OS generations ago...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Hi Arachnaut,

    I know its old but I still have some old VMs that I'd need to access from time to time. I use VMware for my newer ones.

    I've been using VPC 2007 on Windows 7 with no problems for years and I didn't think the Windows 8 kernel was *that* different from 7. I've seen several reports of users getting it to work and I've gotten it to work fine, minus the "double-click on a VM to auto-start it" thing.

    Any ideas how I can turn off PCA?

    Thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)


    Don't know...

    Windows 7 is kernel NT 6.1
    Windows 8 is kernel NT 6.2
    Windows 8.1 is NT 6.3

    Seems like a lot of changes to me...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    VMWARE can convert VPC VM's to VMWARE format -- why not give it a go.

    https://www.vmware.com/support/ws5/d..._importer.html

    VMWARE player is so much better than VPC I'm surprised anybody still uses it -- even on W8 with XP MODE there are posts enabling you to extract the embedded XP machine plus key and create a separate functioning XP VM.

    How to Run Windows XP for Free in Windows 8 (Legal, Ms stuff no torrents).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Hi jimbo45,

    I totally agree and already use VMware for all my newer VMs. However, it would be nice to not have to go through the hassle of transitioning a few dozen older test VMs from VPC to VMware (including likely re-activation as the hardware will change).

    Regards,
    lunadesign
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Dear Moderator - I just noticed this post was moved from the "Installation & Setup" forum to the "Virtualization" forum but this question is much more about the PCA mechanism in Windows 8.1 than it is about virtualization, per se.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    I suppose they thought that your main problem was in starting your Virtual Machines. I really wouldn't bother with Virtual PC any more either. I think that's the general consensus of people using virtual machines on this Forum too.

    BTW to create Virtual machines in VMware / vbox you simply install VMware / vbox first (one time), start it up and then create a virtual machine using the wizard - just follow the screen instructions. If you want to use an EXISTING virtual machine created by Virtual PC - simply CONVERT the VM to the required format (VMware / vbox) and then just open it in the relevant VMware / vbox program.

    After powering on the VM for the first time install either VMware tools or vbox additions to optimize mouse control, sound, video and other enhancements to the vm's performance. For instance you can run in FULL SCREEN a Windows 98 virtual machine on a 50 inch monitor -- back in the days of Windows 98 you would only get VGA (640 X 480) as a maximum so without the additions / VMware tools you'll only see a tiny rectangle on your huge monitor with really jagged fonts too !!.

    Re-activation shouldn't be a problem -- you can probably move these to "new machines" -- activate by phone - just don't tell Ms that these are Virtual machines or you'll confuse the Call centre. For Windows 98 there are Generic keys on the web as this OS is now considered "Abandonware".

    https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...1223549AAp0llb

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    AVG kept telling me I couldnt have java updates! Now back on 8.1 it seems to have stopped and java is now updated.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Can't get rid of Program Compatibility Assistant
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