Lesson 2: Application Failures

Prior to upgrading to Windows 2000, you should know from your migration plan which (if any) of your applications fail to run successfully under Windows 2000. If the applications are critical to your environment, you'll need to resolve these issues before upgrading. This lesson examines how to do this.

After this lesson, you will be able to

  • Resolve incompatibility issues.
  • Resolve issues associated with hard-coded account information in third-party applications.

Estimated lesson time: 20 minutes

Compatibility Issues

The Microsoft Windows 2000 Readiness Analyzer reports on both software and hardware incompatibilities that are likely to cause you problems. However, you should really only use the reports the Analyzer delivers as an indication of problems you're likely to encounter. Prior to migrating your enterprise to Windows 2000, you should have tested all your critical applications in the lab to see whether they run properly under the new operating system.

To reduce the amount of testing that's necessary, Microsoft has produced a directory of Windows 2000–compatible applications. You can find out whether your applications are on the list by going to www.microsoft.com/windows2000/upgrade/compat/search/software.asp and entering your application in the search box. Figure 11.8 shows the result of checking the compatibility of Microsoft Word 6.0.

click to view at full size.

Figure 11.8 Windows 2000 application compatibility search result

Applications are listed along with their current status. Table 11.3 shows the categories of applications and what the categories mean.

Table 11.2 Windows 2000 Compatibility Rating for Applications

Compatibility ratingMeaning
CertifiedThe highest-level ranking for Windows 2000 applications. The application meets the standards in the Windows 2000 application specification and has passed compatibility tests conducted by Microsoft and an independent-testing organization.
CompatibleThe independent software vendor (ISV) has tested their own application for Windows 2000 compatibility and will provide Windows 2000–related product support.
PlannedThe ISV has committed to providing a Windows 2000–compatible version of this product in the future.
CautionRead important information about this application before upgrading to Windows 2000.

If a particular application doesn't appear in this list, it doesn't mean that it won't function under Windows 2000. Only thorough testing will reveal whether the application will function properly under Windows 2000.

In a large-scale enterprise, you're likely to encounter a number of applications that won't run under Windows 2000. How these problems are resolved will depend on the following:

  • How critical the application is to the enterprise
  • Whether the application is likely to remain essential in the future
  • Whether the application was developed by a commercial software vendor or internally

For example, you might have an application that's currently critical to the enterprise and doesn't run under Windows 2000. If the application is developed by a commercial software vendor, maybe the vendor is committed to producing a new version. A solution might be to run the software currently under Windows NT 4.0 and then upgrade that computer when the new version of the software is released.


If problematic software currently runs on a Windows NT 4.0 BDC, if possible, you should move this application to a member server because leaving a BDC on the network will prevent you from switching Windows 2000 to native mode.

Software developed internally will obviously have to be modified if it is to run under Windows 2000. As for commercial software, it's worth researching Web sites for known problems and solutions or contacting the vendors directly for patches or new setup programs.

Software written for Microsoft Windows 9.x, Microsoft Windows 3.1, or MS-DOS can cause particular problems when attempting to run it under Windows 2000. In some cases, however, adjusting your Windows 2000 environment will allow these applications to run. Use the following checklist to determine whether an application can run under Windows 2000:

  • For MS-DOS applications
    • Does the application run when Windows 2000 starts in VGA mode? (Some DOS applications can't run using newer display drivers.)
    • Are the PIF settings incorrect for the application?
    • Do you require a special Autoexec.nt or Config.nt file for the application to run?
    • Do programs in the Startup folder conflict with the application?
    • Do programs specified to start in Win.ini conflict with the application?
    • Are any of the MS-DOS files—IO.SYS or MSDOS.SYS—missing from the Windows NT Virtual DOS Machine (NTVDM)? (If so, none of the MS-DOS applications will run.)
  • For Windows applications
    • Does the application require .vxd files (virtual device drivers)?
    • Does the application require a default printer to be specified?
    • Are .dll files required by the application inaccessible to it?
    • Does the program require environmental variables that aren't defined?

If the answer to any of these questions for a given application is yes, fix the problem and then see whether the application will run. If you can answer all these questions with a no and the application still won't run, you'll probably require a new version of the software to be able to use it under Windows 2000.

Third-Party Applications with Hard-Coded Account Information

If you're migrating third-party applications, they might use account information that's hard-coded. If, for example, the applications are set up to use a particular domain controller or keep information about a particular account that must be used for authentication, this information might not exist after the upgrade and would thus cause problems running the application. A number of possible solutions exist to this situation:

  • Change the hard-coded information.
  • Reinstall the application on Windows 2000.
  • Contact the vendor for an updated version of the software.

Lesson Summary

In this lesson, you learned what to do if applications fail to run under Windows 2000 and how to resolve common problems that might cause them to fail.

MCSE Training Kit (Exam 70-222. Migrating from Microsoft Windows NT 4. 0 to Microsoft Windows 2000)
MCSE Training Kit (Exam 70-222): Migrating from Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 to Microsoft Windows 2000 (MCSE Training Kits)
ISBN: 0735612390
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2001
Pages: 126

flylib.com © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: flylib@qtcs.net