JSI Tip 4846. How can I script compatibility layers in Windows XP?

Tips 4652, 4454, and 4787 deal with the Windows XP application compatibility features.

Windows XP compatibility fixes can be used individually or in ready-to-use compatibility layers, which have been defined for a number of common configurations.

To apply compatibility layers in a script, the syntax is:

set __COMPAT_LAYER=\[!\]layer_name1 \[layer_name2 ...\]
NOTE: The variable name is double-underscoreCOMPATunderscoreLAYER.


! - The layer should NOT to added to existing fixes in the database.

Layer_name - The short name of the compatibility layer.

NOTE: set __COMPAT_LAYER= disables the environment variable.

The short name of the compatibility layers are:

  • DisableThemes - Disable Visual Themes

  • ProfilesSetup - Profile Setup Support

  • 256Color - 256 Color

  • 640x480 - 640 x 480 Screen Resolution

  • Win95 - Windows 95

  • Win98 - Windows 98 / Windows Me

  • Win2000 - Windows 2000

  • NT4SP5 - Windows NT 4.0 SP 5

Scripting ensures that the compatibility layer is passed on recursively to any spawned process. At the point in the script where the compatibility layer is NOT needed, use the set __COMPAT_LAYER= command.

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