Cool Solutions

XP-ize your Vista


March 28, 2008 3:58 pm





OK, this sounds really corny, but the title is the best way I can explain what I did to “tame” my Vista Ultimate beast and make it actually usable for me and my wife who was absolutely terrified of using it on her new PC.

The solution was mainly created by a need. The need was to run… ummm… a certain game on my Vista box. I played that game on my XP Pro system several times a week and Vista was not going to stop me from playing it.

After trying to re-install most all of my applications, I realized early-on that I had to update or upgrade to the latest version of the application first. This is obvious, but our nature is to use what works and new stuff usually have a different look and feel. Yet, I realized that something that was version 6.0 and was sold in 2004, needed to get upgraded to version 9.0 !

Yet, the games remain the same and short of some patches every now and again, there are hardly any updates, unless if you move to a higher version # of the game which is a different experience altogether.

After reinstalling the game, naturally it did not work. Uninstalling and reinstalling it gave the same result. For days I played with the “Compatibility” option of the system, color and background setting, DirectX settings and many other things, but I was still on square one.

Based on nights of research, I found a small section of the “Security Policy” of Vista which made my system to completely behave like an XP, without security questions, without any limitation of software security elevation limit, etc. Please remember that this is for more experienced users who like to open the hood and get to the engine of Vista. If you’re a novice user, I don’t recommend doing this. Second disclaimer is that these settings actually modify your Vista’s built-in security settings, so please use it at your discretion.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Click on Windows (where Start used to be)
  2. In the search box, type “Security Policy”
  3. Highlight the Security Policy administrator and execute it.
  4. Click the triangle next to Local Policies
  5. Click on the Security Options
  6. Scroll all the way down, until you see the section that contains “User Account Control”
  7. Make sure that the following has these values, by double clicking on each option and changing the setting:
    • User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administration account
    • User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode
      Elevate without prompting
    • User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompts for standard users
      Prompt for credentials
    • User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation
    • User Account Control: Only elevate executables that are signed and validated
    • User Account Control: Only elevate UIAccess applications that are installed in secure locations
    • User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode
    • User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation
    • User Account Control: Virtualize file and registry write failures to per-user locations

These few settings have made my Vista experience to go from level 2 to level 10. Most all applications that I place on my system install and uninstall properly and I have no issues running any application on my Vista Ultimate. I can finally enjoy the ultimate experience, and it’s quite pleasing.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Micro Focus. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

1 Comment

  1. By:kennonk

    You totally forgot the part where you point IE7 to and download the latest ISO, and install it. During installation don’t forget to delete the Vista partition.

    Otherwise, great tips 😉