Dusting off command line for Vista

On January 26, 2008, in Vista, by

<cue Prince’s song “1999”>

So if you were concerned about not being able to run older applications on your Vista there’s a few tricks that you have to learn… the first one is command line.  Yup, good old fashioned command line.  You know that DOS prompt stuff from years ago.

Try to install a vintage 2002 Lacerte from browsing to the mapped drive and installing it from there and you get an error:

BUT!  Drop to the command line and attempt to do the very same thing and you get a fully functional Lacerte (well granted there are things that have “broken” over the years even in XP… like online help is obviously non functional, but printing works perfectly).

I went back as far as I could and the year that doesn’t like Vista and complains about a config.sys file is 1997 Lacerte (written for Windows 95).

I’ll have to fire that one up in a XP and see how it runs, but bottom line I can go back as far at 1998 just merely by installing the programs from an administrator elevated command line.  I’ll have to next see if I can do some config.sys file= changes and see if I can get even farther back on this Vista.  We actually have tax software back to the DOS years of 1986 and in those days to end the program you typed in END.  A couple of years back then had these funky ‘pif’ files as well.  In fact this machine may now have the most complete set of tax years yet as on the other XPs in the fleet, I’ve not taken the time to reinstall all of the old years until we needed them.

While it worked the best to run the command line install from the “Run as administrator” prompt, I found that I didn’t need this registry key: 

Error message when you try to access a mapped drive that is mapped to a Windows XP-based computer from a Windows Vista-based computer: “System error 5 has occurred”:

And this one was already in the system:

After you turn on User Account Control in Windows Vista, programs may be unable to access some network locations:

Now why did I need a 1999 vintage Tax software besides memories of Prince and the Revolution’s song “1999”?  Because while we certainly update software every year, there are times we have clients that come in that have not filed their tax returns in years.  This was an exercise to see how far back I could get old software to run on Vista.  So for all those who have accounting clients, or are an Accounting firm, old software does run on Vista.

P.S. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009113 three matching 24 inch widescreen monitors are to die for on Vista.  Prince would approve.

P.P.S. Bill Whitson from Intuit posted this link — http://www.lacertesoftware.com/pdf/2007InstallGuide.pdf


3 Responses to Dusting off command line for Vista

  1. Arne Lovius says:

    Sure you were’nt trying to start the installer from a UNC path instead of a mapped drive ?

  2. bradley says:

    Nope…mapped drive.

  3. Dean says:

    “Because while we certainly update software every year, there are times we have clients that come in that have not filed their tax returns in years”

    I’m a little confused here. Doesn’t that mean that they are supposed to be going to prison ? Or does the IRS now let us file when we feel like it ?