I have a program that is designed to run on Windows XP - Windows 7. I need to get it installed on Windows Server 2003 but it comes up and says:

You cannot install on this version of windows.

Not very descriptive and not very helpful. I tried getting it to work with compatibility mode, but no luck.

My specific question is, is there a wrapper I can run or something I can do so that the program thinks for all intents and purposes that it's running on Windows XP?

It seems to be a custom (.exe) installer, I tried extracting the contents and I didn't get anything useful to indicate what it was.

  • 1
    Knowing which installer (MSI, InstallShield, etc) would be incredibly helpful.
    – jscott
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 20:01
  • @jscott added to question.
    – Tyler C
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 20:02
  • 1
    I'm in a struggle! Windows Server 2003 extended support ended on July 14, 2015. The big picture in this question is quite interesting and somewhat relevant, but using clearly EOL software & a program against how it was designed to be used makes this generally off-topic. Commented May 4, 2017 at 21:34
  • 2
    Does this program install DLL, or drivers? If not, you could possibly just copy the files from a XP install to the 2003 server. There are also 3rd party programs you can use that will snapshot the before/after states of an install and show you want an installer is doing, if you are lucky that can be used to force an install on an unsupported system.
    – Zoredache
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 21:51
  • @Zoredache I did try that, but it's got too many parts for me to be able to do a lot of that. I was sort of hoping for a wrapper to run the program in, but have found nothing. I even considered attaching a debugger and jumping forward past the OS check. (Last resort, but I may not do that at all now) Thanks though, I may try the snapshot program before hand though.
    – Tyler C
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 19:15


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