Identify Applications That Do Not Run Correctly in Windows 7

Updated: June 15, 2010

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

The Standard User Analyzer helps you identify applications that do not run correctly in Windows 7. The Standard User Analyzer is part of the Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5.

Before you begin, complete the following prerequisites:

  • Establish a dedicated and isolated test environment for use in developing and testing application compatibility mitigation. The test environment should mirror your production environment as closely as possible. You should use a new installation of Windows 7 when you test an applied mitigation. For more information about setting up a test environment, see "Microsoft ACT: Phase 3 – Testing and Mitigating Issues." This document is included in the folder in the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 (

  • The Application Verifier is a prerequisite for the Standard User Analyzer installation. Download and install the Microsoft Application Verifier in the Microsoft Download Center (

  • After installing the Application Verifier, download and install the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 in the Microsoft Download Center (

The following procedure demonstrates how to use the Standard User Analyzer to identify administrative applications that do not run correctly on Windows 7.

To identify application compatibility problems

  1. Log on to a computer running Windows 7 as a standard user.

  2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5, click Developer and Tester Tools, and then click Standard User Analyzer.

  3. In Target Application, specify the full directory path for an application to test, or click Browse to locate the executable file.

  4. Click Launch, and then provide administrator credentials at the User Account Control credential prompt.

  5. After the application starts, perform the full suite of tests that you typically use to test an application. Close the application when you finish.

  6. In the Standard User Analyzer, examine the output on each tab. Use this data to identify the compatibility issues that the application may have.

    1. Click the File tab, and then review the file information, specifically the Work with Virtualization column.

      A value of Yes in this column indicates that any attempt to write to the file is virtualized with the Program Compatibility Assistant in Windows 7. Virtualization can fix the issue for some applications until the application developers update the application.

    2. On the View menu, click Detailed Information, and then review the information, including the Stack Trace details area. Developers can review the Stack Trace information to locate where in their code the bug is located.

    3. Click the Registry tab, and then review the registry-related issues.

    4. Click the Privilege tab, and then review the privilege-related issues.

    5. Click the Name Space tab, and then review the name space–related issues.

    6. Click the Other Objects tab, and then review the object-related issues.

You can also run Application Verifier tests as administrator if the program does not run without the administrator token. For example, if the application encounters an access violation and exits while running as a standard user, you have tested only the code paths up to the access violation. If you run the same application as an administrator, you can, in some cases, pass the access violation and exercise the remaining code paths. The logs still depict those operations that normally fail when running as a standard user.

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