Windows 8 Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm trying to figure out what has changed in PCA in Windows 8.  I've read comments on various sites about PCA being enhanced or tuned, but there aren't a lot of specifics.  Does anyone have more information on this?

    Looking in the Local Group Policy Editor on the Win8 DP, under System > Troubleshooting and Diagnostics > Application Compatibility Diagnostics, I see what appears to be PAC configuration options.  However, most of these have this description:

    "This setting exists only for backward compatibility, and is not valid for this version of Windows. To configure the Program Compatibility Assistant, use the 'Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant' setting under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Application Compatibility."

    This description shows up on settings like:

    Notify blocked drivers

    Detect application failures caused by deprecated COM objects

    Detect application install failures



    Makes it sound like PCA has been gutted or deprecated on Windows 8, but that seems contradictory.

    Thursday, December 1, 2011 10:30 PM


All replies

  • Hello Patrick Coyne,

    I was able to get to the Local Security Policy snap in. I didn't see the mention of "This settings exists only for backward compatibility".
    It does state you need to have two services running for Program Compatibility Assistant to run.
    Those services are: Diagnostic Policy Service and Program Compatibility Assistant Service.

    Also, not all functionality is working in Windows Developer Preview. I suggest you want until the Beta version is released. I have not seen documenation on this issue.



    Friday, December 2, 2011 12:03 AM
  • Hi Marilyn,

    Thanks for your response.  I've included a screen cap below with the "Detect application install failures" setting selected and the corresponding description.

    As a developer, of course my main concern is how will changes to PCA affect my product's behavior on Windows 8.  Getting a heads-up on any changes to this feature will help us hit our target of day-one compatibility with the new Windows.


    Monday, December 5, 2011 6:40 PM
  • Hello Patrick,

    I don't see your screen shot. You might need to post it again.



    Wednesday, December 7, 2011 7:48 PM
  • Marilyn,


    I've posted it here:





    Thursday, December 8, 2011 6:16 PM
  • Hey Patrick,


    Please refer to the Windows and Windows Server Developer Preview Compatibility Cookbook for information regarding the Program Compatibility Assistant as well as other factors in program compatibility:
    Windows and Windows Server Developer Preview Compatibility Cookbook

    Saturday, December 10, 2011 11:37 PM