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  • HOW TO: Find 16-bit applications in your ACT inventory

    Posted on April 14th, 2011 By Andreas Stenhall + 2 comments

    When companies deploy Windows 7 most of them are looking at the 64-bit version of Windows 7. This architecture of Windows does not support running 16-bit applications, which unfortunately still is widely in use. If you do an inventory with ACT (Application Compatibility Toolkit) it will inventory all executables as well as CMD files and some other stuff and it will contain information about 16-bit applications lying around and being used by the users in your business.

    The trick is that the GUI does not provide a way to view these applications so you have to turn to doing a SQL query using for instance the SQL Management Studio Express tools. Use the SQL Query below to get information on any none 32- or 64-bit executable. The query (thanks to Chris Jackson) will return for instance WOW (Windows on Windows) or DOS applications and that will/might indicate a 16-bit app which you should prioritize to test and handle as necessary.


    SELECT DISTINCT Applications.appName, Static_App_Properties.fileName, fileModuleType

    FROM Static_App_Properties
    INNER JOIN Application_Instance_Files
    ON Static_App_Properties.identity_hash = Application_Instance_Files.filePropertyID
    INNER JOIN Applications
    ON Application_Instance_Files.appID = Applications.identity_hash

    WHERE fileModuleType<>'32BIT' AND fileModuleType<>'64BIT' AND propertyType='File'

    ORDER BY appName

    Happy hunting for 16-bit applications! :)


    2 responses to “HOW TO: Find 16-bit applications in your ACT inventory”

    1. Another really easy way to detect applications that will / won’t work on 64-bit platforms is to use an automated application compatibility tool. Here at ChangeBASE we have developed a tool called AOK, which allows you to determine if an application will work on a given platform – e.g. Windows 7 64-bit. AOK allows you to load the application’s installation media into its database, which will analyse all of the files, their header information, properties and dependencies.

      This information will not only allow you to assess for any Windows 7 related issues and fix them where possible, but it will also pick up any 16-bit files and also (very important) any 16-bit APIs, which will also not work on 64-bit platforms. Other related checks which are also very important are around drivers that are not written for usage with 64-bit Windows; Virtual DOS Machine functions (which obviously require 16-bit support), PAE and AWE extension handlers for memory optimisation (No longer supported on 64-bit) and Video Acceleration functions.

      You can load in 100s of applications within a matter of minutes or hours and assess them for compatibility within a few minutes.

      We can also help you identify virtualisation issues as well as any IE8/9 issues with your web applications.

      I would be very happy to run a few sample apps through for you, or you are very welcome to use our AOKLite solution for free:

      Please feel free to contact me at sophie.tidman@changebase.com if you have any further questions.

    2. […] Luckily there is a way to find them with another SQL query, checkout (and credits to): http://www.theexperienceblog.com/2011/04/14/how-to-find-16-bit-applications-in-your-act-inventory […]

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