Accessing information about compatibility

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Accessing information about compatibility

There are several ways to assess the readiness of your system and to make sure that your hardware and software will run properly.

  • Compatible Hardware and Software
    You can search the Compatible Hardware and Software area in Help and Support Center to find compatibility information about specific products. You can search by manufacturer or by product, or your can browse through the list of hardware and software devices to see if your device is compatible or if it needs an update. For more information, see Compatible Hardware and Software overview.
  • Program Compatibility Wizard
    This wizard prompts you to test a program in different modes (environments) and with various settings. For example, if the program was originally designed to run on Windows 95, set the compatibility mode to Windows 95 and try running the program again. If this is successful, the program will start in that mode every time. You can also run the Program Compatibility Wizard on the setup file for a program.
  • Compatibility Mode
    Compatibility Mode provides an environment for running applications that more closely reflects the behavior of Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, or Windows 2000 operating systems. These modes resolve several of the most common issues that prohibit older applications from working correctly on the Windows Server 2003 family of products. Applications that experience problems after migration may benefit from being started in one of these compatibility environments. You can also use Compatibility Mode to provide solutions for your own applications.
  • Microsoft Web site
    You can search for compatible computers, hardware devices, and software applications at the Microsoft Web site. For more information, see Hardware compatibility information in the Windows Catalog (search page) at the Microsoft Web site.


  • To get the most current compatibility information when using Compatible Hardware and Software in Help and Support Center, you must be connected to the Internet.

  • Compatible Hardware and Software in Help and Support Center is not necessarily a complete list of programs and devices that are compatible with this release. It is a collection of products for which test data has been submitted to Microsoft. If you do not find a specific product, you can contact the manufacturer and ask the manufacturer about registering its product in the Windows Logo Program.