Installing and Using Generations Software in Windows NT

Tip version: 32.4

Modified date: 13 May 2001

Software versions: All

Sierra's Generations Software is not officially supported on the Windows NT operating system, but it does work on that platform.


1) Installation

A) Generations v4.2

B) Generations Grande Suite v5.2 [VERY IMPORTANT]

C) Generations v6, v7m, v8, v8.5

D) Generations Heritage Edition (v5.2)

E) Heritage Quest database programs

2) Notes

A) Generations v4.2

B) Generations v5.2

C) Generations v6, v7m, v8, v8.5

D) Common to all v5.2+

E) Common to all v6+


1A) Generations v4.2.

There are no problems in installing this package under Windows NT.

1B) Generations Grande Suite v5.2 [VERY IMPORTANT]

***** BEFORE YOU START *****

There is a major problem with installing Generations Grande Suite v5.2 on Windows NT. The installation script overwrites the comctl32.dll file in the winnt\system32 with an unsuitable replacement. This will prevent you from rebooting Windows NT unless you take precautions. One fundamental precaution is to save a copy of the vital comctl32.dll file from the winnt\system32 directory to a floppy diskette.

The solution is quite simple IF IT IS DONE BEFORE REBOOTING YOUR SYSTEM after installing GGS v5.2! Simply open up Windows Explorer and go to the winnt\system32 directory. You will see two comctl32 files listed there, the existing comctl32.dll file and the proposed replacement, as comctl32.1. When Windows NT reboots it will replace the existing .dll file with the .1 file. Prevent this by DELETING the comctl32.1 file.


Other possible solutions if you did not delete the incorrect version of comctl32.dll and now cannot reboot to Windows NT. If you have an additional copy of the comctl32.dll file on your disk or on a diskette and have a dual-boot system, simply boot to Windows 95 or MS-DOS and recopy the correct comctl32.dll file to the winnt\system32 directory. The ERD Commander Pro program lets you boot to a command prompt under Windows NT, so this would also let you recopy the proper comctl32.dll file.

Winternal's NTFSDOS with NTFSDOS Tools programs will let you access NTFS formatted disks from DOS and this will let you copy the file if your winnt directory is on an NTFS disk or partition. These can be used even when booting to MS-DOS from a floppy disk.


What can you do if you did not save a copy of the comctl32.dll file? This file is found, as "comctl32.dl_" on the Windows NT 4.0 workstation disk in directory "\I386". This needs to be expanded to the full version using the "expand.exe" program found in the same directory. Using the either the Run box in Windows 95 enter the command "Expand.exe comctl32.dl_ comctl32.dll", with the suitable directory locations prefixed as appropriate. One may also open an MS-DOS Prompt box and use the same command.

Note that the old MS-DOS versions of expand.exe will not uncompress the file properly. Note further that this is a copy of the distribution CD version of the dll file and does not reflect any changes in subsequent Service Pack Releases. If you have installed a Service Pack it needs to be reapplied.

If you are booting from an NTFS disk partition and do not have any of the tools mentioned above and have not taken any of the precautions, YOU WILL HAVE TO REINSTALL NT

1C) Generations v6, v7m, v8, v8.5.

This software installs without any particular complications on Windows NT systems, even when Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 is already installed.

1D) Generations Heritage Edition (v5.2)

This software is at the v5.2 level but the installer script has been fixed so that the comctl32.dll file is not overwritten by an incorrect version. Neither Mike Hobart nor Don Weymouth has this particular version of the software so we do not have personal experience with it. There have been no reports of installation problems relating to the comctl32.dll file.

1E) Heritage Quest database viewer programs There are several programs used by the different Heritage Quest database CDs on the different packages.

(a) The Digital Microfilm Viewer, "famqdm.exe" which is used to view the Digital Microfilm CDs (3 sample CDs of these in the Generations Grande Suite v6 package). These CDs do not have an index database on them. This installs and runs properly under Windows NT.

(b) The Digital Microfilm Reader, "HQviewer.exe" which is used to view the Census Index CDs. In addition to the digital images of these census indices there is an index database. This installs and runs properly under Windows NT.

(c) The Family Archives program, "famquest.exe" which is used with the Heritage Quest database CDs. This does not run under Windows NT (Windows 95/98 only). This affects CDs #17, 18, and 19 (in part) in the Generations Millenium edition.


2A) Generations v4.2.

There are no problems in running this package under Windows NT.

2B) Generations Grande Suite v5.2

If you have a problem with printing - "not enough space on the disk" - with an NTFS partition > 4 Gb in size, then write to and he will supply you with an executable which fixes the problem. Another recommended solution is to apply the ggs52to6010.exe patch file to upgrade the software to v6.

2C) Generations v6, v7m, v8, v8.5.

It appears that there is a problem in sending reports directly to a word processor when you are running on a large NTFS partition (> 4 Gb). The workaround is to save the report to an RTF file, then open that file with the wordprocessor. This was reported with the v6 release. Further information from users of the later versions would be appreciated.

2D) Common to v5.2 and above

Easychart color palette problem - The Easychart program has problems with the Windows NT color palette. A newly created chart will be displayed on your screen with a dark color fill in the boxes and a dark grey text color. If you open any of the color palettes you will see it with most of the colors as black and only a limited selection visible in color in the top row of the palette box. Paradoxically, the chart will print out the colors properly at this time. If the chart is saved, closed, and reopened, the colors displayed will look as they do under Windows 95/98. The color palette will also show the full selection range. Unfortunately, the printed colors will now have the complementary situation of dark box fills and grey print. Images pasted into the chart will print properly in both situations. Limited workarounds are to use one of the "Reverse" presets for the color pattern (you have to live with the fact that it will not look the same on the screen) or to use no colors and select black boxes with white text within them. These will print as white boxes with black text.

2E) Common to v6 and above

Graphical file saves to Enhanced Metafiles (.emf) in v6+ will have the correct color palette at all times.

The Timeline charts do not suffer from the color palette problems discussed above. They will display and print properly at all times.

Regards, Mike Hobart and Don Weymouth

Copyright © 1999-2001 Michael A. Hobart and Donald Weymouth, commercial reuse restricted.

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