Installing and Using Generations Software in Windows XP

Tip version: 59.0

Modified date: 16 Feb 2002

Software versions: All

Sierra's Generations software is not officially supported on the Windows XP operating system, but it does work on that platform. These tests have been run using the Windows XP Professional release. These are based on my personal observations and tests but these are NOT comprehensive (for example I do not have a copy of Windows XP Home Edition). They should be taken as indications only and I cannot be held responsible for differing results on your own system.


1) Installation

A) Generations v4.2

B) Generations v5.2

C) Generations v6 and above

D) Heritage Quest database programs

2) Notes

A) Generations v4.2

B) Generations v5.2 only

C) Generations v5.2 and above

D) Generations v6 and above


1A) Generations v4.2

No problems installing the v4.2 software.

1B) Generations v5.2

No problems installing the v5.2 software (either the original Generations Grande Suite or the Generations Heritage Edition v5.2). Windows XP uses a "protection" scheme to ensure that crucial system files (such as comctl32.dll) are not overwritten by application software.

1C) Generations v6 and above

No problems installing the v6 and above software.

1D) 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 XP.

(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 XP.

(c) The Family Archives program, "famquest.exe" which is used with the Heritage Quest database CDs. This does not run under Windows XP, nor for that matter Windows 2000 or 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 XP.

2B) Generations v5.2 (only)

This version of the software has a bug that incorrectly reports free disk space on drive partitions greater than 4 Gb in size. It will incorrectly report that there is not enough free disk space.

Solution - apply the free v5.2 to v6 upgrade available from the Sierra web stie.

2C) Generations v5.2 and above

Easychart color palette problem. The Easychart program has problems with the Windows XP color palette. These are essentially the same problems that occur under Windows NT and Windows 2000 and are also caused by the differences between the Windows 95/98 Application Programming Interface (API) and that of Windows NT/2000/XP. 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. 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.

2D) Generations 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

Copyright © 1999-2002 Michael A. Hobart, commercial reuse restricted.

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