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Remove Compatibility Mode settings from the registry

Article ID: 139
Last updated: 30 Oct, 2013
Views: 53000

A Compatibility Mode setting can cause problems when you try to install WinZip. An internal error, which reports Unexpected Win32 API Failure, may occur. In the error log file produced by this issue, the description File:fileid.c will appear. This is caused when your operating system thinks that it is Windows 98 or Windows 95, due to the compatibility mode setting for WinZip.

If there is a version of WinZip already installed:

  1. Right click a WinZip shortcut (on the desktop, on the Start menu, etc.) or right click winzip32.exe in the WinZip folder in Program Files or in Program Files (x86)
  2. Choose Properties and click the Compatibility tab
  3. In this tab, remove any and all check marks

Specifically for this issue, you should remove the check from the box next to Run this application in compatibility mode and click OK. Once this is done, WinZip should install and run without an issue.

Even if an older version of WinZip has been uninstalled, a compatibility mode setting may still be involved. It is Windows that writes this setting in the registry. WinZip does not check for this Windows setting or remove it when it uninstalls. If WinZip is not installed and you are seeing this issue occur, please try the following to remove the setting involved:

    1. Open the Registry Editor
      Windows 8:
      1. Open to or change to the Start menu screen
      2. Type: REGEDIT (this will show in the Search page)
      3. Press the Enter key on the keyboard
      Windows 7 and Windows Vista
      1. From the taskbar, click on the Start button
      2. Directly above Start, type: REGEDIT
      3. Press the Enter key on the keyboard
    2. Click Yes in the User Account Control dialog (if necessary)
    3. In HKEY_CURRENT_USER browse to:
      Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers
      To do this, click the triangle or plus sign next to each item listed until you get to Layers
    4. Click Layers to select it
      Note: You may want to look in the right pane to see if things besides WinZip are listed and you may need to expand the Name column to see the path (this is usually C:\Program Files\WinZip\winzip32.exe); if multiple items are listed, click just the WinZip one to select it
    5. Press Delete on the keyboard
    6. Click Yes in the Confirm Key Delete dialog.

    If you encounter any other issues or if you have any questions, please email
    Technical Support.

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