Can't run 16-bit Windows Program Installation Error (NETIQKB42937)

  • 7742937
  • 02-Feb-2007
  • 03-Feb-2011


NetIQ AppManager 6.x
NetIQ AppManager 7.0.x


Performance Endpoint gives installation error.

Error: 'Can't run 16-bit Windows Program'


This problem may be solved by moving the setup file to a location which does not use long names in its path components (For example, the root of drive C.) and running it from there. If this does not solve the problem, a change to a registry value is required.

The NTFS file system (introduced in Windows NT and used by Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003) automatically creates 8.3 "short" file names and stores them along with the NTFS "long" name. Although the short names are not visible when you browse the file system, they are present, and you may see them in some path values stored in the system registry, or displayed in setup programs. This duplication, which only affects long file and directory names, results in a slightly increased overhead when creating a new file or directory, however it is required for compatibility with older applications. Unfortunately even some newer programs, released well after the introduction of "long" file names on Windows, rely on support for short file names in order to be compatible with the widest possible range of operating systems and file systems. This includes the InstallShield software used by Cloanto applications which do not use Windows Installer (MSI) technology.

The creation of 8.3-compliant short names on NTFS partitions is controlled by a registry value, which by default is set to enable the creation of short names.

If the following value is set to 1 then short file names are not created:


If the value is missing, or set to 0, then short file names are created:


A reboot is required for the change to fully take effect. The change has no effect on existing files and directories (it only affects new writes). To create short names for files and directories which are already on the hard disk it is necessary to force this data to be rewritten, e.g. with a backup/restore.


The InstallShield software used for installation may exhibit this problem on operating systems where the creation of short file names has been disabled. For example, by setting the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation registry value to 1.

Additional Information

Formerly known as NETIQKB42937