Program won't run on Win Server 2016 - "This app can't run on your PC"

Hello, I'm a Windows software developer (Delphi language) and I'm trying to install one of my programs on a client's newly rented machine running Windows Server 2016 64-bit (this OS is uncharted territory for me).  Even though my program is developed in 32-bit, it runs on pretty much any other Windows OS and also 64-bit systems. Tried and tested. When I try to install it on this particular system though, I get a big blue window with the message:

"This app can't run on your PC"

(see attached screenshot), see additional screenshot for specs of machine).

Could it be some heavy duty anti-virus scanner running on that machine rejecting my software? Any thoughts please?

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Sinisa VukSoftware architectCommented:
Did you try set compatibility mode (ex. win 7) for your exe?
shawn857Author Commented:
Thanks Sinisa... I did try compatibility mode of Windows 8, and also Windows XP SP2, and Windows XP SP3.... with the same error message result. Did not try Windows 7 though. Do you think it would be different?

ITSysTechSenior Systems AdministratorCommented:
Do you have administrator rights to the server? Did you try running as admin?
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shawn857Author Commented:
I just signed in remotely to troubleshoot once my client said he was having trouble... I don't know if I had admin rights or not. But I did make sure to try also "Run as Administrator" with my program but still no success.

Joe FulginitiNetwork EngineerCommented:
Can you open the event viewer and look in the application log.  You should see a corresponding event.  Can you post that?
shawn857Author Commented:
Thanks Joe. Where do I find the Event Viewer?

Joe FulginitiNetwork EngineerCommented:
from the search bar next to the start button, type eventvwr and press enter.

expand windows logs and then application log. Find the event that corresponds with the program you were trying to run.  Best thing to do is open the event viewer and then minimize it, run your program where you get the error and then refresh the event log.  The event should be on top.

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ITSysTechSenior Systems AdministratorCommented:
Are you using remote desktop to run this program?

Edit: Try running it from different locations on the server like c:\ or desktop.
Geert GOracle dbaCommented:
what does your program do ?

anything special it needs ?

did you try all these tips ?
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
Do you have any older version to test it?
First test should be to install it on win10 x64. When it runs there, take another clean server 2016 and retry.
shawn857Author Commented:
Thanks all....

Joe - I opened up the Event Viewer as you suggested and tried my launch (with the usual error occurring). It didn't put any entry in the log however. Nothing.

ITSysTech - Yes Remote Desktop. I've also tried logging in via TeamViewer. No difference. I tried moving the installation file onto the desktop and launching from there. Also no difference.

Geert - My software is not terribly exotic - just does data manipulations, modifications , sorts and searches on files of plain vanilla ascii data. I develop all my stuff on my old Windows XP 32-bit laptop (yes, I am a dinosaur), so I'm not ashamed to say I am a bit behind the times. My program uses an older version of a software protection module called "PC-Guard" ( that this OS might not like. Also, it uses an external sort utility which gets installed to the Windows folder upon installation (see attached screenshot of files).
   I tried the settings change shown in your suggested video Geert - no difference.

B.A - I tried nearly all of my softwares... they all did the same.

McKnife - I don't have a Win 10 machine here myself, I'll ask my friends if they have it and try on theirs. Thanks.

Thanks all
shawn857Author Commented:
... forgot attachment.

Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
Protected applications will work just fine under all Windows 32/64 bit operating system including the Windows 10.  Please note that you need to set "Enable access for restricted users" option in order to be able run protected applications from standard (restricted) user accounts under Vista and later operating systems.

Are Windows 64bit operating systems supported?
Yes, all Windows 64bit editions are supported. From Windows XP 64bit to latest Windows server 2012 R2 64bit.

But Windows Server 2012 R2 isn't the latest, right? So it might be a mistake.
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
You might try to change the location of the installation file. Under C:\, under C:\Users\administrator etc.
Run this installer as "Run As a Different User" and use local administrator account.

Check this out (disabling UAC): here.

Also right-click on application and Run Compatibility Troubleshooter.
You can find some official info here.
shawn857Author Commented:
Thanks B.A. - I actually don't use the latest version of PC-Guard, mine is a few years old but still works fine. It's possible that it is not compatible with Windows 2016 Server, but I would be surprised as it has worked all along for my clients who are using various Windows Server operating systems.

But anyway - update to this situation - my client talked to tech support at his VPS company and they said simply that my software had an "compatibility problem" with Windows Server 2016 and gave my client the option to have Windows 7 Server installed on the VPS instead. So he is in the process of doing that now and hopefully things will work. I will keep you posted,..

shawn857Author Commented:
Sorry for the delay responding. My client had the VPS changed over to Windows 7 Server and now everything works! So I 'm not going to try and bang my head against a wall any further on this!

I tried to give all contributors an equal amount of points but was not able to do so - had to choose a "Best" and reward 500 points.

Thank you all

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Windows Server 2016

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