Restricted or locked-down Machines
Many School and Universities lock machines down to keep them more secure, and to avoid viruses and corruption or the base install, and this can cause errors when trying to run GameMaker programs. While Game Maker itself will run, the programs being written will not; due to how it creates them internally. This is because Game Maker requires user level access to the directory pointed to the environment variable TEMP and without it, can't build games for testing.
To get around this, you can redirect TEMP briefly while running Game Maker. Simply create a new text file and add these lines.
set TEMP=C:\user_temp set TMP=C:\user_temp "C:\Program Files (x86)\Game_Maker8\Game_Maker.exe"
C:\user_temp is simply a directory where the user has write permissions, and "C:\Program Files\Game_Maker8\" is where you can find the Game Maker executable. (or"C:\Program Files (x86)\Game_Maker8\Game_Maker.exe" on 64bit machines, but this depends where you've installed Game Maker ).
You must then rename the text file to something like GM8.bat and get users to run that instead. This should allow Game Maker to find a safe writable location for it's internal operation, and allow normal game development.
Problems with 64 bit versions of Windows.
Both Game maker 7 and Game Maker 8 appear to have issues running on the 64 bit versions of Windows. This seems to be a common issue with many 32 bit applications. Running the 64 bit versions of Windows in "32 bit compatibility mode" doesn't seem to help.
A way that seems to fix Game Maker 8 not loading is to disable DEP (Data Execution Prevention) for Gamemaker 8 Under: Advanced System Settings>Performance Settings>DEP (If you can't find it, open windows help and support on your start menu and type DEP into the search. Quote from a Windows 7 64-bit user "Game Maker had suddenly stopped working on my computer, and after 3 months of searching, I lost hope. About 6 months later, I found this fix and applied it; Game Maker is working fine again."
Another fix if this doesn't work is to install a windows 32-bit OS (linux doesn't support .exe very well) onto Virtual Box (http://www.virtualbox.org/). It allows you to install Windows XP on a "virtual machine" and then you can run GM8 under XP. Quote from one user "It takes a little while to install, but it has solved the problem. Now I can run other 32 bit applications that did not work well on the Windows 7 64 bit system."
Making really old games work
Games created with Game Maker versions 6.0 and 6.1 are not compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. (Games created with later versions should work without problems.) The best you can do is upgrade GameMaker:Studio before you create the final version of your game.
However, if this is impossible, there is a little tool to convert games created with versions 6.0 and 6.1 into a file that is compatible with Windows Vista, 7 and 8. The tool can be downloaded here:
Please understand that this tool is provided AS IS without any warranty. It is just a quick hack and should be used with care. Always first make a copy of your game.
Please realize that you are not allowed to redistribute converted games unless you are the creator or copyright holder of the original game.