This article is from the alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++ Frequently Asked Questions. Compiled by Sunil Rao firstname.lastname@example.org.
This question is, strictly speaking, off-topic, but is answered here since it's one that seems to plague many beginners.
To start with, you need to make sure that you are not writing a Windows application. Try creating a new project or application to target MS-DOS, QuickWin or Win32 Console depending on your compiler version. You can then use the Standard C and C++ libraries to write strictly conforming programs. It's best to learn to write standard-conforming programs first before branching off into writing Windows programs.
If you find that you are having a lot of trouble setting up your compiler, a good place to ask questions is a newsgroup devoted to your compiler. See Question 10 for a list of such groups.