How I was able to get Virtual Server 2005 to work on Windows Vista

Recently, I needed to configure and use a virtual server image that was provided to me by another team here at Microsoft.  In order to do this, I had to install and configure Virtual Server 2005 to host this image on my desktop OS.  I am running Windows Vista Ultimate edition on this system, and I…

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Updated instructions for building patches using the new WiX v3.0 patch building system

My new team is using WiX v3.0 to create the MSI-based setups for the upcoming XNA Game Studio 2.0 product.  One of the readiness activities we’re working on prior to shipping is testing the process of building and installing patches for these MSIs. Our primary setup developer started out with this testing process by investigating…

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Mailbag: Can the .NET Framework verification tool be run in silent mode?

Question: I would like to try to automate the instructions for removing and reinstalling the .NET Framework that are described in this blog post.  I saw your previous blog post about running the .NET Framework cleanup tool in silent mode.  Are there also command line switches that I can use to run the .NET Framework…

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Link to .NET Framework 3.0 release notes with known installation issues

I have gotten several questions from customers about how to resolve installation problems with the .NET Framework 3.0 since it was released last year.  In many of these cases, the installation problems and options for workarounds were described in the .NET Framework 3.0 release notes.  However, it looks like some of my blog posts appear…

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Microsoft Tester Center is now live on MSDN

A new portal with information about software testing has been posted this week on MSDN.  You can check it out at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/testing/default.aspx.  To summarize the launch note on this page: At the Tester Center, our goal is to provide a community where software testers can share knowledge and learn from each other about testing, our day-to-day…

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Link to analysis of possible issues with EXE custom actions in Windows Installer

Robert Flaming has posted a helpful analysis of the issues that need to be considered when using EXEs in Windows Installer custom actions.  You can find this analysis at http://blogs.msdn.com/windows_installer_team/archive/2007/10/20/integration-hurdles-for-exe-custom-actions.aspx. If you are working on a Windows Installer-based setup and are considering whether to write an EXE or a DLL for a custom action in…

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More details about how to use extensions when authoring and building MSIs in WiX v3.0

I have seen questions pop up fairly frequently both on internal Microsoft mailing lists and on the WiX mailing lists on SourceForge about how to use the built-in custom actions included in extension DLLs in WiX v3.0. This is one of the big changes that folks notice when they migrate any existing setup authoring from…

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How to determine whether a VS 2008 product is installed on a computer

I previously posted a list of registry values that can be used to detect Visual Studio 2005 editions.  I’ve started getting asked more often about how to detect Visual Studio 2008, so I decided to create a separate post with an equivalent list of registry values for the VS 2008 product family too. Here is a…

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PE header setting that can cause an application to fail to launch on Windows 2000

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve heard from a few users who tried to run the .NET Framework cleanup tool on Windows 2000 but were unable to.  On these systems, users received errors stating that the program named cleanup_tool.exe could not be run because it is not a valid Win32 application.  This issue was…

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