Visual Studio 2010 CTP VPC: Dealing with Activation Messages


Dec 12, 2008 Update: We’re getting very close to the 1/1/2009 expiration date of the CTP, as outlined below in the section entitled “Visual Studio 2010 CTP Expiration.” For the best experience with this release please make sure you follow the steps in that section ASAP to disable your VPC clock synchronization. – Brian


This week, in conjunction with PDC 2008, we are releasing the first Community Technology Preview of Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0.  You can download the release here (also see my download manager post here for a better download experience). This is an exciting release, and is jammed packed with a ton of great new features. One really nice thing about this release is the amount of work that the product teams put into writing walkthroughs which will guide you through most of the new features. I believe this will be our highest-quality Community Technology Preview yet, and we’re excited to start getting your feedback on it.


This CTP is being delivered as a Virtual PC (VPC) image that you can download and run locally. In the future, we will provide a way for you to install the software on your own machine, but given where we’re at with building the product the setup experience isn’t quite ready. The VPC image gives us a great alternative for getting the software to you as early as possible.


This blog post is about the Activation messages you will encounter with this VPC image. In most cases, you can just ignore these messages and continue using the image. These messages are due to the way in which Windows Server 2008 and Office 2007 evaluation software works. For obvious reasons, our release criteria for distributing VPC images requires that we only ship trial software instead of fully licensed software. In the past, Windows evaluations could be configured to expire on a precise date. Due to changes in Windows Server 2008, we no longer have a firm expiration date, but there are Activation reminder messages which will appear while you are running the VPC. The good news is that these Activation messages will not cause Windows to stop working; however, you will have to dismiss some Activation messages from time to time. Note that Word/Excel/Project and Visual Studio may eventually stop working as explained below, but I have provided workarounds in all instances.


 


Activation Toast
While running this VPC image you will encounter a “toast” from time to time asking you to activate Windows.
Workaround: You can simply ignore this toast, or click the “X” to dismiss it.


image


“Activate Windows Now”
Starting sometime in November 2008, you will receive a modal dialog every time you boot this VPC image.
Workaround: To continue, simply click on “Activate Later.” You will have to wait a few seconds before this option becomes available.
image


Word/Excel Activation
The trial versions of Word and Excel which are installed in this VPC image will only work 20 times. Every time you launch Word or Excel you will be reminded of this. After 20 uses, most Word and Excel functionality will stop working. You can still read Word and Excel documents, but you will be unable to use any of the Ribbon functionality. This means that some of the walkthroughs dealing with Word or Excel will not work.
Workaround: The first 20 times you launch Word or Excel, you can simply click “Cancel” to dismiss the activation dialog. After that, if you wish to continue using Word or Excel you will need to revert to a fresh copy of this VPC image. You can download the original VPC here.
image
After 20 uses, the Ribbon functionality in Word and Excel will become greyed out:
image


Project Activation
The Microsoft Project trial installed in this VPC image utilizes a similar limited-use mechanism to that of Word and Excel. Project will work 25 times. After that, you can no longer use Project in this VPC image. It is recommended that you only launch Project if you intend to use one of the walkthroughs that require it.
Workaround: If you need to use Project more than 25 times you should revert to a fresh copy of this VPC image. You can download the original VPC here.
image


Visual Studio 2010 CTP Expiration
Finally, the Visual Studio 2010 CTP will eventually expire. After January 1, 2009, you will no longer be able to launch the Visual Studio 2010 CTP. This is due to a hard-coded expiration date in this CTP. CTP’s are pre-release software, so they aren’t designed to run forever.
Workaround: If you need to continue using this VPC image after January 1, 2009, you will need to roll back the system clock in your VPC to an earlier date. In order to do so, please follow the instructions post here. Note that you should not roll back your system clock to a date prior to your last interaction with Team Foundation Server, because otherwise Team Foundation Server will get confused. If possible, I would suggest rolling back to a clean copy of the VPC (uncompress the original) and immediately disabling your clock prior to launching it for the first time.
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Additional Notes
No Internet Connection: This VPC image ships with Internet connections disabled. It may be tempting to want to enable an Internet connection on this VPC image in order to supply your own product key and activate this image. However, due to security reasons we strongly advise you not to connect this VPC image to any networks (intranet, Internet, etc.). There are also naming conflicts which can occur if you have multiple VPC images on the same network. Changing the computer name of this machine is not a suitable workaround, since it will break many of the walkthroughs and services.
– Hyper-V: This image was designed to work with Virtual PC 2007 SP1. We have had reports from people who have successfully converted this image to work with Hyper-V (see Grant Holliday’s blog), but this may result in additional Activation implications which differ from the scenarios documented above.


In Summary
These Activation messages might seem a bit “broken” at first, but by following the workarounds explained above we hope you’ll have a great experience with this VPC image. We are excited to show you a preview of what we’re building, and we welcome your feedback! To provide us with your feedback, or get additional assistance using this VPC, please visit http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131310.

Comments (40)

  1. Today we published a new CTP Virtual PC image of Visual Studio 2010 . I hope you enjoy this pre-release

  2. I’m really excited about the news today that we’ve released the latest Team System 2010 Community Tech

  3. Hey there all my techie friends!  In honor of PDC 2008, we have just made publicly available the

  4. Chris Koenig says:

    Hot off the presses this morning, a VPC containing the first CTP for Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework

  5. Im Rahmen der PDC in L.A. wurde der neue VSTS 2010 verfügbar gemacht und der bringt eine ganze Reihe

  6. ChrisKoenig says:

    Hot off the presses this morning, a VPC containing the first CTP for Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework

  7. Une des annonces de la PDC (Professional Developer Conference) de Los Angeles cette semaine. J’aurai

  8. Yesterday we released a CTP for Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0.  This CTP also includes the Visual

  9. Steve Lange says:

    As of the start of PDC today, you can now download a fresh CTP of Team System 2010 and .NET 4.0 HERE

  10. Any chance a VHD could be created that is licensed and posted on MSDN for us MSDN subscribers?

    Downloading RAR files one at a time and dealing with activatino headaches could be avoided for us who pay the big bucks to be in the club.

  11. Brian Keller says:

    Christopher –

    I 100% agree that downloading one file at a time is a poor experience. You should see my other blog post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/briankel/archive/2007/09/06/a-more-reliable-and-faster-download-experience-for-rosario-vs08-vpc-s.aspx

  12. En estos dias Microsoft publicó el CTP de VSTS 2010 el cual pueden descargar aquí . Para brindar su feedback

  13. En estos dias Microsoft publicó el CTP de VSTS 2010 el cual pueden descargar aquí . Para brindar su feedback 

  14. この内容は米国 Microsoft Corporation の Brian Keller が書いた ブログ の抄訳です。 Visual Studio 2010 CTP の Virtual PC には、使用期限が設定されています。またWindows

  15. Durante el último PDC 2008, han hecho público una nueva VPC, con la CTP de Visual Studio 2010 (CodeName

  16. Erwin's Blog says:

    The CTP for Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0 is now available! Is available as a virtual

  17. Bipin says:

    very helpful post… thanks

    i have one query. If i did some same work on VPC image, is there any way to take backup of that in CD/ parent computer? so that i can use it later?

    pls reply

  18. Brian Keller says:

    Bipin –

    Yes, the way Virtual PC works it just persists changes to a .VHD file. If you back up that file you will be essentially backing up your entire Virtual PC environment.

    Brian

  19. For those of you folks who have converted the VSTS 2010 CTP ( see Grant’s post ) to take advantage of

  20. If you’ve been using the Team System 2010 Community Tech Preview VPC , you’ve probably noticed that the

  21. If you are running the Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 CTP under Virtual PC or Hyper-V, you

  22. Just finished up a presentation on Visual Studio 2010 for ICC’s MS Dev special interest group. A good time was had by all. I used the card deck that is in the Training Kit, and added a few salient slides. We had a lot of coversation about Linq, WPF and

  23. Just finished up a presentation on Visual Studio 2010 for ICC’s MS Dev special interest group. A good time was had by all. I used the card deck that is in the Training Kit, and added a few salient slides. We had a lot of coversation about Linq, WPF and

  24. That's the massage you are going to get around 2009 Jan 1st if you are using the VSTS 2010 CTP .

  25. Looking for more information on Visual Studio Team System? Well there are three great sites for you to

  26. The first episode in a series on VS 2010 was posted this week on Channel 9. The series is put on by some

  27. Since the beginning of the year, the developer community joined one of the most exciting initiatives

  28. VB Feeds says:

    Have you downloaded and started using the Visual Studio 2010 Community Technology Preview ("CTP"

  29. wd_Terry says:

    元旦耍假回来发现VPC里面的VS2010用不了了,原来过期了,怎么办?

  30. While I have been working with Visual Studio .NET since the first version (2002), some years ago I started

  31. Teatavasti aegusid eelmised Visual Studio Team System 2008 virtuaalmasinad ( VPC-d ) 31. detsembril 2008.

  32. The Virtual PC image for Visual Studio 2010 CTP provided at PDC 2008 and downloadable from here has an

  33. Several people were asking me at the end of my session how they could start evaluating VSTS 2010 and

  34. News says:

    So you want to get your hands on the VS2010 VPC?  Here you go: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads

  35. Since the beginning of the year, the developer community joined one of the most exciting initiatives

  36. The VSTS 2010 CTP uses quite a bit of horsepower, and had been really sluggish under Virtual PC or Virtual

  37. En estos dias Microsoft publicó el CTP de VSTS 2010 el cual pueden descargar aquí . Para brindar su feedback

  38. Guy kolbis says:

    If you have tried to evaluate Visual Studio 2010 CTP you might have gotten an activation issue such as

  39. Bill Sempf says:

    My Visual Studio 2010 presentation for ICC

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