VS 2005/2008 and Vista – IE cannot display the webpage

Vista and Visual Studio - problems with IPv6 and internal WebDev.WebServerI recently reinstalled my laptop completely (it is very nice Dell XPS M1330) and took that opportunity to make it into decent development machine (w/o all the stupid preinstalled applications).

Installed also Visual Studio 2005 and 2008, SQL 2005 Express and all the little tools necessary (ClipX for example).

Fired up latest web site on which I work on, F5 and … nothing – dreadfull message of “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage”.

Ok, no panic here, let try Visual Studio 2008 with same web site; nothing 🙁 Same site, on two other development machines (Vista & Vista 64) under VS 2005 and VS 2008 works w/o problem.

Started researching and debugging; it turns out that next generation protocol IPv6, or its implementation on Vista clashes with integrated web server WebDev.WebServer.exe; WebDev has a problem finding localhost address in default configuration.

Easy fix for this is to comment ::1 entry in hosts file:

Uncomment ::1 in hosts file to correct webdev / visual studio problems

No restart is needed, either of computer or Visual Studio.

(to edit hosts file you can use notepad started with elevated rigths or “Run as administrator“; in Open dialog you type in %windir%System32driversetchosts)

Vista 64 – First Experience

I am (happily) using Vista 32 bit for a year, both on my home (desktop) computer and on laptop. Both machines are mostly used for development (Visual Studio 2005 & 2008 and Visual Studio 2003 via Microsoft Virtual PC 2007) and usual Office tasks.

One of my tasks on work is to test new technologies – so, I decided that it is time to try new Vista: Vista 64 bit.

Hardware configuration used is pretty much standard one:

Dell Dimension E520 with Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 @ 1.8 Ghz and 2 GB RAM. Graphic card was NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE.


Despite all my worries, installation went smoothly (apart for having 150Mb of fixes to download 😉 ) – all drivers were found and installed ok:

Vista 64 - all drivers found and installed ok


Once when all drivers are in place, you need software which will use your new operating system to the max. Most of 32bit software will work w/o any problems, via WOW64 technology, and it will benefit from better memory organization (you can utilize full 4Gb under Vista 64, which is not possible under XP) and more registers availabile.

You do need some native 64bit applications, for example, when mounting ISO image under Vista 64:

Mounting ISO image under Vista 64

While there is plethora of ISO software in 32 bit world (highly recommending Virtual Clone Drive, freeware), things are gloomy in 64 bit world.

Update Aug 2008: Virtual Clone Drive now does support Vista 64! so please use it instead of Daemon Tools.

There are some programs that state 64bit compatibility (MagicISO for example) but only one which proved as working under Vista 64 is Daemon Tools.

However, BIG WARNING – Daemon Tools comes with spyware / searchware! Good part is that you can select NOT TO INSTALL IT – so please do not follow click-click-click install logic but make sure to DESELECT following two options on this screen:

Daemon Tools on Vista 64 - install w/o sponsor

as well as SELECT DECLINE on next screen:

Daemon Tools on Vista 64 - decline change of home page

After that, you are fine.

Adding Vista 64 to network domain

There is no magic around this step; I just had little trouble to find right screen for adding computer to domain:

Control Panel -> System or even easier using keyboard shortcut: Win + Break (Pause):

Adding Vista 64 to Network Domain
(click for larger image)

Network printing (over HP LaserJet 4100)

There was a bit of a problem setting up network printer (ours is HP LaserJet 4100). There are 64 bit drivers on HP site, but Vista refused to get those installed from network location.

I even tried to fool it by installing ghost LPT1: printer and than to add network one – failed.

Finally, I installed network printer as “local” one, using TCP/IP connection and install program from HP. After that, printing is fine.


Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Installation

This was, by far, most frustrating experience 😯 – with number of errors, stating that it can’t install .Net Framework 3.0, than it can’t install Web Authoring Component … all red, and apparently no solution 😕

Problems installing Visual Studio 2008 on Vista 64

In despair, I switched to local administrator account and all went fine! So, use your local administrator account when installing Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 on Vista 64 – it is not enough to be member of Administrators group (my initial attempts were with domain user which is member of Administrators group)

Paint.Net Installation

Paint.Net is brilliant example of quality program (and it is free) – elegant, efficient and does exactly what is intended for: various tasks around image editing; it is not Photoshop, but I found that I do not need anything “stronger” than Paint.Net – I highly recommend it.

I did not expected any problems with installation; however, I was getting error:

“Another installation is already in progress (Error 1618)” and failed installation; of course I used “Run as Administrator” option over Paint.NET.3.22.exe – that did not help.

Solution: start CMD prompt as Administrator, and run EXE file from there – installation will go smoothly.

Paint.Net - Brilliant Image Editor

QUEST Toad and Oracle

If your target database for applications is Oracle and main development tool Quest’s TOAD make sure to install 32bit Oracle client prior TOAD installation – TOAD does not support connection over native 64bit Oracle client.

Moreover, if you get cryptic error on a first connect:

Can’t initialize OCI. Error -1

make sure that you have correct version of Oracle Client; current good one is Patch2 for Vista


Vista 64 is stable operating system, although it demands bit more of CPU and RAM than Windows XP/Vista 32. It has decent driver base, and if you have more than 2Gb RAM, or your primary application has native 64bit version and/or you are engaged in processing objects which require a lot of memory, it is good OS for you.

For more standard usage, I still recommend staying on Vista 32 or Windows XP – there is a wast support for drivers, software and games all around.

VPN, Remote Desktop, Vista and MTU

LinkSys WAG325NMy home network is rather small: two desktop machines and one laptop. Access to outside world is done via usual ADSL connection. Bridge between two worlds was some unknown ADSL router connected to (good old) LinkSys WRT54G with custom DD WRT firmware; all work was done here: firewall, port forwarding, dhcp …

This combination was good, but not the best – main obstacles were having two devices instead of one (WRT54G has no ADSL port) and no VPN directly to offices where I work.

Recently, I replaced WRT54G with newer model: LinkSys WAG325N: ADSL port, 4 LAN ports, 802.11 a/b/g wireless and experimental (draft) implementation of 802.11n wireless protocol. Best of all, up to 5 VPN channels directly from router, so all machines can use VPN tunnel w/o problems.

After seting up VPN, access to business machines was just fine from desktop machines. However, that was not the case for laptop, which is using wireless connection.

Using Remote Desktop from laptop, I would see initial black or blue screen of remote computer (w/o login box) and after couple of minutes, Remote Desktop session would die.

After considerable time spend on Google (and with great help of our system administrator Nemanja), I found possible problem: size of MTU or Maximum Transmition Unit – size of the largest packed allowed on particular network.

Default size set by Windows Vista was 1500 and that was enought not to establish Remote Desktop connection over VPN. In Vista, you can check settings by going in Command Prompt and typing:

netsh interface ipv4 show subinterfaces

and you will get something like:

  MTU  MediaSenseState   Bytes In  Bytes Out  Interface
------  ---------------  ---------  ---------  -------------
4294967295          1          0       7127  Loopback Pseudo-Interface 1
1500                1     145661      51022  Wireless Network Connection
1500                5          0          0  Local Area Connection
1500                5          0          0  Bluetooth Network Connection

Now, you can change MTU for particular interface:

netsh interface ipv4 set subinterface "Wireless Network Connection" mtu=1440 store=persistent

(make sure that you are doing this from elevated Command Prompt, i.e. CMD started using right-click and option “Run as Administrator“) and that will sort out any Remote Desktop connection problems.