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.

VS 2005 SP1 Installation Nightmare :-( … and how to wake up

Visual Studio 2005 SP1As you probably know, long awaited Visual Studio 2005 SP1 is out.

However, installation of this giant (400+ Mb) update is far from easy, and it is not guaranteed to succeed, at least at first run.

  1. You need to have a LOT free space on your system drive: at least 3 Gb
  2. Make sure that you have enough patience – it can take between 10 minutes and 1,5 hour
  3. If you do not use C++ portion of Visual Studio, deinstall it before installation of SP1 – it can save a lot of installation time.
  4. Deinstall Web Application Project if you have it installed.
  5. Deinstall Visual Studio 2005 Web Deployment Projects if you have it installed.
  6. Deinstall Visual Studio 2005 SP1 beta

Finally, you can speed up installation process by:

Disabling Patch Cache

Create CMD file with following content:
reg export HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsInstaller installer.reg
reg add HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsInstaller /v MaxPatchCacheSize /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
net stop msiserver
start /wait VS80sp1-KB926601-X86-ENU.exe
reg delete HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsInstaller /v MaxPatchCacheSize /f
reg import installer.reg
net stop msiserver
del /q installer.reg 2>nul

and save it in folder where SP1 is. Run it – it should cut down installation time significantly.

Ok, you succeeded to do all above, and installation is failing. What next?

Error 1718

Let assume that your operating system is XP SP2. If you got during installation this error:

Error 1718. File was rejected by digital signature policy

try recipe from this location: – this helped with installation on two locations where it failed previously.

I have Windows Server 2003 SP1 and unfortunately, neither of solutions (disable patch cache or KB925336) helped 🙁

I though that memory upgrade will help, so I added 1Gb to total of 2Gb – no luck.

You can also try to:

Disable SAFER check for local administrators

– Note (if exist) previous value of PolicyScope at:


– Set this value (or create it as DWORD if does not exist) to 1

– Run net stop msiserver

– Try SP1 install

– Revert PolicyScope to previous value / delete it after installation.

(this helped on two other Windows 2003 SP1 machines; again, not on mine)

Finally, I decided to:

Slipstream SP1 into Visual Studio 2005 and reinstall it

There are couple steps here:

Make Network Installation

Create network administrative installation from your VS 2005 DVD (assuming that E: is DVD and location where you want installation \dvesicpublicVisualStudio2005SP1):

msiexec.exe /a E:vsvs_setup.msi TARGETDIR=\dvesicpublicVisualStudio2005SP1 /L*vx install.log

I did this all on same machine, using mounted ISO image on a virtual drive and unpacking it at network location on same machine – it took over 2 hours to create network install

Unpack the Patch

Original EXE file is just wrapper around MS Patch file. You can unpack it using some unzip utility (or Total Commander) or by executing:

VS80sp1-KB926601-X86-ENU.exe /extract .

Patch Network Install

Finally, do the patching of installation:

msiexec.exe /a \dvesicpublicVisualStudio2005SP1vs_setup.msi /p VS80sp1-KB926601-X86-ENU.msp /L*vx patch.log

Reinstall Visual Studio 2005 SP1

I hope that at least some of this will help you too.

Reference links:…/things-i-wish-i-d-known-before-i-installed-vs-2005-service-pack-1.aspx…/save-time-and-space-for-vs-2005-sp1-by-disabling-the-patch-cache.aspx…/slipstreaming-visual-studio-2005-service-pack-1.aspx…/Enabling-Large-Patches-to-Install.aspx

Update 12th May 2007

There is update availabile which will hopefully sort this problems out on easy way.


When SQL Express 2005 SP1 Upgrade does not succeed …

I was trying to do upgrade of SQL Express 2005 to SP1 version on one of development machines.

Each time, attempt failed with not-so-helpful-message:

SQL Server Setup did not have the administrator permissions required to rename a file: C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL ServerMSSQL.1MSSQLTemplate Datamssqlsystemresource1.ldf. To continue, verify that the file exists, and either grant administrator permissions to the account currently running Setup or log in with an administrator account. Then run SQL Server Setup again.

Quick Google did the trick: solution was described in KB 918693 (to be precise: workaround).

However, at first glance, I failed to execute workaround – there are couple of errors in mentioned article:

1. If typing SQLCMD do not connect to local instance of SQL 2005 Express, try with full name of instance:


2. “beautified” quotes in article’s code won’t exactly help; so, if you want quick copy / paste, use code from here:

EXEC sp_configure 'user instances enabled',0

3. Step three, apart from quotes, has one column name wrong, so again, use this code:

SELECT owning_principal_name, instance_pipe_name 
FROM sys.dm_os_child_instances WHERE heart_beat = 'alive'

4. And here is script for final step, after reinstallation:

EXEC sp_configure 'user instances enabled',1

BTW, how can I report errors spotted in KB article to Microsoft? Anyone?

Error when executing .MSI (Installer) package

MSI Error due to insufficient read rightsWhen you are starting installation of some package via MSI, and if you ran into error like this:

Error reading from file _full_path_to_msi_package. Verify that the file exists and that you can access it.

check that Local System account has read access over containing folder and .msi file itself.

First phase of installation starts under your account, so it will start as expected, but in some moment, one phase is executed via Windows Installer service, which in turn works under Local System account.