Archive for the 'Windows Vista' Category

Vista Audio on Virtual PC 2007

If you are setting a Vista Virtual PC image up in Virtual PC 2007 you’ll soon realise that the audio doesn’t work. You’ll do a bit of Googling and find that Virtual PC 2007 has a ‘special’ audio set up just for Vista but good luck to you finding information about how you actually get it running. I eventually stumbled on the answers.

It turns out that when you install the Virtual Machine Additions, the sound drivers are copied to “C:\Program Files\Virtual Machine Additions”. They aren’t actually installed, just stuck in there. So, go to Device Manager and ‘update’ the driver, tell it you have the disk and point it to the path above.

Job done…

Classic ASP on Vista/IIS 7.0

I have a couple of classic ASP ‘applications’ that, through the ministrations of some malevolent spirit, keep landing on my desk(top) needing some new feature or other. I didn’t write them and they should have been binned long ago but, despite my protestations, they keep coming back. My work on them can only be described as ‘Turd Polishing’ which is what I would have called this post had I not been keeping an eye on relevant search engine referrals…

So today I found myself having to get classic ASP going on Vista with IIS 7.0 which, it turns out, is an art unto itself. It isn’t even installed for a kick-off, the remedy for which is to go to Control Panel/Programs and Features and then somewhere in there under the ‘Turn Windows features on or off” you’ll find…


Emboldened by success having installed the blighter I then spent far too long with everything I tried to do resulting in this…


…the shoddiness of which led me up the garden path thinking that the moron that had originally written the aforementioned ‘Turd’ had actually included some, albeit ropey, error handling. Don’t be fooled, turns out this is actually the new default IIS error message for script errors. Having worked that out I tracked the error down to this line:


(Yes, it uses Access too… I told you – ‘Turd’)

IIS 7.0 doesn’t allow you to use parent paths and so “..” is unacceptable.

For those of you that still have to do the occasional bit of polishing or those others of you that have a treasured bit of beautifully architected ASP 3.0 that you still care for or, heaven forfend, those who are still developing new stuff with it there is a good post on Bill Staples’s blog that will show you how to sort all of that out and get good old ASP 3.0 running on IIS 7.0 on your Vista machine.

Adding “Open with Console” to the context menu…

The other day I discovered that if you hold down the ‘shift’ key whilst right clicking on a directory in the Vista explorer you get a ‘Open Command Window Here’ entry in your context menu. You can do this on XP with a PowerToy or some registry jiggery-pokery but it was nice to have it out of the box in Vista.

Having picked up on the excellent ‘Console‘ from Ben’s post the other day I was back to having to ‘cd’ into directories again so set about rummaging in the registry. So… the fruits of my labours:

Add the key – HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\open_console

Set the value of that to whatever you want to appear in the context menu e.g. Open Console Here

Under that add the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\open_console\Command

Set the value of that to the path to your console.exe with the parameters -d %1 In my case that gave me C:\Program Files\Console 2 Beta\Console2\console.exe -d %1

There you go… You should now have the context menu entry. Right click on a directory and open Console on that directory. Coupled with e – texteditor’s “Open as e Project’ you can have your rails set up running in a jiffy.

I would like to add the ability to open a few tabs in Console from the context menu with the same command and maybe start a server running in one and have another ready for commands but I can’t seem to get that going at the moment as I’m no great shakes in the registry. If anyone could point me in the right direction for that I’d be most obliged… In fact, it would be nice to open the ‘e’ project and the Console tabs avec server etc with the one context menu command, perhaps ‘Open Rails Environment’ but maybe I’m getting carried away there…

Vista Launch Presentations

The presentations from my Vista Community Launch talk (21 Jan 2007) at the Manchester VBUG meeting held at Manchester Digital Development Agency

Thanks to all those who attended and congratulations to the lucky Vista winners… You know who you are.

NVIDIA Forceware for Vista Released, Still doesn’t work with my laptop…

Since installing Vista I have been checking all the vendors’ sites every couple of days waiting for my drivers to arrive. It has to be said that they are certainly taking their time considering the public launch is just a couple of weeks away…

Anyway, I digress… I found yesterday night that NVIDIA has released a final version of their Forceware drivers. I already had the beta which required a bit of noodling under the bonnet to get working.

With the release version I got an even better error message than I had with the beta.

Setup detected that the operating system in use is not Windows Vista. The setup program and its associated drivers are designed to run only on Windows Vista. The installation will be terminated.

No, that’s right… OF COURSE IT ISN’T VISTA. Who do these drivers think they are speaking to me like that?

Turns out the solution was more or less the same as before, with a few tweaks. The latest inf file I found was for 97.27 which doesn’t quite work with the release version. You need to download it and replace the following lines (which are lines 12 and 13):

CatalogFile =
DriverVer = 11/16/2006,

With these lines from the NVIDIA supplied inf:

CatalogFile = NV_DISP.CAT
DriverVer = 12/07/2006,

Otherwise the process is the same as in my previous post.

I still don’t know why they don’t support my card without all of this hoohah… IT IS TOP OF THEIR SHITTING MOBILE RANGE FOR CLIFF’S SAKE.

Oh well, works a treat now…

NVIDIA Forceware Drivers on Windows Vista

Having finally installed the RTM version of Windows Vista I was keen to get the NVIDIA Forceware drivers installed and see how it all worked with my graphics card (NVIDIA Quadro FX 2500M) going at full tilt. The Microsoft drivers that came with Vista certainly worked but had a bit of a flicker so I took the plunge with the beta drivers (96.85)

When I tried to install them I got this error:

The NVIDIA Setup program could not locate any drivers that are compatible with your current hardware. Setup will now exit

NVIDIA have a unified driver model that is supposed to mean that they only provide one driver package that covers all their graphics cards but it didn’t appear to cover mine.

As I had just installed Vista I assumed I had buggered something up with the OS but after a bit of a search around I discovered that the drivers do indeed work with all NVIDIA cards but they remove support for some using settings in the .INF file. I don’t know why they would want to do this but there you go. Perhaps with the laptop cards they are trying to encourage people to go through the laptop manufacturer for the drivers, who knows. Either way the solution is…

Get hold of a modded .INF file and then replace the one that comes with the drivers. There are more in depth instructions on the site and they seem to be regularly updating them as new versions of the drivers are released.

It is a strange thing that NVIDIA chooses to remove support for certain cards when it is actually there but I have to take my hat off to them for at least having Vista drivers available for download. Despite the public release of Vista being just around the corner there are still no drivers available for any of the other hardware that I have, even the biggies such as Intel or Dell. Come on… get a move on.

Windows Vista on MSDN

At long last Windows Vista has arrived for MSDN subscribers. I can barely contain myself while it downloads although I still hark back to the good old days when only those in the know would have much of a clue as to what was in store in the new version and there was still a bit of mystery…

Internet Explorer 7 Vulnerability

IE 7 was released today and within seconds there was a vulnerability released by Secunia. There are two sides to this…

First, heads are going to roll at Microsoft I would have thought because of all of the ‘we waited forever to get all of this out of the door to make sure it was secure’ hype we have had from them for a while. The last thing they need prior to the release of Vista, which incidentally does not suffer the vulnerability with IE7, is what will undoubtedly become a high profile vulnerability on the day IE7 shipped.

The other side, which makes me sick in some ways… I would bet my left teste that Secunia knew about this vulnerability during the beta and yet, rather than disclose it to Microsoft, as technically they should if they were using the beta, they waited until minutes after the release was announced to tell the world. What does Secunia stand to gain in undermining Microsoft’s security reputation, like it needed undermining in the first place.

I don’t know… You tell me.

Visual Studio on Vista

This all looks a bit alarming… The gist being that none of Microsoft’s dev tools for the .Net framework are fully compatible with Vista and only VS2005 is ever going to be. This leaves mine and everyone else’s 1.1 projects out in the cold as far as Vista is concerned.

There are lots of efforts around to get VS 2005 building against the .Net framework 1.1 but surely, especially in light of the fact that the Windows folk claim it is a piece of piddle to get your applications to run on Vista, we should be able to run 2003.



Jonathan Allen links to a bit of Microsoft opinion on this issue… The official line lies between “great progress w/Vista on the security front” and “We are just as (financially)constrained as everyone else”. In some ways I can buy the first one. Security is a trade off and generally, to get the benefits, you have to give up something. Whilst the second one may be true in that the dev tools folk no doubt have a budget and a finite amount of resources I don’t think it is a good choice of argument to pacify the VS using public. As it happens, it also turns out that most of VS2003 will work if you are running as admin so hopefully it isn’t going to be too much of an issue.

Vista RC1… Feel the pain

In my earlier post on Vista in Virtual PC 2004 I mentioned some of the troubles I had installing and running Vista RC1. Scott Hanselman posted yesterday about some of the issues, rather all of the issues (I hope as there is a big old list of them) that he has come across since taking the plunge to install on his ‘everyday’ machine. Sounds like it has made a right mess of it.

I like that way he points out that he is still ‘stoked about Vista’ despite the fact it has buggered his machine up. Never say die…

I reckon if Scott Hanselman (without lavishing too much praise in his general direction) is having trouble then there isn’t much hope for the rest of us…

So what does RC stand for then?

  • Retreat Cautiously
  • Really Crap
  • Return at Christmas

Any suggestions?

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