Aaron Stebner's WebLog

Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio

My biography

My biography

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I currently work on the XNA team at Microsoft and have been working at the company since August 1999.  I have been on my current team since September 2007.  Prior to that, I worked on the following teams:

Along the way, I've worked on the following products (in descending order from most recent to least):

  • XNA Game Studio 4.0
  • Windows Phone Developer Tools
  • XNA Game Studio 3.1
  • XNA Game Studio 3.0
  • XNA Game Studio 2.0
  • .NET Framework 3.5
  • Visual Studio 2008
  • Windows Vista (because it included Windows Media Center, the .NET Framework 2.0 and the .NET Framework 3.0)
  • Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
  • .NET Framework 3.0
  • .NET Framework 2.0
  • Visual Studio 2005
  • Windows XP Embedded SP2
  • Windows XP SP2
  • Windows Server 2003 (because it included the .NET Framework 1.1)
  • .NET Framework 1.1
  • Visual Studio .NET 2003
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition (because both included the .NET Framework 1.0)
  • .NET Framework 1.0
  • Visual Studio .NET 2002

I grew up all over the country and graduated high school in Mansfield, Texas.  I went to college at the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a BS in computer science with minors in mathematics and economics.

Here is my Xbox gamertag information:

Here is my Xbox 360 Avatar:


Here is my Zune card:


  • Hi Rahul_s01 - Can you please use the steps listed at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/03/29/help-me-help-you-if-you-have-setup-bugs.aspx to gather a verbose log file for .NET Framework 1.1 setup so I can take a look and see if I can figure out why it is failing to install on your system?

    You can download the .NET Framework 1.1 from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=262D25E3-F589-4842-8157-034D1E7CF3A3&displaylang=en.

    Once you have a log file from this failed install, you can zip and send it to Aaron.Stebner (at) microsoft (dot) com.

  • I have stumped several people on this, so after coming across your blog I thought I would notify you to see if you had a resolution. Several people are having this problem. FYI I have posted the recordings.xml file at http://office.strategyteam.org/web/public/mce/recordings.xml

    Vista Ultimate running on a dual core xeon 2.66 2gb 667 memory. Saber PCIE dual video tuner card. I have 199 programs scheduled to record (according to MCE as it is couting the two week schedule of recurring programs). All recordings are set to record as 'record series'. The series settings are set to keep latest and no more than 7. Currently there are no recordings in the library. MCE records everything and then deletes the program as soon as it stops recording. The history log shows that "WAPP News at 7 was deleted by the system on (date & time) to create disk space to record WAPP News at 7". The recorder storage is correctly set using a 7 drive raid 5 with 338gb of storage space with over 200MB/S transfer speed. There are no hardware errors. All drivers up todate AND we can record ANYTHING we want using the single 'record' option (as opposed to the record series option) and the recording will NOT be deleted, of course that would be impossible to come in a reprogram the next week every week (and hence the point of the 'record series' option). Please help, I have been diaging this for three weeks. I have run every test known. I have reinstalled three times and I have read every line of registry code looking for a setting to change. I have been on the phone with Dell and Microsoft until I Am ready to scream. No one can figure out what is wrong. This is a production unit that is a month behind schedule, can anyone please help me figure out why MCE would consistently delete series programs after they have been recorded when the count of the programs to keep on file is less than the number set, there is plenty of space, and the settings are set to keep latest? HELP EVERYONE - thank you :)

  • Hi Gray10k - I'm very sorry for the frustration this has caused you.  Ordinarily I would recommend contacting technical support, but you already have and I'm disappointed that they were not able to help.

    I don't have much expertise in this area, so I would suggest posting this at the following locations to see if anyone there can suggest any ideas:



  • Aaron,

    I really would like to use the net framework cleanup up tool but all I ever get when trying to download it is a time out error.

    Would it be possible for you to email it to me.



  • Hi Aschreib - It appears my file server is down currently for maintenance.  I have sent you a copy of it via email.  Hopefully it is helpful in your scenario.  If anyone else reading this has trouble with the link to the cleanup tool at http://astebner.sts.winisp.net/Tools/dotnetfx_cleanup_tool.zip, please contact me via email and I can send it to you as well.  You can contact me at Aaron.Stebner (at) microsoft (dot) com.

  • I'm talking about the Orca app on my blog today.  I used several years ago (three seems like a long time).  I'm using it again today and sharing with others.  I noticed that I never clicked "about me" to learn more about you.

    Here I was, feeling all good about Aaron until I saw one item.  OU!  Sigh!

    In case you have not guessed already, I graduated from OSU.  :)

    Have a great one!  I hope the Sooners do well this next week!

    Best Wishes,


  • Hi Aaron,

    I'm the other Aaron's sister!  I looked up my brother and found this site.  Small world.  

    ~Amy Stebner

  • Hi Amy - That's awesome!  It is great to meet another Stebner!

  • Thank You heaps :)

    Your clean up tool solved  DOTNETFX 3.5 problem I have been struggling with since a while now.

    You rock

  • Hi Aaron,

    you have made my day. I wanted to install the visual studio 2008 and failed for a while. After using your tool the installation runs without problems. THANK YOU!!!!

  • I was having a SQL compact 3.5 install problem on 7 x64 and found some references to .Net issue being responsilble of course the rabbit hole opened up with problems uninstalling .Net.  Found your site and use the removal tool with success thanks for your contributions to the support community.

    I threw in the Azle part as I saw you grew up in Mansfield and I in Azle.  Those where some long bus rides to play football when we where in the same district in the 70's

  • Hi Allen from Azle, TX - It is always good to hear from someone from back close to home!  I'm glad to hear that the information on my blog has been helpful to you, but I'm sorry for the hassles that the underlying issue caused for you in the first place.

  • Hi Aaron

    I have problem in my windows XP Embedded 2009  

  • Hi Aaron

    I have problem in my windows XP Embedded

    XP cannot boot, the c:\windowswindows\system32\config\system

    Please what is the solution for the problem.

    Thank you for cooperation with me.

  • Hi Salman - I haven't worked on Windows XP Embedded since 2005, so I don't have the expertise to answer this type of question anymore.  I'd suggest posting a question on the Windows Embedded forums at social.msdn.microsoft.com/.../home to see if someone there is able to help with this issue.  I'm sorry that I'm not able to be more helpful.

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