Aaron Stebner's WebLog

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

June, 2006

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    How to report bugs in the Windows Media Center SDK for Windows Vista

    • 0 Comments

    I just noticed that Charlie posted a really nice set of instructions for how to report bugs in the Windows Media Center SDK for Windows Vista.  If you are working on Media Center development with the public beta releases of Windows Vista and the Media Center SDK, I strongly encourage you to report bugs directly to our team using these steps.

    Keep in mind that if something feels wrong, missing, incomplete, or confusing, go ahead and log a bug.  I have seen a lot of cases where a lot of people glossed over issues even if they were confusing because they thought "I must be missing something obvious."  Yes, we're getting close to locking down and getting finished with the Windows Vista release, but I still want to hear what you have to say even if it is too big and ambitious for us to get to in this release.  Thanks in advance for your feedback!

    One other thing - the instructions posted by Charlie apply equally to the Media Center features in Windows Vista beta 2, and to Windows Vista itself.  The only differences would be the issue title preface, area and attachments.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    DRMCap tool to gather DRM log files in case of protected content playback problems

    • 5 Comments

    I recently found out about a tool that has been released by Microsoft that makes it easier to gather relevant digital rights management (DRM) log files in case you run into protected content playback issues in Windows Media Player and/or Windows Media Center.  This tool makes it much easier to gather log files compared to the previous set of manual steps that I have previously posted in the How to gather log file information section of this article.

    Here are the steps you can use to download and run the DRMCap tool to automatically gather DRM log file information from your system for troubleshooting purposes:

    1. Close all applications that are running that may be displaying protected content (including Windows Media Center, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player).  Skipping this step may cause some files to be in use and prevent the tool from collecting them.
    2. If you are running XP Media Center Edition, stop the eHome Recorder Service by using the following steps:
      - Click on the Start menu, choose Run, type cmd and click OK
      - type net stop ehrecvr
    3. Download and run DRMCapTool.exe
    4. Accept the EULA for the tool
    5. Click on the Run button (step 2 in the dialog)
    6. Save the results to a cab file by pressing Save (step 3 in the dialog)

    After using these steps, you will have a cab file named package.cab that can be sent to technical support personnel for further troubleshooting assistance.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Enabling a Windows Media Center Extender if Windows Live OneCare is installed on the system

    • 1 Comments

    I posted some troubleshooting links last night for Xbox 360 PC setup issues that I have heard about from customers in the past.  Heath Stewart posted a comment describing some issues he has seen on his home system, which has Windows Live OneCare installed.  In his comment, he mentioned that some documentation exists for these issues on the OneCare help and support center.

    There are cases where OneCare will interfere with Windows Media Center Extender and Windows Media Connect functionality if you install/configure an Extender or WMC and then install OneCare afterwards.  I searched the OneCare help site and found a couple of documents and decided to post links to them here to make it easier for people who run into this kind of issue and try to perform web searches in the future:

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Xbox 360 PC setup troubleshooting suggestions

    • 7 Comments

    I have posted a few items in the past related to the Xbox 360 PC setup package that can be used to configure an Xbox 360 as a Windows Media Center extender.  In order to make it easier to find all of the suggestions I have posted, I created an article with links to each of them.  You can take a look at the Troubleshooting guide for Xbox 360 PC setup issues to see the previous posts I have written on this topic.

    One important thing to note that is listed at the bottom of that article is that the Media Center Extender team at Microsoft asked me to let everyone know that they monitor the newsgroup named Microsoft.Public.Windows.MediaCenter to search for Xbox 360 PC setup issues.  If you run into issues installing or configuring an Xbox 360 as a Windows Media Center extender, please search that newsgroup for similar issues, and if none are found, please post a new thread there so that the team will be more likely to see the issues and respond to them in a timely manner.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    How to fix Xbox 360 PC setup crash due to old file left behind in the GAC

    • 4 Comments

    I investigated an issue last week where Xbox 360 PC setup was crashing when the user tried to launch it in their system.  In this case, the customer had already tried the previous repair steps I have suggested to try to workaround this issue (located here and here), but setup still crashed.

    When I took a closer look, I found that there was an old Media Center Extender assembly left behind in the GAC on the system.  Xbox 360 PC setup was trying to load this old assembly when it was launched, but the load failed because of a version mismatch and setup crashed as a result.

    If you run into an issue where Xbox 360 PC setup crashes immediately after trying to launch it on your system, you can try the following steps to remove the leftover file and see if it helps resolve the crash on your system:

    1. Click on the Start menu, choose Run, type cmd and click OK
    2. Run rd /s /q c:\windows\assembly\GAC\MCRDShr
    3. Re-run Xbox 360 PC setup

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Possible resolution for Smart Device Project Package load failure in Visual Studio 2005

    • 2 Comments

    I heard from a customer recently who ran into a package load failure error in Visual Studio 2005 that I hadn't seen before.  I want to post the description and workaround for this issue to make it easier for people searching for similar issues in the future.

    In this particular scenario, the customer saw a package load failure error while trying to create a Windows Mobile 5 project in Visual Studio 2005.  The specific package that failed to load in this case was the Smart Device Project Package.

    The customer found a workaround in this MSDN Forums post.  Here is the list of steps that will hopefully be useful in resolving this error:

    1. For each user account on the computer, delete the folder named %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\CoreCon\1.0 and all files under it
    2. For each user account on the computer, rename the folder %userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Device Emulator\ to %userprofile%\Application
      Data\Microsoft\Device Emulator_B2\ (or some other backup folder name of your choice)
    3. Repair the Windows Mobile 5.0 SDKs using the entries in the Add/Remove Programs control panel

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    How to install and run the My Movies add-in in Windows Media Center on Windows Vista

    • 1 Comments

    After I posted my blog entry this past weekend about problems installing the My Movies add-in on Windows Vista, I was able to get in touch with Brian Binnerup, the developer who wrote this add-in (thanks to an introduction from Charlie).  It turns out that Brian has also posted a detailed set of instructions that can be used to install and run My Movies with Windows Media Center for Windows Vista.

    While I was helping to investigate the bug reports we'd received about the My Movies add-in, I used instructions very similar to the ones Brian posted to install My Movies on a test system in my office.  Therefore, I can confirm that these instructions work as listed.

    You will see some odd behavior during the .NET Framework 1.1 and 1.1 SP1 setup where Windows Vista reports compatibility problems.  The .NET Framework 1.1 will work fine on Windows Vista, but you do need to make sure that you install 1.1 SP1 in order to fix some known issues that were in the original version of 1.1 but fixed in SP1.  You will also see a dialog for the .NET Framework 1.1 SP1 stating that it is also incompatible, but this particular dialog is a bug (you'll notice that it reports that you must install SP1 to fix this issue, but yet that is the product you're currently trying to install).

    One note here - Brian's steps include disabling User Account Control (UAC) on Windows Vista.  The UAC feature is designed to enhance security by preventing unauthorized programs from making changes to protected resources on the system.  You should not need to globally disable UAC in order to run Windows Media Center and use My Movies.  Instead you should be able to leave UAC enabled and launch Windows Media Center with elevated privileges by using the following steps:

    1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to %windir%\ehome
    2. Right-click on the file ehshell.exe
    3. Choose Run as administrator

    <update date="7/15/2010"> Fixed broken link to the My Movies site. </update>

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Comment moderation policy change

    • 0 Comments

    I'm sorry to say that I've decided to turn on comment moderation for my blog for the time being.  I'm finding that I have to spend too much time deleting advertising spam comments, and I think it will take less time for me to approve valid, on-topic comments than it will to delete the advertisements.  That means there will be a slight time lag if you post a question or comment about my blog posts, but I will publish all comments that I receive that are related to the topics I blog about and are not just click-through links to advertisers' websites.

    If the spam comments taper off and/or my blog server gets better about filtering them out, I'll turn moderation back off.  Hopefully that will happen soon.  In the meantime, I apologize for the inconvenience.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Media Center crashes when launched on Windows Vista beta 2 if you have My Movies add-in installed

    • 2 Comments

    We got a few bug reports this week from customers who have installed Windows Vista beta 2 and tried to use Windows Media Center.  If you have the My Movies add-in installed on Windows Vista beta 2, and checked the box during My Movies setup to add it to the Media Center Start menu, you will see Media Center crash when you try to launch it.

    How to workaround this crash

    If you have Windows Vista beta 2 installed and are running into this crash, you can workaround it in one of 2 ways:

    1.  Remove the registry value that causes the crash by doing the following:

    • Close Media Center
    • Click on the Start menu, then All Programs, then Accessories
    • Right-click on the Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator
    • Type regedit
    • Navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Categories\Start Menu\{GUID} where GUID is the GUID for the My Movies application.  You can tell that you have the right GUID by looking at the Title value under each GUID until you find the right one
    • Delete the TimeStamp value under the My Movies GUID
    • Re-open Media Center

    2.  Uninstall My Movies by doing the following:

    • Click on the Start menu, choose Run, and type appwiz.cpl
    • Uninstall My Movies from the Remove Programs control panel

    Root cause within Windows Media Center

    We investigated and tracked this down to a regression in Media Center functionality introduced in Windows Vista.  We are receiving an exception while trying to load the Start menu items, and it isn't being caught and silently ignored like it used to in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.  You can see the exact exception by looking at the file %windir%\ehome\ehshell.crash in a text editor such as notepad on a system that experiences this crash.

    Root cause within My Movies

    While looking more deeply at this issue, we also found that the root cause of the exception that is being thrown is actually a bug in the My Movies setup.  They have a custom action in their setup MSI that registers My Movies for the Media Center Start menu.  I cannot tell what this custom action does because it is a DLL that takes command line parameters and from there it is a black box to me.  However, the end result is that the registration for My Movies that gets created at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Categories\Start Menu\{GUID} where GUID is the GUID for the My Movies application contains a TimeStamp registry value contains a REG_SZ string value that looks like "DWORD:086f4354."

    Media Center expects the TimeStamp value to be a REG_DWORD.  In previous versions, it silently ignored this value, but in Windows Vista beta 2, it caused an invalid cast exception and then Media Center crashed.  We have fixed the crash in our code this week, but the underlying bug in the My Movies setup is still there in the public version on their download site.  I will have to try to get a hold of the author and let them know about this issue so they will hopefully fix their setup bug in the future as well.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    How to uninstall KB904706 if it does not offer an uninstall option in Add/Remove Programs

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    I have heard from many customers over the past months who have had issues installing Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center 2005 because of a conflict with Windows XP hotfix KB904706.  I previously posted a workaround that requires you to uinstall KB904706 and then attempt to install Update Rollup 2 again.

    In a few cases, this workaround does not help because KB904706 was installed with the command line switch that causes the remove button in Add/Remove Programs to be suppressed.  If you find yourself in this situation and cannot remove KB904706, the following steps will hopefully help:

    Restore the remove option in Add/Remove Programs for KB904706

    1. Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type cmd
    2. Run the command reg delete "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Hotfix\KB904706" /f
    3. Run the command reg delete "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Updates\Windows XP\SP3\KB904706" /f
    4. Run the command reg delete "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\KB904706" /f
    5. Re-install KB904706 by downloading and running it from this location

    The above steps should cause the Remove button to be available again in Add/Remove Programs.  Then you can uninstall KB904706 and try to install Update Rollup 2 again using these steps.

    Manually rename KB904706 files

    I have seen a couple of cases where even the above steps do not solve the Update Rollup 2 installation issues.  If this happens in your scenario, please try to manually rename the files %windir%\system32\dllcache\quartz.dll and %windir%\system32\quartz.dll and then run Update Rollup 2 setup one more time.

    Manually install the pieces of Update Rollup 2

    If the manual renaming does not work either, please try to use the manual install steps for the Update Rollup 2 prerequisites.

    If nothing else works

    If all else fails, please contact me and I will try to help figure something out.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    How to manage reboots when deploying the .NET Framework

    • 14 Comments

    One of the common questions I get from customers who are trying to redistribute the .NET Framework with their setup package is how to handle reboots that might happen during .NET Framework setup.  I'll try to address the various questions I've seen so far in this blog post.

    When does .NET Framework setup require a reboot?

    The .NET Framework setup will require a reboot when one of the files it needs to install is in use during installation.  There are a handful of files that are shared by all versions of the .NET Framework, so if there is an earlier version of the .NET Framework installed on the system than the one that is currently being installed, and a managed application is running and holding one of the shared files in use, then a reboot could be required at the end of installation.

    How can I tell if .NET Framework setup requires a reboot?

    The .NET Framework setup will return code 3010 if it detects that a reboot is required in order to complete installation.  It will return this code if .NET Framework setup is run in full UI mode, unattended mode or silent mode.

    Can I defer the reboot if the .NET Framework setup returns code 3010?

    In general, it is safe to defer a reboot required by the .NET Framework until the end of your setup process.  This means you can install the .NET Framework and your application in a single setting and then reboot afterwards if the .NET Framework setup returned 3010.  You can also install the .NET Framework and a .NET Framework hotfix and defer the reboots until after your product setup completes.

    You should not defer the reboot indefinitely, however.  You may see unpredictible behavior in your application if it is attempting to run on top of a version of the .NET Framework that needed a reboot at the end of setup and the reboot has not yet happened.

    How can I force a reboot during .NET Framework setup to make sure my setup it will handle it correctly?

    Because of some work done in the .NET Framework 2.0 setup, it can be difficult to create scenarios where .NET Framework setup returns error code 3010.  However, it is necessary to create reboot scenarios in order to test the code paths in your setup program that are designed to handle these reboots.

    The most reliable way I have found to test reboot scenarios is to do the following:

    1. Install an earlier version of the .NET Framework than the one you are including in your setup package.  For example, if you are going to redistribute the .NET Framework 2.0, then install the .NET Framework 1.1 or 1.0.
    2. Use a tool to lock one of the files for writing that was installed to %windir%\system32 by the previous version of the .NET Framework installed in step 1.  I have been using a tool written by a fellow Microsoft employee named lock.exe (you can download it here).  This tool provides a graphical user interface that lets you specify the type of lock to place on a file.  For this type of reboot testing, you can use the write lock (number 3 in the lock.exe UI).
    3. Run your setup and let it install the .NET Framework while the files are held in use by the tool from step 2.  Verify that your setup handles the 3010 return code the way you intend it to.

    Note - make sure to not use read/write locks (number 4 in the lock.exe UI) to test reboot scenarios.  If you try to do that, you will receive an error message with the following text, and the only options are to retry or cancel.

    ---------------------------
    Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Setup
    ---------------------------
    Error 1306.Another application has exclusive access to the file 'C:\WINDOWS\system32\mscorier.dll'.  Please shut down all other applications, then click Retry.
    ---------------------------
    Retry   Cancel  
    ---------------------------

    Unfortunately, you cannot ignore this error and have setup continue.  If you try to force one of the .NET Framework shared files to be in use by opening the DLL in Microsoft Word, you will see this error as well because it opens the file for read/write access.

    Summary

    Hopefully this post has addressed any questions you might have about how to handle reboots during .NET Framework setup in redistribution scenarios.  Please let me know if you see anything that I've missed....

    <update date="7/23/2009"> Fixed broken link to lock.exe. </update>

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Windows Media Center SDK for Windows Vista beta 2 now available for general public download

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    As many of you probably know, Windows Vista beta 2 has been available for download by anyone (even if you're not a member of the beta program) for the past week or so.  Today, we published the Windows Media Center SDK for Windows Vista beta 2 for public download as well.

    You can download the Windows Media Center SDK for Windows Vista beta 2 from this location.

    As always, please use the Windows Media Center Development Forum for questions once you get started developing for Windows Media Center for Windows Vista.  Also, please leave comments on my blog or on the Media Center Sandbox blog with bug reports or suggestions.  If you are on the official Windows Vista beta program, please also report suggestions and bugs on the Connect site.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Updated WinFX Media Center Application project templates for Windows Vista beta 2

    • 0 Comments

    I posted this item earlier tonight on the Media Center Sandbox site, but I wanted to make sure that anyone reading my blog saw it as well.  We found a couple of issues with the WinFX Media Center Application project templates that shipped with the Windows Media Center SDK for Windows Vista beta 2, so we have posted updated versions of these project templates in case you are running into issues and want to try to workaround them before the next public release of the Windows Media Center SDK.  You can download the updated project template ZIP files at this location, and there are detailed instructions about where to copy them and what other steps to take to workaround these issues in the post on the Sandbox site.  I'm sorry for any difficulties that these issues may have caused you as you tried to work with the WinFX Media Center Application project templates in the beta 2 SDK.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Workaround for deployment bug in the Spanish version of Visual Studio Team System for Software Architects

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    We recently found an issue that was missed in testing prior to shipping the Spanish version of Visual Studio 2005 Team System for Software Architects.  This bug will prevent deployment of this language edition of Visual Studio 2005 by running msiexec.exe /i vs_setup.msi.

    Root cause

    The underlying issue is that the ProductName property in the MSI was incorrectly translated from English to Spanish.  If you look at the VSTA MSI in an MSI viewer/editor such as Orca, you will see that the product name value is the following:

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team para Software Architects - ESN

    All of the Visual Studio setup data files expect this product name to be the following:

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects - ESN

    Because of this mismatch between the MSI and the setup data files, one of the custom actions in the MSI that checks to make sure that all Visual Studio prerequisites are installed returns failure, and setup blocks installation as a result.

    Unfortunately, we found this issue prior to shipping Visual Studio 2005 for other non-English languages, but missed this one Spanish edition of VS 2005.

    Workaround

    I have posted a transform that you can apply to the Spanish VSTA vs_setup.msi to fix the underlying issue described above.  You can download the transform from this location.  Once you download this transform, you can create an administrative install point by using this command line:

    msiexec /a <path to vs_setup.msi> /L*v <path to log file> TRANSFORMS =<path to transform file> TARGETDIR=<path to create the adminstrative install point at>

    You can also edit the ProductName property in the MSI directly using Orca prior to deploying this edition of Visual Studio.

    Please note that even if you do not use the workaround listed above, deployment of the Spanish version of Visual Studio 2005 will still work by using the /createunattend and /unattendfile switches for setup.exe.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    My file server is back up and running again

    • 0 Comments

    As I stated in this previous blog post, the file server that I use to host various troubleshooting tools had to be taken down for maintenance.  I just checked and the server is back up and running, so you should be able to download any of the tools that I refer to in various other blog posts.  Please let me know if you are still encountering any problems downloading any of the tools linked to on my blog....

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Mailbag: Why does the .NET Framework 2.0 install .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1 files?

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    Question:

    I have a new computer and I only have the .NET Framework 2.0 installed so far.  However, when I look at the folder %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework, I see folders named v1.0.3705, v1.1.4322 and v2.0.50727.  Does that mean the .NET Framework 2.0 setup is installing a few files into the .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1 folders?  Or can I safely delete the v1.0.3705 and v1.1.4322 folders that I see on my system?

    Answer:

    The .NET Framework 2.0 does install a few files to the .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1 folders, so you should not delete the v1.0.3705 and v1.1.4322 folders on your system.  After shipping the .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1, we found a few files that require configuration files in order to run correctly once the .NET Framework 2.0 is installed.  .NET 2.0 setup pre-emptively installs these files even if you don't have the .NET Framework 1.0 and/or 1.1 installed in case you end up installing either of them at some later time.  This is a bit of a strange setup behavior, but it is necessary in order to ensure correct side-by-side functionality of the different versions of the .NET Framework.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    WinFX is now renamed to .NET Framework 3.0

    • 2 Comments

    I just noticed a blog post made yesterday by S. Somasegar (the vice president in charge of developer tools at Microsoft).  In it, he announced a naming change for the WinFX - it will now be known as the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0.  I encourage you to look at his blog post to see more details about the change and why it was made.

    Please note that this is just a naming change, the features that are a part of the .NET Framework 3.0 are the same and so are the ship vehicles and schedule.  The .NET Framework 3.0 will be a part of the OS on Windows Vista, and will be availabe as a redistributable package on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

    It will be a little odd because on downlevel platforms, when you install the .NET Framework 3.0, it will actually install the .NET Framework 2.0 as a prerequisite, so you will see both the 2.0 and 3.0 versions in Add/Remove Programs after installing it.  Also, uninstalling the .NET Framework 3.0 will leave behind the 2.0 version because other applications (such as Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005) might be relying on that product being installed to work correctly.

     

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Possible solutions for a 2203 error while installing the .NET Framework

    • 12 Comments

    I received a mail from a customer today that described a scenario where the .NET Framework 2.0 setup failed with error code 2203.  In this scenario, the application event log contained an entry like the following:

    Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 -- The installer has encountered an unexpected error installing this package. This may indicate a problem with this package. The error code is 2203. The arguments are: C:\WINNT\Installer\2579981.ipi, -2147287035

    According to the Windows Installer documentation, error code 2203 means Database: [2]. Cannot open database file. System error [3].  In this case, the system error code (-2147287035) means "access denied."

    There are a couple of cases where I have seen this error in the past for the .NET Framework and other types of MSI-based setup packages:

    1. Permission problems for the %windir%\installer folder - If the Windows Installer service does not have sufficient permissions to read and write to this folder, the installation will fail.  Typically the subinacl tool described here will fix the permissions and then you can re-run setup and it will work correctly.
    2. Anti-virus software - If you have a real-time virus scanner enabled, and it happens to be scanning the file in %windir%\installer at the same time as setup is trying to open the file and install from it, you will get this type of error.  This is generally a timing issue, and in this case re-running setup will fix it.  Alternatively, you can disable real-time virus scanning during installation, but if you do this please be aware of the security implications of doing so and either install while not connected to the network, or if that is not possible, make sure to immediately re-enable the virus scanner after setup completes.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    My file server is down for upgrades

    • 1 Comments

    I'm sorry to have to announce this again so soon after the last time, but the server I use to host all of the tools that I have posted for download is down due to power upgrades in the location that the servers are located.  It should be back up in the next day or so.

    If anyone runs into trouble trying to download one of the tools located at http://astebner.sts.winisp.net/Tools/Forms/AllItems.aspx that I list in any of my blog posts, please contact me and I will send you a copy of the tool via email as a workaround.  I apologize for the inconvenience, and I'll post a follow-up message when the site is back up and running again.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Flickr photo browser add-in for Windows Media Center in Windows Vista announced

    • 1 Comments

    I found a blog post from Chris Lanier from this past weekend that announces a new Windows Media Center application that has been built for Windows Media Center for Windows Vista beta 2.

    The add-in is named Big Screen Photos, and it is a Flickr photo browser and it is written as a WinFX XAML Browser Application (XBAP).  The UI in the screenshots posted on the site look similar to the Windows Media Center start menu in Windows Vista (color schemes, vertical and horizontal navigation).  It looks like the add-in will be available for download in the near future.

    It is exciting to me to see folks already starting to write real Windows Media Center applications for Windows Vista already.  I'm looking forward to seeing what other folks come up with now that we've released the beta 2 version of the Windows Media Center SDK for Windows Vista.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Mailbag: Why am I prompted to insert the Visual Studio 2005 DVD when installing from the DVD?

    • 4 Comments

    Question:

    I am trying to create an integrated installation DVD that includes Visual Studio 2005 as well as some other programs.  I burned a test DVD and used the instructions you previously posted to launch unattended setup directly from the DVD.  However, when I do this, Visual Studio 2005 installation fails.  When I try to run setup in full UI mode from the DVD, I receive a disk prompt asking me to insert the Visual Studio 2005 DVD.  How do I figure out what is wrong and fix this issue?

    Answer:

    For scenarios where a disk prompt appears, the best place to start to look for explanations is in the verbose MSI log file.  According to the list of Visual Studio 2005 log files, setup creates a verbose log file named %temp%\vsmsilog*.txt (where * is a randomly generated ending).

    In most cases where disk prompts appear, log entries similar to the following will appear:

    MSI (s) (58:88) [09:43:56:812]: Source is incorrect. Volume label should be DVD1 but is MYDVD.

    When Visual Studio setup is run from removable media (such as a DVD), it expects the volume label to exactly match what is specified in the VolumeLabel column of the Media table in the MSI.  If the media volume label does not match what is listed in the Media table, then setup will prompt you to swap discs.

    For Visual Studio 2005, the volume label varies depending on where you received your copy of Visual Studio.

    For MSDN subscriptions, the DVD volume label must be DVD1 for all editions of Visual Studio.

    For retail versions of Visual Studio 2005, the DVD volume label varies based on what edition of Visual Studio is being installed:

    Note: For any Visual Studio 2005 edition not listed above, you can use any volume label you choose because the Media table of their MSI files do not include VolumeLabel entries.  Those entries are left blank because the product is small enough to fit on a single CD and therefore the volume label is not used by Windows Installer (as described here).

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Configuring network shares as watched folders for Media Center recorded TV content

    • 5 Comments

    While not officially supported, it is possible to configure a remote network share as a watched folder for Windows Media Center recorded TV content.  Watched folders are locations that Media Center looks in for recorded TV content that it will allow you to browse and play back in the Media Center UI.

    There is a set of steps in this Green Button forum post that can be used to configure the security permissions necessary to use a network share as a watched folder for Media Center TV content.  Those steps will work correctly for Windows XP Media Center Edition, but there is a slight modification needed if you want to use these steps in Windows Media Center for Windows Vista.

    The Windows Media Center services that manage recorded TV (ehSched and ehRecvr) run in the Network Service context in Windows Vista, whereas they ran in the Local System context in Windows XP Media Center Edition.  Therefore, you will need to add Network Service permissions in addition to the permissions listed in the forum post to get things to work correctly within Windows Media Center.

    Important Notes:

    • If you intend to try out these instructions, please keep in mind that this "feature" is not officially supported and so you do so at your own risk.
    • Please make sure to carefully read the security implications outlined in the forum post because adding certain types of permissions can make your computer more vulnerable to exploits.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Mailbag: How can I perform a silent installation of Visio for Enterprise Architects?

    • 4 Comments

    Question:

    I have seen your previous posts about how to perform silent and unattended installs of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework.  I would like to be able to include Visio for Enterprise Architects (which ships with higher end versions of Visual Studio .NET 2002, 2003 and 2005).  How can I do that?

    Answer:

    You can use the following command line to perform a silent install of Visio for Enterprise Architects for Visual Studio .NET 2002 and 2003:

    msiexec.exe /i <full path to visio.msi> /qn

    You can also substitute /qb if you want to perform an unattended installation (which provides a small progress bar during installation with a cancel button), or /qb! if you want to perform an unattended installation with no cancel button.

    You can use the following command line to perform a silent install of Visio for Enterprise Architects for Visual Studio 2005:

    msiexec.exe /i <full path to visvea.msi> /qn

    You can also substitute /qb or /qb! as described above.

    In addition, because the above command lines call msiexec.exe directly, you can use any of the standard Windows Installer command line parameters.

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Another possible solution if Windows Media Center Xbox 360 PC setup crashes when launched

    • 7 Comments

    A while back, I posted this possible workaround for crashes that can happen when trying to launch Xbox 360 PC setup to install the necessary software on a Windows Media Center 2005 system to enable it to act as a Media Center extender. 

    The setup executable for Xbox 360 PC setup (named dvcsetup.exe) is written in C#, and in cases where the .NET Framework is not functioning correctly, this setup will crash when it is launched.  The previous workaround I posted described how to clean off and reinstall the .NET Framework 1.1.

    In recent weeks, I have heard from a couple of customers who tried to use this workaround but still saw Xbox 360 PC setup crash on their system.  When I looked at the Xbox 360 PC setup package in more detail, I realized that it will try to install the .NET Framework 1.1 and 1.1 SP1 if they are not already installed.  That means that in some cases the Xbox 360 PC setup package may be using the .NET Framework 1.0 as the runtime version when it attempts to launch.  Therefore, the previous workaround of repairing the .NET Framework 1.1 may not be helpful on systems that only have the .NET Framework 1.0 installed when trying to run Xbox 360 PC setup.

    How to repair the .NET Framework 1.0

    In cases where you see crashes when launching Xbox 360 PC setup on a Windows Media Center PC that does not have the .NET Framework 1.1 or higher installed, you can use the steps in this blog post to repair the version of the .NET Framework 1.0 that is included as part of the OS on Media Center systems.

    How to repair the .NET Framework 1.1 or 2.0

    If you see crashes when launching Xbox 360 PC setup on a Windows Media Center PC that does have the .NET Framework 1.1 and/or 2.0 installed, you can use the following steps to repair the .NET Framework 1.1 and/or 2.0 on your system:

    1. Download the .NET Framework cleanup tool, run it and choose to clean up the .NET Framework 1.1 or 2.0 (or both).
    2. Reinstall the .NET Framework 1.1 and/or the .NET Framework 2.0
    3. Reinstall the .NET Framework 1.1 SP1 if you reinstalled the .NET Framework 1.1 in the previous step

     

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