It takes me ages to install a new machine. Getting the software on is the
easy bit; it's the background activity of setting up those little custom settings
like toolbars, environment variables, TweakUI entries
etc. to make my desktop feel like "home" that takes time. I've even created
a document to help me remember some of those settings, but invariably I miss quite
It's so frustrating to spend that time and then have some small but significant glitch
render it as wasted effort. I was doing some work on an application today when I hit
the following nasty little error message:
...and at that point my productivity went out the window temporarily. I tried everything,
from uninstalling several potentially conflicting applications, to reinstalling Visual
Studio .NET, all with no avail. I checked through our internal knowledge base and
searched Google, also without success.
Finally, thanks to Phil Milton from PSS,
I tracked the problem down to an early build of Visual Studio .NET "Whidbey"
that I'd installed and uninstalled. Turns out it had left some cruft in an obscure
directory which caused a conflict - because it was marked with a newer version than
the current release of VS.NET the reinstallation refused to update it. If you
find yourself in a similar position, rename the folder \Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft
Shared\MSDesigners7 to something different, reinstall and it should work fine.
Three lessons I've learnt from this escapade. Firstly, don't give up when something's
broken in Windows - chances are that it's fixable if you can only identify what! Secondly,
most MSDN subscribers forget that they have a number of free PSS incidents (and problems
that are resolved as being due to a bug don't count against the total). Thirdly, use
something like Virtual PC whenever
installing something flaky - now we've acquired this technology, it will soon
be included in MSDN so there's no excuse!