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Installing and Running Visual Studio On Windows Vista - A Developer's Notes

In this article I will share some of my experiences with installation Visual Studio and developing ASP.Net projects on Windows Vista. Since Windows Vista is still in beta stage, some of the observations and tips I have mentioned in this article may change in the final retail build of the operating system.

Visual Studio 2003 and .Net 1.1 Install

Here is some bad news if you are thinking of installing Visual Studio 2003 to develop ASP.Net 1.1 applications. The problem is that Windows Vista will only allow installation of .Net1.1 with SP1. That means you need a redistriution package of .Net 1.1 with SP1. And so far I have not come across that redistribution package anywhere on MSDN. So you are caught in this no win situation. If anyone of you know availability of .Net 1.1 with SP1 install package, please post a comment in our forum or send us an email. We would like to put that link here so that everybody can benefit from it.

Run as administrator - User Access Control

Everybody talks about this new Usear Access Control feature of Windows Vista. I will not talk in detail about it in this article. I will be presenting the details in another article about it. In nutshell what UAC means is that all users are logged in as standard users even if the user belong to Administrators group. So if you try to install any program, operating system needs to run the install with elevated previlleges. So if you are running as standard user, the system will keep prompting you asking for permissions to do one thing after another. So if you are member of administrator group and willing to sit through whole install process and willing to click on permission dialog box button then there nothing else to do. But if you are like me and want to complete the installation of Visual Studio 2005 with any question being asked for permission then follow the following procedure.

  • Start Command Prompt with "Run as administrator" to run with elevated previleges. .
  • Run "Setup.exe" for Visual Studio from CD/DVD drive
  • Complete installation of Visual Studio 2005. You will not be asked for any permission confirmations.

Opening Existing Projects In Folder Outside Your Profile

If you have a dual boot setup like my machine and have existing projects that you want to open in Visual Studio, you are in for some surprise. Here are some issues that I ran into.

  • Failed to add new files to project.
  • Could not compile the project
  • Could not update the source files from source safe
  • And some more issues

All these issues pretty much have the same problem - Access Denied to update files. Thats where new User Access Control feature hits you first. The issue here is that a standard user does not have write permisisons on any file for which he is not a owner or ACL for the file does not allow user to modify it. And in some cases the standard user may not even have read permissions. So for the existing project which was created on some other machine or created under different account under different OS, that means you are not the owner. So any attempt to modify the file or project will end up with "Access Denied" message. So here some of your options to overcome these issues.

  • Disable UAC completely for your machine. I will not recommend because by doing this you are pretty much killing this new security feature that MS has added.
  • Run Visual Studio with elevated previleges by running as administrator the same way I explained in previous section about installtion. You can either run the command prompt as administrator and run VS executable from there or use "Run as administrator" option on the shortcut for Visual Studio as shown in figure.
  • Take ownership of the files under the project.


As we come across more issues like these we will update the article and keep you updated with exciting changes happening in Vista.

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