Visual Basic .NET Nightmare or Guide to upgrading a Guru.
Before you Buy/Installing
(An insipid look at the truly unaware consumer - Namely myself)
VB7 or the more commonly addressed as VB .NET will not install on any 9X boxes. It's quite the experience to go ahead and dish out the cash for the latest and greatest new software development program only to find out it won't install. It's even more interesting when after total confusion and frustration one finally looks at the box and reads the minimum requirements and finds out that ME is now the new Win 95.
Well this SUCKS! I love ME, it was such an unbelievable relief from win 98 & win 98 SE, the crashing Blue Screen King & Queen of the MS Windows family of OS products.
I really didn't want to give it up, I have issues with compatibility of releasing native compiled code to an office which has become dependant on my programs. And they are all finally on Windows ME.
So if your still on ME or don't yet have NT 4.0 or greater, better be ready to upgrade your OS first then spend the wicked dollars for VB7.
Before you Install. (the wary installer has gone paranoid and is now in the middle of buying a NEW Hard drive to ensure that everything inside of the computer's current hard drive feels no ill effects from VB7 install)
Where oh where has my VB 6 Gone? - Fortunately it's right where you left it, unless your a total nutcase and uninstalled it first. Trust me you won't upgrade your skills that quickly, unless your a member of the I know everything super genius club.
Does VB6 work with VB7 installed? You betcha. Haven't seen it NOT work yet. But there's some weird effects to it now, maybe it's XP over ME or the effect of VB7 installed with VB6. Things to Note:
Some things I am going to try - On my next install, of XP, I am going to reinstall VB6(Basically the whole visual studio) after installing XP, this may blow up XP, donno yet. Then see if my Add ins come back and then subsequently survive the Next .Net install. To date I have installed XP 5 times, and .Net twice, just to get some things working right.
Oh Where Oh where have my scrollbars gone? Although not directly related to VB7 itself, it bears note that if you are upgrading your OS to install VB .NET your going to want to know that XP will frag your current install of Office, IF you have 2K or less. If your cheating the MS Directive to upgrade routine and side grading to Windows 2K you may not experience this. But before you do that read on....I have found the best solution is to Uninstall Office before moving your current system up to XP. Then install Office afterwards, Reinstalling Office afterwards does NOTHING! Aside from my missing scrollbars in word, the office installer would pop up on screen every time I went to my network folder.
Got Space? Okay this is just for the .net Standard edition, I haven't robbed enough old ladies to buy the whole studio just yet. VB7 requires 2 Gigs of hard drive space! Just for VB itself! But it contains all the basics for the whole studio, so maybe getting the whole studio might not be much more. So this is 3 Disks for .Net itself and a whole extra disk to upgrade components, apparently if you do not have XP, because the only thing it wanted from that disk were front page server extension.
XP .NET? if your not confused by now you will be before your done. Is XP really .Net and vice versa? Everything is listed for both as Version 2002. This of' course is in lieu of the naming convention started with Windows 95. office XP is as well 2002. Once you got them all in order (still waiting on office XP upgrade) things should all work nice and smooth yes? One should hope so, but let's get sidetracked, because you have to anyway, unless your best friend just gave you win 2K to install instead.
A week with XP Pro ( It may have been longer I have lost track due to late nights of reconditioning all my Microsoft Knowledge into a very tight category - What does not work under XP that worked fine under me? )
PCAnyone? Or better yet the thing that was PCAnywhere. if you don't use this then skip this section. According to Symantec PCA 9.2 does not work with XP. So what's a poor boy to do? After buying XP .NET can I afford to now run out and buy PCA 10.5? Hell no. And does it really NOT work on XP? No, in fact it works just fine, except it cripples the fancy new welcome screen under XP, so that your greeted with an old familiar NT/2K hit ctrl-alt-del to logon screen. This of' course will not do either. This was hateful the first time I saw it and didn't want to see it again. So how exactly did I get the two to stop attacking each other? After MANY hours of research I can narrow it down to a few things.
What happened to my IMs? What is this with Windows Messenger versus MSn Messenger anyway? And why didn't XP incorporate my MSn settings into it? Laziness? Who knows, but you'll have to run it to put your info back into it to get it going. And it will remove the source file if you uninstall XP for it, cause like it's really not a different program. In fact you can download the add on to get your e-mail notification back along with the ad banner Spam on the main window. And if you think it's mostly harmless try this. click start, MSDOS prompt, then type in netstat. You'll notice that MSn messenger maintains a constant connection to a couple of Http locations, sure to clog up your bandwidth.
Merlin has nothing to say. He was quite mute actually when I had him up my screen, apparently XP doesn't keep TruVoice as an installed component, because it doesn't work on it's own. You have to add SAPI runtime files which you can download and install to get him speaking again.
Other misc. programs which are unhappy in the new kingdom. Support for these programs can be found through the compatibility wizard, conveniently located 3 levels into your start menu. Or try clicking Here to get it started.
Installing ( The night of no rest cont. )
Surely by now XP should be working so it's now safe to install VB .NET. First thing you want to do is clean out all those sleeper programs that run in the background. You also want a fresh boot. I got start up down to systray and explorer. Close down everything. grab a book. put in the #1 CD click step one, cause you can't cheat and just put the component CD in first, I tried, it did nothing. So what happens next is it tells you to switch to that CD and whatever it needs from there it'll grab first, then switch back to dick 1. Cool ehn?
Hours later it will finally ask you for disk 2, and sometime after that disk 3. But disk 3 won't hold you up as long as the other 2.
By now the sun should be coming up and it's a bran new day, so with bleary eyes your going to open up this new program and drown yourself into it's madness.
XP .Net Kingdom install. For those of you who still need a decent working version of VB6 or VS6.
This of' course takes into consideration that you either have enough disk space or can afford a second separate hare drive altogether.
For a single disk, Partition a second partition in the space available that you want for your XP .Net kingdom. If your doing 2K or NT this is also viable.
ME must be installed to the C-drive (Unless your guru skills tell you how to do it otherwise) I wasted 3 installs thinking I could flat line the sucker to a tiny spot on a partitioned D drive. (That's a Logical DOS drive incase you were wondering) if you already have ME installed then there isn't much to worry about there, except making sure your partition software doesn't lose the contents of your C drive while making a new D drive. This is not a problem if you actually have a New hard Drive for your D drive, if you can afford it, I recommend it. By the time I built my $700 computer, I couldn't :P.
Install XP with the advanced option and set it's install to drive D, it's also handy to format it to NTSF, this helps the computer run faster.
With ME safe & secure with a working copy of VB6 no need to worry about .Net messing with it at all. But of' course, your not always going to want to have to switch your OS to make a quickie VB6 program. So after fully installing and updating XP install VS6 or VB6 first. Patch it, install SP5, if your not up to SP5, you should be.
Now it's safe to install all your programs you want on XP. For me this wasn't hard because I no longer wanted anything other than VB6 on my ME install.
IMPORTANT: Make a restore point here. This may help you if VB.NET freezes during install (Yes I had this happen), in order to get the system to work again it had to revert to a previous working copy of the registry, which of' course was right after the XP install.
Now after a fresh reboot and about 512MB of extra RAM installed you should be safe to install VB7.
VB6 works fine now on a fresh install over an Upgrade. Office 2K also is much happier as a fresh install over upgrading and since I have two OSes I can test two different versions of Office with my programs.