Friday, June 23, 2006

How to hack MDAC 2.8 off of a machine

I can't take credit for this as I found the tip here. Basically the preferred method is to have the MDAC installer for what you want *removed* and using a couple of less-known setup switches:

  1. use the /T switch to specify a temporary folder to extract the files in the setup
  2. use the /C switch to only copy the files out

Also, it's good to use the MDAC Component Checker to verify which version you have installed. Then grab the standalone installer for that version, unpack it, run the uninstall, reboot and you're good to go.

I downloaded the mdac_typ.exe and used a command prompt to execute the following:

mdac_typ /t:C:\mdac /c

I then switched to the C:\mdac directory just created and executed the following to uninstall:

dasetup /u

I happened to be running this on a Windows 2000 machine and after the reboot Windows Protection kicked in and tried to restore stuff. I cancelled it then tried Component Checker again and promptly got an error because MSXML wasn't installed. I then ran the install for the version of MDAC I wanted (2.7 SP1 Refresh). After it finished, I tried Component Checker again and it told me that version of MDAC installed was indeed 2.7 SP1 Refresh.

As with any undocumented hacks like this, your mileage may vary.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Vista Beta 2 not a good host for Virtual PC?

I posted here how easy it was to get Virtual PC running on Vista. I figured it was a great way to tryout Vista (my office/email/messaging desktop) while still being productive with VMs containing specific development environments. However, after about a week of use, I've decided I'm better off booting into XP to run VMs. I've been experiencing “lockups” of up to 1 minute or more which make effective work impossible. For example, clicking down through directories on the C:\ drive and suddenly Explorer hangs for a while. Sometimes, I'll see the network activity icon going, other times not. If anybody has tips to share, please do!!

My host machine is a Dell Inspiron 6000 760 M (2.0 Ghz) with 2.0 Gb of RAM. The VMs are running from a USB 2.0 attached 5600 RPM drive - I know, 7200 would be better. The images are all VPC 2004 SP1 with up-to-date VM additions updated. The kicker is the same image runs well when I boot into XP and run them there. Given everything identical except the host OS I can only “blame” Vista Beta 2 as the culprit.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Omea Reader under Vista

Omea Reader 2.1.1 (free version) installs and runs well under Vista Beta 2. I've discovered one quirk (design flaw?) though. I've set up a separate Data partition to make things easier dual-booting between XP and Vista. So after installing Omea under Vista, I hunted around for the settings on the XP install, found them under C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Local Settings\Application Data\JetBrains\Omea and copied them over to the Data partition (e.g. F:\Omea). When I launch Omea under Vista and go to Tools|Options|Omea|Paths and set the database and log files path to F:\Omea it only accepts the new value for the Log Files. The database setting reverts to the standard Vista location E:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\JetBrains\Omea. Seems like a bug or perhaps a design flaw?

For the record, after exiting Omea and copying over the settings to E:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\JetBrains\Omea, replacing what's there, then restarting you'll find all your feeds, subscriptions, clippings, etc. are there which was a nice thing. Now the problem is remembering which OS I can run Omea in so I don't lose any data!

I wonder if there's a registry or file hack where the value is stored for the database path? Hmmm...

UPDATE: I copied over the contents from the \User location in Vista to my data partition (F:\Omea ), updated the registry (HKCU\Software\JetBrains\Omea) values to F:\Omea , moved the folders in the \User location to the Recycle Bin then restarted Omea. Success!

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Great non-destructive partitioning utility - and it's free!

After testing Vista Beta 2 running inside Virtual PC and then on an older machine, I decided the next step was to take the plunge and setup my main laptop for dual boot. At this point, it “hovered” on my mental to-do list until I saw this article on Lifehacker. What really caught my eye was Gina's mention of a comment posted regarding GParted - an open source partition manager. After reading the article here I headed over to the project workspace and downloaded it. Bottom line - it works as advertised and is a great addition to the toolchest. The ISO is only about 30 Mb and contains a bootable version of Linux. After paying for Partition Magic v3, v4, v5, v6, and v7...I'm done shelling out money for upgrades!

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Virtual PC running on Vista host

I looked for an answer but few people seem to have posted about this one so I figured I would in case others asked. After trying Vista *inside* a virtual machine, I next wondered if I could install Virtual PC onto a Vista host. After all, running Vista “right on the metal” of a real machine is much sexier than inside an emulated VM :). After a false start of trying to launch the MSI I found a suggestion somewhere that you had to run the Setup.exe stub which worked great. So...when trying older installers, use the Setup and it seems to work well. BTW, Virtual PC 2004 SP1 works well under Vista so migrating over is much easier. You *ARE* using VMs for development, testing, etc. right??? Doing so makes the physical machine irrelevant and recovery from hardware failures much faster.

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Windows Vista Beta 2 and missing msvcr71.dll

While trying out various things on the Beta 2 (Build 5384) I ran into a missing msvcr71.dll while trying to use Password Safe. Since I was dual booting with XP on another partition, I copied over the file from \Windows\System32 on the XP partition. My super scientific methodology was to try launching again. Next it was msvcp70.dll and then finally msvcp71.dll. After that the application came up fine. Soooo...if you're missing any of these three, grab a copy of them from an XP installation and just simply drop them into \Windows\system32 on the Vista partition. Seems to work okay ;)

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