MSI installations, Server 2008 R2 64bit and Visual Studio 2008

Here’s a nugget of information that I found out by pure accident when I first shifted to developing on the Server 2008 R2 64bit platform and guess what I wasted time yet again when I forgot this with an issue caused by it.

What happened was that I decided to upgrade a set of controls I use for WinForms development. The controls are part of the UIStudio suite from Actipro and I can’t speak highly enough about how well the they work and how good the support is from Actipro when an issue is found. I uninstalled the old controls and installed the new versions from their MSI file’s via a simple right-click install. Then I upgraded my Visual Studio project to use the updated components, not forgetting the version number in the license.licx file and when I ran this I was surprised to see the evaluation screen popup saying I wasn’t using a licensed version. So I figured that I’d probably fat fingered the license key as I’m no touch typist, so an uninstall, careful reinstall was in order. No luck there. So started a 1 hour fight trying to figure out if different locations would work, UAC issue’s perhaps, maybe virtual store issue’s where occurring, etc. No luck. I checked all my files and even used Reflector to examine the assembly to see if the license file was in there. It wasn’t. At the point of giving up and kicking my machine into the next decade I remembered the one nugget of critical information that I had forgotten. What that issue was, is ‘You have to install an MSI as administrator’ or strange issues can occur, such as files not being placed in the correct directory (I’ve had all files installed in the root directory) or as in this case the file simply not being included in the compiled assembly. Ok, there are others but I not looking at my list of things to look out for on Server 2k8. Now installing an MSI as admin is a small nuisance as you cannot right-click and then install as admin, it just doesn’t exist. So back to my old standby, open a command prompt as the admin and then run the MSI from there. After that, everything was working again.

So if you have issues with MSI installed apps or controls on Server 2008 R2 64bit, remember that you may need to install as admin. This should clear it up.

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About Colin Blakey

Way to many years (25+) working in the Financial software world.
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