Installing Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1… no love from LightSwitch

By James at June 01, 2011 22:46
Filed Under: Beta Software, Technology in General

I love installing beta bits. Usually I will spin up a new VM and install the stuff there, but apparently I didn’t do this with Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta Edition. While LightSwitch is a cool idea, it’s not for me and I’m sure I uninstalled it right away. A month or so go by and the Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 Beta bits are out, so I go to install them on my development machine, only to be greeted by this error dialog.

Incompatible products Setup has detected that following incompatible version of products or components are installed on your machine… "*Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta Edition – ENU”

lightswitch error

I checked Add/Remove programs and LightSwitch was not in the list. Hmm, I think, perhaps there are some leftover files. So I opened up Search Everything (one of my favorite tools) and did a search for “Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta Edition”. I found tons of file folders all over the place, and deleted them all.

Running the install again, I got the same error, so this time decided to check the registry with RegEdit. Searching for the same string, I found almost 30 registry entries that had not been cleaned up by the uninstall process. I backed up my registry, then went and deleted all of those keys.

Starting the install again, gave me lots of love and I now have the Mango Dev Tools installed on my machine.

Hope this helps you out if you run into the same problem.


Watch out! Visual Studio SP1 Pack for VS and VWD with WPI

By James at April 14, 2011 20:18
Filed Under: ASP.NET, Beta Software, Entity Framework, Miscellaneous, Technology in General

I like to have all my tools updated and current and wanted to install the RTM version of IIS 7.5 Express, SQL Server Compact 4.0 with the tools, and Web Deploy 2.0. I found a link to install these, along with Visual Studio 2010 SP1 via the Web Platform Installer.

Ok, methinks, I already installed VS 2010 SP1, so this should be smart enough to see this and not muck things up. Boy was I mistaken. After 90 minutes of installing, I figured something was wrong and cancelled the installation. Man, was that ever a bonehead move! My entire development environment got hosed; currently working solutions wouldn’t open, MVC 2/3 templates were gone, lots of frustration. Running SP1 again, I was given the opportunity to repair the installation, and that failed…twice.

I finally uninstalled VS 2010 SP1, uninstalled VS 2010, then reinstalled both. However, now this time, the Entity Framework templates were missing, and opening an EDMX file just showed the XML. Yikes.

I did another round of uninstall/reinstall, only to find out that both versions of MVC 2 and 3 didn’t have the tooling and my current MVC2 project doesn’t recognize any MVC related code.

I keep my VS 2010 .iso files on my server and use a virtual CD drive to run them. Doing a repair this way, caused a ton of problems too, as the VS 2010 installer wants to install .NET 4.0, which wants to reboot the system. Naturally when the system reboots, the installer wants to find the setup files, but since it takes time to find all the drives after a reboot, the install keeps failing.

What a waste of a day and a half.

Lessons learned

1. Don’t use the VS SP1 Pack for VS and VWD from the Web Platform Installer. Get the individual downloads for the apps you want to install (IIS 7.5, SSCE and Web Deploy 2.0) and run them by themselves.

2. Copy the files from the VS 2010 .iso to a local folder and run the setup from there. This way after a reboot, the installation will know where to look to continue on.

3. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


Um, where’s my profile? None for you.

By James at June 19, 2009 03:53
Filed Under: Beta Software, Technology in General

I’ve been running Windows 7 RC1 natively on my main system since it came out. No problems at all until yesterday when I did a restart. Logging into my account, I first noticed the resolution was all pixely. Then my desktop had changed, showing the Beta fish, then a notice that my profile could not be loaded and I had been assigned a temporary profile. I rebooted and was greeted with the same thing. Looking through the event viewer I found the following at about the same time this all started.

“The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable. Please run the chkdsk utility on the volume \Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy1.”

So I started IM-ing my IT God, best friend, Rich ( He can figure out anything and the first thing he said was not to do the chkdsk. Fortunately I had also setup Carmina with an account so he had me do the following steps.

  • 1. Login as Carmina (I had set her up as Administrator)
  • 2. Create a new account
  • 3. Login to the new account and let it build the profile
  • 4. Log back in as Carmina, then go to Computer –> Properties –> Advanced System Properties –> User Profiles

What Rich wanted me to do was copy my old profile to the new one I had just created, but “uh-oh” the “Copy To” button was disabled.


I tried every combination I could think of and the only way the Copy To button would enable was if I chose Default Profile. Both Rich and I started searching for answers and came up with the following link, “Cannot Copy Local Profiles in Win7” ( Apparently it is either a feature or a bug, but being able to copy profiles in Win7 has been disabled. The thread shows a lot of disgruntled IT Pros.

I was starting to get frustrated. I have regular backups with Mozy, but I didn’t want to have to spend time re-paving my system. However now I was into this with a 6 hour investment so far. So I tried one last ditch effort.

  • 1. Login as Carmina
  • 2. Create a new “James” account with Administrator rights
  • 3. Login as the new “James” and let the profile get built
  • 4. Log off then login again as Carmina
  • 5. Take ownership of all the files and folders in the C:\Users folder
  • 6. Copy the entire James folder (the original) to the new James2 folder
  • 7. Rebooted and logged in as James2
  • 8. Bingo! It’s all back, including all my email accounts.


Only a few things are a bit flakey. Live Mesh isn’t working so I need to reinstall. But if this happens again, I know I’ll be ready. Ah…the fun of being a renegade.

Time to reorganize.


Windows 7, iTunes and GEARAspiWDM.sys. No black turtlenecks for me.

By James at March 23, 2009 16:24
Filed Under: Technology in General, Beta Software

So after my adventures yesterday with Win7 Beta 1 and no web access, I thought things were all cleared up. Tonight I realized my DVD Drive wasn’t being recognized. Going into Device Manager I saw that Windows had disabled the Drive because the driver being used was unsigned. Digging a bit deeper I find that one of the drivers being used is GEARAspiWDM.sys. This is a pretty common driver for DVD/CD RW drives, so I was intrigued why that was the issue.

Googling for GEARAspiWDM.sys I found the following article on ZDNet by Ed Bott, “An inside look at Apple's sneaky iTunes 8 upgrade”. The article talks about how Apple sneaks in a bunch of crap during their iTunes and QuickTime upgrades and doesn’t indicate what is being installed. I followed the articles suggestions about trying to roll back to a previous version, but, of course, there isn’t one on my system.

A quick trip to, Support, Drivers and I download Driver_Installer_x86_x64.exe Version 4.008.5, Date Feb 4, 2009. Running the installer is a snap, and I have my DVD Drive back.

Thanks Ed! Thanks Gear Software! Screw you Apple.



About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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