Good Installation Errors & Visual Studio 2008

Have spent the last 2 days trying to get the RTM version of Visual Studio 2008 to install and what an experience that has been. Kept getting an error during the overall install process with the Web Authoring Component and the error given was:-

setup.exe: [2] ISetupComponent::Pre/Post/Install() failed in
ISetupManager::InternalInstallManager() with HRESULT -2147023293.

Now the googling started as I tried to work out what the problem was, all sorts of offerings were made and I tried most of them. Finally settling on extracting the web authoring component to a temp directory and running its setup out of the combined Visual Studio installer. This indicated that some Office 2007 Beta component was installed which was hindering the installation. So working through the various Office add-ons I had installed, previously I have had this error due to the PDF/XPS add-on and the Expression Blend betas. Well the PDF add-on is now the release version and I had already removed Expression Blend. After a few attempts it turned out that the Outlook 2007 Calendar Printing Assistant was the culprit, and once removed the install proceeded to complete.

Now I ask why couldn’t the combination installer tell me that in the first place, without trying to install it manually I would still be looking for a solution. If you are going to create combination installers which roll-up a whole host of components and install them together then you need to make sure that decent error messages are either passed back to the main installer or at least logged somewhere for further diagnosis.

Internet Explorer – making it a better experience

Day to day I still tend to use Firefox as my main browser but do end up running one or two windows in IE7 since I reguarly visit sites that just don’t quite get it right in firefox (often Microsoft sites!).

Paul Thurrot’s recent post on Firefox Goes Head-To-Head With Microsoft’s IE7 just made me remember how I make my IE7 experience better and more firefox-like, I mean when I have to use IE7 I want the same experience. So without further ado my list of must have extentions:-

*IE7Pro – adds mouse guestures & session restore, and lots more beside

[* InlineSearch – need I say more] – don’t need this as IE7Pro provides this feature

* ieSpell – adds spelling checks

So while I still prefer firefox these addons just IE7 that bit more useable for when I need to use it. Having said that I also have IE7 set as my default browser since I often had problems launching firefox from links in email from Outlook.

Vista & HP1740 LCD Panel Driver – WARNING!!!!

Well interesting weekend with Vista. On Friday I checked on Windows Update and there were updates for my HP nw8240 laptop hardware up a new graphics driver for ATI Mobility FireGL and the HP 1740 LCD I have connected to my docking station at work. So what does a good Vista person do, but opt to download the updates in order to get the ‘BEST” Vista experience.

Well on Friday all seemed to go well and after the update (no reboot now required for graphics driver updates which is really cool) and I continued to work happily with my 2 screen setup. Coming out of standby at home it was a different matter however, suddenly I could only run at 1280 x 1024 on the laptop panel (normally 1680 x 1050) and kept getting a ‘you have have no privelege to change settings’ followed by ‘this is an invalid display configuration’ whenever I tried to change the display setting.

So obvious thing is to suspect the updates I installed on Friday and I went to the graphics adapter and opted to rollback the driver – no change! Obviously I can’t rollback the LCD panel driver as since it isn’t attached I can’t access its driver properties from anywhere. Let’ts try looking at the installed updates from Control Panel – only shows the Windows updates installed and not those for drivers or other in-built apps (such as Windows Mail which also got an update).

Well didn’t need to do much over the weekend so got with weekend stuff and then back in work Monday to fix this. Well now things gets really messed up since once I bring up the laptop on the docking station I can only have a display on the in-builf LCD and am not able to show anything on the second display (you have no rights, etc, etc). So let’s just roll back the Hp1740 LCD driver now we have access to it under devices ┬áin Computer Management.

WHAT! Now I have 2 screens showing the same content running at 640 x 480! Go back, update the ATI graphics driver again, try a reboot, nope still 640 x 480 – You have no rights, etc, etc. Have you ever tried Vista in 640 x 480, it REALLY doesn’t look good.

THINK! OK. open Computer Management, go to Devices, select the HP1740 LCD from the displays list and opt to uninstall it (include selecting to delete driver software). Screens go blank, wait for drive light to stop, press standby button and then bring laptop back out of standby and we are back in hi-res mode. Now bring up display properties and opt to extend desktop onto second monitor and we are back in business.

Moral of story:-

[1] Always create a restore point when updating drivers (I didn’t in this case)

[2] Avoid the HP1740 LCD driver like the plaque if you value your sanity