Sunday, November 08, 2009

Installing a proper Win32 developing environment on Windows 7

I am playing a bit with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. So far, the experience has been awesome and I absolutely recommend changing to this wonderful OS if you are a Windows user. I have tried to install Visual Studio 2008 this morning and also the Windows 7 SDK. In order to be able to use the latter making use of the former, VS 2008 needs to be updated with its Service Pack 1.

After downloading the installer for the VS 2008 SP1 (please note that the download link leads to the Spanish version), all I got were installation errors. In order to have it properly installed, all you have to do is execute the installer in Windows Vista SP2 compatibility mode.

About the Windows 7 SDK, you have to be aware of the two alternatives for a proper installation process: visit the link for the Web Installer (a small program that reads information about your Windows 7 system and downloads the files which it needs) or visit the page for the download of an image.

Also take into account that there are three ISOs for the three possible target CPU architectures (x86 for 32-bit CPUs, IA-64 for Intel Itanium chips and AMD64, which is the proper one for the Core 2 Duo in the laptop that I am using). If no comments show up in this post, it means that no install problems were found -I am still leeching the 1.5 GB of the SDK). Ah, I forgot one important thing: this is only for the underlying CPU architecture in your computer. Visual Studio allows you to generate code for all the three architectures, no matter which CPU you have.

I do not play with the SDK for pleasure. I want to test if I can compile both the Helix Server and Player for Windows 7 for the work of my PhD Thesis. If not, I guess I will need to install a new partition with Windows Vista or, more likely, Windows XP (where I have already done it in the past). Everytime that a new SDK comes up, headaches reach the Helix Community.

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