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Interesting info at the Support Center

Categorized listing of info available at the support center.

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In my relentless search for information, I'm always prowling around the Microsoft site, looking for information, downloads and other occasional gems. I've often blundered around unaided simply using Microsoft's search engine through one or more of my favorite entry points at,, or If you're like me, you may sometimes appreciate something a little better organized than blundering when it comes to looking around for VS.NET information.

That's where the Support Center Visual Studio .NET page comes in handy. The easiest way to find it is from the Visual Studio homepage. Once there, look under the heading "Support/KB Articles" for "The Visual Studio .NET Support Center," and you'll find yourself looking at a wealth of well-organized pointers and resources.

In the "Table of Contents" available there, here's what you'll find:

Highlights & top issues
Step-by-step instructions and how-to articles
Downloads, updates and utilities
Code samples
Knowledge base search
Support webcasts
Additional resources & related sites
Warranty & product support options
Contact Microsoft

The vast majority of these point to interesting and useful stuff.

In my case, what occasioned the visit was an e-mail from a reader about a problem report in the Microsoft Knowledge Base about how VS.NET 2003 setup may fail when antivirus or firewall software is running on the target machine. Although we often see warnings during early phases of software installation about disabling antivirus programs, spyware blockers, and so forth, all too often we elect to go forward anyway, heedless of potential consequences. Turns out that firewalls, antivirus software, script blocking utilities, or spyware blockers can indeed stymie successful installation of VS.NET 2003. This goes double if the following error message appears during the install:

    Error 1310.Error writing to file: Microsoft.VisualStudio.VCProjectEngine.dll. Verify that you have access to that directory.

KB Article 330733 explains how to deal with this problem with Windows 2000 and Windows XP machines. It also explains that VS.NET configures services that involve HTTP, FTP, and SMTP—which explains why firewalls might indeed interfere with a successful installation. You can also find more data on potential installation problems with VS.NET 2003 in section 5.27 of the Readme.htm file on CD 1 from the media for the product.

Use this handy-dandy resource center, and you'll be able to keep up with and easily resolve problems like these. Worth adding to your Favorites!

Ed Tittel is a principal at LANWrights, Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary of, where he writes and teaches on a variety of subjects, including markup languages, development tools, and IT certifications. Contact Ed via e-mail at

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