Archive for August, 2008

Installing SQL Server 2005 Management Studio Express on Vista

Posted in Microsoft.NET on August 16, 2008 by vasudevan

I have finished developing a Silverlight web application (Expense Tracker to track day to day expenses). It uses WCF and LINQ on the middle tier and accesses SQL Server 2005 Express. The operating system that I developed on is Vista and unfortunately, SQL Server 2005 Management Studio is not supported on Vista. Management Studio is a very useful tool that can manage any SQL Server database. I wanted this tool to run on Vista. Executing the install (SQLServer2005_SSMSEE.msi or SQLServer2005_SSMSEE_x64.msi) on Vista displays the following error:

I know for sure that there is a validation in the msi file that checks for the operating system version and prevents install on Vista. Enter ORCA. This is freeware tool that can edit MSI files. ( Open any of the msi’s in ORCA and search for “Installation of this product”. Keeping pressing F3 until you hit “SupportedOSMessage” property which carries this message. Now, search for this property in the whole MSI and you end up in LaunchCondition Table. On the right hand of the view, there is a Condition that is specified which should look like this:

The installer checks whether the current operating system is 502 or above (The VersionNT version of Vista is 600) and terminates the installtion with a error. The quickest and dirty way to override this is to remove both the Launch conditions and save the MSI file, exit out of ORCA and run the MSI. You should be able to install the Management Studio now on Vista.