Category Archives: Windows

How to check .NET Framework version with WIX installer

WIX has NetFxExtension with NetFx4XXXX packages, so .NET Framework 4.6, for example, can be installed with the single line of code:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Wix xmlns="" xmlns:bal="" xmlns:netfx="">
    <Bundle Name="My App">
        <BootstrapperApplicationRef Id="ManagedBootstrapperApplicationHost">
            <Payload SourceFile="$(var.MySetupUI.TargetPath)"/>
            <Payload SourceFile="$(var.MySetupUI.TargetPath).config"/>
            <Payload SourceFile="$(var.MySetupUI.TargetDir)BootstrapperCore.dll"/>
            <Payload SourceFile="$(var.MySetupUI.TargetDir)BootstrapperCore.xml"/>
            <Payload SourceFile="BootstrapperCore.config"/>

            <Payload SourceFile="C:\Program Files (x86)\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\.NETFramework\v4.5\System.ServiceProcess.dll"/>
            <Payload SourceFile="C:\Program Files (x86)\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\.NETFramework\v4.5\System.Configuration.Install.dll"/>
            <Payload SourceFile="C:\Program Files (x86)\WiX Toolset v3.11\SDK\Microsoft.Deployment.WindowsInstaller.dll"/>

            <PackageGroupRef Id='NetFx46Web'/>
            <MsiPackage SourceFile="$(var.MyAppSetup.TargetPath)" Id="InstallationPackageId" Cache="yes" Visible="no"/>


A simple WIX installer that runs custom actions on install and uninstall.

Below I provided the source code of WIX installer that shows the license, installation directory and runs custom actions on install and uninstall:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Wix xmlns="">
    <Product Id="*" Name="My Game" Language="1033" Version="" Manufacturer="SharLines Corporation" UpgradeCode="...">

        <Property Id="WIXUI_INSTALLDIR" Value="INSTALLFOLDER" ></Property>
        <WixVariable Id="WixUILicenseRtf" Overridable="yes" Value="License.rtf"/>
        <UIRef Id="WixUI_InstallDir"/>

            <Custom Action="InstallService" After="InstallFiles">(NOT Installed) AND (NOT REMOVE)</Custom>
            <Custom Action="UninstallService" After="InstallInitialize">(NOT UPGRADINGPRODUCTCODE) AND (REMOVE="ALL")</Custom>
        <CustomAction Id="InstallService" Return="check" Impersonate="yes" Execute="deferred" Directory="INSTALLFOLDER" ExeCommand="[INSTALLFOLDER]$(var.MyService.TargetFileName) parameters..."/>
        <CustomAction Id="UninstallService" Return="check" Impersonate="yes" Execute="deferred" Directory="INSTALLFOLDER" ExeCommand="[INSTALLFOLDER]$(var.MyService.TargetFileName) parameters..."/>

MyService is project referenced by my wixproj in VS2015. If Impersonate=”yes” the command is run as the current user, if “no”, the command is run as “NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM“. INSTALLFOLDER is defined as follows:


How NSIS plugins work

NSIS plugins are regular DLLs that export functions with typical def-files like this:

    AddUser      PRIVATE    
    CreateHive   PRIVATE

They should be put to “C:\Program Files\NSIS\Plugins\x86-ansi” directory for NSIS v3.x. From nsi-script their functions can be called like this:

Function MyFunc


How to debug classic ASP with VS2015 and IIS Express

Change configuration/system.webServer/serverRuntime/asp section of $(SolutionDir).vs\config\applicationhost.config file to:

<asp scriptErrorSentToBrowser="true" enableParentPaths="true" bufferingOn="true" errorsToNTLog="true" appAllowClientDebug="true" appAllowDebugging="true">
    <cache diskTemplateCacheDirectory="%TEMP%\iisexpress\ASP Compiled Templates" />
    <session allowSessionState="true" />
    <limits />

Open the website in a browser and then in VS2015 go to Debug->Attach To Process, change code type to Script and select iisexpress.exe. After that in browser navigate to a page you want to debug and Script Documents section will appear in Solution Explorer allowing you to set breakpoints on listed pages. Actually you do all the steps described in this post, except that you edit not the global IIS Express configuration, but local configuration located in VS2015 solution subdirectory .vs\config.


How to prevent automatic restart after installing updates in Windows 10

Press Win+R, type “gpedit.msc” and press Enter:


How to add a program to startup in Windows 10

Press Win+R, type ‘shell:startup‘ or ‘shell:Common Startup‘ and press Enter:


How to edit Windows 10 boot menu

Press Win+R, type ‘msconfig‘ and press Enter:


Installing Google Play Services on a Windows 10 with MS VS2015

If Android support is enabled in MS VS2015, it installs Android SDK without Google Play Services and I did not find an option in SDK Manager that installs them. When I started “C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\SDK Manager.exe” with admin privileges, it automatically offered to install some 9 packages:


Fun with Bitcoin mining on a home Windows machine.

I have heard many times that there are a lot of Russian guys who build mining farms and earn money with cryptocurrencies. Who knows, probably cryptocurrencies are still only at the starting point of their growth, or probably it is too late to start mining, or as another alternative Russian government will forbid them, but anyway it was interesting for me, how much Bitcoins my home Windows computer with relatively old graphic card can mine.

I overclocked my GeForce GTX 750 graphics card a bit:


Debugging a C++ application on an Android device with VS2015 on Windows 10

VS2015 has an exciting ability to debug a C++ application on Android Emulator, but in this article I will talk about no less exciting and more time expensive ability to debug a C++ application on a real Android device. The first thing we need to spend the time with is figuring out how to enable USB debugging mode on our Android device. On my ASUS Zenfone I need to go to Settings->About->Software Information and tap on Build Number 7 times, after that I have USB debugging check box in Settings->Developer Options that I should tap as well:

enabling USB debugging mode on Android device USB debugging mode on Android device