Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Installing Windows Live Wave 3 Betas on Windows Server

You know, sometimes I really don’t understand Microsoft’s decision-making process, especially on the Windows Live side of the house. The new Windows Live Wave 3 betas are out, and I went to install them today on my main laptop, which is running Windows Server 2008. But after downloading the installer, I was greeted with a message that said it could only be installed on Windows XP or Vista. Now, there is *zero* technical reason why it can’t be installed on Windows Server, as the bits are practically identical to Vista SP1. Yet, here is this pointless artificial roadblock in my path to trying out great software. Which really irritates me. It took the Live team forever just to support 64-bit, and now, once again, I have to wait.

But then I remembered ProcessMonitor from Sysinternals. I whipped out my other laptop, which is still running Vista, fired up ProcessMonitor, and started the installer from there. About 5 minutes into the process, I was able to see where the MSI files were being copied to, and 25 minutes later, I am writing this post from the new Windows Live Writer, on Windows Server 2008 x64. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Install the Wave 3 beta on another machine: Unfortunately, I can’t work around this. You’ll first have to do just what I did, and fire up the process on another computer.
  2. Select the products you want, and wait until the process is over 50% complete. Don’t worry, the install will take plenty of time.
  3. Navigate to the “C:\Program Files(x86)\Common Files\Windows Live\” folder.
  4. Take control of the folder and its subfolders. Right click on the folder in Windows Explorer, select “Properties”, move to the “Security” Tab. Click “Edit”, and then add your user, giving it “Full Control” over the folder. Click OK, then click “Advanced”, click “Edit”, then check “Replace all existing inheritable permissions…” and click OK all the way out of those dialogs.
  5. Navigate to the “C:\Program Files(x86)\Common Files\Windows Live\.cache\” folder (the dot is not a typo). You will see a bunch of random-named folders. Zip up the entire directory (will be 30-100MB of data) and copy it to your other machines.
  6. Extract and install. Copy the files from the archive to a working folder. Then sort the window by date, with the newest folder on the bottom. Then, start with the first folder, running the single MSI file (or Windows Patch file) in each one, until you are done. Some will have Installer UI, most won’t.
  7. Enjoy some Wave 3 goodness.

An interesting tidbit, courtesy of ProcessMonitor: It takes 8.3 million file and registry operations to install the Windows Live suite (not including Movie Maker, I’m waiting for that to be more polished before I try it). That is a lot of operations.

Anyways, I’m going to hound my contacts on the Live team until they take out that installer flag. Have fun with the betas!



  • Hi, I’m a PC (lol just wanted to get that out of the way).  Wow lots of attention about Wave 3,

    September 17, 2008 11:23 PM
  • Joshua said:

    Can you please upload all the installers somewhere for people who have no other computer/operating system to use? That would be really helpful.

    September 18, 2008 12:12 AM
  • ScottIsAFool said:

    I have uploaded all the msi files to my SkyDrive

    These are the English versions.

    September 18, 2008 4:50 AM
  • matt said:

    Thanks for the upload ... going to try these on my Server 2003 and 2008 Virtual PC's ASAP ;-)

    September 18, 2008 5:13 AM
  • I started downloading the installer (WLinstaller.exe). I hoped this version would not have the old nagging

    September 18, 2008 5:51 AM
  • matt said:

    Hmmm... can't get Movie Maker beta to run on Server 2003 (x86) on virtual PC.  Photo gallery runs, but movie maker installed and then when you run it it says it is not a valid Win32 application.  Any ideas?

    September 18, 2008 6:03 AM
  • matt said:

    ...and I do have directx installed on Server 2003 ... dxdiag reports DirectX 9.0c

    September 18, 2008 6:06 AM
  • matt said:

    Ok, movie maker worked in Server 2008 Virtual PC, it brought up the main program window, but then it gave me a popup that said movie maker couldn't run because I didn't have the "required hardware."  Would that be because of the poor video card that Virtual PC emulates, or because I didn't give the Virtual PC enough Ram?

    September 18, 2008 6:26 AM
  • RomAnoX said:

    I install the live messenger in my  64 bits windows server 2008... but i get an error 81000306 every time i want to login... i tried to uninstall but i don't know how... under the program en features doesn't appear the windows live messenger item to remove it... what can i do to remove it and install my old and good 8.5 version?? or what can i do with my error?...

    September 18, 2008 3:41 PM
  • RomAnoX said:

    i found the way... :D and is using this command in the folder where the messenger.msi is...

    msiexec /u messenger.msi

    and thats all... this command uninstall the application and you can install an older version :)

    September 18, 2008 5:14 PM
  • Aaron said:

    I think I can understand why MS doesnt allow you to install this kind of thing on their server products, as they dont want people adding potential security risks to their server infrastructure.

    So it leaves the 'enthusiast running a server workstation crowd' in the lurch, which they prob dont care about since its not a big market.

    September 19, 2008 1:49 AM
  • Mike said:

    Hey Robert, after you get finished talking the Live team about removing their Windows 2008 installer flags, could you ring up the Zune team and have them do the same?

    I do agree with Aaron's comments above, but I think the number of "enthusiast" types out here might be bigger than most would think. As a R&D geek that is constantly running some sort of evil experiment that requires an isolated network, I simply do not know how I'd get by without my Hyper-V enabled workstation now that I have been spoiled by using it. This doesn't mean I don't like having basic creature comforts like IM and music libraries available to me at work too though. Obviously the Windows Server folks realized that this user demographic exists or they would not have bothered to include the Desktop Experience feature in Windows 2008 - so why can't the consumer software teams get on board with this concept as well?

    September 22, 2008 1:54 PM
  • CharlyAR said:

    No good. Every time I try to open WLM it crashes (it doesn't like something about lmcdata.dll).


    September 22, 2008 6:09 PM
  • CharlyAR said:

    Found the reason: the Contacts installation doesn't updates itself. You have to manually delete then folder and aftewards reinstall the new version.

    September 22, 2008 6:30 PM
  • charlotte said:

    =) ciaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    November 5, 2008 1:38 PM