Thursday, 16 December 2010

MVC 3 RC2 Install Error (0x80070643)

This evening I came to installing MVC3 RC2 on both my desktop and laptop. The laptop installed first time, however I found that on my desktop it refused to install. Citing the following error in its install log: Installation failed with error code: (0x80070643)

After poking around in the log file I found that the VS10-KB2465236-x86.exe patch was where it was falling over. To try and get more information I found the temp directory with this file in and ran the installer manually. This also as expected errored, however this time when I looked in the log file I found a slightly different error: Install failed on product (Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone - ENU)

The next obvious place for me to go next was to uninstall the Windows Phone Developer Tools, I figured I can always reinstall them. Upon removing this I then tried to install MVC3 RC2 again. This time it still failed, with the same error I had previously but this time for Visual Studio 2010.

As a final shot I wondered if the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 beta may have had the patch in and was causing some sort of a conflict. As such if I skipped the KB2465236 patch and simply installed the rest of MVC3 seeing if it would work OK.

It turns out I did manage to get it all installed, I had to grab the MSI Installers out of the temp directory that the main MVC installer creates and then run the installers in the following order: aspnetwebpages.msi, aspnetwebpagesvs2010tools.msi, aspnetmvc3.msi, aspnetmvc3vs2010tools.msi and finally nuget.msi
VS2010 now has the new templates and so far everything looks in order. This is a bit of a risky way of installing MVC3 RC2 but for me it works, if you have this issue and want to try bypassing the KB patch then I hope this has helped

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

MVC DateTime Suffix HTMLHelper

Recently I have been working on an MVC Project, and tonight I got to the point where I wanted to output a date in a specific format, for example Tuesday 13th April 2010. Sadly DateTime formatting still doesn't allow you to specify output a suffix, you can do Tuesday 13 April 2010 but not what I wanted.

I decided that I could achieve what I wanted by writing a quick HTMLHelper, this would then allow me to specify a datetime format string with a magic / special character which I could then replace for the appropriate suffix.

Writing the helper was very quick and easy, if you want to learn about HTMLHelpers and how to write your own I recommend looking at Stephen Walther's Post on HTMLHelpers .

The code for my datetimehelper is below:

using System;
using System.Web.Mvc;

namespace mjjames.MVCHelpers
public static class DateTimeExtensions
public static string DateTimeFormat(this HtmlHelper helper, string dateTimeFormat, DateTime dateTime){
var dateTimeOutput = dateTime.ToString(dateTimeFormat);
if (dateTimeFormat.Contains("~"))
dateTimeOutput = dateTimeOutput.Replace("~", GenerateDaySuffix(dateTime.Day));
return dateTimeOutput;

/// <summary>
/// Generates a Day Suffix from the Day Number
/// </summary>
/// <param name="day">Day Number</param>
/// <returns>Suffix String</returns>
private static string GenerateDaySuffix(int day)
var suffix = "";
//find out if the day matches a suffix which isn't th
case 1:
case 21:
case 31:
suffix = "st";
case 2:
case 22:
suffix = "nd";
case 3:
case 23:
suffix = "rd";
suffix = "th";
return suffix;

Then to use it first include the namespace in your view:

<%@ Import Namespace="mjjames.MVCHelpers" %>

And then to use it call Html.DateTimeFormat passing the format string and the DateTime value. To use the day suffix include the ~ character. Note you can use it with.

<%= Html.DateTimeFormat("dddd d~ h", Model.StartDate) %>
<%= Html.DateTimeFormat("dddd d h", Model.EndDate) %>

There we go, nice and easy, if you want to use this feel free I hope it helps

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Using DOTRas - An Overview and some things I've learnt

Yesterday I decided to starting knocking together a quick application to help me backup my server to some local storage. The idea being that at any point I have a local copy of my server setup a maximum of a day old. The point of this application and how I've gone about writing it, what libraries I'm using etc will be part of a future blog post.

I decided early on that I however I wanted to transfer files I wanted to do this over a VPN to the server. I had several reasons for this, being able to expose my files over a network share, more secure etc. My Application will be running on an old laptop, so I first thought about just always having it connected to a VPN using windows, and run the application as normal. However I then thought what if the VPN disconnects and I don't notice, how long would it take until I noticed etc. So I decided to make the application create a VPN Connection at start up and then disconnect from it upon completion.

I figured that there would be a good library that would help with this and it turns out there is. DotRAS provides remote access service (RAS) components for .NET languages , it's tag line is "WindowsRAS made easy" and I have to say so far it has lived up to that.

A quick example of how to open the computers RAS PhoneBook :

using(var phoneBook = new RasPhoneBook())

You could then find an existing entry within the phonebook to make a connection too and open a connection:

var entry = phoneBook.Entries.FirstOrDefault(e => e.Name.Equals("mikes test entry");
if(entry != null){

Now there's obviously alot you can do with it, create and manage connections programatically etc, use phone dialers but so far I'm just tinkering with VPN's.

Tips and Tricks

Now to what I wanted to post about, tips and tricks. Sadly whilst working with DOTRas I found a few gotcha's that I wanted to post about. I will also update this list as I find more. It's worth noting that all of these apply to DotRAS 1.1 and I'm using the Win2k8 build, some of these I know also apply to the XPSP2 build. And my development machine is Windows 7 x64.

Invalid Default PhoneBook Location

The default phonebook location, which is called when you just do phonebook.Open(), is set to use RasPhoneBookType.AllUsers, now this maps to : C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Network\Connections\Pbk\rasphone.pbk which for me doesn't exist. The folders exist up to connections, I have no Pbk folder.

I could obviously check for this and then create the phonebook entry but really you should always use RasPhoneBookType.User which uses the phonebook located within the current users AppData.

The entry is not associated with a phone book

Actually quite an obvious issue but worth commenting on, If you create a new phonebook entry

var entry = RasEntry.CreateVpnEntry(_connectionName, IPAddress.Loopback.ToString(), RasVpnStrategy.Default, RasDevice.GetDeviceByName("(PPTP)", RasDeviceType.Vpn));

And then try to set the user's credentials without first adding the entry to the phonebook:

entry.UpdateCredentials(new NetworkCredential(authenticationDetails.UserName, authenticationDetails.Password));

Everything goes horribly wrong, instead add the entry to the phonebook and then set the credentials.

entry.UpdateCredentials(new NetworkCredential(authenticationDetails.UserName, authenticationDetails.Password));

Keep an eye on this post, I'll update it as I continue to use DotRAS and then on a later date post about my application in full.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Unable to merge or create branches with SVN

I've been using SubVersion for a while, several years infact, I use VisualSVN on my server and TortoiseSVN on my machines.

Until recently I had never experienced any problems or glitches with it. However at some point within the last two months one of my main repositories started playing up. It's the only repository I have ever branched. The problem occurred when after working on a branch for several months I decided it was time to merge it back into the head. However when I tried to use the merge function and take the branch into the head I was given the following error message:

[branch] is not a child of repository root URL [trunk]

I tried several attempts at trying to do this, rechecking out the branch and trunk in case they were corrupt but to no avail. I then decided to try creating a new branch to see if the repository was totally broken and I indeed got an error.

Repository moved permanently to [svn server address] please relocate;

So it looked liked the reopsitory was broken. On a bit of a whim I noticed that my file path looked something similar to f:\development\shared\a repository name\trunk and similarly the branch was f:\development\shared\a repository name\1.6 The SVN url however was http://[svn-url]/svn/arepositoryname , I was wondering if somehow the directory path was confusing SVN, was it always expecting the directories to be checked out in the same folder structure as the server.

So I tried creating a new directory called arepositoryname and then checked out the trunk and version 1.6 underneath it. I then tried to merge the 1.6 repository back into the trunk and create a new branch and it all worked fine!

So it indeed seemed that TortoiseSVN was getting confused by my folder structure not replicating the servers, simply fixing this, maybe it was just removing the spaces need to possibly try that further, resolved my issue.

Just to add clarification if you stumble across this trying to solve your issue that I was running VisualSVN 2.1 and Tortoise 1.6 on a Windows 7 x64 machine.

Some crazy behaviour but I least I figured it out after several hours ... hope this helps.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Drivers Causing "This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer" On Startup

This weekend I had to reinstall a driver for a laptop touch pad. I went to the Sony site and got the driver, it came in a zip file and looked pretty standard. A load of driver files and an install file.

It install all OK and the touchpad started to have its scroll options, however then I rebooted and found each time the laptop started up Windows Vista kept asking to confirm I wanted to run the programs, "This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer". Straight away I thought it had to be the file was blocked from running as it came from a download. I went to the files unblocked them all, clicked apply and rebooted again only to find it happen again.

Just to ensure I hadn't forgotten to click apply I tried this again only to find the same thing. After Googling for the issue I found the issue was that the installer had simply copied the drivers and files. This meant that the NTFS information was also copied, this information contained the flag "downloaded from internet" along with others.

The solution was to strip these files of this information, luckily you can obtain a free tool to do this. "Streams" from Sysinternals, I simply downloaded this,, ran it on the directory, command prompt only, and rebooted to find all was well.

Certainly one to remember as I have came across this before and removed the program.