Visual Studio 2005 on Windows Vista

The increased security constraints imposed by windows Vista make it almost impossible to accomplish anything running Visual Studio in the user mode. In fact, when you open visual studio in user mode, a message is displayed informing you that running VS as admin is a preferred approach (for full functionality).

There is a simple enough way to accomplish this. Right click on the Visual Studio icon, select properties, then the compatibility tab and click on the “Run this program as administrator” option.


Now, each time you try to launch visual studio, the little UAC box requests privilege escalation and finally opens up Studio with full permissions.

However, this is not how most users open up VS.. They click on the Solution file (.sln) or Project file and expect it to open VS. However, this does not work as expected (in fact, nothing happens when you attempt to launch a solution file!).

When you right click on a solution file and select the “Open with” option, you will see that it is set to open with “Microsoft Visual Studio Version Selector”


The VS Version selector is another executable located in:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\MSEnv\VSLauncher.exe

My best guess is that this executable has a bug that prevents it from opening VS when devenv.exe is set to run with admin privileges. I also tried setting vslauncher.exe to run as admin. It just refuses to work.

So, I resorted to the next feasible option – change the”open with” to devenv.exe instead of vslauncher.exe- This works ok as long as you do not have to work with code written using other versions.. for example, to open up a solution written in vs2003.

Any other workaround for this annoying problem? Anybody?


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