Before You Install Visual StudioNET

Of course, you need to install Visual Studio.NET to start using it, and this module will cover installation. However, before installing Visual Studio.NET, you need to purchase it, and you have several choices of versions. Additionally, you should confirm that your computer and operating system meet the requirements of Visual Studio.NET.

Visual Studio.NET Versions

You might think that the only problem you will have buying Visual Studio.NET is finding the money to pay for it. However, consistent with prior versions of Visual Studio, Visual Studio.NET comes in several different versions, which vary in price and functionality. It is preferable to buy the correct version the first time rather than try to upgrade later. Additionally, in determining what is the correct version for you, you should consider not just where you are now in your programming career, but where you anticipate being in the next year or two.

Tip The Professional Edition of Visual Studio.NET and the Standard

Editions of Visual Basic .NET and other core languages each will be available in an AE (Academic Edition). The AE versions will be substantially cheaper than their counterparts, and also may include academic-specific features. Educational institutions are eligible to purchase the AE versions; students apparently are not eligible.

Visual Studio.NET System Requirements

While you may be understandably anxious to fire up your installation CD and get started, you first should confirm that your computer is capable of running Visual Studio.NET. Table 2-1 describes the minimum and recommended hardware requirements.

Table 2-1: Visual Studio.NET Hardware Requirements

Component

Minimum

Recommended

Processor

Pentium II, 450 MHz

Pentium III, 700 MHz

RAM

128MB

256MB

Hard drive disk space

3GB

NA

Video

800x600, 256 colors

1024x768, high color 16-bit

Tip Just as you can't be "too rich or too thin," you can't have too much

Tip Just as you can't be "too rich or too thin," you can't have too much

RAM. Visual Studio.NET consumes prodigious amounts of memory. 128MB really is a bare minimum, and assumes you are not running any other applications at the same time. Additionally, with operating systems suchas Windows 2000 Server, 128MB of RAM may not be enough. I believe 256MB is a more reliable minimum. Visual Studio.NET also requires one of the 32-bit Windows operating systems, Windows XP, 2000, NT 4.0, ME, or 98. While Windows 95 is a 32-bit Windows operating system and will run .NET applications, Windows 95 does not support Visual Studio.NET. You can use Visual Studio.NET with Windows NT 4.0, ME, or 98, but only Windows 2000 and XP supports all of the features.

If you do not currently have one of the requisite operating systems installed, you must upgrade the operating system before, not after, you install Visual Studio.NET. Visual Studio.NET will not work if you do these steps in reverse order.

1-Minute Drill

■ Can you run Visual Studio.NET on any modern operating system? No. Visual Studio.NET requires one of the following 32-bit Windows operating systems: Windows XP, 2000, NT 4.0, ME, or 98. Of these, only Windows XP and 2000 support all of the features of Visual Studio.NET.

Project 2-1: Installing Visual Studio.NE

The Visual Studio.NET installation consists of five CDs, labeled CD 1, CD 2, CD 3, CD 4, and Windows Component Update. The Windows Component Update CD contains the .NET Framework SDK, which is why, as previously mentioned, you do not need to obtain the SDK separately.

Step-by-Step

1. Place CD 1 in the CD-ROM drive. If the setup program does not start automatically, double-click the setup.exe program in the root directory of the CD-ROM drive. Figure 2-1 displays the startup screen. On an initial installation, only option 1, the Windows Component Update, will be available.

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Figure 2-1: The Visual Studio.NET setup screen

2. Click the hyperlink labeled Windows Component Update next to option 1. As shown in Figure 2-2, you will be prompted to insert the Windows Component Update CD. Yes, this does mean you will have to take the setup CD (CD 1) out of the CD-ROM drive while the setup program is running. Don't worry; this will not cause a problem with the setup program.

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Figure 2-2: Prompt to insert Windows Component Update CD

3. Remove CD 1 from the CD-ROM drive and place the Windows

Component Update CD in the CD-ROM drive. If necessary, change the location displayed in the dialog box shown in Figure 2-2, and click OK. When the Windows Component Update CD starts up, you may be asked to accept a license agreement. After you agree, Figure 2-3 shows the resulting Windows C omponent Update setup screen.

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