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barsaati
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How to install ACT 5 or 6 in Windows 7 64-bit

[ Edited ]
After a look around these forums, I did not feel appropriately encouraged to keep my old version of ACT when upgrading to Windows 7. Many posters here seem to have given up on the idea, usually around the time that a power user on this board tells them to upgrade their version of ACT instead. Well, for some of us, this is not an option. So today I undertook to make peace with Windows 7, and right now I am happily running ACT 2000 with Word 2000 in Windows 7 64-bit.


Below are the steps I followed, with an emphasis on preserving the Windows 7 experience. Bear in mind that this involves various concepts (such as a "virtual machine" and "Windows 7") that I don't spend a lot of time explaining. It is assumed that you know your way around ACT, Windows, and the internet, and will be able to find answers to your own first-timer questions. It is also assumed that, because you are a person, as the process unfolds you will learn new things, and they will gradually make more sense.

 

1.  If you are running Windows 7 Home edition, purchase and install a Windows Anytime Upgrade from Windows 7 Home to Windows 7 Professional. It's $80 on Amazon and the only investment of money you will need to make.

 

2.  At http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx download the components necessary to run XP Mode. Install and run. Be sure to remember the password you create for the installation. Verify that Windows XP runs. Close Virtual PC.

 

3.  At http://www.vmlite.com/index.php/products/vmlite-xp-mode/download download VMLite, which is a much faster, free alternative to Microsoft's Virtual PC. Use the VMLite Wizard to migrate the Windows XP Mode installation to VMLite. This process is surprisingly easy: most if not all of the choices are the defaults. You will have to enter the password you created for Windows XP Mode.

 

4.  Windows XP will have to install again. Once it is completed and you are happily running XP in VMLite, one of the first things you should do is go to VMLite's "Devices" menu and choose "Network Adapters". Make sure that all of the adapters are attached to "Bridged Adapter" and point to the real network adapter that you use on your computer. Next, inside Windows XP, go to "Control Panel" > "Folder Options" and, under the "Offline Files" tab, make sure that "Enable Offline Files" is un-checked. These two steps will hopefully obviate the two major problems I had with my setup at first.

 

5.  If you print to a network printer that is not attached to your computer, you may have trouble getting the "Add Printer" wizard to discover it. The best way is to go to "Printers and Faxes" > "Add a Printer" > "next", and in the second option ("Connect to this printer ... "), enter the ip address of the computer that the printer is physically connected to. (If you don't know how to determine this, the best way is to use "Command Prompt" on that computer, and type "ipconfig". In most home network setups, the number starts "192.168 ..."). Type it in, starting with two back-slashes, and Windows will find the shared printer's name and auto-complete the entry. Otherwise, you'll have to get the name of the shared printer and copy it exactly into the space.

 

6.  Do a couple of restarts to get the latest updates installed. Have a sandwich.

 

7.  Now go ahead and install ACT (and ACT updates) and Word in XP Mode. I'm not going to give any tips here -- installation is different for everyone based on how they use the software. But keep in mind that, just like with "My Documents" (described in the last step, below), if you use your own custom locations for templates, etc., these locations might not be where you think they are at first. You'll have to get used to the fact that XP Mode has its own virtual partitions that are neither consistent with nor visible from Windows 7. Get to know it, because it will define how you interact with documents and files from XP-Mode programs.


8.  As you install your software, notice that entries will begin to appear under Windows 7 "Start" menu > "All Programs" > "VMLite Workstation". Once you have shut down VMLite, these shortcuts will take you directly to the programs without displaying the XP desktop. It's not totally seamless (you'll have to figure out what you want to do with the XP taskbar when they're open) but they do begin to feel like a part of Windows 7.  It's quite cool.

 

9.  You'll really want to make the location for "My Documents" the same as it is under Windows 7. Otherwise, it will be buried inside the virtual machine, which is not only inconvenient, but illogical and confusing. If the "My Documents" folder is important to you, then it should be the same regardless of which applications (XP Mode or Windows 7-native) you are using. Because the idea is to make your XP applications work as seamlessly as possible with Windows 7, this step is key. Inside XP, right-click on "My Documents" and choose "Properties". Click on "Move" and navigate to the folder where your WIndows 7 user account's documents folder is located (this will not be the obvious choice -- the "C" drive in XP Mode's "My Computer" is not the actual C partition of your hard drive, but rather XP Mode's own virtual C partition. You'll have to navigate through what looks like a network drive on ".host" in XP Mode's "My Computer" to find the native partitions). As a policy, once I have chosen the destination folder, I never allow Windows to also move any items. Instead, manually copy the folder "Act" from the old location to the new one, then open "Preferences" in Act and make sure that it's looking in the right place for its database.

 

 

I hope this guide is helpful, and that it encourages more people to take a stab at rocking their original software. Perhaps as more people try this approach, more of a community will form so that we can better support each other. Good luck!

Message Edited by barsaati on 05-31-2010 02:30 AM
Message Edited by barsaati on 05-31-2010 01:55 PM
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Platinum Elite Contributor
GLComputing
Posts: 13,857
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Message 2 of 74 (7,529 Views)

Re: How to install ACT 5 or 6 in Windows 7

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barsaati
Posts: 9
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Message 3 of 74 (7,493 Views)

Re: How to install ACT 5 or 6 in Windows 7

I think I'm pretty unambiguous about that. Either way, for most people it's the outcome that matters: I run Windows 7, and I use these two pieces of software whose installation is anchored to an installation of XP that I rarely, if ever, have to look at or deal with. I can't imagine a better solution for what I and most other users are trying to accomplish.
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GLComputing
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Message 4 of 74 (7,491 Views)

Re: How to install ACT 5 or 6 in Windows 7

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barsaati
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Message 5 of 74 (7,489 Views)

Re: How to install ACT 5 or 6 in Windows 7

This is instructed in step 8. I admit that this is not ideal -- I would rather only ACT were installed in the the virtual machine. But we use Word constantly, and having it installed in XP Mode hasn't given me any problems yet. I'm running all of this on a netbook and the performance is not bad at all. Perhaps someone will find a crafty way to get the integration to work across the two platforms so that Word can be installed natively.
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jonmklub
Posts: 1,655
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Message 6 of 74 (7,458 Views)

Re: How to install ACT 5 or 6 in Windows 7

First, a well documented procedure.  However, in my opinion, a whole lot of steps to keep a 10 year old piece of software.  It seems like you are spending a whold lot of time to save a couple of hundred bucks. If so, than go for it.    IN most cases, expecially with a new machine, ACT 2010 installs flawlessly..  And in most cases (unless the database has a lot of corruption or heavy customization, the database upgrades flawlessly.  And, once upgraded, most new versions just overinstall and the database upens.  So, I ask, where are the savings?  What is the advantage?  Granted there are horror stories on this board, but in most cases, there is an explanation or a article to help with some machine specific scenario. 

 

My advice to most users that are this far out of date is to plan your upgrade, A new computer is a good time to do this, for not a whole lot of money. 

Jon Klubnik| ActTrainer.com
(866)710 4228

ACT! Certified Consultant / ACT! Premier Trainer / ACT! Hosting Provider


ACT! Weekly Webinars: ActTrainer/webinars.com
ACT! in the Cloud on April 10 @10am Cen
ACT for Web on April 15 @10 am Cen

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barsaati
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Message 7 of 74 (7,451 Views)

Re: How to install ACT 5 or 6 in Windows 7

The "whole lot of steps" is an indication of my being thorough, not of the task being difficult. Once the user is running Windows 7 Professional, from start to finish, this shouldn't take any more than an hour to accomplish. And, based on the price published on this site, the savings is up to $320 per user, to say nothing of the time it would take for each user to re-learn the software.

 

But this article isn't really presented as an argument for keeping the old version. That argument has already been made by the people who have asked if it is possible. This is simply the definitive answer to that question.

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barsaati
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Message 8 of 74 (7,432 Views)

Re: How to install ACT 5 or 6 in Windows 7 64-bit

Everone please be aware that I have modified the order of steps in the guide above. It is very important that you not change the location of "My Documents" until after you have completely installed ACT and its updates. So I have made this the last step. If you have already moved "My Documents" and are receiving disk space errors, simply change the location of My Documents back to the default location and continue with the installation. Once you are finished, you can freely follow the last step (which really is optional, by the way).
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barsaati
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Message 9 of 74 (7,398 Views)

Re: How to install ACT 5 or 6 in Windows 7 64-bit

[ Edited ]

One of my co-workers is reporting a problem with files in the moved "My Documents" folder. If you followed step 9 in the instructions above and are having any sort of trouble saving or renaming files in the new location, there is a fix available until VMLite is updated to solve this problem. The solution is described on the following page, alongside the link to the necessary files:

 

http://www.vmlite.com/index.php/forums/11-bugs/1221-cant-modify-files-on-local-drives?limit=6&start=...

 

However, I found that the provided instructions are difficult to understand, so I have re-written them as follows:

 

 Step 1 (Get files ready):

Download the patch files and make sure there is a copy on both the Virtual XP machine's desktop AND on the host Windows 7's desktop. If you don't do this first, you will not  be able to access these files from the XP machine in Step 3 below.

 

Step 2 (Replace files in Windows 7):

Shut down all VMLite processes, kill VBoxSvc.exe if not terminated automatically,  then use the provided file (in the folder "64-host") to replace VBoxSharedFolders.dll in the VMLite install dir  (e.g., c:\program files\VMLite\VMLite Workstation)

 

Step 3 (Replace files in guest virtual machine):

1. Open the Virtual XP workstation and disable shared folders as follows:
     a. Start the virtual machine


     b. Temporally rename the following registry value to something else, for  example, rename "ProviderPath" to "ProviderPath1"
     [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\vmlitesf\NetworkProvider]: ProviderPath

 

     c. Reboot the virtual machine

2. Use the provided files (in the folder "32-guest") to overwrite these 2 files:
     vmlitemrxnp.dll file in c:\windows\system32
     vmlitesf.sys file in c:\windows\system32\drivers

3. Undo the registry changes made in (1) as follows:
     rename "ProviderPath1" back to "ProviderPath"

 

4. Reboot the virtual machine, done.

 

Message Edited by barsaati on 06-01-2010 06:50 PM
Message Edited by barsaati on 06-01-2010 06:51 PM
Message Edited by barsaati on 06-01-2010 07:16 PM
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Copper Contributor
ruggb
Posts: 30
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Message 10 of 74 (7,325 Views)

Re: How to install ACT 5 or 6 in Windows 7 64-bit

barsaati

 

I did not read all these posts because there was another similar more recent one that I replied to - so I might have missed something

 

BUT if u want to run ACT! 6 on W7x64 it is VERY simple

Go to the ACT6 folder and run setup from there.

The problem is the MENU - which is opened from setup in the root won't run.

 

I have been running it since W7 was beta. NO problems.

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