About a WEEK ago I decided to reinstall everything.  I push the limit with space and implementing new things, so my OS gets flaky sometimes.  It’s the cost of doing business.  Last time I got nailed with a virus.  Now we have a sonic wall and keeps me pretty clean. 

This time it was Autodesk Licensing.  I blue screened, and everything seemed to operate fine afterward, but the licensing component started freaking out, and eventually would not let me into Autodesk products.  That’s kind of a problem.

I’ve got a bright idea, ‘lets reinstall Vista’.  Any engineering OS older than 6 months is gravy.  We’re due for the pain and misery.  I kept thinking, “we have this down to a science, no problem.  I‘ll come in at 4 am, and by 8 we’ll be functional”.  How many of you are laughing now?  At 8, I was not laughing.  I’m still not laughing. 

Autodesk 5, John 0

This week I have installed Vista + updates twice, Civil 3D 2009/2010 twice, Inventor 2009 once, Inventor 2010 5 times, Vault server twice, AV and authoring software suites twice as well. 

As of last night, Inventor 2010 would not work (properly).  The long and short is that the install would blue screen right about when it would shift over to the Language Pack, every time.  It’s hard to say exactly because no one can sit there and stare at the 1.5 hour install.  All I know is the items in the en-us folder were missing, and she wouldn’t run.  More on that later.

I’ll go through some of the key things that did and did not work.  Maybe you IT guys and Managers can pick out something useful.

First Mistake

Not allowing all the Vista updates to get settled before installing components. 


They’re just won’t stop coming.  Every time you reboot, there are more.  The first time I installed EVERYTHING, I cheated a little bit and did some updates in the background while I worked.  I did experience some issues, but overall, Vista picked up and completed it’s updates ok (seemed ok).  The problem was that I could not say for sure whether the Autodesk problems were tied into a flaky Vista update or not. 

Outcome: Wipe it and start over.

Second Mistake

Vista SP1.

I forgot once to install SP1 for Vista, and all the papers written regarding 2010 on Vista say install on SP1. Since I never even got to see Inventor 2010 run, I had to believe the forgotten update was relevant.

Outcome: Day 2 all stop right as business got going.  Install 0.5 Gig update.

Third Mistake….there are a lot of these aren’t there?

Install Order

I decided to do everything right.  No overlapping version registrations.

OS, support clients and peripherals.

2009 apps first. Register each as we go.

2010 Civil, register, then Vault Server.  Inventor 2010 content? sure why not.  (what in the &%$# was I thinking?)

2010 Inventor….poof; (you know, “poof” like when one of my CNC axis servo controllers died, and I thought I should solder in some replacement amp chips on the board myself.  Turn the power to it and ‘poof’ cloud of white smoke.  “Hmm…I don’t remember that happening last time I installed it”).

Outcome: Remove all Inventor components and Vault and reinstall.

The Repair

Forgetting the OS reinstalls, the Inventor 2010 reinstall was beyond a nagging headache, and went straight to migraine.  No matter how many times I cleaned it out, the thing would blue screen before it was complete.

It would not update, repair, uninstall, reinstall, nothing!!!!  Most components were there, and registered, but the uninstall components were missing.  So Inventor would not allow a new install because it was registered.  Control Panel would not uninstall or repair because those components were missing. 

How I got the repair to work.

Every failure indicated the files that were missing.  I copied the missing setupres.dll from the install cd. Then it wanted the eval.msi.  I found 5 on a search of the install DVD, and copied the correct one to the path indicated.  Restarted the repair, and it went.  It repaired the entire thing.  I cranked it up, and registered it. It opened assemblies fine. So I went looking for missing things.  Oh dear God….There were quite a few. I got an error as the application could not find the DesignData xmls.


At this point I should have gotten out ASAP.  I intended to run the Reinstall function to recopy all the missing files.  I however needed sleep and did not think, as I pushed the application until it couldn’t go any more.  It blue screened.  When Vista came back, the app wouldn’t be recognized again, and worse, wouldn’t even execute the control panel reinstall/repair for 2010.  I’m screwed.

The Uninstalls

I followed the instructions in these articles:

Clean uninstall of Inventor 2010

Error- Install Autodesk Inventor 2010 Language Pack Failed – Installation aborted, Result=1638

They proved to be very helpful, including the registry strings to get the installers not to see the Inventor any more.  Don’t forget the Microsoft install cleanup utility they mention.  It worked well.



Nothing would get Inventor install to stop blue screening.  So I had to get away.  The answer came to me in the shower. 

Don’t laugh.  Eddie Van Halen got his best ideas sitting on the can.

Cut down all Inventor Installs and the Vault Server.  Then install Inventor 2010 FIRST! 

Why not reinstall 2009 first?  well, 2 reasons. 

First I wanted 2010 going NOW.  If only one was going to work, then it was going to be 2010.  Second, if there is a bad spot on the disk, let something else get it.  Once I uninstalled all of that software, there would be a fair chance that the 2010 install would go over top of where the 2009 install was, possibly giving us a chance to get it going.

Vault content was another possibility.  I know it shouldn’t since the Vault client and Inventor can NEVER communicate with content directly, and must go through the Vault server.  I was about to wipe the system AGAIN, so why not try.

It worked.  I may still have a bad spot on the disk, but I DON’T CARE.  2010 APPS
ARE WORKING WELL.  Seeing that ‘Install Completed’ screen was such relief. 

Since a bad spot on the disk is a wildcard, and nothing else is crashing the OS, I will go with vault content.  INSTALL CONTENT LAST!

Some of you may be saying ‘duh’, but for those of us with cross industry apps sharing Vault, it needs to be said.