What's the recommended setup on Windows Vista?

There are only a few things you have to be aware/accomodate for running VA on Vista without problems. The most important change from Windows XP to Windows Vista is that even administrator level users have only normal user privileges by default. This does only change if you disable UAC (User Account Control). We do advise that you do not switch UAC off! VA can be run with UAC on just fine if you adjust your setup in the following way.

Do not install all of VA to the Program Files directory! The Program Files directory needs administrator privileges for writing to it and as we know you normally don't run with administrator privileges on Vista. There are two solutions for this:

  1. Install VA to a directory outside of the Program Files directory. You can install it on the same partition or you can install it to its own partition. If you don't install to the Program Files folder I always recommend giving VA its own partition. Give it a partition that is at least 50% over the current diskspace of your VA setup. I usually use a 2 GB partition for this. If you do it this way there's nothing else to take into account than how to make it the default mail client which is answered in another FAQ.
  1. Install VA to two different locations by splitting program and data. This so-called "split setup" will be explained in the following.

Installing VA in a split setup

I assume that you have an existing installation on your old XP PC and want to move this over to the Vista installation. First we copy the whole VA folder (let's call it VirtualAccess) to the C:\ProgramData folder, so that we have it now in C:\ProgramData\VirtualAccess. "ProgramData" seems to be the folder that Microsoft wants us to save the ever-changing program data from now on, you will see other folders for other programs in it. If you are more comfortable with different folder names or want to mimic your old setup feel free to do so. Just keep in mind that we install the program files to the "Program Files" directory and the program data to the "ProgramData" directory on the Windows drive. Note the missing space in the ProgramData folder name!

Now create a new folder named "VirtualAccess" in your Program Files directory, so that we have a path of C:\Program Files\VirtualAccess. This is the folder which is going to hold all the binary programs. Open two Explorer windows side-by-side, one with C:\ProgramData\VirtualAccess and one with C:\Program Files\VirtualAccess. Sort the C:\ProgramData\VirtualAccess folder by Type and scroll the window so that you can see all files of Type "Application" and "Application Extension". These end all with .exe or .dll. Drag all of these files over to the C:\Program Files\VirtualAccess folder. By dragging Vista will automatically move these files for you from one folder to the other, so that they are removed from the ProgramData folder.

Once you have done this we have all program files in C:\Program Files\VirtualAccess and all data files in C:\ProgramData\VirtualAccess. Now we have to tell VA where to find the data. Create a new file named "ashmount.ini" in the C:\Program Files\VirtualAccess folder and fill it with the following text:


What happens when you launch VA is that VA will first look in C:\Program Files\VirtualAccess\ashmount.ini (the "redirector" ashmount.ini) and read the path to the "real" ashmount.ini which is at C:\ProgramData\VirtualAccess\ashmount.ini. This is all you need to do to tell VA about the split setup.

Now we open the "real" ashmount.ini at C:\ProgramData\VirtualAccess\ashmount.ini and make sure that the paths in it fit your new setup. First, if you have an [Ashmount] section in it, remove that! I know that several users mistakenly added this section to their normal ashmount.ini in the past, this is wrong, remove it! Then check that all the paths in the [Main] section fit your setup. In our example this would be:

Exe Path=\Program Files\Virtualaccess\
Message Path=\ProgramData\Virtualaccess\
HTML DLL Path=\Program Files\Virtualaccess\
HTML Temp Path=\ProgramData\Virtualaccess\viewer\

These are the important paths. Again, make sure there is a space in "Program Files" and no space in "ProgramData". I recommend searching the rest of the file for other paths and correct these as well, preferrably with a search and replace operation. But this is optional. If any of these paths do not fit, VA will later either correct by itself, alert with an error (so you can then change that) or just open the wrong directory when you want to add an attachment. You can also correct the paths in the <user>.ini files, but this is also optional.

We are finished now, you have a split setup, that should run fine on Windows Vista!

In case you are not moving from another PC or partition, but for instance have upgraded from XP to Vista in-place you can follow the instructions above as well. You just have to adapt them a bit as you probably already have a directory C:\Program Files\VirtualAccess\ or C:\Program Files\News\VirtualAccess\ or so. In this case duplicate (copy!) the whole folder to the ProgramData folder, so that you now have a split setup with the same files in Program Files and in ProgramData. Now remove all folders and all non-exe and non-dll files from the Program Files folder and remove the exe and dll files from the ProgramData folder. Just in case you get confused and delete the wrong stuff I suggest you make a backup of the whole original directory to another location. Finally add the "redirector" ashmount.ini to the program files folder as explained above and edit the paths in the "real" ashmount.ini as explained above. You are done.


vaosfaq/vista_howto.txt · Last modified: 18.03.2008 11:55 by daniel
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