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Visual Studio 2012 VB.NET program that will run on XP as Win32 app

Posted on 2012-12-27
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Last Modified: 2013-01-02
Hi Experts,

I have developed an app in VB.NET using Visual Studio 2012 Professional.  It runs fine from my Win7 x64 laptop (where it was developed) talking to SQL2005 on a Win2003 server.  It also runs fine when installed on the production Win2008 server running SQL2008.  However, it now needs to be installed on some WinXP client PC's for connection to the SQL2008 on Win2008 server.  Therein lies the problem.  

I am not "publishing" the app, but rather just copying the project \bin folder containing the .exe and other files.  When I do this on an XP box, I always get an error "<progname> is not a valid win32 application".  We have tried several different XP machines with no luck.  

I found some articles referring to a utility called dumpbin.exe, but none of the four versions I found on my laptop will run on XP (yep, not a valid win32 app).  

I have tried to research this on Experts-Exchange and Google, but have not come up with much.  The ability to target XP with your executable seems to have been removed by Microsoft in VS2012, but then added back if you work in C#.  But I use VB.  I did find the place in my project properties where you select target CPU and experimented with different settings.  The choices are "any cpu", "x86" or "x64", and there is also a checkbox for "Prefer 32-bit", but no winning combination to have it actually run on XP.

I am concerned that I will need to redevelop my project in an earlier version of Visual Studio, or perhaps even develop it on an XP platform.  I can get resources to do that if necessary, but don't want to give up just yet.

I use just a fraction (but growing) of the capabilities of Visual Studio 2012, but am not sure exactly where to go from here.  I almost always get the answers I need from searching EE, but not so this time.  Perhaps I'm closer to the cutting edge than usual.

Thanks in advance for all suggestions and help!
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Question by:tomwalker1949
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by:käµfm³d 👽
käµfm³d   👽 earned 100 total points
ID: 38726203
With .NET, you don't target a version of Windows; rather you target a version of the Framework. Is the .NET Framework installed on the machines you are trying to run this application on? You need whichever version you targeted in your application to be installed on the target machine.

Windows 7 comes with .NET pre-installed, and Visual Studio will install a couple of versions during setup, so this is probably why you had no trouble on Win 7.
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by:sognoct
sognoct earned 100 total points
ID: 38726371
I'm looking on ms site :
http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/products/compatibility

vs 2012 is fully compatible with xp
just need to install  framework 4

framework 4.0
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by:igordevelop
igordevelop earned 100 total points
ID: 38726487
Hi,

You just need to install .net framework 4.0 on your XP machine.
Your project is created in VS 2012 which runs on 4.0 and your XP machine probably doesn't has it. Different frameworks situation is a conflict.

Let me know if anything.

Regards,
Igor
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Éric Moreau earned 200 total points
ID: 38727286
if you created a brand new project with VS2012, you are surely targeting the .Net Framework 4.5 which cannot run on XP (as per http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/8z6watww.aspx).

You will need to open the properties of your project and target 4.0 or lower.
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Author Comment

by:tomwalker1949
ID: 38735539
Sorry for dropping off the radar for the holiday -- good suggestions, all.  I will be onsite where they are trying to implement the project tomorrow morning -- I'll install .NET Framework 4 on the XP clients, recompile the program to target that environment, and give a report later tomorrow.  Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:tomwalker1949
ID: 38738801
Sure enough, VS2012 defaults to .NET 4.5 which will not run on XP.  I re-targeted my project to .NET Framework 4, re-did the project build to get a new executable, made sure that the XP box had .NET 4 installed, and poof ... everything worked.  You guys are awesome -- thanks!
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