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Cannot Load VB6 on Windows 10. Installed OK but error on opening existing project.

Posted on 2016-10-07
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Last Modified: 2016-10-13
We still custom program some applications in vb6. We got the Visual Basic 6 dev environment to work on Win 7, but have had issues with loading it on Win 10. We used some Italian guys solution (Visual Studio 6 installer) that was developed specifically for this issue. It seemed to work and it appears if we start a project from scratch, it is ok. The problem is if we try to open one of our existing projects, we get an error of "cannot access registry" and stops right there. Not sure what it is trying to access at that point. Any ideas ?
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Question by:John Battles
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by:ScottCha
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I'd use VMware workstation, install a guest OS that has a version of the OS that will run VB6 correctly.

For a free solution, you could try Oracle VirtualBox...https://www.virtualbox.org/

Since you are still developing and updating, I'd rather do it in an environment that was designed for VB6 and not "hack" something to make it work.

You didn't mention of you're using 32-bit or 64-bit Win10.  If you're using 64-bit, give 32-bit a try.

VB6 is pushing being 20 years old.  It's little wonder it won't work properly on Win10.
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by:Russ Suter
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I have to support a VB6 application and I use Windows 10. It actually works just fine if you modify the shortcut that is launching the VB6 IDE. Find the shortcut and set the properties like this:
VB6 Properties
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by:John Battles
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Tried that...the "cannot access registry" error did not show up, but then I got "'\\fs2\company\vbsafe\Win10Test\SqlEDI\MSCOMCTL.OCX' could not be loaded--Continue Loading Project?

I am assuming that I will need to re-register some of those .ocx files ?  I will update when I get to it later today. Thanks ....may be on to something.
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by:Russ Suter
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EEEEK! You're referencing a DLL over a network share? That sounds like a horrible idea. But yes, re-registering ocx files is not at all uncommon when loading a VB6 project in a new environment. Consider corralling your ocx files into a single folder somewhere inside the project directory. That way the problem is less likely to happen again the next time.

Many years ago I did extensive programming in VB6 and loved it. These days I use Visual Studio 2015 and C# but I still have a VB6 project that I need to support. I can't believe I ever liked it. Visual Studio has spoiled me rotten!
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by:John Battles
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Update...we actually do copy the DLL's locally and assign them via the "componants" tab in Project.  This is odd. We have MSCOMCTL.OCX in its syswow64 folder (as it is referenced in checkmarking it in componants section).  So we checkmark it and hit "apply", looks like it is all good.  Then, we try to open same project, get the error "\\fs2\company\vbsafe\Win10Test\SqlEDI\MSCOMCTL.OCX' could not be loaded--Continue Loading Project?" and it is now UNCHECKED in the componants section.  Not sure why or where it is being told to reference it from the network path. Any idea why this particular project ignores applying that .ocx locally and try to load from network path instead ?  I think if we find that out, we are good to go.
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Russ Suter earned 500 total points
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I've seen this happen before also. VB6 is quite finicky sometimes. Try this:

Uncheck the reference
Save the project
Exit VB6
Relaunch the project
Browse for the reference in its preferred location and select it
save the project
Exit VB6
Relaunch the project
Pray!
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by:John Battles
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Bingo !  Thanks very much , Russ
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