Visual Studio 6 on Vista

Why would you want to run Visual Studio 6 on Vista? Two reasons. First, because it includes Visual Basic 6.0, the last version not based on .NET. Second, because Visual C++ 6.0 is still widely used to avoid issues with the C runtime library. There is little point in installing the other products in Visual Studio 6.0.

Visual Basic 6.0 is supported on Vista, but Visual Studio 6 is not. One reason is that it includes the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine which Microsoft promised Sun it would withdraw. This is the stated reason why Visual Studio 6.0 is no longer available for download, even for MSDN Universal subscribers. Fortunately I still have some old MSDN DVDs, so I dug these out and ran setup for the Enterprise edition of Visual Studio 6.0, installing on Vista Professional.

I can’t pretend it went smoothly. First there were compatibility warnings, which I ignored. I deselected applications other then Visual C++ and Visual Basic. Then setup appeared to hang on the screen where it detects installation components, and Vista popped up its “Program not responding” dialog. I believe this is just a matter of patience. My tip is to run task manager and see if the ACMSETUP process is taking up CPU time. If it is, give it more time.

So setup completed, but with an error towards the end:

RegCreateKey failed for \Interface\OLEViewerIViewerCLSID. Access is denied

followed by a DLLREgisterServer failure. I was informed that setup had failed, but nevertheless VB 6 and VC++ were installed and seemed to run OK.

Naturally I wanted to apply the service pack – SP5 or SP6. This is where I had the biggest problems. I could run SETUPSP6.EXE, but the install always failed. If I logged the install, I found this entertaining error:

Do not ship. Error message to log function that detects what VS products are installed in what language unable to function.

Hmmm. I Googled to no avail, though I found this thread where several others report the same problem. Then I tried removing Visual Studio 6.0 for a reinstall, but got the same error from add/remove programs. I finally twigged. The problem was that the first install never completed. Although the product was mostly installed, some part of the Microsoft Installer database had not been updated. The error message actually makes sense: the products were not installed.

Therefore I re-ran the original setup. This time I went into the Tools part of custom setup, clicked Change Option, and deselected the OLE/COM object viewer. Setup now completed without error; so too did SP6. Success.

The apps seem to work OK too – so far so good, though I’m resigned to having to use Run as administrator.

Try this at your own risk; as I mentioned above, Visual C++ 6.0 is not supported on Vista; in fact, I don’t think it is supported at all.


89 thoughts on “Visual Studio 6 on Vista”

  1. Bad Mouth,

    I followed your steps in installing vb6+sp6 on a Vista32 pc with no problem. Thank you so much for your postings here.

    Now I have a new problem in making MouseWheel Fix work in IDE. It is there (Startup / Loaded) in Add-In Manager. It is there in the registry. And mouse wheel/tilt works on my vb6 application running from IDE. The scroll bars (both horizontal & vertical) in IDE code windows just won’t move by wheel. However, mouse wheel works on Properies window and (Declarations) drop down list.

    Some internet post suggests running cmd as administrator. It does not work either.

    Any ideas?

  2. To Oliver:
    Visual Basic 6.0 IDE does not support mouse wheel-scroll, but you can get it to work
    by following the instructions given by Microsoft at this link, be sure to follow the
    instructions as precise.

    Years ago, I was pissed about this issue, because it is a pain trying to move code around visual Basic 6. The above will fix
    your issue.

    Another thing, if you plan to create internet applications that use Visual Basic 6.0 Dynamic controls, you will find that it is not
    allowed in Vista/Win7 systems and you will only get IDE crashes or controls that do not work. Work around for this is to create a template of all the Dynamic HTML controls using an older operating
    system such as Windows 98/Me/2000 and save the template in the following directory:

    C:Program FilesMicrosoft Visual StudioVB98TemplateProjects

    The above will not work unless you follow my instructions, which are too long to type here, but if you are interested, you can send me an email to my junk mail box:

    and with the following heading:

    “Need DHTML Work Around”

    Any emails without the above heading will be ignored.

    I will then send you the instructions when I get time, with the heading of:

    “Visual Basic Dynamic HTML”

    Please note that it will be emailed to you, as a ZIP file and you should only see a Notepad text file, nothing else.

    Also note, that the instructions are for experience Visual Basic 6.0 users, please do not reply to me how to do something, the instructions are easy to follow and I will not reply to simple answers that are given in my instructions.


  3. Years ago I did on XP and it worked well. Same thing tried on Vista32 and could not fix the mouse wheel in VB6 IDE. Then I was trying to use method 2 (installing IntelliPoint 4.12). However, 4.12 was no longer available on Thus I installed IntelliPoint 8.2 instead. Mouse wheel scrolling in VB6 IDE still does not work.

    I know Vista is just an intermediate OS. So don’t waste anymore time on this compatibility issue. I can live with it as long as I keep coding on XP, and test it on Vista.


  4. To Oliver:
    Your problem is that you are using mouse software. Do not use any mouse software, unless of course you are a gamer and need all functionality of your mouse, in this case you are better off coding in XP.

    To fix the scrolling issue of the code editor on Vista/Win7 you must do the following steps:

    1. Do not install any mouse software, if so, uninstall it.
    Make sure that your operating system is using ONLY system mouse driver.

    2. Do not run the zip file. You must extract the zip files in the “vb6mousewheel.exe” package, you will have to extract it two-times to get the “VB6IDEMouseWheelAddin.dll” file.

    3. Cut the “VB6IDEMouseWheelAddin.dll” file and paste into the “C:WindowsSystem32” folder.

    4. Click->Start->Run and enter the following command:

    regsvr32 VB6IDEMouseWheelAddin.dll

    5. Start Visual Basic 6.0 and select the Add-In Manager option.

    6. In the Add-In Manager select the “MouseWheel Fix” and select the [Load on Start-up] option.

    7. Exit Visual Basic 6.0 and then rerun it.

    NOTE: Visual Basic 6.0 must have admin rights to run the add-in.


    The above works fine for me on Vista and my new Operating system Windows 7. If it does not work for you, then you are doing something wrong.


  5. B.M.,

    What is the utility software you used to extract files from “vb6mousewheel.exe”?

    I uninstalled both Microsoft IntelliPoint and Logitech SetPoint mouse drivers. But now my Vista lost its wheel tilt capability on all horizontal scroll bars. Those Windows Tilt Messages are generated and sent by SetPoint driver.


  6. To Oliver:
    Because you are using the operating system drivers, the tilt wheel feature may not be supported by Vista. On Windows 7 this may be supported, but I can’t guarantee it, because I do not use a mouse with tilt wheel capability. However, check Vista mouse configuration and see if it has the tilt wheel option, again it may not be supported.

    As a programmer, you would rather develop programs that use the basic mouse functionality rather than a mouse that have tons of other buttons and features. I use a LogicTech mouse with three buttons and wheel that does not have a tilt wheel option.

    As for the utility to extract the ZIP files from the “vb6mousewheel.exe” zip, you just need to [right-click] on the file and select the [Extract All] option. XP/Vista/Win7 comes with zip file support already installed.

    You may have already installed the “VB6IDEMouseWheelAddin.dll” file if you double-clicked it already, check your “C:WindowsSystem32” folder and do a search for the file. If it is there, then you will have to proceed from Step 4 above. Just hope that it works, because I had a problem before when I double-clicked the “vb6mousewheel.exe” and it did not work, until I unregistered the DLL and removed the registry key that it installed, you will see the registry key that I am talking about when you extract the files.

    Good Luck!

  7. B.M.,

    I see what you mean by extracting two-times. I tried and still no mouse wheel scrolling on IDE editor windows. I even manually removed all *mousewheel* keys with regedit. I think there is something wrong with my Vista32. What I’ll try next is to re-install Vista32 on a blank hard drive, and see what happens. Don’t expect me to do it soon. I am reluctant to spend any time and money on a legacy OS and 4 year-old PC.

    In my opinion, with today’s high resolution digital cameras, panning a picture is easier done by tilting than dragging. It is Microsoft’s mistake not to have the mouse tilt built-in the Win32 Messages.

    Thanks a lot for your effort in helping me on this issue. I’ll keep you posted in the future for any progress.

  8. You are right about Microsoft not having the tilt wheel option built into the system considering that Vista been around since 2005. The mouse tilt wheel option can come in handy for graphic and programmers of all types, but Microsoft only thinks about the average mouse user and not so much about us developers.

    Some people would say why bother with Visual Basic, why not go the .NET way. In my opinion, Visual Basic is a very powerful language and it is not really a beginners programming development program. You will be amazed what you can do with Visual Basic and still today, Visual Basic 6.0 is highly used in lots of software development, because you have the option to compile your program into machine language code (native code) rather than P-Code to produce the fastest executable program possible with Visual Basic.

    That is why I love Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual C++ 6.0 because with both of these IDE programs you can easily use Visual Basic code with C++ and vice versa, to produce fast and powerful applications.

    If you plan to install a fresh copy of Vista, be sure not to install any service packs, prior to installing Visual Basic 6.0 or Visual C++ 6.0. I hope that all goes well for you.

    Good luck Oliver!

  9. Finally, I did a fresh Vista-32 install on a new HDD and motherboard a week ago. Accidentally, I found the cause of mousewheel problem on IDE editor windows this morning. After I replaced the Microsoft wireless mouse 5000 with other Logitech USB mice (either wireless or wired), the mousewheel scrolling worked on IDE. How ironic, Microsoft own mouse driver on Vista has compatibility issue with the “VB6IDEMouseWheelAddin.dll”. Note that the same wireless mouse 5000 has no such issue on Windows XP.

  10. Hi all. I have a question too…I have a host installation of vista ultimate 64bit and a guest installation (on microsoft virtual pc) of vista home premium 32bit. Is there sth else I should know about installing ms visual studio 6 (I only need visual basic 6)? I can’t run my apps..I get an error saying “Error accessing the system registry”!
    Can anyone help???

  11. Well I can tell you that you are receiving that error because you are trying to run the visual basic project without administrator rights.

    You need to realize that Visual Basic 6.0 needs administrator rights to run properly in the Windows environment. If you try to run a project that uses nonstandard Window components such as the following components:


    Etc… You will receive registry errors. However, for standard Visual Basic components which are the components that you see on the left when you first start Visual Basic 6.0, these components do not need to be registered because they are already registered and used in every Windows from Windows 95 – Windows 8 and are standard across all Windows operating system.

    So if you create a Visual Basic application that uses only the standard components you will be able to run the project as well as the executable with no problems.
    My advice to you is give both the virtual machine and Visual Basic 6.0 IDE administrator rights.
    For example, when I program in any programming language, I give administrator rights to the IDE environment within my administrator account by right-clicking the icons and selecting run this program as administrator. Thereafter, I can log into my guest account and program with no problems.


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