MLS 3.2.3 and Windows 7

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
james_francisco
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MLS 3.2.3 and Windows 7

Postby james_francisco » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:07 am

On the download page for MLS (mls.lds.org) there is a specific note that MLS 3.2.3 does not support Windows 7. Normally that is not a problem because most ward and stake computers have Windows XP sp3 installed. But, last friday our FM group delivered a new computer for the stake to replace our Optiplex GX260 that is about to burn out any day. When I booted it up, it had Windows 7 Professional installed as the OS. And, MLS doesn't play with Windows 7 even when you select Windows XP in the program properties.

But, there is a solution. Windows 7 Professional has a Windows XP mode feature. This involves installing a virtualized Windows XP environment on the computer and then installing MLS in the virtual computer. I've done this on my test and development environment and I've successfully done a number of tasks except a send-recieve. (Don't want to mess things up for the real stake computer.) The steps to make this work are as follows:

  1. Download the Windows XP Mode virtualization software from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx
  2. Install the Virtual PC/Windows XP software on the Windows 7 computer.
  3. Launch the Virtual PC environment and make sure that it is sharing the drives and peripherals of the host computer.
  4. Install and configure MLS on the virtual environment.
  5. Copy the MLS shortcut to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu directory.
  6. The virtual pc can then be shut down.
In the start menu of the Windows 7 desktop under the Virtual PC folder you'll find a Windows XP Mode Applications folder. The MLS icon will be found there. When you launch it, it will look as if MLS is running natively on the Windows 7 Desktop.

James Francisco
Queen Creek AZ North Stake

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:56 am

There is another solution - install MLS 3.3.0b2, which can run in Windows 7. However, see these posts first.
Windows 7 and MLS 3.3
MLS vs. Windows 7
3.3.0b2 change log

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:58 am

A few questions:

Will LUS support this setup? If not, you may find that you're up a creek the first time you have a problem.

Does it work, including Send/Receive (which you can not test except with live data)?

What would the consequence be when 3.3 comes down? Is there a path to re-installing as a native Win7 app?

While it might be possible to run 3.2.2 under Win7, I wouldn't recommend it unless it's supported by the church.

Another alternative is to just sit on the new computers until 3.3 is rolled out. It will probably be a month or two, but it would eliminate the risk.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

james_francisco
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Responding to Russell

Postby james_francisco » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:44 am

RussellHltn wrote:Will LUS support this setup? If not, you may find that you're up a creek the first time you have a problem.

Windows XP Mode is just a virtualized Windows XP computer inside of the Win 7 Host OS. Why would they treat it differently? I could even patch in the local unit desktop configuration if desired. I've had a virtualized version of that running for two and a half years.

Does it work, including Send/Receive (which you can not test except with live data)?

Not up to send/recieve yet in my test protocol. Still getting networking to where I want it to be. I'll let you know.

What would the consequence be when 3.3 comes down? Is there a path to re-installing as a native Win7 app?

Install MLS 3.3 on the host OS and transfer the data just like any other time a new computer is installed in a unit. Then uninstall MLS from the virtual image and either decommission the virtual pc or leave it for any other projects assigned by the stake president.

While it might be possible to run 3.2.2 under Win7, I wouldn't recommend it unless it's supported by the church.

That ship has sailed. All of the PCs in our stake have been upgraded to MLS 3.2.3 with CUBS. (That's a whole 'nother story of pain.) I don't have a regression copy available.

Another alternative is to just sit on the new computers until 3.3 is rolled out. It will probably be a month or two, but it would eliminate the risk.

The computers being replaced are Optiplex GX260's with the famous flaming motherboard. It's a binary set of risks. Burnt out computer vs. some configuration fiddling, either way my time investment is about the same.

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childsdj
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Postby childsdj » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:56 am

Rather than running in XP mode, I would recommend that if you really need to use the machine, that you load the 3.3 beta. There should be a new build of the beta available by Friday night (If all goes well). On the few units that have used the 3.3 beta so far, it has been pretty stable.

We haven't tested MLS at all in XP mode using Windows 7, so I am not sure if there would be a problem or not. I understand, in theory, it should work fine. I would use the beta build of 3.3 that should be available by this weekend instead if you can wait a couple of days.

james_francisco
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Postby james_francisco » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:26 am

With my current professional workload and being the IT/AV lead for a Little Philmont that Pres. Beck is going to be at on Saturday, MLS 3.3b might get to me before I can get back to working on my XP mode project.

DJC wrote:Rather than running in XP mode, I would recommend that if you really need to use the machine, that you load the 3.3 beta. There should be a new build of the beta available by Friday night (If all goes well). On the few units that have used the 3.3 beta so far, it has been pretty stable.

We haven't tested MLS at all in XP mode using Windows 7, so I am not sure if there would be a problem or not. I understand, in theory, it should work fine. I would use the beta build of 3.3 that should be available by this weekend instead if you can wait a couple of days.


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