As most of the world knows, Microsoft has made available a consumer preview of Windows 8. While this is still considered beta software, I highly recommend you check it out.
Some of us technology minded folks are charged with supporting legacy software, developed with Visual Studio 6 (particulary Visual Basic 6), and with the iminent release of Windows 8, there is some worry about whether our support tools will work with it. This tutorial will (hopefully) help you get VB6 installed on your Windows 8 system!
First off, I highly recommend you test this on your non-production machine. As with all beta software, strange things can happen. If you fry your system, don't hold me responsible! I am just passing on what has worked for me.
This description might be a little verbose, but I would suggest that you at least read through it once before proceeding. That way you can pick out the bits that pertain to you. Also, I may have included some unecessary steps, but like I said, this is the process that worked on my test system.
c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\VB98
I will re-test this procedure when the RTM is released.
Hello dwirch, thanks for the article! It worked here too.
Question: Did you succeed installing the VB6 SP6 after that?
It has failed here...
Dang. forgot to install SP6. I'll have to load up the Release Preview (or Release Candidate if your prefer) and give it a shot.
thanks for your article. the setup did not complete, but vb is running. the problem is I cannot install sp6, because vb6-setup did not finish successfull. are there any hacks to manipulate the registry, so I can install sp6?
Hey, you need to untick "Data Access" options when installing, then the installation works fine and you can install SP6 afterwards.
I need to re-write this article, now that RTM is out... I'll post an update soon.
I got the main VB6 IDE installed, but SP6 refuses. I run it as admin, and it goes through the entire process, ending up with saying that has not installed correctly! Any ideas?
It seems the components that cause an issue when installing are as follows.
I select Custom install and uncheck the following.
Tools -> OLE/Com Object Viewer
Enterprise Tools -> Visual Studio Analyzer
Data Access -> Change Options -> ADO, RDS and OLE DB Providers
I was successful with installing Visual Studio 6 IDE and SP6 with the above options unchecked.
Here is my step by step guide in detail.
Visual Studio Installation
1. Ensure UAC has been turned off.
2. Ensure your user has administrative rights on the computer.
3. Run the Setup.exe file in the Visual Studio Installer.
4. “Run the program without getting help” when the error “This program has compatibility issues”.
5. Click Next, Accept the Agreement and click Next.
6. Enter your software key, name and company name. Click Next.
7. Update Microsoft Virtual Machine for Java.
8. “Run the program without getting help” when the error “This program has compatibility issues”. Note message shown twice.
9. Say “Yes” to reboot the system.
10. On start up the setup continues to run.
11. “Run the program without getting help”
12. Start Page shown. Click on Desktop.
13. “Run the program without getting help”
14. Visual Studio 6.0 Enterprise Edition shown with options “Custom, Products or Server Application”.
15. At this point click “Exit” on the installer and confirm with “Yes” otherwise an error will be shown if you continue.
16. Run the Setup.exe file in the Visual Studio Installer.
17. “Run the program without getting help”
18. Click Next and Accept the Agreement and click Next
19. Enter your software key, name and company name. Click Next.
20. Select Custom and click Next
21. Installation folder click next
22. “Run the program without getting help”
23. Click “Continue”.
24. Product ID click “Ok”
25. Tools -> Change Options -> OLE/Com Object Viewer, Uncheck and click OK.
26. Enterprise Tools -> Change Options -> Visual Studio Analyzer, Uncheck and click OK.
27. Data Access -> Change Options -> ADO, RDS and OLE DB Providers, Uncheck.
28. At this point it warns saying the component is essential. Click OK and OK again.
29. Click continue.
30. Say Yes to register environment variables.
31. Say Yes to VSS DB format.
32. Install box with “Destination File:” should appear.
33. Setup is updating your system message box should appear.
34. Click OK to Windows NT Debug Symbols.
35. Click Restart Windows.
36. On start up the setup continues to run and loads APEMREG.exe.
37. Install using compatibly settings.
38. “Run the program without getting help”
39. Untick install MSDN. Click Next and yes to confirm.
40. Select Nothing and click Next.
41. Select Nothing and click next.
42. Untick Register and click finish.
1. Run setupsp6.exe
2. Click Continue.
3. Click I Agree.
4. Setup Successful click OK.
Good job - Thanks for the writeup!
Just another point on this.. I think the Data access fails because RDS Remote Data Services are no longer included in Windows 8 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/jj584987(v=vs.85).aspx
So the installer goes in an infinite loop looking for a registry entry for the class id of RemoteData Services.
With Data Access unticked would this mean I wouldn't be able to link an Access 2003 database?
Relevant components being Microsoft Data Bound Grid Control 5.0, and the default Data control in toolbox.
@Bond - I haven't run into that. When I perform the install the Data Access option is selected, and cannot be unselected. But I would assume that if you somehow get it unselected, then yes, that *might* prevent you from connecting to an Access 2003 database. However, the problem might be mitigated by installing MDAC on the system.
Have you managed to get SP6 working? Through either your own means or adrianhalid's method.
Having looked through many threads I can't see that anyone has so I'm slightly skeptical. Do you also get the issue of windows not recognising VB6 as a program? ie. not being listed under uninstall programs, as I've seen this is common.
I may just stick with using VB6 on my laptop with Windows Vista in the end but it'd be nice to get it working on Windows 8!
SP6 went on without a hitch, just by running through the setup. I've got it running on all three of my Win8 machines. Although, one of the machines has a problem with control placement on forms. Weird thing with the cursor being about an inch below where the control is, most likely a flaky video driver on that one machine. Other than that, no problems.
SP6 needed for MSHFlexGrid I think - I followed FortyPoundHead advice for installing VB6 on Windows *7*, with with Data Access components selected as normal, which then stopped responding (as described). SP6 didn't install properly, and MSHFlexGrid/Hierarchical FlexGrid control failed to load. Then I found this thread, and re-installed, this time unchecking the Data Access checkbox for "ADO, RDS, and DB Providers" as suggested. This completed normally, SP6 then installed OK, and MSHFlexGrid and data access all worked OK. Success! Thanks for all the advice.
Adrian's instructions seem to have worked for me. Throws up the occasional error but it's working fine.
VB6 installed on Win8 as described and seems to work OK.
One interesting problem. Forms with form icons that have transparent backgrounds won't load, saying the icon is not valid. Removing the icon or replacing it and saving the form fixes it. Executables that ran fine on Win7 will not run on Win8 unless this is fixed and the app recompiled.
Wondering if it's a bug in the Windows forms engine, WOW, or something else. Unfortunately, my app has approx. 100 forms with this problem that I will have to go through and find new icons or fix the existing icon by filling the transparent parts and adding it back to the form, which seems to work.
P.s. re. previous comment about icons, I'm just guessing that the problem is related to transparency. Could be something else Win8 doesn't like about them that was fixed by editing the icon and saving it.
Also, the runtime error for an executable with this problem is the generic 50003 error.
hi , SP6 include DataAccess ??
I am not able to install Visual Basic on Windows 8 :(
compnent not registered
@online98 - you could try like I did i.e. initially install with Data Access components all selected, watch it hang, kill the job from Task Manager, then install again, this time unchecking the Data Access checkbox for "ADO, RDS, and DB Providers" as suggested. Then install SP6, and ADO etc. should work (though in my case I was only doing a very simple ADO call in my VB6 code).
VB Can be Installed neatly in Win 8 & win 7
And Start Development
We also had the issue with form icons and replacing them worked. Not sure what the actual issue was.
We even had the application raise an error on these forms even if compiled on windows 7 and then ran the compiled exe on a windows 8.
Tengo un problema diferente, en mi caso el Visual Basic se instalo, pero no reconoce las unidades de red, ni cuando se compila el ejecutable; que tengo hacer?
For non-spanish speakers, Frannkfga posted:
I have a different problem, in my case the Visual Basic was installed, but does not recognize network drives, or when compiling the executable, that I have to do?
@frannkfga: Have the network drives been mapped to drive letters? Are you using the standard drives control ?
You can download VB6 Service Pack (SP6) Runtime Extended from
I am not a technical fundi but I am having trouble installing my VB6 on my new Windows 8 machine. I tried to follow the above with no success. Can you please help?
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