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Getting BF2CC and 2142CC working correctly under Windows 7

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As many of you know, BF2CC and 2142CC, the utilities we use to manage our Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142 servers, have issues running under Vista & Windows 7. BF2CC complains about .NET Framework 1.1 not being installed. 2142CC has an issue with the .NET Framework installed by default; the player tab does not update.

For BF2CC, you can install .NET Framework 1.1 with instructions found here, but .NET Framework 1.1 has security vulnerabilities and cannot be patched using Windows Update.

If you've got Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise, you can get "XP Mode". This is fine; however the version of .NET Framework included with XP Mode, has the same issues for 2142CC.

If you're running Vista or Windows 7 Home, you can't run "XP Mode" so you're out of luck, right? Wrong. If you've got a copy of Windows XP laying around collecting dust, you can make your own "XP Mode" using freely available.

What you'll need is the following:

Start by downloading and installing VMWare Player. Once installed, follow the instructions found here to create your XP Virtual Machine.

Once you have your virtual machine up and running you will want to disable automatic updates and DO NOT APPLY ANY UPDATES YET.

You can drag & drop files onto your virtual machine, or you can set your home directory to a mapped drive like they explain in the article above.

First thing you'll want to do is install .NET Framework 1.1, SP1 and the patch. Then install .NET Framework 2.0. Once you've done this, you can install all the patches EXCEPT anything pertaining to .NET Framework.

Now you can freely run BF2CC and 2142CC without any errors. The bonus is since you can use 'Unity Mode' in VMWare Player, it looks just like a native app running in Vista or W7. It also minimizes the impact of the security vulnerabilties present in .NET Framework 1.1 and .NET Framework 2.0 (unpatched).

Special Notes:
You'll obviously want to manually update your virtual machine monthly when patches come out, but I do not recommend using it for anything but the apps that require XP (Especially web browsing). Also, you won't want to run anti-virus or anti-malware software on the virtual machine. It chews up limited resources, and as long as you copy files from your desktop to the virtual machine first, you're protected.

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