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Issues for Windows ME

The C# compiler, and more generally the Microsoft .NET Framework SDK, isn't supposed to run under Windows ME. But then again, the Personal Web Server wasn't supposed to run under Windows ME and we found a way to get it running. With just a couple of tweaks, you can get the C# compiler working under Windows ME as well. To foreshadow, you need to take two steps:

  1. Find out where (in what directory) the C# compiler is stored.

  2. Set the PATH environment variable to include that directory.

Finding the C# Compiler Directory

The easiest way to find the directory containing the C# compiler is to use the search utility in Windows Explorer. You probably already know how to open an Explorer window, but here's one method just in case:

  1. Right-click the Start button on the Windows Taskbar (generally located at the bottom of the screen) to pop up a menu, as shown in Figure 16.

  2. Click Explore on the menu to open an Explorer window, as shown in Figure 17. Of course, your Explorer window will display the contents of your computer, so it may not look much like Figure 17.

Figure 16 Use this menu to open an Explorer window.

Figure 17 Explorer window.

We'll be using the Folders button in the toolbar; you may have to expand the size of your Explorer window to see this button. If you don't see the Folders button even after expanding the window, choose View, Toolbars, Standard Buttons from the menu (see Figure 18).

Figure 18 Selecting the buttons to be displayed on the toolbar.

With the Folders button displayed in the toolbar, follow these steps to find the C# compiler:

  1. Click the Folders button. The left panel of the Explorer window changes to display the Search for Files and Folders utility (see Figure 19). Again, the contents of your window may look quite different from ours.

    Figure 19 Search utility in the left panel.

  2. We're going to look for the C# compiler, whose filename is csc.exe. Enter csc.exe in the text box labeled Search for Files or Folder Named.

  3. Select Local Disk (C:) in the drop-down box labeled Look In. (It may already be selected.)

  4. Click the Search Now button at the bottom of the window. The right panel displays the search results. You should see two files, csc.exe and csc.exe.config (see Figure 20).

    Figure 20 Search results for csc.exe.

  5. You need to know the full pathname (the trail of folders and subfolders leading to the file itself) for the folder containing csc.exe, which in Figure 20 runs off the window's right edge. Adjust the horizontal scrollbar in the search results panel or change the size of the window as necessary to display the entire pathname (see Figure 21).

    Figure 21 Adjust the horizontal scrollbar to display the entire folder name.

  6. In our example, the folder containing csc.exe has the pathname C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.0.2914. Write down the entire pathname for your computer, as you'll need it for the next step.

Setting the PATH Environment Variable

Now that you know where to find the csc.exe file, you need to tell Windows how to find this file whenever you want to run the C# compiler. You do this by setting the PATH environment variable in Windows, using the System Configuration Utility. To get there, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Windows Start button and select Run from the menu (see Figure 22) to open the Run dialog box.

    The System Configuration Utility has the filename msconfig.exe, and it should be located in the Windows folder on your computer. If not, you can find it using the same method you used to find the C# compiler's file in the preceding section—this time, look for the msconfig.exe file.

  2. In the text box of the Run dialog box, type the pathname for the msconfig.exe file, usually c:\windows\msconfig.exe (see Figure 23).

  3. Click OK to open the System Configuration Utility dialog box (see Figure 24).

    Figure 22 Preparing to run the System Configuration Utility.

    Figure 23 Specifying the program to run.

    Figure 24 The System Configuration Utility.

  4. Click the Environment tab. A list of the environment variables and their values appears, as shown in Figure 25. Note that your list may look different from the one in this figure.

  5. Click the PATH variable in the middle of the window, and then click the Edit button at lower right.

  6. The Edit Variable dialog box appears, with the PATH environment variable setting displayed in the Variable Value text box (see Figure 26). Again, your settings will probably differ from those shown here.

    Figure 25 Environment variables and their values.

    Figure 26 The PATH settings.

  7. We need to append the path of the folder containing the C# compiler to the existing PATH value. Click in the Variable Value text box and then position the cursor at the very end of the value (see Figure 27). Remember that your existing value may be different from ours.

  8. Type a semicolon (;) and then the pathname you wrote down for the C# compiler. In our example, the path is C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.0.2914 (see Figure 28).

    Figure 27 Preparing to change the PATH settings.

    Figure 28 Appending the path of the folder containing the C# compiler.

  9. Click OK to return to the System Configuration Utility window (see Figure 29).

  10. To finalize your changes, click OK. As usual, Windows pops up a dialog box telling you to restart your computer for your settings to take effect (see Figure 30).

  11. Click Yes. After your computer restarts and you log back on, you'll be ready to run the C# compiler!

    Figure 29 The new PATH settings are in place, though they may run off the screen in the System Configuration Utility window.

    Figure 30 The usual request for a restart.

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