Windows Vista Ultimate, A Hands On Diary: Entry #1

A Dirty Little Secret: Installing My First Application

You might be wondering how I captured all those screens with no screen capture software. Well, ahem, I actually wrote everything up to this section and then installed Snagit, my favorite screen capture program from TechSmith. Then I went back and did all the screen captures. If truth be told, my first app install on Vista didn't go entirely smoothly.

Everything was fine until the Snagit installation program tried to install a printer driver, UNIDRV.DLL. It wanted me to browse the Vista CD, which I didn't have, the essentials needed for a Vista re-install being on a hidden partition on the Ferrari's hard disk drive.

I did a search for UNIDRV.DLL in the C:\Windows folder and all subfolders, using the Computer (formerly My Computer) Windows Explorer interface (set for the classic look). At that point things started looking weird. Take a look at the strange search results from a search recreated after Snagit was installed. To see what's what, you'll need to click the small image to open a larger version of the image.

Click image for a larger version.

Look at the rows for the two UNIDRV.DLL files. What's the Amd64 and 3 at the start of the folder name? Now that the whole thing is over and my anxiety about installing Snagit has subsided, I can think straight and I realize that Amd64 and 3 are the folders directly under C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\ntprint.inf_d8dddb2bf and C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64. In other words the real folder hierarchy where the two files reside are C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\ntprint.inf_d8dddb2bf\Amd64 and C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64\3.

The 32 and 64-bit versions are no mystery. The Ferrari has a 64-bit AMD Turion processor and Vista supports both 32 and 64-bit CPUs, so it should be no surprise that the two files are there. Unable to parse the confusing search results, I finally decided to forget it and just canceled the browse and the Snagit installation dialog box. Vista warned me that Windows might not run correctly after this, but I knew UNIDRV.DLL only supported printing captured images and I didn't need to do that, so I wasn't particularly worried about cancelling.