Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 – where is the offline link?

Most of the time nowadays when you are downloading updates from Microsoft it will come in the bootstrap format – small exe which will download all necessary files from remote site. But that can take a long time. I prefer downloading full offline installer instead. For Visual Studio they come in .iso format. I see Microsoft is hiding those links more and more :)

Here it is:

Go to There is Install Instructions section, with link to iso “If you have a download manager that can handle a large file, you can download the¬†ISO image directly.”


Small rant about Firefox 26 and Download manager

So we got new Firefox 26 with brand new and ‘improved’ download manager. If you are like me you were changing setting in about:config in previous versions. Well, that doesn’t work anymore, as the devs physically removed piece of code for good old manager. I was quite happy with that oldschool look because there was nothing but downloads, now you have also left space occupied with bookmarks links etc. <irony>Thanks!</irony>

Oh my. Why every company today thinks that changing stuff which JUST works is going to improve something?

Intel 520 120GB SSD review

Just installed brand new Intel SSD drive to my laptop. I am going to share 1day experience.

The beginning

The package is just SSD with no cables, screws, nothing. Just SSD. And Intel “Speed demon” sticker. But that’s it.


I created bootable Windows 7 on usb flash drive using Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool. Installed SSD and was surprised that Windows installer is failing with “No device drivers were found”. You can find various causes for this problem on net. My was that I plugged usb stick with Win 7 installation to USB 3.0 port instead of USB 2.0. Yeah, it doesn’t work when running from USB 3.0. Problem solved.

Note: You don’t need to change SATA mode in BIOS to IDE, it can be AHCI.


Note: My laptop has only SATA II, so don’t be surprised that results are not as good as advertised by Intel.

as-ssd-bench INTEL SSDSC2CW12 1.12.2013 6-05-03 PM d drive


HD Tune, 32kb block size

HDTune_Benchmark_INTEL_SSDSC2CW120A3 32kb

1MB block size

HDTune_Benchmark_INTEL_SSDSC2CW120A3 1MB

8 MB block size

HDTune_Benchmark_INTEL_SSDSC2CW120A3 8MB

Tweaks & tips

Windows 7: disable prefetch, superfetch, disk defragmenter, windows search. Also Change location of TEMP files folder to another drive. Or better use RamDisk.

Install Intel SSD Toolbox.

Intensive writing of lots of small files to drive will significantly reduce lifetime of SSD. So for example it means Firefox cache should be moved to RAM or other HDD. For Firefox consider moving profile to another drive.


Windows 7: Boot is greatly improved, it is about 12seconds from cold boot to usable desktop. Nice.

Applications: Startup is improved a lot, but depends on application. For some you will not notice any difference. For example IE9 starts instantly, IntelliJ IDEA is slightly faster than on regular drive (but not instant), Firefox startup improved a lot (under 2sec).

So overall big satisfaction with this particular SSD.

The Case of missing check constraint

Few weeks ago I discovered bug in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 2012 (SSMS for short). When you execute sql script which is modifying constraints on table (adding Cascade rule for example), you will not be able to see them in designer, even if you refresh tables in Object explorer.

Solution: Close SSMS and start it again. Then you can see the rules just fine.