As you may know, Microsoft has replaced Windows Live Mesh from Windows Live Essentials 2011 with Microsoft
SkyDrive in the updated Windows Essentials 2012. While SkyDrive offers new interesting sync functionality, it does not completely replace all the functionality you had with Windows Live Mesh. I used to have a folder shared with my parents and sister where we could easily exchange pictures just by dropping new files in a local folder and have the file appear on my parent’s computer without any action necessary from their part. While Skydrive can be used for sharing, it requires my parents to look on the web in my Skydrive folder and manually download new files. (Why, Microsoft this usability regression?) If you’re like me and miss the removed functionality, please spend a few minutes and give Microsoft feedback about SkyDrive, if we’re many sending feedback hopefully Microsoft may reconsider the current decision.
Anyway, while I like the updated functionality from MovieMaker, SkyDrive, etc, I still want to run Live Mesh. But upgrading to Windows Essentials 2012 (downloadable from Essentials installer files for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2008 section) will remove Windows Live Essentials 2011 (downloadable from Essentials installer files for Windows Vista section). And the later will not install if you have already installed/upgraded to the 2012 version.
So, here is how to install Windows Live Mesh 2011 after installing Windows Essentials 2012:
- open an elevated command prompt
- cd %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Windows Live\ (or “Program Files (x86)” on 64-bit OS-es)
- make sure you exit any running Windows Live program (Messenger, Writer, etc)
- “attrib –s –h .cache” to change the attributes of the .cache folder
- delete the folder “rmdir /q/s .cache”
- now you can run the wlsetup-all.exe from Windows Live Essentials 2011 (download links above) and it won’t complain anymore about the newer version installed.
I got the idea after finding Jonathan’s blog, where he made available for download a Live Mesh Installer tool: http://messengergeek.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/installing-windows-live-mesh-2011-with-windows-essentials-2012/ The tool downloads WLE2011 web version and installs it even if you have 2012 version installed. It didn’t work for me (it failed to delete the .cache folder, I may have had WL programs running), but at least it pointed me in the right direction to which folder needs to be manually deleted to make things work. Thanks!