Visual Source Safe Interview Questions & Answers

  1. Question 1. How Can I Lock And Unlock The Vss Database Prior To Running Analyze Or Backing Up The Database?

    Answer :

    Create a zero-byte file called admin.lck in the [share]dataloggedin folder and the database is locked. Delete it when Analyze is done to unlock. Note that this will not kick out currently logged in users.

  2. Question 2. Is Vss Performance Is Extremely Slow?

    Answer :

    This could be caused by having too many Dir= or Shadow= entries in one of the ini files. Try to create a directory structure on disk which matches the VSS project tree. Then clean up the extra Dir= and Shadow= entries in the .ini files. That way you only need an entry in your ini file for each tip project. 

    If you find that VC++ is very slow now that you’re using the VSS integration, deleting the .NCB file before opening the workspace might help. VC++ 6.0 doesn’t have this.

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  4. Question 3. How Do I Get Deleted Files (not Permanently Deleted)?

    Answer :

    •  From SS Explorer select the project folder which contained the deleted file. 
    • When on a project folder, click on Show Properties, then select the Deleted Items Tab.
    • Find the deleted file and click on Recover.
    • From the command line use the SS GET command on the parent project. Do not list the files or use *.* in the get.
    • For example: the following command will get files including deleted files.
    • SS GET $MASTERPROJ1 -VLOldLabel 
  5. Question 4. Is There An Issue/bug Tracking Tool That Integrates With Safe?

    Answer :

    • Elsinore Technologies has a product called Visual Intercept
    • See MetaQuest’s Census
    • See DevTrack from www.techexcel 
    • Check out a Visual C++/Safe Change and Build Tracer at http//www.codeguru/devstudio_macros/tracer.html
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  7. Question 5. How Do I Remove A Label?

    Answer :

    This one is not intuitive. From within VSS Explorer, select the project, show history, check Labels Only, find the label of interest, click on Details, select the label text and delete it. Click Close, which will ask if you are sure you want to change the label. Click Yes and you’re done.

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  9. Question 6. What About Other Product Integrations?

    Answer :

    • VSS Integration with Visual FoxPro
    • To search for articles relating to Visual FoxPro integration, search for the keyword SSFOX. Also check out VisualSafeIntegration.
    • VSS integration with Access
    • To search for other articles relating to Access integration, search for the keyword SSACC
    • VSS Integration with Office products
  10. Question 7. Does Vss Ole Automation Support Label Comments?

    Answer :

    VSS 6.0 fully supports label comments. Label comments, however, are not available in VSS 5.0. For more information check out KBA Q176353 http//

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  12. Question 8. How Do I ‘get’ With Respect To A Label?

    Answer :

    Need to use the ‘-v’ switch with an ‘L’ after it to indicate a label (-R is for recursive)

    SS GET $project -VLmylabel -R

  13. Question 9. Is It Possible To Trap File Deletions And Rollbacks Using An Add-in/vss Ole Automation?

    Answer :

    These events are not supported as of this posting by Rich Knox of Microsoft Trapping Rollbacks/Deletions. 

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  15. Question 10. Is Vss 5.0 Compatible With A 4.0 Database? Do I Have To Upgrade All Users To The New Version? What About 6.0?

    Answer :

    • For 5.0 vs. 4.0 compatibility, read KBA Q176553
    • Version 6.0 can read and write 5.0 databases, and has an option to upgrade or use a new database format. Using this new format gives you the new label promotion feature, but cannot be read by anything earlier than 6.0. There are also some performance enhancements with the new 6.0 version of the database.
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  17. Question 11. How Can I Disable The Integration Between Vss And Visual Studio?

    Answer :

    Under the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftDevStudio6.0 Control (for Visual Studio 6.0) or HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftDevStudio5.0 Control (for Visual Studio 5.0) , change or created the entry

    Name Disabled

    Type REG_DWORD

    Data 0x1

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  19. Question 12. How Do I Rename A Label?

    Answer :

    This one is not intuitive. From within the VSS Explorer, perform the following steps (Steps are for VSS 6.0. Steps are similar for 4.0 and 5.0) 

    1. Select the project that has the label that you want to rename. 
    2. Click on the Show History button. 
    3. Check Include Labels and Show Labels 
    4. Uncheck Include File Histories and optionally select a date to search back to. Click OK. 
    5. In the History dialog box, find and select the label.
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  21. Question 13. Difference Between Microsoft Vss Best Practices?

    Answer :

    Microsoft has a web page listing some best practices, and another page containing their own version.

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  23. Question 14. Does Vss 6.0 Support Nt’s Built-in Security?

    Answer :

    No. The users NT logon name is used by default when starting VSS but this is the only integration. All NT users who wish to use VSS as well need to be added separately by the VSS administrator.

    For information about required network rights check out Q131022 – INFO Required Network Rights for the Safe Directories.

  24. Question 15. How Can I Backup A Database?

    Answer :

    • Make sure that no one is using the database and that Analyze will not begin to run while you are backing up the database. Use any backup utility to copy the DATA, LABELS, and USERS directories.
    • See Chuck Kollars web site for further suggestions and a sample .bat file to secure and backup the database.
    • Some VSS administrators have suggested using SSARC as a way to backup the database. Use SSARC -d- $/ to archive without deleting any files.
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  26. Question 16. How Do I Recover From A Lost Administration Password?

    Answer :

    Check out the newsgroup posting HOWTO Reset VSS 6 Admin Password by Paul Gurtler.

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  28. Question 17. What Are The Tips For Getting Keyword Expansion Working?

    Answer :

    • Make sure that the srcsafe.ini variable Keyword_Masks is set to the appropriate file types you want to expand keywords in. (e.g. Keyword_Masks=*.cpp,*.h,*.idl)
    • Remember that the keywords are case sensitive and include a colon at the end $History$
    • If you’re using something that generates multiple lines, like $History$, you need to have the section [Keyword Comments] set up to proper values for commenting out each line.
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  30. Question 18. How Do I Retrieve The Comment From A Specific Version Of A File?

    Answer :

    This requires that you iterate through each version of the file looking for the label you want. Once the correct version of the file is identified you can retrieve the comment for that version. Below is some sample VB code demonstrating this

    For Each objVSSVersion In objVSSObject.Versions

    If objVSSVersion.Action = “Beta 1” Then


    End If


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  32. Question 19. What’s Analyze?

    Answer :

    Analyze.exe is Visual Safes database maintenance program. This should be run regularly (suggestions range from nightly to monthly). It can repair damaged databases as long as no users are logged on (use the -f command line option). It also has an option for deleting unused files, which will recover space taken up in the database by files and projects that have been purged (-d option). A compress option, -c, will perform some compression on the database where possible. 

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  34. Question 20. How Do I Convert My Pvcs Archive To Vss?

    Answer :

    Use the supplied conversion utility pvcs_ss.exe. Note that this will not work with long file names, and it does not work with logfiles created by the NT version of PVCS. See KBA Q140362 

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  36. Question 21. Where Can I Find A List Of Known Bugs In Vss?

    Answer :

    1. Set the product to VisualSafe 
    2. Set the search option to keywords 
    3. Enter kbbug for the question
  37. Question 22. How Can I Archive Old Projects Or Old Versions Of Current Projects?

    Answer :

    Use the SSARC and SSRESTOR programs. Version 6.0 has a GUI interface to these programs making them easier to use. Also, be careful when restoring to a database that was created by copying an existing database and then deleting all files and projects in it Read Q176780 – Use Guidscan.exe to View or Change GUID in a VSS Database .

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  39. Question 23. How Do I Reconnect A Project After The Shared Workspace File Loses The Project Location?

    Answer :

    Check out KBA Q192625, PRB VC++ Shared Workspace File Loses Project Locations.

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  41. Question 24. How Do I Pin All The Files Within A Project?

    Answer :

    You can do this using the command-line pin parameter and the wildcard character for the file name.

    For example

    SS PIN $/MyProject/*.* -VLver1

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  43. Question 25. Does Vss Ole Automation Support Administrative Functions?

    Answer :

    VSS 6.0 supports some administrative functions. Read the specification and look at the samples.

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  45. Question 26. What Was Fixed By Service Pack 3 For Visual Studio?

    Answer :

    Search MS online support, Visual Safe, for any of the following keywords, depending on the version of Visual Studio you are using and the Service Pack in which you want to research kbVS97sp1, kbVS97sp2, kbVS97sp3, kbVS600sp1, kbVS600sp2, kbVS600sp3, kbVS600sp4, kbVS600sp5

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  47. Question 27. How To Require Check-in Comments?

    Answer :

    You can coax/encourage users but it is virtually impossible to force them.  

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  49. Question 28. How Do I Disconnect Vss From A Particular Vc Project?

    Answer :

    Check out KBA Q180945, “HOW TO Disconnect a Project from  Control”

  50. Question 29. Is There Any Information On Web Projects And Control Integration In Visual Studio .net?

    Answer :

    Certainly, check out Web Projects and  Control Integration in Visual Studio .NET.

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  52. Question 30. How Does One Implement Safe Integration With Frontpage 2000/ ?

    Answer :

    It would appear that the information provided in the FP2K user guide with respect to integrating FP2K and Visual Safe inadvertently applies to the previous version (FrontPage 98) and not FP2K. 

    The following instructions should help in setting up FrontPage 2000:

    1. Use FrontPage 2000 to create your web
    2. Add the web folder to VSS as a new VSS Project 
    3. Set the VSS Project as a Web Project in VSS Administrator 
  53. Question 31. Where Can I Find The Ssscc Api?

    Answer :

    Microsoft discourages the use of the SSSCC API. Instead they propose you use the OLE Automation interface. 

     However, if you still wish to use the API you can request the MSSCCI spec by writing to msscci@microsoft. They will send you the NDA you need to sign to get the spec, and then send you the spec.

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