MySQL, meet Windows Vista. Windows Vista, eat MySQL.

Lemme just say this upfront: the blind helmet-wearing monkeys that created Windows Vista should be drowned in a pool of their own feces.  Seriously, so many things about Vista strike me as A Bad Idea that it almost seems comical.  But I’m not going to rant about Vista – there’s plenty of that all over the interweb already.

I’m gonna get way more specific.  I’m going to get into Windows Vista and just how badly it plays with MySQL.  I’d say it the other way around – MySQL plays badly with Vista – but I’m a spoiled Mac user.  I don’t believe that the OS should interfere with my productivity.  Looks like someone at Microsoft didn’t get that memo.

Anyway, the point is that I need to roll out MySQL on my machine to develop.  I mean, technically I suppose I don’t have to… I could fire up a dedicated MySQL box every time I wanted to develop a database app locally.  Oooor I could just install MySQL on my development machine and not have to freakin’ deal with it.  Unless you have Vista.  If you have Vista, you cannot install MySQL.  It just won’t let you.

Okay, sensationalism aside, that’s not true.  I mean, it’s true that Vista won’t let you install MySQL.  And it’s true that Vista has been created specifically to piss off every animal in Userland.  And it’s also true that while it’s a simple enough matter to take the reigns from Vista and gitterdun, the documentation to do so is ridiculously sparse.

A little bit of research on the net (okay, a lot) will garner you instructions on how to successfully install MySQL on your Vista machine.  Heck, there’s a whole paper written on it, and how you have to tweak security settings.  Let me break it down for you: you have to turn off UAC.  What’s UAC?  Apparently it’s Windows’ version of Admin authentication.  Who knows, who cares, all I know is that in every other OS that uses this type of mechanism, it just works.  In Windows, it creates headaches and stops me from being productive for hours.  I’ve found that when it comes to WIndows, productivity loss due to mysterious errors is common.

To turn off UAC, go to Control Panel->User Accounts & Family Safety->User Accounts->Turn User Account Control On or Off.  If you couldn’t follow that, then you probably shouldn’t be turning UAC off anyway.  Fact is, it sounds super foreboding to turn off… after all your Family Safety is at stake here.

Theoretically, turning off UAC before attempting to install MySQL should result in the ability to install and configure MySQL successfully.  Theoretically, I want to be President of the United States.  In practice, neither happens.  MySQL 5.01 continuously fails.  Over, and over, and over again.  Like a scratched record.  More annoying, even.

The solution to this is mind-bogglingly simple, although many people won’t like it.  Install MySQL 5.1.  It’s not the ‘stable’ version, sure, but shit, at least it works.

Hours, it took, to go through all that.  If this post took you 3 minutes to read through, I just saved you a heap of time and trouble.  Buy me a beer.  Now go forth and make that database scream for mercy.