Making Acquia Dev Desktop more suitable for development on Windows
Recently Realityloop ran Aegir based deployment training and we had a reasonable proportion of Windows and Linux users at the course, as it turns out only the Mac users didn't run into any problems at all on the day.
Although we had given the windows users instructions for setting up Drush and Acquia Dev Desktop we found out on the day that this is a very poor solution without doing some additional work.
Outlined below are the steps to get a fully functioning setup using just Acquia Dev Desktop and a few extra components that are required, Hopefully Acquia will get these added for a future release of Dev Desktop!
Step 1: Uninstall Drush for windows
Once we're done you will be using the version of Drush that is already packaged with Acquia Dev Desktop.
Step 2: If you don't already have Dev Desktop installed, add it now.
You can download Acquia Dev Desktop from: http://rl.cm/dstack
Step 3: Download the extra components that are required
Download the following packages and extract their contents to the \common\bin folder within the folder where Acquia Dev Desktop was installed, eg. C:\Program Files\acquia-drupal\common\bin
The binaries zip link
The binaries zip link at http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/wget.htm
The binaries zip link at http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/libiconv.htm
libssl32.dll at openvpn http://openvpn.net/release/openssl/
http://it-em.net/joomla/downloads/rsync.zip from http://it-em.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&...
Because the last link is really slow here is a zip that includes all the required files:
Step 4: Add the requires Environment variables
Now right click on My Computer, select Properties then Advanced System Settings followed by the Environment Variables button. Click the New... button in the User variables section and populate as follows replacing [yourusername] with your actual username:
Variable value on win xp: C:\Documents and Settings/[yourusername]
Variable value on win 7: C:\Users\[yourusername] (win 7)
Highlight the Path value in System variables and click Edit... then append the following to the end of the Variable value field (please confirm that these are the correct paths for your version of windows, replacing as required):
;C:\Program Files\acquia-drupal\common\bin\;C:\Program Files\acquia-drupal\mysql\bin\;C:\Program Files\acquia-drupal\php5_3\;C:\Program Files\acquia-drupal\drush\
Click Ok until all settings windows have closed.
Step 5: Profit!
Now your all set and drush will work properly from the regular command prompt.
This tutorial assumes that you have a .ssh folder in your home directory for storing ssh key's, though this is only required if you are trying to use things like drush sql-sync to remote servers. It's been tested and works a treat!