Visual Studio 2005 previous beta removal tool

Hey all, I'm sorry for the delay posting this.  I've got a version of the cleanup tool that I wrote that I specifically tailored to automate that long list of removal steps listed here and here.

You can download and try out the VS 2005 beta removal tool by going to this link.

Note that this tool isn't "officially" supported by Microsoft or me.  That being said, please let me know if you have any trouble getting this to work on your computers.  My next step is to create a version of this tool that will automate all of the manual removal steps for the .NET Framework 2.0.  Stay tuned....

As a side note, I was hoping to have it ready when VS 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0 beta 2 went live on Sunday, but obviously that didn't happen.  I apologize to the folks who have contacted me with broken machines and wasted days cleaning them up (and also those who have gotten burned by the manual uninstall but haven't contacted me).  I know it is not really any consolation now, but we're really working hard to do what we can to fix any broken machines without forcing you to reformat and also to get any of the underlying setup bugs fixed by the time VS 2005 ships.  Thank you for your patience and interest in VS 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0.


Comments (42)

  1. damien morton says:

    Hi there – ran the tool, and re-installed beta 2, but Im still getting the following messages when creating a project and switching to the designer:

    Package ‘Visual Studio Settings and Project Designers Package’ has failed to load properly ( GUID = {67909B06-91E9-4F3E-AB50-495046BE9A9A} ). Please contact package vendor for assistance. Application restart is recommended, due to possible environment corruption. Would you like to disable loading this package in the future? You may use ‘devenv /resetskippkgs’ to re-enable package loading.


    Could not load type ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Interop.IVsRunningDocumentTable2’ from assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Interop.8.0, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’.

  2. baumsh says:

    I’m also still getting the error, when trying to open the form designer and other errors while trying to open diffrent designer (e.g. Dataset designer). I have completely uninstalled Beta1 first manually as suggested, then ran the tool.

    Just to note I have already spended 3 days playing around with this problem, I hope that you folks could come up with something to fix this.


    Microsoft Visual Studio


    Could not load type ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Interop.IVsRunningDocumentTable2’ from assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Interop.8.0, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’.




  3. balajik says:

    Hi, just to make sure. If i run this tool, would it remove all the beta 1 bits that i’ve installed in my machine? Thanks.

  4. I wanted to clarify a couple of things here. This tool is intended to automate the manual cleanup steps on the VS 2005 download page. So if you intend to use the tool you should not try to uninstall each of the packages beforehand unless you follow the exact order listed on the uninstall page.

    Also, if you are seeing IDE crashes or package load failure errors after installing beta 2 and launching the IDE, please try to use the workaround listed in the "IDE may fail to launch" section of this blog post –

    I am working on a way to automate those workarounds as part of the cleanup tool but have not had time yet 🙁

  5. I got a chance to investigate a couple of machines from Microsoft employees who ran into issues after…

  6. JJ12JJ says:

    Following and acting on this thread has helped but I am still experiencing problems with Beta 2 setup.

    Your removal tool got rid of the package load problems but I am still getting Dr Watsons during the initial setup process which looking at the error log seems to suggest the setup process is getting confused:

    [04/24/05,11:13:31] .NET Compact Framework 2.0: [2] Error code 1618 for this component means "Another installation is already in progress. Complete that installation before proceeding with this install.


    [04/24/05,11:13:31] .NET Compact Framework 2.0: [2] Setup Failed on component .NET Compact Framework 2.0

    [04/24/05,11:15:52] Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition April CTP: [2] Error code 1603 for this component means "Fatal error during installation.


    [04/24/05,11:15:54] Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition April CTP: [2] Setup Failed on component Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition April CTP

    [04/24/05,11:16:09] Microsoft Device Emulator version 1.0 Beta 2: [2] Error code 1618 for this component means "Another installation is already in progress. Complete that installation before proceeding with this install.


    [04/24/05,11:16:10] Microsoft Device Emulator version 1.0 Beta 2: [2] Setup Failed on component Microsoft Device Emulator version 1.0 Beta 2


    I have tried several de-install re-install cycles with reboots between them without being able to get past these errors.

    However I am manually able to execute the above failed files and get everything installed apparently correctly. Indeed everything seems to work apart from when trying to connect to a PPC device emulator. I am getting the "VPC network driver" error that you described in a previous blog in connection with Beta 1. The solution you proposed for Beta 1 does not work with me for Beta 2.



  7. roger larsen says:

    I tried to do this manually, but then saw your posting. It seems to work. Thank You very much, and shame on you Bill, you should not send things like this from Redmond.

  8. sankaran says:

    this is a very useful tool – i had the same problem – i wonder why nobody tested this scenario. thanks for the cooking up the tool.

  9. Heidi says:

    Great Tool

    Thanks from Switzerland


  10. HansB says:

    Thanks, this works!! good tool!!

  11. Peter G says:

    Thanks for this Aaron – worked perfectly.

    It really should have a higher profile – should be on the MSDN website or the distribution CD or something!


  12. CV says:

    It works perfect. It did fix my problems.

    Nicely done!


  13. John Doe says:

    Your’e the man! This worked perfectly.

  14. gir says:


    dass Tool hat prima geholfen


  15. Gunnar says:

    Many thanks! That sure saved some time (and some headaches)…

  16. joeFromDC says:

    Excellent work. Saved me a lot of time and worked like a charm! Coding & Debugging just fine now. Thanks.

    Library of Congress

  17. Chris Wood says:

    Worked great for me too, no more errors when I try and view .Net CF forms in design mode. Thanks!

  18. fzb says:

    thanks for the tool, while it failed in the end (i started removing manually before though, so nothing strange there), it removed at least so much that beta 2 could be installed. safed me my workday, thank you.


  19. Frustrated with MS says:

    Great tool. Wish that I had found this a lot sooner than wasting my 3 days following MS’ recommended solution.

  20. Muad'Dib says:


    i need help!

    my version of ‘microsoft visual c++ 2005 express edition’ wont work because a file ‘mspdb80.dll’ wasnt found.

    does anyone know how to fix it i’ve already tried re-installing the program it dunt work.

    thanx in advance for any help 😀

  21. err says:

    My AV software says vs2005_beta_cleanup_tool.exe is a trojan named Trojan.Seed.11. Anybody else getting this?

  22. Hi Err – I haven’t heard of any issues like that before. I wrote that tool and I can promise that it isn’t a virus. 🙂 What AV software are you using on that computer?

    Hi Muad’Dib – which version of VC++ Express are you running (is it beta 2, or one of the CTPs)? Can you try to use the cleanup steps listed at and then repair VC++ Express one more time and see if that helps fix this?

  23. JimF says:

    I several fellow workers have VS2005RC1 installed and previously had beta 2 installed. We are finding that the version numbers in the About Box in VS are showing different numbers for VB, VC# etc — all the same except for the last 5 digits for each of us — mine is 00018, another is 00503, another is 00101, another is 00917. Is this expected, or did we not clean up properly from beta 2 and need to reinstall?

  24. Hi Jim – that number you see in the Help | About dialog in the VS IDE is the product ID. That is generated during VS setup based on various variables (such as the product key used to install with, the version of VS being installed, etc). I just checked on my computer where I installed VS 2005 RC1 and the last 5 digits are 00631. It should be fine that you and your co-workers have different values in this Help | About dialog.

    Please contact me at if you see any functional problems with VS that you think might be related to the previous install of beta 2 and I can try to help….

  25. Collin Grady says:

    Thank you for this tool, I’ve been trying to find a solution for weeks now to my uninstalling issue before finally stumbling across this page 🙂

  26. Joao Henrique says:

    That’s just excellent! Thanks for dedicating your time in developing such a tool to help us all!



  27. Thanh says:

    Hi Aaron,

    I have problems uninstalling Visual Studio 2005 Beta, can you help me out?

    I have tried the automatic removal tools by Microsoft but it claims I do not have any previous versions installed. When I ran vs2005_beta_cleanup_tool.exe the program failed with the following error:

    Deleting registry key ‘SoftwareMicrosoftFusionNativeImagesIndexv2.0.50712_32’

    Section [Registry – Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2] – stop parsing entries

    ****ERROR**** Cleanup failed for product Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2

    Cleanup utility exiting with return value 100

    I have deleted all keys in the registry under ‘SoftwareMicrosoftFusionNativeImagesIndex’. I have also searched my file and folders for ‘NativeImagesIndex’ and ‘v2.0.50712_32’ but none exist.

    Where did the program get the value from? By the way since I ran the tool I had the ‘blue screen of death’ twice. My computer sometimes failed at boot up with the ‘blue screen’.

    I am user Windows advance server 2000 and have both versions of ASP.NET 1.0 and 1.1 installed.

    Thanks in advance,


  28. Hi Thanh – Can you please try the removal tools listed at instead of the one that you have previously been trying?  If that doesn’t help, can you please try the steps listed at to locate and manually remove any remaining beta products from your system?

  29. Thanh says:

    Hi Aaron,

    Thanks very much for the prompt response, I am very impressed!!!

    I have tried the following tools:




    vs_uninst.exe message


    The last tool, msicuu2.exe, seemed to uninstall some files. I will let you know once I attempt to install VS2005 again.

    Thanks again,


  30. Steve Chapel says:

    "my version of ‘microsoft visual c++ 2005 express edition’ wont work because a file ‘mspdb80.dll’ wasnt found."

    I found the answer at

    In short, you need to run the vsvars32.bat batch file to set your environment variables properly. Once you run the batch file, the dll file can be found.

  31. Thanh says:

    Hi Aaron,

    The msicuu2.exe tool did removed all previously installed files from Beta 2.0 versions. However I still cannot install VS 2005 because I had the following problem: "Error: -1601 The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed". I have tried to follow the advice listed in the following without success. Any ideas? Bearing in mind that my machine is running Advance Server 2000.




  32. Hi Thanh – Typically you can resolve error 1601 by doing the following:

    1.  Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type cmd

    2.  Run msiexec.exe /unregister

    3.  Run msiexec.exe /regserver

    4.  Reboot and try the setup again

    Hopefully this will help…

  33. Thanh says:

    Hi Aaron,

    Many thanks for your help. I have finally succeeded in installing VS2005 on my machine. Here is what I had to do:

    1. Boot the computer in Safe Mode

    2. Unregister msiexec.exe

    3. Delete msiexec.exe from C:WinntSystem32

    4. Boot the computer in normal mode

    5. Download and run InstMsiW.exe

    Thanks again,


  34. If you have a previous version installed and want to automate getting rid of all the old system components

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