How to resolve Visual Studio 2005 IDE errors after uninstalling previous betas

Sometimes, after uninstalling previous beta or Community Tech Preview (CTP) versions of Visual Studio 2005 (codename Whidbey) and then installing newer builds, the IDE may crash or display an error dialog stating “This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect” after installing a newer beta or CTP.

This is normally caused by orphaned Visual C++ runtime assemblies left behind in the %windir%\WinSxS folder after uninstalling the previous build.

Steps to fix this issue

You can use the following steps to resolve this issue in most cases:

  1. Create a batch file that has the following commands and run it from a cmd prompt (you can also get a copy of this script in text file format here):
    for /D %%i in (*vc80*) do rd %%i /s /q
    del manifests\*vc80* /q
    cd policies
    for /D %%i in (*vc80*) do del %%i\* /q

  2. Launch Visual Studio 2005 setup again from the entry in Add/Remove Programs or by rerunning setup.exe from the original installation location
  3. Choose the option to repair Visual Studio 2005
  4. After repair completes, re-launch the Visual Studio IDE

Additional information

In most cases, these errors will cause entries to be written to the System event log. You can run eventvwr.exe and look for error messages with event source "SideBySide".

Another common symptom of this problem is that the file %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe.manifest contains a reference to one or more dependent assemblies for Visual C++ runtime files with incorrect version numbers.  The most common incorrect version I have seen is 8.0.41204.256.  Unfortunately, this problem cannot be fixed by simply editing devenv.exe.manifest.  Instead you will need to follow the 4 steps listed above to remove the orphaned files and repair VS 2005.


Comments (11)
  1. Visual Studio Team System

    The big news around Team System at the moment is the announcement on Rick…

  2. Tony Cheetham says:

    Your an absolute Genius. I was banging my head against a wall for days trying to fix this. Thanks!!

  3. Glenn Russell says:

    I followed your instructions (even copy and pasted the script). I had to boot up in Safe Mode in order to delete all the folders. I still cannot launch my VB IDE without the same error. Is there a way I can copy the report sent to MS so I can attach it to an email to you?

  4. seth says:

    this has been the most frustrating install experience in my life. didnt have a previous beta installed and the VS2005 B2 install seems to install OK but i cannot open the app without it throwing this error.

  5. seth says:

    splendid. i got it to open the ide without throwing an error but now when i try to open a project i get marshalled object errors.

    most betas break AFTER install and not DURING.

  6. Hi Seth – I’m very sorry for the problems you’ve run into while installing VS 2005 beta 2. The issue I documented at might help resolve some of the crashes you are seeing. If this doesn’t help, can you please contact me directly at aaronste (at) microsoft (dot) com and send me the exact text of the error messages you are encountering?

  7. Hey man, i done something stupid. I reinstalled my win (omg) with my vs8 on it. Now it displays that nasty IDE error. Can it be fixed?

  8. Ever since the final version of Visual Studio 2005 was released, I have been hearing from customers who

  9. Where to get Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 Where to download the .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable

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