Possible bug installing VS 2005 beta 2 on Windows Vista (Longhorn) beta 1

We have seen a few reports inside of Microsoft of problems installing VS 2005 beta 2 on Windows Vista (previously codenamed Longhorn) beta 1 now that Vista beta 1 has been released and teams are using it more widely.  In addition we have seen at least one report on the product feedback site from an external customer (the bug report located here).

This bug does not reproduce 100% of the time and is related to a performance issue or possibly a race condition in the file system code somewhere (the bug is still under investigation and a cause has not yet been fully identified).  The symptoms seen during VS 2005 setup will be that MSXML6 fails to install and setup stops there, or that some of the components installed after VS 2005 beta 2 (specifically the 2 versions of the .NET Compact Framework and SQL Mobile) report that they failed to install.

The workaround to resolve this bug if you run into it is to to the following:

  1. Navigate to the WCU subfolder on the VS 2005 beta 2 DVD

  2. Go to the each of the MSXML, NetCF and SQLCE folders

  3. Install the MSI packages in each of those folders by right-clicking on them and choosing Install

  4. After these complete, re-run VS 2005 beta 2 setup and it should complete with no further problems on Windows Vista beta 1.

Also, as a side note, I wanted to mention that Windows Vista beta 1 includes the equivalent of the .NET Framework 2.0 beta 2 bits (with a few additional post-beta 2 bug fixes).  Since the beta 2 bits are installed as part of the OS, you cannot replace them with later builds of the .NET Framework 2.0.  Therefore, you will be able to install the beta 2 versions of VS 2005 on Vista beta 1.


Comments (7)

  1. Aali's blog says:

    Just what I needed: how to get VS 2005 B2 installed on a Vista B1 box. There are a few tricks to do it…

  2. These workarounds don’t seem to fix all of the pocket pc and smart device development. Try using the solution explorer with a pocket pc app and you will see it is still broken.

  3. James Boman says:

    If only the solution explorer window worked for Windows Mobile projects! – Has anyone got this to work under Vista yet?

  4. tompower says:

    well i did the same process but had vs web develper express 2005 on it before. It stalled at the hx_merge and then after ending tasks i got it restarted. but when it installed it wouldn’t launch. Popped up the splash screen and then went to bed.

  5. Hi Tom – the error you are seeing is typically caused by mixing and matching builds of Visual Studio and Vista. This blog post was originally about installing VS 2005 beta 2 on Vista beta 1, but now that the final release of VS 2005 is available, you won’t be able to install it on Vista beta 1. You will need to install it on the most recent Community Tech Preview from December 2005. If this is what you are trying, can you please let me know the exact Visual Studio version and Vista build that you are trying to install on so I can try to investigate further?

  6. Sandeep says:


    I could successfully install VS2005 final release on Vista build 5270, and could create and run programs without problems. Then I tried to install WinFX Runtime components, which failed after multiple attempts. So, thinking that VS2005 might have something to do with it, I uninstalled the healthy VS2005, and again tried the WinFX installation, this time the latest one (February 2006 –

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=F51C4D96-9AEA-474F-86D3-172BFA3B828B&displaylang=en). This was successful (no apparent error messages), but after this I am simply not able to install VS2005! There are two points where it fails: while installing the Document Explorer and while installing the VS2005 macros. The installation goes ahead and completes, but the  IDE does not come up at all (even if I explicitly run devenv.exe from its location, the IDE simply does not come up).

    I then tried to uninstall the partially successful VS2005 installation, but even this is not possible now (it is not able to uninstall saying that the installation is corrupt). This has got me majorly stuck 🙁

    Any help on this would be great.



  7. Hi Sandeep – What kind of error did you see when you tried to install Document Explorer 2005?  You should be able to find a log file for that setup by looking for %temp%dd_dexplore*.txt.  You may want to fully remove VS 2005 by using the steps listed at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/12/16/504906.aspx and then start the installation over again and hopefully it will work for you.

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