I have heard from a couple of customers who have uninstalled beta versions of Visual Studio 2005 and then installed the final release. After installation finished, they saw a small error dialog that looks like the following when trying to launch the Visual Studio 2005 IDE:
Pressing OK on this dialog dismisses the IDE and VS 2005 is not usable.
There are a couple of cases where registry data can be orphaned on the machine that causes this type of error. Unfortunately, because this data is written by a custom action and there are some "interesting" conditions on that cusotm action in the VS MSI, running a repair of VS 2005 will not correctly fix the registry values that control this functionality.
The following steps can be used to resolve this Invalid license data error message:
- Uninstall the Visual Studio 2005 product that you have installed. You only have to uninstall the main Visual Studio product entry in Add or Remove Programs, and you can leave the other pieces installed by Visual Studio setup (such as the .NET Framework 2.0, MSDN, SQL Express, etc) alone. The product name in Add or Remove Programs that you want to uninstall is dependent on the VS 2005 edition you have installed. For example, for the English Professional edition, the product name will be "Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional - ENU"
- Click on Start, choose Run and type cmd
- Copy and paste each of the following commands into the cmd prompt to clean up orphaned Visual Studio licensing data in your registry:
reg delete HKCR\Licenses\17A13F5F-2dE4-4691-B332-83CA4CC38935 /f
reg delete HKCR\Licenses\2F1682F3-6A3C-4545-AF41-6836A22276CF /f
reg delete HKCR\Licenses\2FE88699-A1AF-410D-8049-1CB6BA8F8FF2 /f
reg delete HKCR\Licenses\5BCBC240-27DF-49C1-8C1C-27B8463009A9 /f
reg delete HKCR\Licenses\895E2152-C3F9-4C49-968B-15B08ADA0F37 /f
reg delete HKCR\Licenses\95C63E85-8244-4D86-8327-579B85EC154C /f
reg delete HKCR\Licenses\BA32367F-28F8-4AEA-848D-95AE438B3B9C /f
- If you are installing on a 64-bit OS, copy and paste each of the following commands into the cmd prompt to clean up orphaned Visual Studio licensing data in your registry:
reg delete HKCR\Wow6432Node\Licenses\17A13F5F-2dE4-4691-B332-83CA4CC38935 /f
reg delete HKCR\Wow6432Node\Licenses\2F1682F3-6A3C-4545-AF41-6836A22276CF /f
reg delete HKCR\Wow6432Node\Licenses\2FE88699-A1AF-410D-8049-1CB6BA8F8FF2 /f
reg delete HKCR\Wow6432Node\Licenses\5BCBC240-27DF-49C1-8C1C-27B8463009A9 /f
reg delete HKCR\Wow6432Node\Licenses\895E2152-C3F9-4C49-968B-15B08ADA0F37 /f
reg delete HKCR\Wow6432Node\Licenses\95C63E85-8244-4D86-8327-579B85EC154C /f
reg delete HKCR\Wow6432Node\Licenses\BA32367F-28F8-4AEA-848D-95AE438B3B9C /f
- Re-install the Visual Studio 2005 product that you uninstalled in step 1 above
After doing this, the license data should be recreated and correct and allow you to launch the VS 2005 IDE.
<update date="10/25/2006"> Added some more licensing registry values and a new section for 64-bit registry values that need to be removed </update>
<update date="8/27/2009"> Fixed broken link to image. </update>