Launching the VS 2005 IDE gives an error about the J# redistributable package

I heard from a customer recently who installed the final release of Visual Studio 2005, launched the VS 2005 IDE and received an error message stating that the J# redistributable package was not correctly installed.  After some investigation, we discovered that the final release of the J# redistributable was not actually installed on the system.  It turns out that there is another potential issue related to VS 2005 beta uninstall that is very similar to the .NET Framework issue described in this previous blog post.

The underlying problem on this customer's system was that VS setup detected that the J# redistributable package 2.0 was already installed and skipped trying to install that package during VS setup.  However, the system did not actually have the J# redistributable package 2.0 installed, but instead only had the registry key that VS setup uses to detect whether or not the J# redist is installed.  I found that the machine had the following orphaned registry key/value that VS setup uses to determine whether or not the J# redist 2.0 is already installed:

  • Key name: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Visual JSharp Setup\Redist\v2.0.50727

  • Value name: Install

  • Data type: REG_DWORD

  • Value data: 1

Once the customer deleted this key/value and re-ran the J# redistributable package 2.0 setup from the \wcu\JSharpRedistCore\ folder on their original install disc, they were able to launch the VS IDE with no further errors related to the J# redistributable package 2.0.

As a side note if you're really interested, you could use some of the setup reverse engineering tricks that I describe in this blog post to determine the exact location of this registry key.  In this case, the key/value are listed in the [gencomp68] section of the file named baseline.dat in the setup subdirectory of the VS 2005 DVD or in the self-extracting setup package for the Express Editions.


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