The Trick to Installing Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 on Windows Vista Beta 1 and the missing MSXML 6.0 Parser

Both Nick and I struck the same problem so I'm guessing that it may be a common issue for others trying to install Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 on Windows Vista Beta 1. 

The installer for VS complains that it can't find the MSXML 6.0 Parser and stops the installation of Visual Studio.

I got it to work by sharing out the DVD Drive and then connecting to it via it's UNC name eg \\machinename\dvd and then navigating to the "vs" directory and running setup.exe from there.

For some this solution did not work so try the following and probably simplier approach:-

  1. Install MSXML from the VS 2005 Beta 2 DVD by hand see: \vs\wcu\msxml\msxml6.msi
  2. or from Spark's comments posted below see

Once you've got the MSXML 6.0 Parser installed out of band then VS 2005 B2 should install just fine:-) 

And all is good!!

BTW and I really can't remember where I read this but I'm pretty sure you need to stick with the offical April Beta 2 rather than tempting fate with a more recent CTP build.

Update 1
Yes, you must stick with Beta 2 of Visual Studio and the Framework - see comment posted below...

Update 2
To run Windows Presentation Foundation (Avalon) or Communications Foundation (Indigo) you need to install the runtime - on the Vista DVD you can find this under the \support\winfx directory. 

For Windows XP SP2, you can download the beta 1 runtime from

At the very least on either Windows Vista or XP SP2 you should install:-

  1. The WinFX Runtime from here
  2. The WinFX SDK from here - which includes samples
  3. The Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for WinFX Beta 1 from here - though at the moment the download doesn't work

From very brief search I spotted Windows Presentation Foundation samples, tried a couple on beta1 of the WinFX runtime and they seemed to work just fine.

But basically keep an eye on the and what's new on the Windows Vista MSDN RSS feed at

Comments (22)

  1. clay Meisman says:

    you are a godsend thanks!

  2. Sure, the Whidbey beta 2 is required because Vista beta 1 ships with .net framework beta 2.

  3. sparky says:


    This didn’t ever work for me but I found a simple solution here too:

    Basically you can install MSXML6 directly from the CD.

    Good luck!

  4. Dave Glover says:

    Brill, thanks a million Sparky!! Cheers, Dave

  5. Has anyone been able to get Pocket Pc Development to work? The compact framework versions font seem to insall normally, so i did the same thing as the XML (found the installers and ran them), sems it now compiles, but the solution explorer is broken. Anyone have any tips?

  6. Dave Glover says:

    yeah, ummm, it just worked:-) I also installed Active Sync Dev Tech Preview, the DMA Transport for VS and Emulators and the Pocket PC Magneto (V5) emulator and was able to deploy a project to it…

  7. gee, thats now getting rather odd. OK, i am going to try some other things cause its really broken here. I can deploy projects etc but still have that solution explorer bug.

  8. Chris Menegay – What’s coming in the July CTP

    Chris discusses what he is looking forward to in the…

  9. Just tried with a blank vista machine and installed Visual studio per previous notes, then activesync, dma update and it still doesnt seem to work. What doesnload is the Magneto emaulator? the Windows Mobile 2005 Pocket PC sdk?

  10. leon breedt says:

    Folks, seems the Solution Explorer problem happens when you’re running as a Limited User.

    At least, when I run it as an Administrator, it doesn’t crash at all.

    Hope this gets fixed 🙂

  11. Dave Glover says:

    ahhh, now that’s why I didnt see the problem:-) Sorry Kieran I haven’t had the time to look at Vista/VS 2005 since the weekend… thanks Leon for the feedback.

    When I get a chance I give it a whirl and log the problem. Cheers, Dave

  12. My first install of Vista was on a Virtual PC. Nice but my main problem was that it’s sluggish and unresponsive….

  13. Dave Glover says:

    If you are unsure of the new names for Avalon and Indigo then you may want to check out my "New Windows Vista Subsystem Names Abound – a marketers *** dream:-)" posting at Cheers, Dave

  14. Dave Glover says:

    Hey Peter, interesting to see that you got on pretty well with Vista B1 on your tablet.

    Yeah, Vista is sluggish as a VPC guest, there are some new VPC Additions soon to be released that both address performance issues and provide official PSS support for hosting Windows Server 2003 SP1. Included in the updated VM Additions is better support for Windows Vista guests.

    Keep an eye out on the and;en-us;900076 for VM Additions 13.531.

    Note, don’t expect blazing performance, but it’s workable if you have a fast host machine.

  15. So I’m on my third install of Windows Vista Beta 1 (fourth, if you include installing on Virtual PC),…

  16. So I’m on my third install of Windows Vista Beta 1 (fourth, if you include installing on Virtual PC),…

  17. so if you run as Administrator the solution explorer works?

    does the june ctp run?

  18. Dave Glover says:

    Kieran,ya got ta stick with B2!!! Cheers, Dave

  19. Miguel Madeira says:

    There is another simple way to fix this issue.

    I remembered seeing an msxml folder on the Windows Vista DVD. It also contains an installer for MSXML6. Its location on the DVD is supportwinfxwcumsxmlmsxml6.msi. That version installed just fine. After that the Visual Studio installer detected that MSXML6 was already installed and did not try to install it again.

    With that fix Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 installed with no further problems.

  20. kLAx says:

    Thanks dude.

    I noticed your site does not display correctly when not viewed maximised on ie7.

  21. Dave Glover says:

    Thanks kLAx, I’ll see what I can do to tidy up for IE 7.0, tbh, it’s not quite right for Firefox either and when I get a moment I’ll tidy up the CSS. Cheers, Dave

  22. James Boman says:

    I have Vista 5219 and VS 2005 Beta 2 working (Yes I can vouch that RC1 is incompatible with Vista at this time) I am trying to get the Windows Mobile stuff working and have installed the SDK’s and DMA update. The connection and deployment to the emulator works fine, but can’t see anything in Solution Explorer! – I am running as the Administrator account on the machine. (Although I renamed it – standard procedure for me) This only seems to affect Windows Mobile projects, my solution explorer works fine for a Windows Form project.

    Almost there…..

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