TFS2010: Older clients not able to connect

When the Forward Compatibility GDR for Visual Studio 2008 shipped, a change was made to the Team Foundation Server 2010 code that blocks incompatible clients. That means that after TFS2010 beta2, clients that don’t have a forward-compatible patch installed, won’t be able to connect. 

For more information on what features will & won’t be available, see the TFS2010 Compatibility Matrix.

When a client connects to TFS, the UserAgent is checked against a list in the TFS registry and if it matches any of these, an error message specific to that client is returned to the user. For example:

Team Foundation services are not available from the server.

Technical information (for administrator):

  TF253022: You must update your client with the Forward Compatibility Update in order to connect to the Team Foundation Server that you selected. To obtain this update, go to the Microsoft Web site:

The list of UserAgent’s that is checked is defined in the \Configuration\Application\DisabledUserAgents path in the TFS registry of the instance:

Team Foundation (*.exe, 8.0.50727.<4406) – Visual Studio 2005 without the forward-compat GDR (available closer to launch)
Team Foundation (*.exe, 9.0.21022.*) – Visual Studio 2008 RTM
Team Foundation (*.exe, 9.0.30729.<4172) – Visual Studio 2008 SP1 without the forward-compat GDR
Team Foundation (VSSConverter.exe, 8.*)
Team Foundation (VSSConverter.exe, 9.*)
Teamprise 1.*
Teamprise 2.*
Teamprise*/3.<3* – Teamprise 3.3 introduced basic support for TFS2010

Of course, if you know how to change the TFS registry, you can remove these bans. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing that, because using incompatible clients against the server can cause some strange things to happen.  You’re much better off just patching the clients.

Comments (5)
  1. Dylan says:

    I still get this error on a Windows Server 2003 box even after trying to install the Forward Compatilibility Update multiple times (including after uninstalling/reinstalling Team Explorer 2008).  The annoying thing is that it was working yesterday, but I was having a problem with the VS 2008 install repair continually trying to execute (and taking forever), so I uninstalled everything to do with VS 2008 and reinstalled, and since then I can’t connect to our 2010 TFS.  Any clues?  Any other options other than installing VS 2010 and using this to connect to TFS?

  2. Dylan,

    You will need to re-install Visual Studio 20087 SP1 *after* installing Team Explorer 2008; you can then apply the TFS2010 Forward Compatibility Hotfix (KB974558) – I’ve had exactly the same problem on Windows Server 2003 and this fixed the issue. Rgds, Nick.

  3. Steven says:

    In case anyone else encounters it, we also have discovered, through research, that on occasion, Office 2007 is preventing SP1 for VS2008 from installing.  Our process has thus become:

    1) uninstall office

    2) install forward compatibility fix

    3) install SP1 for VS2008

    4) re-install office

    Hope this saves someone some searching.

  4. Leo says:

    I am at the same point now:

    I’ve uninstalled the SP1 for visual studio professional 2008. Now I try to reinstall a new downloaded SP1 for the visual studio, but it fails somewehre at an office 2007 point. And the forward compatibility patch always tells me that there are no products to update. Can I really use this patch with an visual studio professional 2008 and an team explorer 2008 or is it only able to connect an visual studio team edition 2008 to a team foundation server 2010? Or have i really to uninstall and reinstall the whole office?

    greetings Leo

  5. jb says:

    Why even spread knowledge on how to do this if you're not recommending to do it…? :/

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