Insert GUIDs directly into Visual Studio Code

Let me preface this by stating I love Visual Studio Code! While I think its big, older brother Visual Studio is great for large solutions or even small projects where project files are managed automatically by the IDE, Code work great for small, loose projects and is very fast. I still use Vim for a… Read more

Get the Windows Installer PowerShell Module easier with WMF 5.0

Many years ago when PowerShell was first in beta, I saw an opportunity to write cmdlets that I could string together in different ways rather than writing and maintaining a bunch of one-off Windows scripts for various day-to-day tasks and customer diagnostics. I created the Windows Installer PowerShell Module to fill that role. These cmdlets… Read more

Failure when upgrading from VS2015 RTM to VS2015 with Update 1

If you have Visual Studio 2015 RTM installed and attempt to install Visual Studio 2015 with Update 1, you may see a failure like the screenshot that reads, KB3022398 This action is only valid for products that are currently installed. This is a fatal error that occurs when upgrading from VS 2015 RTM to the… Read more

Removing Visual Studio components left behind after an uninstall

When you install Visual Studio and related content like Windows Kits or some add-ons, most packages that comprise those bundles are reference counted to make sure they are not removed prematurely. Uninstalling Visual Studio and related content should eventually remove those packages (i.e. last one out the door turns off the light). Contrast with older… Read more

How to install Visual Studio to another directory when a pre-release is installed

If you’ve installed pre-release versions of Visual Studio – or even another edition of the same release – you may find you can’t change the installation target directory. This is because once a set of shared components is installed, we install all the other components to the same directory structure. When you have multiple editions… Read more

Redirect the Package Cache using registry-based policy

Visual Studio can require a lot of space on the system drive, and previous methods of redirecting the Package Cache can be tricky for some people to set up or even maintain as junctions across volumes may be removed on boot. The cache is there for good reasons and has significantly reduced the failure rate,… Read more

Visual Studio 2013 continuously repairs producing many small log files

If you have Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Professional, Premium, or Ultimate editions installed and are finding many small MSI*.log files in your %TEMP% directory, you may find you are running low on disk space because of how many of these files are created. While they may only be about 3MB, what causes these files to… Read more

Detection keys for Visual Studio 2015

Administrators and developers who need to detect whether Visual Studio 2015 is installed can use similar registry keys as with past releases. This time around, though, we’ve made some changes to the lineup of products but the registry scheme remains the same. Most of the detection keys are found in the 32-bit registry hive –… Read more

Workaround for when Visual Studio Update says it doesn’t apply

I previously blogged about a problem some customers were running into that prevented Visual Studio Update from installing. You might see a dialog like the one to the right and an error message that read something like, Update 2 does not apply, or is blocked by another condition on your computer. At least for many… Read more

How to register your program for file extensions shared with other programs

One frequently asked question is, “how do we register our program for a file extension when other versions (or programs) that handle it might also be installed?” The overarching question is really about how to have non-shared resources both write to a shared resource.  But in the case with the Windows registry and file associations… Read more