How to install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Tools to XP or Vista

I got email from Philip Edney with a hint that how you can install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Tools: Visual Studio 2005 Extensions (VSeWSS)  for none-Windows 2003 server OS. Of course since that's not supported you'll have to do small registry hack (but that's what developers do :-):

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0]

I just tested it with Windows Vista and it works! Before the hack it gives me "This product can be installed if Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 has been installed first." and after the hack it went fine. I think there're a lot of people who would like to try/use this option even if they fall for unsupported mode.

But thanks to Phil to let me know about that possibility! Update: Phil mentioned that he actually got the information from Raju Sakthivel so the credits chain just goes on and on 🙂

Anyways... Happy hacking!


Comments (90)
  1. John says:

    Thanks for this tip man ….. I have been looking all over the internet for a hack.

  2. jkpelaez says:

    janne, thanks a lot, I was using a Virtual Machine to build the sharepoint solutions. Now I can work faster.

    I will translate this to spanish and publish on my blog, (with the referer) if thats ok to you.

    Thanks again.

  3. Hi jkpelaez!

    Of course you can translate this stuff to your native language. I would do it myself but unfortunately I don’t speak spanish 🙁

    You can post comment and add link to your blog so that I could come and learn some spanish words 🙂

    Anyways… Happy hacking!


  4. jkpelaez says:

    Hi J, thanks again, you are very kind.

    The link to the post here:

    Regards from Bogota – Colombia.

  5. Yaz says:

    I have created this

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsWeb Server Extensions12.0]

    Where does the value


    do I put as a default value?



  6. Hi Yaz!

    You have to create new key "SharePoint" with value "Installed" in it. Just leave the "(Default)" as it is.

    Anyways… Happy hacking!


  7. Yaz says:

    Hello Again,

    Do you mean a new string value equal to SharePoint and data = Installed

    or do you mean a new key under 12.0 equal to SharePoint with name equal to Installed



  8. Hi Yaz!

    I mean that you need to create new string value.

    Boy I’m bad at explaining stuff 🙂


  9. Yaz says:

    That is what I did I managed to install windows sharepoint services.

    When I open a team site defition project and look in the references, The microsoft.Sharepoint has an exclamation mark next to it. Which means it cannot find it.

    A Stupid question do I need to install SharePoint Services, or is there something I need to install.



  10. Hi Yaz!

    Those files are part of SharePoint so that’s the reason this stuff isn’t supported 🙂 But you can use some parts without a problem.


  11. RKH says:

    Handy tip, thanks for passing it along.

    Microsoft.SharePoint is found in the file microsoft.sharepoint.dll. You can get a copy of the dll from a SharePoint server. It usually lives somewhere in the vicinity of:

    C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Sharedweb server extensions…ISAPI

    Put a copy of the dll somewhere on your development machine and set a reference to it.

    I found this on MSDN


  12. The Reactor says:

    When developing for SharePoint you may find the urge to install these tools from Microsoft. Windows SharePoint

  13. Mohammed Shair says:

    thank you guys, i really would like to say it coz u deserve it 🙂

  14. juanalo says:

    How do you debug your programs? I tried this solution and I need to move my solutions to the server. ¿Is ther any way to debug in de local machine against the server?

  15. dpwebs says:

    if your web parts are pure 2.0 web parts that don’t use/reference sharepoint assemblies, you should be able to test them on your workstation. in different case, you must deploy them to server first.

  16. ISAKO's Blog says:

    En ocasiones cuando hemos querido desarrollar con nuestro vs05 algun webpart o aplicación que interactuara

  17. Scott says:

    I was able to create and compile a webpart using one of the templates.  I could sign it using the Signing tab on the Properties screen.  But when I click on the SharePoint Solution tab on the Properties screen VS2005 exits with no error message.  Has anybody gotten the SharePoint Solutions tab to work somehow?

  18. Steven says:

    I was trying to do this, but I do not have the 12.0 under "Web Server Extensions".

  19. majid says:

    I also have the same problem….I was trying to do this, but I do not have the 12.0 under "Web Server Extensions".

  20. Ivan says:

    I seem to have broken my ability to publish to SharePoint from InfoPath after installing Visual Studio Extensions for WSS v1.1. I had this same problem with v1.0 but was able to fix by simply uninstalling. This does not work with v1.1.

    I am running this on Windows XP. The error that I get is "The following URL is not valid: …" when trying to publish an InfoPath 2007 form to MOSS 2007 running InfoPath Forms Services. I’m not sure how these are connected.

    I’ve tweaked my registry to allow installation on XP and to try cleaning the Server Cache at "HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice12.0CommonInternetServer Cache"


    Any ideas on how to get InfoPath working again? I no longer need VSE on my local machine.


  21. I am using Windows XP. I have copied Microsoft.Sharepoint.dll in my local PC from existing sharepoint server. Then, I have successfully installed the "Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services". Then, I have created new sharepoint "webpart" from my local visual studio 2005. Later, added that dll as a reference in my visual studio. There is no problem to build the solution. But i am not able to deploy the solution to the sharepoint server. I am getting error like, "Object reference not set to an instance of an object.". What should I do to deploy the solution to the sharepoint server?

  22. Meghana says:

    Hi, I am using windows XP. I have installed windows sharepoint services 3 (sharepoint.exe) on my machine. I have created a new key Web Server Extensions12.0 under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared Tools] as it was not existing already and created string value with name =Sharepoint and its value=Installed. But when i click on sharepoint.exe it says "this product requires windows server 2003 sp1.install this service pack and re-run" What am i supposed to do. Please let me know.



  23. balticer says:

    I’ve got the same Problem as Meghana on a Vista machine. Any suggestions?



  24. Vikash says:

    Love U, what a solution Thanks U Guru

  25. naspinski says:

    MS releases WSS 3.0 Tools: Visual Studio 2008 Extensions

  26. Rahul Singh Solanki says:

    Please let me know how can we install WSS 3.0 in XP Environment.

    Thanks in advance.

  27. Ismail Cassiem says:

    Hi, Has anyone found a fix for:"this product requires windows server 2003 sp1.install this service pack and re-run"

    because I am also trying to install WSS 3.0 in XP Environment.

    Please Assist

  28. Ferdous says:

    Thanks for your solutions. But it is not possibel to debug web part. I think the problem for debug process which is not availabe in the XP environment bcoz Wss is not not installed here. IF you have any idea to debug then let me know please. Thanks

  29. Shail says:

    I to am getting the same problem….. "this product requires windows server 2003 sp1.install this service pack and re-run", when i am trying to install WSS 3.0 on XP. does anyone has any solution to it…..

  30. Dan says:

    The guide is for the VS extentions (2005 or 2008) – NOT for sharepoint services themselves…

    and for some of the functions in the extentions – you’ll need to grab the sharepoint.dll file mentioned above…

  31. ankita says:


    this is really nice blog…

  32. Dan says:

    Just used with WSST Extentions for VS 2k8.  Works great!


  33. Nam Cao says:

    I have a problem like K. Senthil Kumar. Can anybody help ? Thanks in advance.

  34. MajodA says:

    thanx alot man, worked for me on XP

    for shail, u need to register the key first man. create as mentioed above then u can install the VSeWSS 3.0 with no problems

    thanx again for the hack

  35. AL says:

    THANKS FOR THIS!!!!.. I’ve been looking for this for quite a long time now. Thanks alot for this post.

  36. Rakib says:

    Great!! works for XP without any issue. Thanks for your nice tip.

  37. kotesh says:

    can u give me steps to register by using user string ([HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsWeb Server Extensions12.0]



  38. Alex says:

    I’ve hacked the registry as mentioned above but when I ran Sharepoint 3.0 installation, still get the same error message:

    "This product can be installed if Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 has been installed first."

    Am I missing something.  Appreciate your help.

  39. Alex says:

    This is for XP Pro with ISS 5.1 and 6.0 installed

  40. DIPAK SAHA says:

    I followed the steps and it worked on XP. Thanks.

  41. Johnny says:

    Steps to register "Sharepoint"="Installed":

    1. Start > Run, then type "regedit".

    2. Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared Tools].

    3. If [Web Server Extensions12.0] doesn’t exist, right click on [Shared Tools] and select New > Key and type in "Web Server Extensions" without the quotes.

    4. repeat step 3 for the "12.0" key.

    5. Right click on [12.0], select New > String Value.

    6. Type "Sharepoint" under "Name" column.

    7. Double click on "Sharepoint" and type in "Installed" under "Value data" and click OK.

  42. Gopinath Devadass says:

    Really its helpful post for all SharePoint developers

  43. Sunil says:

    Excellent. It worked for me on XP. Thanks a lot people!!

  44. Rana says:

    Cool dude!!! works fine at my end.

    Thanks for the trick.

  45. Raza says:

    Hi I did the same way and took all steps what Johny said to add the registry key of 12.0 and add string value with Value Name = "Sharepoint" and Value data = "Installed" but when I try to install WSS3.0 or MOSS 2007 it give me this error.


    Setup Errors


    Setup is unable to proceed due to the following error(s):

    This product requires Windows Server 2003 SP1. Install this service pack and re-run setup.

    Correct the issue(s) listed above and re-run setup.




    Please help me to solve this thing

  46. Vig20 says:


    Thank you!!

    simply awesome..

  47. Jason says:

    Where does Microsoft.Sharepoint.dll go in the local machine C:WindowsSystem32 ??

  48. Rocky says:

    go to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsWeb Server Extensions

    in Registry

    2) Create a new string value 12.0

    3) under 12.0 create a new key Sharepoint with value Installed

    Hope this hellped

  49. Rocky says:

    Microsoft.Sharepoint.dll will be found only if you have installed Sharpoint

  50. Wasay says:

    Hi their,

    Is their any hack for Visual studio 2008? or does this already comes in vs 2008? just wondering if their are extra features available or something?


  51. Rex says:

    Good stuff.  Thanks everyone!  I have not yet tried to install WSS 3.0 onto my XP box (that’s my project for this weekend) but for those getting the 2003 sp1 error, I know there are two different installers for WSS… one of which is the Regular WSS installer, the other has WSS with SP1.  Maybe the latter will work for you?  Worth a shot anyway…  will report back when/if I can get the thing to run myself. 😉  Best of luck!

  52. kashif says:

    nice, but let me know how do i install WSS 3.0 on XP machine.

  53. Mohan says:

    When i added registry [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsWeb Server Extensions12.0]


    able to installed successfully. Thanks guys

    Keep it up

  54. Yadira says:

    I’ve hacked the registry but I still get the same error message:

    "this product requires windows server 2003 sp1.install this service pack and rer-run."

    Am I missing something? .Thanks .

  55. code0724 says:

    Error:the product can only be installed if windows sharepoint service 3.0 has been installed first

  56. jinglecat says:

    Cool. My installer works well after doing the  hack

  57. megan says:

    I’ve tried to install both the microsoft sharepoint service 3.0 first and then the microsoft sharepoint service sp1, i’ve also tried using the hack that you all are talking about, and still I keep getting the same error. Do i hack the code first and then try the download? I’m totally confused..

  58. wlopez says:

    Or do the following.

    1.  Open notepad.

    2. Paste the following code.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsWeb Server Extensions12.0]


    3. save the file and name it like sample.reg make sure the extension .reg.

    4.  Go to the location where you save the file and double click it.  This will add it to the registry.

  59. pentagra says:

    Hello ppl!

    I have a problem. VSeWSS installed after registry trick, but i cannot create project 🙁

    After installing VS extentions, "Sharepoint" folder appeared in New Projects dialog, but there is no any templates in it.

    Any ideas what i did wrong?

  60. pentagra says:

    oooops 🙂 found them. that was because of .NET 2.0 selected

  61. Lanntz says:

    thanks, cool trick dude. It’s work …

  62. SharePoint DeveloperMan says:

    Note: This excellent hack will NOT help you install or hack into SharePoint.exe (WSS 3.0).  It WILL only help a developer install VSeWSSv11.exe (Visual Studio Extensions for SharePoint).  

    This way a developer doesn’t need to install VS crap on the production server, and set up a test server like you are supposed to do.  But it seems M$ wants you to buy Windows 2003 for development as well….

  63. :) says:


    i cannot stop smiling


  64. This really make me fill good,Thanks for the information i read and leared in your blog, more power on you.

  65. Constantin says:

    It works for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Tools – Visual Studio 2008 Extensions, Version 1.2 VSeWSSv12

  66. DanMc says:

    Has anyone gotten VSeWSSv13 to work this way?

    It worked great for 1.2, but my 1.3 installation just says "Prematurely terminated".

  67. DanMc says:


    The install log shows the following…

    MSI (c) (90:90) [13:05:10:157]: Doing action: getAppPoolsCustomAction

    Action 13:05:10: getAppPoolsCustomAction.

    Action start 13:05:10: getAppPoolsCustomAction.

    MSI (c) (90:C8) [13:05:10:172]: Invoking remote custom action. DLL: C:DOCUME~1DanielLOCALS~1TempMSI23.tmp, Entrypoint: GetAppPools

    MSI (c) (90:4C) [13:05:10:172]: Cloaking enabled.

    MSI (c) (90:4C) [13:05:10:172]: Attempting to enable all disabled priveleges before calling Install on Server

    MSI (c) (90:4C) [13:05:10:172]: Connected to service for CA interface.

    Action ended 13:05:10: getAppPoolsCustomAction. Return value 3.

    DEBUG: Error 2896:  Executing action getAppPoolsCustomAction failed.

    The installer has encountered an unexpected error installing this package. This may indicate a problem with this package. The error code is 2896. The arguments are: getAppPoolsCustomAction, ,

    Action ended 13:05:10: WelcomeDlg. Return value 3.

    It looks like the call to GetAppPools is failing – obviously because IIS7 and/or w3wp are not on the machine…


    Deving on a non-server box is a huge plus, but some of the 1.3 features would be nice to have.

  68. SupapleX says:

    That’s NICE!!!!

    I’ve VS2005 and this hack works!

  69. Duncan says:

    You can also use the Orca MSI editor to remove the WSS requirement.

  70. Ravikumar says:

    Cool , Thank you guys….

    It worked for me …. Iam using Windows XP

    and VS 2005 and VS 2008 Both works good….

    Happy Coding ……

  71. Viki says:


    i want to use infopath in wss 3.0..please tell me steps..i am new to wss.

  72. John says:


    I’ve tried all of the mentioned solutions, but still get the error:  "This product requires Windows Server 2003 SP1. Install this service pack and re-run setup.

    Correct the issue(s) listed above and re-run setup."

    I read on another blog that you can’t run Sharepoint services on WinXp as it has IIS 5.1 installed but Sharepoint services require IIS 6.0 to run. Is this true and if so, what are my options?

    I’m running Windows XP, version 2002, service pack 3

  73. Arthur Wilson says:

    Once again the world wide web saves this developers bacon. Thanks guys.

  74. A. Terra says:

    Thank you this is a fantastic "work around" 😉

  75. Nady Fayek says:


    I did the steps for installing sharepoint on xp but the same problem .

    please help

  76. asupna says:

    create webpart template on vs2008 and fantastic it works…


  77. Santosh says:

    I tried modifying the registry entry and tried again with share point services. but it didnt work out. it is still saying me the same problem what it used to..

    Is IIS required for this ? I dont have it in my laptop though..

    pls suggest

  78. dan says:

    Its just does not work on win xp.. Can u please post the link to the wss install file , for the which the above mentioned steps works?

    Thanks in advance

  79. Phil says:

    Yeah, I have XP also and have tried all of the above but still get the same error. 🙁

  80. Pawel says:

    Thanks a lot for this tip! It helps a lot

  81. it’s worked !

    But I needed to copy Microsoft.SharePoint.dll from my MOSS server. I think I did something wrong 🙂

    anyway . . It works fine !!


  82. w2sqldba says:

    I am getting setup error as most of guys got "this product requries windows server 2003 sp1. Install this service pack and re-run setup" . Some suggested that IIS 6.0 installation can avoid this. I don’t know how to install IIS6.0 on my XP. I would like ask what IIS version they had  who installed sharepoint correctly on xp. please help me

    Thanks in Advance.

  83. ND says:


  84. Linda301 says:

    # John said on June 26, 2009 9:20 PM:


       I’ve tried all of the mentioned solutions, but still get the error:  "This product requires Windows Server 2003 SP1. Install this service pack and re-run setup.

       Correct the issue(s) listed above and re-run setup."

       I read on another blog that you can’t run Sharepoint services on WinXp as it has IIS 5.1 installed but Sharepoint services require IIS 6.0 to run. Is this true and if so, what are my options?

       I’m running Windows XP, version 2002, service pack 3

    I have the same problem, can you help me?

    Thanks in advance.

  85. Vairavan says:

    I am able to install the VS extention on my system using the above hack. Mine is Win XP Professional Version 2002 with SP3.

    But can anyone tell me, what are the settings we have to do in VS 2005, to directly deploy the webpart/feature in the remote WSS server. I am getting "Object reference not set to an instance of an object." when i run the project.

  86. HR says:

    Awesome it worked like charm!!!

  87. pra says:

    I have installed VSeWSSv11.exe succefully.

    Copies Microsoft.SharePoint.dll into gac and isapi folders. But, I am getting this error while compiling –

    Could not load file or assembly Microsoft. SharePoint.Library.dll ( ….. The system cannot find file specified.

    How to resolve this error?

    Is it possible to install wss3.0 in the xp system?

  88. DJ says:

    I m using windows 7, unable to install wss after following same steps let me know if  u have a solution for it.



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