VS .NET 2003 SP1 is available!

Today I’m pleased to announce the availability of Visual Studio .NET 2003 Service Pack 1 (VS .NET 2003 SP1).  For those of you unaware of the Service Pack process, the goal is to make sure that we capture and address issues with the released product and make these fixes available to you in a single deliverable.  To ensure the continued stability of the product, we publish “hotfixes” and critical security updates as they become available.  We also work on additional fixes discovered through broader customer and Microsoft testing.  Once we have amassed a range of fixes of broad relevance to the community, we issue a service pack as a one-stop resource.


The announcement of the availability of SP1 for VS 2003 today, and the timing of this release, speaks to the fact that you have told us over time that Visual Studio .NET 2003 has been an extremely stable product. Thank you very much for your continued feedback.


So how have we acted on your feedback?  The first Service Pack incorporates hotfixes released since Visual Studio 2003 first shipped, Security Updates, critical fixes and other additional fixes for problems that our Visual Studio team testers have discovered.  We’ve also incorporated bugs reported through the MSDN Product Feedback Center and the top 50% of crashes reported by the Windows Error Reporting Service.  This amounts to more than 400 issues overall that we have fixed in SP1.  The Product Feedback Center and Windows Error Reporting have enabled us to respond more directly to issues that you’ve reported.  You can get the Service Pack and related information from the download center page

I know that some customers are looking for information on when we’ll make the first Service Pack for VS 2005 available.  Getting this out to customers is one of our highest priorities as a division. As usual, we are making sure that we take the time to incorporate your feedback and to address the issues of broad relevance to the developer community that you and our internal testing identify before making this available.  The quality of this is of paramount importance and we will have more information on this in the next several weeks.  



Comments (57)

  1. More information in the next couple of weeks? Sounds like it will not be released in 2006 but more like together with .NET Framework 3.0… But that is just me guessing.

  2. More information in the next couple of weeks? Sounds like it will not be released in 2006 but more like together with .NET Framework 3.0… But that is just me guessing.

  3. Now that’s a surprise as I wasn’t expecting a 2003 SP anymore. Now if they would only do a 2005 SP I…

  4. Eric says:

    So we can basically forget the Q3 delivery for 2005SP1 that was previously indicated?  Why do we need to wait "several weeks" for basic information on what’s going on with this? Isn’t there anything you can tell us now?

    And what feedback could you possibly need on 2005 at this point? The primary thing we all want is for it to not be so damn slow.

    You could do the dev community a big favor simply by doing an official updated release of msenv.dll, which is part of most IDE hotfixes. Let me tell you, I’m much happier with 8.0.50727.181 than I was with 8.0.50727.42…

  5. My VSTS Blog says:

    Just adding my voice to the crowd to let people know that Visual Studio 2003 SP1 is now available…

  6. Anthony Mills says:

    Are you going to post the list of hotfixes? I’ve been clicking "Hotfixes included in this SP" all day and getting nothing.

  7. Somasegar says:

    Hi Anthony,

    THe link is live currently.  Sorry it wasn’t working earlier.  

    – somasegar

  8. SeeR says:



    in blog entry "Notes on ‘The Designer Ate My Form!’ Problem" Shawn Burke wrote "The fixes will also be in any service packs that are rolled out for Visual Studio 2003"

    But on the list of hotfixes I found only one of them.

    Does this mean that this bug is still not fixed ??

  9. Amit says:

    That’s great, there are still many projects that we need to maintain in VS 2003. It has been a very stable and fast product, this should make it even better. VS 2005 is another story, as you seem to be well aware 🙂

  10. jokiz's blog says:

    Soma blogs about the just released service pack 1 for vs 2003. i am not installing it yet until a number

  11. Smartymobile says:

    Somasegar nos indicá del lanzamiento de Visual Studio 2003 Service Pack 1.

    Pueden descargarlo…

  12. wmugperu says:

    Somasegar nos indicá del lanzamiento de Visual Studio 2003 Service Pack 1.

    Pueden descargarlo…

  13. Oran says:

    Hey, I just wanted to say that having the installer nag me to close all my IE windows and then refuse to install without the original VS.NET 2003 CDs is rather annoying.  Come on, this isn’t Office!

  14. sburke says:

    SeeR – please see comments at:


    For details about how to get this fix.  Part of the fix required a change to .NET Framework bits, which aren’t included in the VS 2003 SP1.

  15. It’s a little later than anticipated, but S. “Soma” Somasegar, CVP of Microsoft’s Developer Division, has the news at his blog:
    Today I’m pleased to announce the availability of Visual Studio .NET 2003 Service Pack 1 (VS .NET 2003 SP1)…

  16. jacobm says:

    Is it true, as it appears, that you can’t install the VS2003 SP1 unless you have the original media?  I’m on a corporate system that was installed from the network using someone else’s permissions.  Do I really have to get a couple of different IT departments involved just to install the service pack?

  17. bdacosta says:


    The release note at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;924009 contains a descriptions the work arounds for the the prompt for souce dialog.  Basicall the installer needs to be able to verify the information of the RTM version of the binary against the updated binary before it can complete the installation.

    Hope this help….


  18. Samminnella says:

    What a disaster this visual studio 2003 SP1 is for me!  Instead of hanging 10-20 times a day now VS just closes without warning and I lose whatever was not saved. It seems to happen when attaching and detaching from IE and other random times also.

    I’m on Server 2003 maybe that’s the problem.

  19. Stephen says:

    Argh! I just checked and found that the OnFileSendMail() bug is still there. (If you try sending the current, unsaved document, the code doesn’t add the extention to the filename). I can’t believe they didn’t fix this!

  20. Saiu o esperado Service Pack 1 do Visual Studio, que resolve vários pequenos problemas. Veja o BLOG do…

  21. alex_t says:

    What is the point of releasing service pack for VS2003 now? All developers I know that used VS2003 already migrated to VS2005 (and the rest still use VC++6).

    The simple business logic dictates that you should first fix bugs for the latest product that you are promoting at the moment, not the 3-years-old product you don’t want people to use anymore.

    This is exactly the same situation that happened with VS2002 service pack – most people already moved on to VS2003 by the time it was released!

  22. alex_t says:

    > Your comment or rating has been received. However, due to caching and moderation, it may not be displayed right away.

    > What do you think?

    I think it’s s**t and you should use better blogging engine!


  23. SwanB says:

    The service pack for VS2003 is most welcome, as we have reverted back to doing the major part of our development in VS2003(just sick of wasting all that time at a sloooow and buggy VS2005).

    Even if the VS2003 SP is a year or two late, we are still very greatful, thank you.

  24. Nasser Jasim says:

    Well, thanks for the VS 2003 SP1, but I think we are in the VS 2005 age !!!. This is Microsoft’s flag ship developer product, everything now is deeply integrated with it, (SQL Server 2005 development,Reporting,BI ..) and Biztalk Server 2006 and other Big and important products, As for me now " the developer" I will be very gratefull if you stop or delay your VS 2008 stuff and give some time for the current product that you spent millions of dollars promoting it!!!.

    Does any one remember the " Developers Developer Developers" thing ????

  25. A month ago, Microsoft officials said to expect the first service pack (SP) for Visual Studio 2003 to…

  26. Gary says:

    This is good news for us who still need to use VS 2003, however, the installer does not work. On my first attempt, it just hung at "Please wait…"

    I rebooted and ran the installer, and now after about a minute at "Please wait…", it just exits.

    I am running Windows XP x64 Edition SP1. Any thoughts?

  27. This comment is a response to Stephen, above, who asked about OnSendMail in MFC. Stephen, if you’d like to contact me directly, feel free, but I wasn’t able to work out how to contact you given the information above.

    The bug in question was reported by a customer on 3/26/2003 as a bug in VS 7.1. The report does not include an example project, but a textual description of the scenario.

    The bug came late in the VS 2003 cycle and so was postponed from VS7.1. However, a fix was made in Whidbey. You can find the relevant code diff in docmapi.cpp around line 111.

    I just tried creating a blank MFC project with a file extension and MAPI support, and using the Send Mail command on an unsaved document, and saw the file extension correctly reflected in the MAPI send message window.

    I would be happy to engage with you directly to work out what you are seeing, Perhaps your scenario is a little different somehow?

    Feel free to open an issue at http://msdn.microsoft.com/productfeedback, or mail me as martynl@microsoft.com

    Martyn Lovell

    Development Lead

    Visual C++ Libraries

  28. Jeff Fritz says:

    This Service Pack appears to have introduced a bug that prevents an ASP.NET web project from starting in Debug – Program mode.  

    No matter what executable I select in the ‘Start Application’ dialog for my project, it refuses to launch with an ‘Unable to start program’ error.

    Is anyone else seeing this issue?

  29. Omar Khan (MSFT) says:

    Hello Jeff,

    We did not encounter this issue in our internal testing.  I will send you an email seperately and including some product team members on the email so we can help understand the issue you are seeing.  If you don’t recieve an email from me, you can contact me directly at omark-at-microsoft-dot-com.  Thanks.

    Omar Khan

    Group Program Mangager

    Visual Studio Web Tools

  30. Eric says:


    You might want to give this a shot:

    C:WINDOWSMicrosoft.NETFrameworkv1.1.4322aspnet_regiis.exe -i

  31. Jeff Fritz says:

    It appears that the prior functionality of being able to ‘Debug-Start’ fails no matter what you have selected in the ‘Start Application’ field for your  project.

    As a work-around, I have found that ‘Debug-Start without Debugging’ does properly start the application defined.  However, you lose the debugger automatically attaching to your project.

    Am I missing something, or is this the desired functionality?

  32. MSDNArchive says:

    Hello Gary,

    We did test XP x64 on AMD64 without issue. Could you contact me directly at leecow-at-microsoft-dot-com so we can try to understand what you are seeing?


    Lee Coward

    Visual Studio PM

  33. John Kind says:

    I don’t mean to pile on, but seriously, VS 2005 is a real problem child.  Its slow beyond belief.  and I already installed the mega-hotfix.

    My entire world (almost) is VB.NET.  

    It just waits at weird times and I can’t get control of it.  It never seems to hang but… I reverted to watching the Applications tab to see when its comes off its "Not Responding" status.

    Debugging is soooo slow.  A couple of seconds per line stepping.  And I am playing by most of the rules (close the stack trace window, etc.)

    If I could go back to VS 2003, then I guess SP1 would be good news.

    Microsoft please fix VS 2005 and fix it fast.

  34. Julia Liuson says:

    Hello John,

      We are aware of some of perf issues with VB2005 and have fixes for several of them.  We are actively working on a way to release these fixes broadly.  I would like to have my team work with you to ensure that we have found and fixed all the cases you are running into.  Please contact me at juliapa-at-microsoft-dot-com.

    thank you,

    Julia Liuson

    Visual Basic Product Unit Manager

  35. GregM says:

    I didn’t see anything in the fix list about the incorrect information in the exception that is thrown when attempting to open a file on a removable disk that doesn’t exist.  (e->ReportError() report "No error occurred").

    Has this been fixed?

  36. csafranek says:

    From http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/support/servicing/sp1_vs05/default.aspx :

      "This service pack is currently targeted for final release in Q3 of 2006."

    There are 3 more days left in Q3…what is the status of SP1 for VS2005?

  37. csafranek,

    There is a whole month left in Q3.

  38. Joel Reinford says:

    I guess it’s good that Microsoft hasn’t abandoned VS 2003 users but for those of us who moved to VS 2005, this is not a warm fuzzy feeling. We are impatient for SP1 and the problems have been widely reported.

    Most of my work is done in ASP.NET and there were too many things I wanted that needed .NET 2.0 so I made the move soon after VS 2005 was released. If I had known how many hours I would lose waiting for the IDE, I might have made a different choice.

    I simply can’t understand why it takes 10 minutes to open a moderate (perhaps small) solution with five or six projects. Why does sometimes it take a minute or two to open a code file or a web page? Why does my notebook boot drive free space go from 8 GB free to 150 MB after working for a few hours?

    In my eagerness to use .NET 2.0, I ignored the cliche about waiting about waiting for the SP1 before installing any Microsoft product. It will be a long time before I make that mistake again. VS2005 has some great features and I can only hope that SP1 will come soon and make the IDE more responsive.

  39. Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus – please get a VS2005 service pack out the addresses some of the performance and stability problems.

    It’s nearly the end of 2006 at this point. Service packs, especially for such problematic products, release should be released regularly and promptly.

  40. focht says:

    Be aware when running vs.net 2003 sp1 setup on computer with temp/tmp directories located on ramdisk setup just silently exists without saying anything (not even a warning).

    Nasty stuff … took me some time to find out (debugged setup).

    Just open console, temporarily "set TMP=c:temp" (to some harddisk) and run setup from that console (so it inherits env vars).


  41. Tyler Jensen says:

    Great work, Soma. Now stop reading this blog and get back to work on the 2005 service pack. The editor performance issues are driving me nuts. -Tyler

  42. Simon says:

    I was seeing a similar error to Jeff (the ‘Unable to start program’ error) when using the ‘Start Application’ option with VS.NET 203 SP1.

    I was running a Class library project and trynig to launch Excel.

    This top tip form Monica Boris (http://blogs.technet.com/monicaboris/archive/2006/09/06/454421.aspx) resolved my issue.

  43. David Berg says:

    SwanB,  Joel Reinford, Tyler Jensen, and anyone else with performance issues in VS 2005.

    Can you please contact me with specifics and/or other information to help us understand and reproduce the performance problems you’re experiencing?

    Send your performance issues to DevPerf@Microsoft.com.


    David Berg

    Developer Division Performance Engineering Team

  44. Désolé, je l’avais annoncé pour un mois plus tôt… mais il est enfin dispo dans toutes les langues (enfin,

  45. Désolé, je l’avais annoncé pour un mois plus tôt… mais il est enfin dispo dans toutes les langues (enfin,

  46. Désolé, je l'avais annoncé pour un mois plus tôt… mais il est enfin dispo dans toutes les langues

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