"Windows is searching for devenv.exe" when launching BIDS

A number of people have been experiencing a problem launching the Business Intelligence Developer's Studio after installing SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Toolkit. The problem is that the shortcut is pointing to a file named devenv.exe that isn't there.


Redirect the BIDS shortcut to the location where devenv.exe actually exists.

  • From the Start menu, choose Search.
  • Search for "devenv.exe"
  • Record the location where you find it.
  • On the Start menu, right-click the shortcut from BIDS.
  • Enter the correct path to devenv.exe in the Target text box.
  • Click OK, to update the shortcut.

You should be able to successfully launch BIDS now.

Note: When you launch a shortcut to a file that is missing, Windows will try to find a matching file somewhere else on the computer. When I was testing this issue, Windows XP actually found devenv.exe and offered to fix the link for me. I clicked OK, the shortcut was fixed and BIDS launched. I guess it pays to be patient (or distracted).


This happens when you have installed any Edition of Visual Studio 2005 into a non-default location onto you computer prior to installing BIDS. BIDS makes some (bad) assumptions about where the VS development environment is located so when you install VS to a non-default location the BIDS shortcut is actually pointing to the default location for VS installations.

This all happens because BIDS is really just a set of Project Templates that install into the normal Visual Studio environment (devenv.exe).

Comments (7)

  1. anore says:

    the link is pointed to Visual Studio, it is not fixed the problem.

    devenv.exe is exeaction file of visual studio, too.

  2. sqlexpress says:

    Please post questions to the SQL Expres forum at http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=385&SiteID=1 rather than as comments in the blog. It’s a bit easier to troubleshoot in the forum.

    – Mike

  3. Shasto says:

    Easiest way to get this is to uninstall express editions of SQL Server 2005 (all aspects). Install the SQL_ADV package first as per normal.

    Now install the SQL_TOOLKIT package, noting the extraction path on the C: drive for the Setup Support files.

    Inside the Setup Support files folder you will see a setup folder, in that folder there is a vs_setup.msi package. Run this and it will install the Visual Studio 2005 shell.

    (Note it is a silent graphic install, besides the confirmation at the end so do not continue the SQL Toolkit install until you see that VS Installation has completed)

  4. Mr. Aki says:

    Thank you very much…

    It works smoothly… Nice advice.

  5. Lokesh Vashistha says:

    Thanks a lot. It worked nicely for installing business intelligence toolkit.

  6. lkesh1984@hotmail.com says:

    Thanks a lot. I was able to install my business intelligence toolkit smoothly from this.

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