SYMPTOM AND INFERENCE:
This error was appearing as soon as we launched the Visual Studio 2012 setup. The above error message appears to point towards an issue related to the .net framework 4.5. However .net framework 4.5 was already installed on the machine, and was found to be in good health. In order to debug this issue further we checked the event log and came across this error:
Date: xx/xx/xx 11:32:38 AM
Event ID: 33
Task Category: None
Activation context generation failed for "C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\mscorwks.dll". Dependent Assembly Microsoft.VC80.CRT,processorArchitecture="x86",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",type="win32",version="8.0.50608.0" could not be found. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed diagnosis.
As the above error suggests to run the side by side trace, we took the sxstrace using the steps given in the following blog post: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/smondal/archive/2010/12/31/quot-the-application-has-failed-to-start-because-its-side-by-side-configuration-is-incorrect-please-see-the-application-event-log-for-more-detail-quot.aspx
Excerpt from the log generated:
18D0:081C][2013-09-03T11:22:31]: Setting string variable ‘WixBundleLog’ to value ‘C:\Users\~~~~~~~~~~\AppData\Local\Temp\dd_vs_ultimate_20130903112231.log’
[18D0:081C][2013-09-03T11:22:31]: Setting string variable ‘WixBundleOriginalSource’ to value ‘C:\VSDOWNLOAD\en_visual_studio_ultimate_2012_x86_web_installer_2599164.exe’
[18D0:081C][2013-09-03T11:22:31]: Condition ‘(VersionNT >= v6.1)’ evaluates to true.
[18D0:081C][2013-09-03T11:22:31]: Loading prerequisite bootstrapper application because managed host could not be loaded, error: 0x800736b1.
FO: Attempt to probe manifest at C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Microsoft.VC80.CRT\Microsoft.VC80.CRT.MANIFEST.
INFO: Did not find manifest for culture Neutral.
INFO: End assembly probing.
ERROR: Cannot resolve reference Microsoft.VC80.CRT,processorArchitecture="x86",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",type="win32",version="8.0.50608.0".
ERROR: Activation Context generation failed.
End Activation Context Generation.
The above error in the sxs log and the event log points to Microsoft.VC80.CRT which gets installed with Visual C++ 2005.
We checked what applications were installed on the machine and found that the VC++ 2005 was missing.
We needed to install the latest version of VC++ 2005.
We then downloaded update “Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Service Pack 1 Redistributable Package MFC Security Update” from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=26347 and installed on the computer.
After the installation of the VC++ 2005 we were finally able to install Visual Studio 2012.
Content by: Keshav Deo Jain