Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Installer woes … SOLVED?

One of the thing that really gets to me is when Microsoft releases a new Service Pack for a product. In a good majority of the cases, it ends up being about as pleasant as ripping out all of your teeth without Novocain.  As Service Pack 1 for .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 contains new features and tools, this is pretty much a given.

First rule: RTFM

In this case, the “funny manual” (FM) is a small snippet on the downloads site.

If you previously installed a Visual Studio 2008 Hotfix or Visual Studio 2008 SP1 pre-release, you must run the Service Pack Preparation tool before installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1.

The Installer does not know to call this tool for you, even though it does nothing other than remove patches that will cause problems with SP1. Here is a list of the pieces you have to remove:

  • Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Beta
  • Silverlight Tools Beta 1
  • KB944899 V1
  • KB949325

Second rule: Even if you think you don’t, you do

Even if you don’t think you have installed a previous hotfix or beta software, you have. Since the tool hurts nothing, assume you have downloaded something, installed it, and forgotten about it.

Thinking this did not apply to me, I foraged on with my install.

Third Rule: If you ignored the previous rules, you are hosed

I did not figure out I was hosed until I tried to work with the Entity Framework. None of the work I was attempting to do would compile. Ouch!

Here was the offending line:


Lesson learned.

Final Rule: Uninstall Everything and Try Again

My first thought was to run the uninstaller and then install Visual Studio SP1 again. This was about as useful as painting the dog. So I had to opt for the second option, which was to uninstall everything I had installed. I then ran the uninstaller for hotfixes, .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and then Visual Studio 2008 SP1. The second step was probably not necessary, but I was not going to take chances.

End result? I am up and running again. IN some cases, in the past, I have ended up toasting the entire machine because an SP was released. The experience is getting a bit better, although why the installer does not simply call the patch remover is beyond me.

Peace and Grace,


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