Visual Studio 2005 SP1 Strikes Again

by Ted Jardine Tuesday, April 17, 2007 4:27 PM

Yet another interesting quirk in the annals of Visual Studio 2005 SP1 issues: I've been wondering why periodically, attempting to build a Windows application solution in Visual Studio 2003 (which includes a setup project), my machine would inexplicably decide to start a (seemingly) endless installation process that I would need to cancel and then proceed to kill all spawned msiexec processes running. I had done some quick googles to find out a solution before but hadn't come up with anything so I left it - I would soon be moving on to my new developer machine and would probably repave my old machine. However, as I'm taking awhile to fully transition to my new machine running Vista (which I love, and sometimes despise), I'm still doing VS2003 builds on the old machine and was getting tired of the whole process which kills about 15 minutes of productivity everytime I need a final MSI installer to deploy. I let the build run while taking a break and saw the ensuing error message: Error 1706.An installation package for the product Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Pro - ENU cannot be found. Try the installation again using a valid copy of the installation package 'vs_setup.msi'. What the?!? We're not doing anything with Visual Studio 2005 here, only Visual Studio 2003! Thank goodness for Alex Thissen's post at really long link here. Turns out that SP1 not only messes with itself, but can also start playing havoc with VS2003 builds as well. The Visual Studio 2005 installer cache was confused, so whenever I did an MSI build, it was attempting to find and then install Visual Studio 2005. Cool! That's just what I want to do every time I do a totally unrelated task ;-) Did I mention that this all started to happen way back when following a finally successful Visual Studio 2005 SP1 upgrade? Fortunately the fix is relatively easy (took about 10 minutes for it to churn through the following): open a command prompt and, depending on what version of VS2005 you're running, run the following command: msiexec /fvomus {437AB8E0-FB69-4222-B280-A64F3DE22591} /l*v vs8_repair.log If you're like me, you attempted it while there were still some half-finished installers going on in the background from the previous half-finished MSI builds that you hadn't totally killed yet (thus thud! You can't proceed), so it's easiest to just reboot before doing the above. You can find the proper GUID to put in the above by viewing your machine application log and view the event prior to the error.

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