The trials and tribulations of installing VS 2008 SP1

I wasn’t going to install VS 2008 SP1 Beta on my main development machine until I read a MSDN blog that said the final SP1 will install over the top of it.  So I figure there’s more good in getting feedback into the system now, than waiting.  Installing it on my VPC’s would provide limited feedback in comparison.  So I decided to dive in ….

First problem was the installer needs an internet connection to download the files.  That’s actually a real pain if you are using Windows Firewall locked down to only allow known programs.  And because the way the installer extracts, and then spawns another exe, it’s close to impossible to add a program based rule. You probably could just open up whatever port it is, but the documents don’t tell you. For the record, if you have outbound firewall rules, blocking this kind of application that spawns another exe to call home is exactly what you want to do.  I was almost at the point where I was going to turn off the firewall while downloading, but I wasn’t sure how long that was going to be either. In the end I used a VPC to run the setup to download the files for an administer install. See Heath Stewart’s blog entry on the details

So the entire download experience could be a lot better such as up front saying what firewall rules your need and how big the entire download is likely to be. For the record, my SP1 Beta install folder is 785 MB !!

Next came the install process.  First time round it failed. I tried again.. it failed. This time I clicked on the install log, and at first it didn’t seem to tell me much at all, just that one part failed.  At this point, I’m thinking … oh no, wading through install logs looking for the cryptic clue.  Then I noticed the check boxes on the html page that is the install log.  They filter what you see. Check the “warnings” box, and the log expands to show lots of stuff (noise <g>) PLUS the warnings highlighted !  So this was a simple scroll, read the highlighted warnings.  One warning told me I had to uninstall a VS hotfix…..

Now I’m really not sure why the installer would have explicit details as to what KB’s had to be uninstalled, and yet not be able to prompt me to uninstall them, instead forcing me to read the log and repeat the process, but in any case I really do like that error log feature… some good concepts to  borrow from.

So I uninstall the known deadly hotfix KB, and try the install again.  I waited and waited.. finally the install failed, and it’s back to the error log.  This time there was something about another KB to do with VSTO being installed. So I uninstalled that and try again.

This time the install ran further, then after a while I get a message about Machine Debugger, saying that it should be closed, and giving me the options of Retry, Ignore and Cancel.  I decided to kill the Machine Debugger process, and then clicked on Retry.  The installer then said that something failed and that it was rolling back or something like that, but it seemed to be doing nothing.  I waited, and waited, and waited… Finally I killed it, and decided to reboot and try again.

This time (I’ve lost count) the installer got almost as far, and then started that apparent do nothing but saying it’s rolling back, and again seemed to be hung.  My patience by now is wearing thin, so I only waited and waited instead of three lots of waiting <g> I decide to manually roll back the last few KB’s.  I open up Programs and Features from Control panel, and order “installed updates” by date, and remove the last four or so. Two of these wanted a reboot, so I let the second prompt for a reboot actually reboot the system.

So I try the install again… at last success ๐Ÿ™‚

Then I open VS 2008 and it says configuring it for the first time …  I have to pick a default profile, all my settings seem lost ๐Ÿ™  I tried to import what were my previous settings, but they don’t restore the IDE to how I had it configured.  Finally, I dug up an old settings file from a different OS & Drive, and use that. I still had to go through and make a few changes, such as exe paths etc.


Ah, the funs of Beta ๐Ÿ™

1 Comment so far

  1.   Roger Jennings on May 17th, 2008          

    Hi, Bill:

    My experience was even worse with one install. Went thru the entire process, last setup dialog and HTML log fie reported success, but the DLLs/templates for Entity Framework and ADO.NET Data Services were missing. Appears to be no way to fix.

    See for the gory details.



    P.S. I haven’t abandoned VB. Just changed horses for a few articles.