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The release of VS 2008 SP1 last week was a bliss for .NET developers. Many professionals shared their installation experience on their blogs. Very few of them had a lot of troubles getting the long awaited service pack up and running, despite the lengthy process of the installation. My personal experience was not terribly painful as I anticipated, but it didn't go very well in the beginning either. This has nothing to do the setup package but has everything to do with the beta stuff I had on my box. Microsoft provided a Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack Preparation Tool to help us uninstall VS SP1 pre-release and some other VS service packs before installing SP1. However, it looks like the tool just wasn't for me :-)

VS 2008 SP1 Pre-Release and SQL Server 2008 RC0 were both installed on my computer. RC0, as well as all the other CTP versions of SQL 2008, add shell integration with Visual Studio when they install. The preparation tool attempts to uninstall the shell integration but it needs the ORIGINAL vs_shell.msi file. This was exactly how I got stuck and why I thought I was in the dead water. The installer remembers the physical location where the vs_shell.msi was orginally launched. This would be the extracted files folder (or DVD) of your SQL 2008 RC0/CTPs, NOT your Visual Studio 2008 installation CD. I accidentally deleted the RC0 installation files so I had to extract them again.

You should be in pretty good shape after you pass this step.  After the preparation tool finishes removal of the SP1 pre-release, don't just launch the SP1 installer yet. Microsoft has not officially documented that you need to reboot the system before installing SP1. But my attempt to install SP1 immediately after the removal of pre-releases completely failed with the typical infamous "installation failed due to fatal errors" message. So my suggestion is don't even think about it. Getting a unknown "fatal errors" message after a 30-minute wait for the progress bar to finish is absolutely frustrating. I rebooted the system and then kicked off the SP1 installer. No problems at all this time.

Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 1:27 AM Visual Studio | Back to top

Comments on this post: My experience of VS 2008 SP1 installation: not so smooth

# re: My experience of VS 2008 SP1 installation: not so smooth
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Thank you for your post. It really helped me where others didn't.
Left by Aleks on May 15, 2010 7:41 PM

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