VS 2010 setup projects depend on .NET after installing .NET 4.5

Symptoms

You have a Visual Studio 2010 project that creates an installer for a native VC++ application. The application does not require the .NET Framework to be installed. After installing .NET 4.5 (or Visual Studio 2012, which installs .NET 4.5), you observe that your VS 2010 Setup project now has a dependency on the .NET Framework.

Cause

A managed assembly is being incorrectly added to the list of references for the native project, causing the native project to have a dependency on the .NET Framework.

Resolution

The "AddAdditionalExplicitAssemblyReferences" property needs to be set to false for the VC++ project. One direct way to accomplish this would be to edit the .vcxproj file to do so. Before editing the .vcxproj, ensure that you do not have the project opened in any Visual Studio instances. With an XML or text editor (such as the one in Visual Studio), you will observe that the .vcxproj begins something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Project DefaultTargets="Build" ToolsVersion="4.0" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/developer/msbuild/2003">
<ItemGroup Label="ProjectConfigurations">

Before the "ItemGroup" tag, you will add a "PropertyGroup" that modifies that property, so the above will have had three lines inserted:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Project DefaultTargets="Build" ToolsVersion="4.0" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/developer/msbuild/2003">
<PropertyGroup> <AddAdditionalExplicitAssemblyReferences>false</AddAdditionalExplicitAssemblyReferences> </PropertyGroup>
<ItemGroup Label="ProjectConfigurations">

Also, in the setup project, open the Launch Condition editor and remove the “Microsoft .NET” launch condition.

Once the changes have been made, you will need to rebuild the setup project.

More Information

If you have multiple VC++ projects for which this change would be needed, you may wish to refer to this article: How to: Use the Same Target in Multiple Project Files
Properties

Article ID: 2735477 - Last Review: Nov 16, 2012 - Revision: 1

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