How to troubleshoot the installation of Visual Studio 2005

For a Microsoft Visual Studio 2003 or Microsoft Visual Studio 2002 version of this article, see How to troubleshoot Visual Studio .NET installation .


This article describes best practices for how to troubleshoot the installation of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. Additionally, this article describes the general steps for how to locate log files if you experience problems during the installation. More specific errors and problems are addressed in other Microsoft Knowledge Base articles.

Most installations of Visual Studio 2005 products occur as expected. Microsoft Windows Installer is used to install these products. Windows Installer is the same installation engine that you use to deploy applications that you have developed in Visual Studio 2005. Therefore, the installation should go smoothly, create the required log files, and perform complete rollbacks if potential problems are detected. Additionally, the installation should be self healing, also known as resiliency, if the installation is damaged.

Best practice installation methods may prevent many problems. Consider using best practice installation methods for all installations. This includes installations of service packs.

More Information

Best practice installation methods

Best practice installation methods have the following criteria:
  • Use the Local Administrator account
    This prevents both permissions issues and rights issues. The Local Administrator account is the maintenance account. Use this account when you install and uninstall applications.
  • Stop all nonessential services and applications
    Many applications interrupt the installation process. This is especially true of antivirus and other monitoring applications.
  • Delete the contents of the Temp folder
    The installation wizards frequently use the Temp folder. If the installation leaves corrupted files or folders in the Temp folder, the installation reapplies the corrupted versions instead of going to the installation source for fresh copies.

Steps to use best practice installation methods

Use the Local Administrator account

By default, the Local Administrator account is named Administrator. However, you can rename this account for security reasons. To view the name and to change the password, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click My Computer.
  2. Click Manage.
  3. Expand Local Users and Groups.

    Note Domain Controllers do not have access to Local Users and Groups.
  4. Click Users.
  5. In the Details pane, locate the Administrator account. Typically, this account is named Administrator, and the description is
    Built-in account for administering this computer/domain.
  6. To change the password, right-click the Administrator account, click Set Password, and then follow the instructions that appear on the screen.

Stop all nonessential services and applications

Important These steps may increase your security risk. These steps may also make your computer or your network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We recommend the process that this article describes to enable programs to operate as they are designed to, or to implement specific program capabilities. Before you make these changes, we recommend that you evaluate the risks that are associated with implementing this process in your particular environment. If you choose to implement this process, take any appropriate additional steps to help protect your system. We recommend that you use this process only if you really require this process.

To stop nonessential services and applications, use one of the following methods, depending on the operating system:
  • Microsoft Windows 2000
    1. Click Start, click
      Run, type Services.msc, and then click
    2. Stop all non-Microsoft services. This includes services for antivirus applications and for other monitoring applications. To stop a service, right-click the service, and then click
  • Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server 2003

    Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 have a utility that is named MSConfig. This utility prevents services and applications from starting when you install Visual Studio 2005.
    For more informationabout how to run this utility, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    310353 How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP

Delete the contents of the Temp folder

  1. Click Start, click Run, type %temp%, and then click OK. This command opens the Temp folder.
  2. Delete the contents of this folder. If any items are important and should not be deleted, move these items to another folder.


The computer where you install Visual Studio 2005 should never have had any beta or release candidate Visual Studio product installed. If any one or more of these products were installed, you should rebuild the computer to verify that these products have been removed. To rebuild the computer, reformat the hard disk, and then install the operating system again.

The executable file for Visual Studio 2005 is named Setup.exe. This file is located in the root folder of Disk 1 of the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM installation media.

During Setup, a list of prerequisites appears. The Setup wizard installs the prerequisites that are required by the operating system before the Setup wizard installs the Visual Studio 2005 IDE. For more information about prerequisites, see the "References" section.

By default, verbose logging is turned on for the Visual Studio 2005 installation. The log file is named VSMsiLog*.txt. The asterisk (*) represents the four alphanumeric characters in the file name. For example, the file name may be similar to VSMSILogA1d1.txt. The file is approximately 40 megabytes (MB).

Component files and logs

The following table lists each component, the component's location on the installation media, and the log file that is generated.
ComponentLocation on Disk 1Log or logs generated
Microsoft Windows Installer 3.1Vs\Wcu\Msi31\Windowsinstaller-kb893803-v2-x86.exe Create the log by using the "Msiexec -i Path\PackageName.msi /l*v
command after you extract the .msi file from the .exe file
Microsoft MSXML 6.0 ParserVs\Wcu\MSXML\Msxml6.msi \Local Settings\Temp\MSI*.log
Microsoft Data Access Components 2.8Vs\Wcu\Mdac28\Mdac_typ.exeWindows Directory \Dasetup.log
Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0Vs\Wcu\DotNetFramework\Dotnetfx.exe Documents and Settings\ UserName \Local Settings\Temp\DotNetfx.log and Netfx.log
Microsoft Document Explorer 2005Vs\Wcu\DExploreCreate the log by using the "Msiexec -iPath\PackageName.msi /l*v Path\log.txt" command after you extract the .msi file from the .exe file
Many of these log files are put in the Temp folder and then moved to the \Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Visual Studio 2005
Edition Name\Logs folder when the installation is completed.

You can prevent many corrupted-file issues and media-reading issues by doing a flat installation.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322950 Error messages when you cancel Setup of Visual Studio .NET or the MSDN Library


For more information about how to troubleshoot installation issues in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2002 and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

319714 How to troubleshoot Visual Studio .NET installation

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

888470 Another installation program starts when you try to install Visual FoxPro, Visual Studio .NET, or prerequisites

For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web sites:
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005

Visual Studio Setup and installation information;en-us;vssetup

Article ID: 904732 - Last Review: Feb 16, 2017 - Revision: 3