Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

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Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

I'm trying to install MS Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate onto a laptop running Win 7, which already has VS '10 Express on it. However, during the installation, the installer seems to hang - the progress bar simply sits there, for extended lengths of time, apparently doing nothing. Neither the HDD or the DVD that it's being installed from are noticeably active when that happens. Trying to uninstall Express from the list of programs in the Control Panel results in the same problem.

Anyone got any ideas? The same DVD image worked fine on a desktop computer running XP. (But also with Express.)
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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Drumheller769 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:41 pm UTC

Instead of trying to uninstall Express using the control panel, can you re-run the installation for Express and choose uninstall from there?
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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:49 pm UTC

The same thing happens.
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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Jorpho » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:54 am UTC

Is there perhaps some sort of log file being generated in your temp directory? (You can get to your temp directory quickly by pressing Winkey+R, typing "%temp%" (no quotes) and pressing Enter.) You might have to poke around a bit to find out where in the temp directory the installer is actually working; alternatively, just manually delete everything in your Temp directory (generally quite safe) before running the installer.

Failing that, in situations like this I like to call upon ProcMon from http://www.sysinternals.com to see what's really going on. It can be a little verbose with its output, though.

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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:14 pm UTC

I tried nuking the temp directory and running it with ProcMon watching. Assuming I've got it set up right, the only thing the installer does is open registry keys and spawn threads, and occasionally write data to a logging file in %temp%. I even left the setup running for long enough that Windows warned that I was running out of memory. (Although I'm not entirely sure why, since nothing seems to accumulate memory.)

Does anyone have an idea of how to manually untangle everything?
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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Jorpho » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:28 am UTC

Robert'); DROP TABLE *; wrote:and occasionally write data to a logging file in %temp%.
So, what does said logging file contain?

(Although I'm not entirely sure why, since nothing seems to accumulate memory.)
What leads you to this conclusion?

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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:02 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Robert'); DROP TABLE *; wrote:and occasionally write data to a logging file in %temp%.
So, what does said logging file contain?

Nothing out of the ordinary, AFAICT, only messages about starting methods, and the values of various properties. The only suspicious thing I can see is a message saying, "A higher version of Visual Studio is already installed." Would you like me to upload it somewhere?

(Although I'm not entirely sure why, since nothing seems to accumulate memory.)
What leads you to this conclusion?

Windows complains that it's running out of memory, despite the fact that I'm not doing anything. The only program I had open apart from Explorer, ProcMon and the installer was Firefox, and it was just sitting at one of the logs, doing nothing. However, the same thing happened on a previous attempt, without Firefox open. Although something obviously is accumulating memory, I don't know what it is; as mentioned, it happens without Firefox, and the Task Mangager doesn't report any significant memory use by ProcMon.

Also, on the latest attempt, ProcMon crashed with a null pointer error. I have no idea whether or not that's related to the memory notices.
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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Jorpho » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:40 pm UTC

Are you showing processes from all users in Task Manager?

You might also want to go to View->Select Columns and enable more of the memory-related columns to see if that helps identify whatever task may be consuming memory.

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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby freakish777 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:44 pm UTC

Probably something is corrupted in your registry, and therefore not letting you uninstall Express.

I don't suggest doing this unless you know what you're doing, but you could try deleting all the files manually (including those in C:\Documents and Settings\[UserName]\Local Settings\Application Data\Roaming) for Express, and then wiping out the registry keys for it as well (which if I'm not mistaken should be under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Visual Studio, note that 10.0 should be VS2010, 9.0 should be VS2008, etc, and the express version should be under whichever version, you could also try wiping that entire registry location).

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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Jorpho » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:23 am UTC

Yikes! Manually hacking apart the registry for something like this is probably not the way to go. It probably embeds itself in enough different places that it would only cause more problems.

A search for <visual studio 2010 express uninstaller> turns up http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2010uninstall , which looks sort of promising.

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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby freakish777 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:20 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:Yikes! Manually hacking apart the registry for something like this is probably not the way to go.


I concur, hence the "I don't recommend this unless you know what you're doing" recommendation. On that note, I've had to do something similar at my last job (which was pitched as a development position but was really more a sysAdmin role) when I accidentally installed in the wrong order; if I recall correctly, it was Sharepoint before SQL Server. Sharepoint's installer will detect SQL Server, and if not present will install the Express version for you. I x'd out of the installer at that point instead of letting it finish and uninstalling, which of course resulted in not being able to uninstall SQL Server Express correctly. I ended up deleting all the files and then getting rid of the registry keys and everything worked fine after that.

It probably embeds itself in enough different places that it would only cause more problems.


My understanding of how most MS installers interacts with the registry:

Installer tells the registry "Go find this one particular key, if it's already there, we can't install, tell the user to uninstall/reinstall/repair/etc. If it's not there, we're good, proceed as normal, overwrite all other keys."

I could be entirely wrong, but that's the impression I get.

If nothing else works and Drop Tables is comfortable wiping out registry keys and deleting files, it's an option (again, don't recommend it unless you 100% know what you're doing, and even then, only if nothing else works).

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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:23 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:Yikes! Manually hacking apart the registry for something like this is probably not the way to go. It probably embeds itself in enough different places that it would only cause more problems.

A search for <visual studio 2010 express uninstaller> turns up http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2010uninstall , which looks sort of promising.

Thank you, this seemed to work at actually scrubbing everything off. However, it still doesn't want to install, even after leaving it idle for several hours at a time. It simply stops progressing.
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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby cphite » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:25 pm UTC

Robert'); DROP TABLE *; wrote:
Jorpho wrote:Yikes! Manually hacking apart the registry for something like this is probably not the way to go. It probably embeds itself in enough different places that it would only cause more problems.

A search for <visual studio 2010 express uninstaller> turns up http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2010uninstall , which looks sort of promising.

Thank you, this seemed to work at actually scrubbing everything off. However, it still doesn't want to install, even after leaving it idle for several hours at a time. It simply stops progressing.


What type of AV software are you running? You may need to disable that while doing the install.

I notice above you mention out of memory errors when you seem to have plenty - consider running a memory scan, something like Memtest86 - you might have some bad memory.

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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:56 pm UTC

I was running Microsoft Security Essentials, and F-Secure was running in the background, ostensibly switched off. I also had an "HDD Protection" app from Toshiba (the OEM) running in the background, which I also switched off.

I will try running memtest later on. Right now, I'm leaving the install to run overnight to see if it does anything. (Since there's not much else to try.)

EDIT: No, I'm not, because it's got stuck cancelling. I'll try restarting it without all the AV and HDD utilities tomorrow.
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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Jorpho » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:00 am UTC

Robert'); DROP TABLE *; wrote:Thank you, this seemed to work at actually scrubbing everything off. However, it still doesn't want to install, even after leaving it idle for several hours at a time. It simply stops progressing.
Come to think of it, this sort of sounds like what happens sometimes when I try to install .NET 2.0 updates. (I made a thread about it once.) Perhaps you could try uninstalling whatever .NET runtimes you may have installed?

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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:00 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Robert'); DROP TABLE *; wrote:Thank you, this seemed to work at actually scrubbing everything off. However, it still doesn't want to install, even after leaving it idle for several hours at a time. It simply stops progressing.
Come to think of it, this sort of sounds like what happens sometimes when I try to install .NET 2.0 updates. (I made a thread about it once.) Perhaps you could try uninstalling whatever .NET runtimes you may have installed?

I tried that, it didn't seem to help. (It just did the same thing while reinstalling .NET 4)

On a whim, I tried running the installer in Safe Mode. However, the installer simply came back and said that .NET failed to install, and the error log didn't really explain why. I'm going to see what happens if I install .NET 4 (from MS's website) and then do the same thing.
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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby cphite » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:32 pm UTC

Robert'); DROP TABLE *; wrote:I was running Microsoft Security Essentials, and F-Secure was running in the background, ostensibly switched off. I also had an "HDD Protection" app from Toshiba (the OEM) running in the background, which I also switched off.

I will try running memtest later on. Right now, I'm leaving the install to run overnight to see if it does anything. (Since there's not much else to try.)

EDIT: No, I'm not, because it's got stuck cancelling. I'll try restarting it without all the AV and HDD utilities tomorrow.


Make sure that MSE and F-Secure are not both actively running at the same time - not ever. Having two AV programs running at the same time can cause all sorts of problems, including the problem you are describing. Not to mention leaving your machine wide open to a lot of security threats, as they will often interfere with one another.

From another angle... where did you get the installer for VS 2010 Ultimate? Are you installing from the web or do you have a local copy?

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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:03 pm UTC

The installer is on a DVD, which was burned from an image I got from MSDNAA. (Which I assume was accurately burned, although I can't think of a way to check, because I asked the burner to verify the disk.) I've removed F-Secure from the startup list, since it was only there because of inertia.
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Re: Visual Studio's installer doesn't like me

Postby weezilla » Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:10 am UTC

Thread rez with my solution. I am not sure if I was experiencing the same root cause. I was attempting to Install VS 2010 Prof from a DVD and it was hanging on Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional. I tried many things (clearing temp, removing all VS in add/remove, antivirus, admin mode).

I downloaded the installer, "Microsoft-Visual-Studio-2010-Professional/3000-2212_4-10618634" from CNET and the installation proceeded properly.


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