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Resolving Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Install Problems

I experienced the following errors when attempting to upgrade Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate on my TFS application server (WS08 R2):

  • The file '[path\file prefix].msi' is not a valid installation package for the product...
  • The VS2010 repair and uninstall also failed for the same reasons
  • In my case, the specific problem was with Silverlight, the TFS object model and Help Viewer 1.0

With excellent help from Microsoft support, I took the following steps to resovle the problems:

  1. Determine what VS 2010 RTM product MSI is causing the error from the SP1 install log
  2. Go to the Windows installer folder (Start>Run>Installer)
  3. Use the Detail view of the folder and add the Subject and Comments columns to the view
  4. Find the MSI file in question by using the text in the subject and comments columns for each MSI file
  5. Right click on that MSI file and run Repair, or Uninstall
  6. If you had to run uninstall and it was successful, then right-click on the MSI file again and install it
  7. If the repair or install was successful, rerun the SP1 installer

However, if the MSI file in question is missing, you can copy it from a different machine that has the same product and version installed. For me this was the case with the TFS Object Model. Again, with excellent help from Microsoft support,I took the following steps to resovle the problems:

  1. On the other machine, open the windows installer folder, and using the technique noted above, find the correct MSI file and copy it to the desktop of the machine in question
  2. You must rename this MSI file to the name specified in the local registry
  3. Look up the product name in the registry under: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Products
  4. The DisplayName attribute value will contain the product name and version
  5. Get the MSI file name from the LocalPackage attribute value under the InstallProperties folder
  6. Rename the MSI on the desktop to this name
  7. Copy this file from the desktop to the Windows installer folder
  8. Now use the procedure above to complete the SP1 upgrade

However, the Help Viewer 1.0 required some additional steps to install it. Because the Help Viewer MSI is zipped up and will run only as part of the Visual Studio install, I had to take these additional steps:

  1. Un-zip the help3_vs.msi from [media install folder]\WCU\Help\HelpSetup_[platform].zip to a sub-folder (see example from command statement below)
  2. Use the following command from an admin command prompt to install it:
    C:\Windows\system32>msiexec /i [drive leter]:\Downloads\[media install folder]\WCU\Help
    \HelpSetup_x64\help3_vs.msi VS_SETUP=1

NOTE: each situation will vary, this is not a checklist of things to do, but rather information that may help you asses your problem and find a resolution.

Print | posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:22 PM | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]


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