The Usual Tech Ramblings

Updates to Visual Studio, post service pack install

After our dev team spent a good portion of the week upgrading our Visual Studio 2005 projects to 2008, I had to upgrade our build server. This was pretty easy, after all, it’s just a case of installing software. Software installed fine, so did the service pack. When I went to build one of the solutions, I stumbled upon a small issue, I was missing some library files. Excel library files to be exact. So I installed Office 2003, and tried again. Same error, so I figured I must have missed the files in Visual Studio.

I remounted the ISO file for Visual Studio 2008, and tried running the setup. After a minute of churning away, it stopped with the following error:

A problem has been encountered while loading the setup components. Canceling setup.

This is a vague error message, but I figured the Installer service had to clean up after the Office install, so rebooted, but still got the same error. Doing some googling around, I found some interesting articles mentioning security update issues being the cause, and others mentioning corrupt installs.

I stopped for a moment, and wondered if the installer package had updated some components that the setup used when doing the service pack update. This usually results in the original setup program not working. This was an easy test, as I was already in the “Add/Remove Programs” window, I went down to the Visual Studio 2008 option, and hit “Add/Remove”. This kicked off the setup program, which worked.

So, sometimes service packs update setup and install details, and the original setup packages get “broken”.