Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
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with no warranties, and confer no rights. Additionally, views expressed
herein are my own and not those of my employer, Microsoft.
Now that the .NET Framework 2.0 and VS 2005 are officially released, those of you who have been running beta and CTP builds will need to prepare your machines to install the final release. As I'm sure many of you are aware of if you've had a beta installed in the past, beta uninstall and migration to newer builds has been a very painful subject dating all the way back to VS 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0 beta 1. Fortunately there is a lot more awareness that uninstalling the various pieces of VS 2005 is not trivial, and there are some automated uninstall tools and much better documentation.
For those of you who will need to uninstall a previous beta in order to install the final release of VS 2005 and/or the .NET Framework 2.0, you should make sure to review the official uninstall instructions before starting to uninstall anything. In case you read nothing else, please make sure that you leave the .NET Framework 2.0 beta uninstall until the very end. Most of the other pieces of VS 2005 will not uninstall fully if you remove the .NET Framework 2.0 beta first, and that can cause problems in some scenarios after installing the final release.
In order to make the uninstall process easier, there are a couple of automated uninstall tools available for various scenarios:
The uninstall tools (#1, #3 and #4 above) are designed to run Windows Installer APIs and command lines to discover whether or not a known, fixed set of products are installed and then remove them. As we discover additional issues that these tools do not cover, I will be updating the troubleshooting tool. The main goal of the troubleshooting tool is to fix up a machine that already has the final release installed without needing to have the user resort to uninstalling everything and starting from scratch. It tries to perform more "surgical" fixes for specific issues related to incomplete/incorrect beta uninstalls.
As always, let me know if you run into any issues or have any feedback on any of the above tools and I'll try my best to help.