Aaron Stebner's WebLog

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Uninstalling previous betas to prepare for VS 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0 RTM

Uninstalling previous betas to prepare for VS 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0 RTM

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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:

  1. Tool to uninstall beta and CTP builds of VS 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0 - this tool should be run on a machine that still has the beta or CTP build installed to uninstall all pieces of the beta or CTP to prepare a machine to install the final release
  2. Troubleshooting tool - this tool should be run to find and fix problems while running the final release of VS 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0 if you previously uninstalled in the incorrect order; this tool also has the automatic uninstall functionality built-in, but you should use the first tool if you only need to uninstall
  3. Tool to uninstall beta and CTP builds of WinFX - this is similar to the first tool, but is specifically designed to remove WinFX beta/CTP builds in addition to VS 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0 beta/CTP builds
  4. "The Hammer" - this tool is designed for scenarios where you have installed the final release of VS 2005 and/or the .NET Framework 2.0 and it does not work and the troubleshooting tool does not fix it; this tool will fully uninstall the final release of VS 2005 (in addition to any beta versions you might have installed) so make sure you only run it if you want to uninstall the final build; this tool is intended to be used to remove VS 2005 and get a machine back into a known state to try to install it again to clean up any problems that other troubleshooting steps are not able to resolve

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.


  • Hi: Thanks for valuable information.

    Deepak Kumar

  • The ininstall program from Microsoft tries to get rid of .net 2Beta but stops with an error message 1316A cannot find C\WINDOWS\installer.netfx.msi, then just runs back.

    I am STILL stuck with the Beta and cannot even install.net 1 which is needed now for several programmes.

    IS it to do with the fact that I have been landed with a PC with a "bad" version of |XP Pro and the Microsoft policy about upgrades.

    I cannot even try the Beta of playe 11
  • Hi Brian - Can you please use the steps listed at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/10/30/487096.aspx to locate and manually remove the .NET Framework 2.0 beta version?  Once you remove the .NET 2.0 beta, hopefully the installation of .NET Framework 1.0/1.1 will work correctly for you.
  • Hi.
    I'm trying to get rid of Visual Studio 2005 Beta2 with all other stuff that comes along.

    I get an error, something like this (Translated from Danish) :
    there can not be established connection to windows installer. This problem can occour if you run windows in Safe Mode or if Windows Installer is inpropper installed. Contact support personell to get help.

    I have tried normal manuell uninstall
    I have tried to install the latest Windows Installer (Success, no warnings)
    I have tried the steps at the top of this page.
    I have tried every single tool spoken about on this page and following links.

    Nada helps

  • Hi BoSJo - Can you please try to use the following steps to repair the Windows Installer service on your system:

    1.  Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type cmd

    2.  Type msiexec.exe /unregister

    3.  Type msiexec.exe /regserver

    4.  Reboot

    5.  Try to uninstall Visual Studio 2005 beta 2 one more time

    Hopefully these steps will resolve this issue...
  • That did the trick :-)

    Ever so thankfull, everything works 100% now :-)
  • PingBack from http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/492809.aspx
  • I am having a major problem with .net framework 2.0.  It is necessary to run notebook hardware controls on my laptop.  I accidentally uninstalled it and then did a system restore to undue my mistake.  Since then, notebook hardware controls will not run.  I have been trying to uninstall .net framework 2.0 or repair it but each time I get this message:
    "Patch package could not be opened. Verify that teh patch package exists and that you can access it . . ."  
    I tried using every tool you have listed above and only the 4th tool detected the framework on my laptop but when it tried to uninstall it I got the same message.  Please help.
  • Hi Nlc9 - Can you please try to use the .NET Framework removal tool described at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2006/05/30/611355.aspx to uninstall the .NET Framework 2.0 and then try to install it again and see if that helps solve this problem?
  • Where to get Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 Where to download the .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable

  • Hi Aaron -- I have struggled for two days to get VB Express 2005 final release running, but no luck.  Trouble started after I installed VB 2008 beta, VWD express and SQL Server express. Before that it ran great for months.

    I am currently in the mode where I get six package load failures on startup.  This is after I have run the "Hammer" and re-installed from CD (burned from downloaded iso image).  

    The only thing I have not tried is to run the troubleshooting tool (Ttool.zip) because the link appears to be broken.  Is there another place to get it?  Is there anything else I should be trying?

  • Hi ZookManPat - If you had any previous beta versions of Visual Studio 2005 installed on your system, I'd suggest trying the steps listed at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/12/16/504906.aspx.  My file server is currently down for maintenance, but it should be back up soon so you can check back in a day or so and hopefully it will be available for download again.  I'm sorry for the hassle that this issue is causing for you.

    If this problem started after installing the VS 2008 beta, I'd also suggest reporting a bug on the bug reporting site at http://connect.microsoft.com/visualstudio/.

  • Thanks for the timely reply, Aaron.  I went through the steps at 504906, except for #2.  Any chance you could email me the troubleshooting tool so I could try that?  My email is patwiegand at suddenlink dot net.

  • I post on this with every release, but I'll post something about the latest blog entry on it. The

  • PingBack from http://www.pc-helpforum.be/f167/just-time-debugging-error-7767/#post33681

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