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How to troubleshoot failure to install Document Explorer 2005 during VS 2005 setup

How to troubleshoot failure to install Document Explorer 2005 during VS 2005 setup

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I have heard from several customers who have run into problems installing Visual Studio 2005 because the component named Microsoft Document Explorer 2005 fails to install and Visual Studio setup quits when that happens.  I wanted to give a bit more information about what this component is and where logging information can be found to attempt to track down why this installation might fail.

Document Explorer 2005 is a redistributable package that delivers the 8.0 version of dexplore.exe.  This is the help viewer that is used by Visual Studio 2005, and by other products such as the Windows SDK.  In previous versions of Visual Studio, dexplore.exe was installed as a part of the main Visual Studio MSI or as a part of the MSDN MSI, but in VS 2005, it was separated into its own standalone package, and it is installed as a prerequisite before the main Visual Studio MSI.

The setup for Document Explorer 2005 uses the same external UI handler as the .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable and SDK (described in more detail in this blog post and in this blog post).

Visual Studio 2005 setup runs the setup package for Document Explorer 2005 in silent mode.  In cases where this package fails during Visual Studio 2005 setup, you can run dexplore.exe directly from the folder <VS install disc>\wcu\DExplore\ in order to see the error message that is being generated.

This package creates the following log files in the %temp% directory on a system:

  • dd_dexploreui*.txt
  • dd_dexploremsi*.txt

In both of these cases, the * in the name of the files is a randomly generated ending to ensure that each time you run setup it will create a unique file and not overwrite existing log files.

If you do not get any useful error information by running the setup package directly, it can be useful to examine the contents of these log files.  In particular, you can search for the string return value 3 in dd_dexploremsi*.txt and that will usually lead you to the error that causes the setup package to fail.

If you have trouble locating error information, please contact me or leave a comment on this blog post and I will try to help.


  • Hi Jcarlen - Typically that .NET Runtime event log entry is benign so that probably can be ignored.  Can you please zip and send me the log file named %temp%\dd_dexploremsi*.txt so I can try to take a look?  You can send it to Aaron.Stebner (at) microsoft (dot) com.
  • Hi. I solved the problem.
    It was the Dot NEt 1.1 that needed to be restarted beför VS was installed.

    But i have another problem when running Vs 2005 Team suite as a User i´m getting this message

    The proper type libary could not be found in the system regitry. An attempt to repair this condition faild because you do not have the permissons to write to the system registry or because the libery could not be found.

    I understand that this has to do with that i´m a user but do you know any workaround i working in a school so we are depolying vs to 100 machine it isn´t an option to run around to all coputers logging in as an Admin.

  • I tried 3 failed times until I found your article.  Followed you suggestion to run dexplore.exe directly on the CD and it installed smoothly with NO error messages.  VS2005 now installed.  Go figure....
  • Hi Jcarlen - There is an article at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dv_vstechart/html/tchDevelopingSoftwareInVisualStudioNETWithNon-AdministrativePrivileges.asp that describes how to use VS .NET 2003 as a normal user.  I haven't been able to find a similar article for Visual Studio 2005 however.  I would suggest posting the exact error messages that you receive to the MSDN Forums (http://forums.microsoft.com) and see if some other folks have some advice that might be helpful.
  • Hi,There 's some error while i'm installing vs.net 2005:

    [10/28/06,16:10:18] Microsoft Document Explorer 2005: [2] Setup Failed on component Microsoft Document Explorer 2005

    [10/28/06,16:10:24] setup.exe: [2] ISetupComponent::Pre/Post/Install() failed in ISetupManager::InstallManagerHelper() with HRESULT -2147023293.

    [10/28/06,16:10:24] setup.exe: [2] Component error string not specified in ISetupManager::AddToActionResultCollection()

    [10/28/06,16:10:47] VS70pgui: [2] DepCheck indicates Microsoft Document Explorer 2005 is not installed.

    [10/28/06,16:10:48] VS70pgui: [2] DepCheck indicates Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers - ENU was not attempted to be installed.

    [10/28/06,16:10:48] VS70pgui: [2] Unknown component status for.NET Compact Framework 1.0 SP3

    before installing 2005,I installed vs.net 2003 and I got an error while uninstall vs .net 2003 too... (I have deleted the keys of .net framework 2.0 in regedit before installing .net2005),what's the source of these problems? thanks  :)

  • Hi Zjm84812 - The .NET Framework 2.0 is a required prerequisite for Visual Studio 2005.  You will need to reinstall/repair the .NET Framework 2.0 before you can install VS 2005.  That would also cause Document Explorer 2005 to fail.

    What kind of error did you get while uninstalling VS 2003?  The log file %temp%\vsmsilog*.txt should show that error.  If you can zip and send it to me at Aaron.Stebner (at) microsoft (dot) com, I will try to take a look and see if I can figure anything out for you.

  • Where to get Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 Where to download the .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable

  • I've got issues during install of SQL2005 BI-dev-studio (=vs2005)

    It says "the application datafolder for Microsoft document explorer could not be created" and "the application datafolder for Visual studio macros could not be created"

    - Is this critical ?

    - How can I solve this ?

    (I'm using XP sp2 with a hidden x-drive and a mapped P-drive (refering to this x-drive)

    Can this be an issue ?


  • Hi Alzdba - This error typically means that there was some kind of problem running the action dexplore.exe /setup or devenv.exe /setup during installation.  I would suggest running both of these command lines again manually to try to resolve this issue.  You can find dexplore.exe at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Help 8 and devenv.exe at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE.

  • This is the error i get when upgrading VS.NET 2003 to VS.NET 2005 (i only have an upgrade available, so uninstalling is not an option):

    Error 1935.An error occurred during the installation of assembly 'EnvDTE,Version="",PublicKeyToken="b03f5f7f11d50a3a",Culture="neutral",FileVersion="8.0.50727.42"'. Please refer to Help and Support for more information. HRESULT: 0x80070020. assembly interface: IAssemblyCacheItem, function: Commit, component: {DA28CA4A-27CA-486A-923F-5A4317BB70CE}

    Have tried installing the MS document explorer directly from cd...still the error. Deleted the HKLM reg-key...still the error. What's next? :-(

  • Hi Dzjien - The error code you are receiving (0x80070020) means that the process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.  You might want to reboot and then try one of the following workarounds to see if they help resolve this issue:



    Hopefully one of these will help.

  • Hi Aaron!

    Brilliant! Thanx! You just saved me a few more hours of digging......

  • hi Aaron,

          When i was installing visual studio 2005 i encountered the same error and i tried the stuff mentioned in ur blog that is executed dexplorer.exe directly didnt work, then i repaired

    ms.net framework 2.0 then installed again but didnt work out.In my pc,ms visual J#.net redistributable package 1.1 is installed.It gave me the error first time after successfully finishing installation of parser 6.0 then it gave problem at dexplorer and didnt touch rest of things. that is setup of 2005.

    I have previously tried to install vs.net 2003 that also gave error after installing all prerequisites.plz get me out of this prblm,it has already taken lot of time.

  • Hi Puneetgarg - I looked at the logs that you sent me via email, and both VS 2003 and Document Explorer 2005 are failing for the same reason on your system.  For VS 2003, I see the following error:

    MSI (s) (60:A4) [16:44:25:437]: Invoking remote custom action. DLL: G:\WINDOWS\Installer\MSIB5A.tmp, Entrypoint: BeginTransaction

    IHxRegisterSession::CreateTransaction() returned 8004036e.

    BeginTransaction() ERROR: Attempt failed because another transaction was running.

    For Document Explorer 2005, I see the following error:

    06/26/07 18:10:22 DDSet_Status: BeginTransaction()->IHxRegisterSession::CreateTransaction() returned 8004036e.

    06/26/07 18:10:22 DDSet_Error: BeginTransaction()->Attempt failed because another transaction was running.

    Normally, if you reboot your system and try running setup again, it will resolve this error about another transaction running.  If that doesn’t help, I’d suggest trying to use MsConfig to disable unnecessary services and then trying to run setup again.  You can find information about how to do that at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2006/11/25/disabling-services-with-msconfig-to-work-around-setup-failures.aspx.

    Hopefully this helps.

  • Hi,

    same problem with VS2008 Beta 2 and Vista x64. I had to repair Document explorer from disc and then it worked.


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