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How to create an installable layout for a Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition

How to create an installable layout for a Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition

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The following options can be used to download and assemble a folder structure that can be used to install one of the Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions.

Option 1: Download and burn or extract the CD image (easiest option)

The first, and easiest option is to utilize the Offline Install instructions for Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions page on the MSDN site.  These instructions allow you to download an ISO file for a DVD image that contains all of the following Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions and their prerequisites and optional components:

  • Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition
  • Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition
  • Visual C# 2008 Express Edition
  • Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition

Once you have downloaded the ISO file, you can either burn the image onto a DVD and then copy the contents to your local hard drive or extract the contents to your local hard drive directly using a tool such as IsoBuster.

Once you have copied the contents to a local hard drive, you can share out the folder on a network and install it from there if you choose to.

Option 2: Manually assemble the equivalent of the CD image (advanced option)

If you need to optimize bandwidth or for some other reason cannot use option 1, you can use some advanced steps to reverse engineer the VS 2008 Express Edition setup data files and manually download the individual pieces you will need to create a network installation point.  If you use these steps, you can optimize your download size by only including a single Express Edition instead of all 4.  You can include only the optional components you want to install (meaning you can skip SQL Express and MSDN if you choose to not install them during Express Edition setup).  You can also optimize your download size based on the configuration of the machines you will be installing on.  For example, if you know you will not need to install on any x64 systems, you can skip downloading the x64 components for SQL Express and the remote debugger.  Also, if you know that the systems you will install on already have prerequisites such as Windows Installer 3.1 or the .NET Framework 3.5, you can skip downloading those components.

The following steps will allow you to manually assemble an installable layout for an Express Edition.  In this example, I will use the Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition (English), but equivalent steps can be used for the other Express Editions and non-English languages as well.  For other Express Editions, you will need to change the download location used in steps 1 and 5 below.

  1. Download the web download bootstrapper for Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition and save it to your local hard drive
  2. Create a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008 (or one of your own choosing)
  3. Extract the contents of the web download bootstrapper to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008 by running vwdsetup.exe /x:c:\visual_webdev_2008
  4. Go to c:\visual_webdev_2008 and open the file baseline.dat in a text editor such as Notepad
  5. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [vs_setup.dll] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=95930
  6. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 5 and choose to save the file ixpvwd.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008
  7. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu
  8. For the applicable prerequisites and optional components listed below, follow the set of additional steps listed below to download them and place them in the correct locations.  Some components are only needed for specific Express Editions or for specific processor architectures, and those details are noted in the title for each component listed below.  If no notes are included in the component name, it is applicable to all Express Editions and processor architectures.

Windows Installer 3.1

  1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\msi31
  2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp90] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=51430
  3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file WindowsInstaller-KB893803-v2-x86.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\msi31

Visual C++ Minimal Redistributable

  1. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp328,{12CDA52C-7A8F-4785-8A22-53C87393FEE0}] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=99257
  2. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file vcredistmin_x86.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu

.NET Framework 3.5

  1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\dotnetframework
  2. Download the full install package for the .NET Framework 3.5 and save the file to your computer
  3. Extract the contents of the .NET Framework 3.5 setup package to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\dotnetframework by running dotnetfx35.exe /x:c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\dotnetframework using the copy of dotnetfx35.exe that you downloaded in step 2

Remote Debugger (x64)

  1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\RDBG and then another new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\RDBG\x64
  2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp73,{12CDA52C-7A8F-4785-8A22-53C87393FEE0}] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=95932
  3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file expdbgsetup.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\RDBG\x64

Windows SDK Express Tools for Web (only needed for Visual Web Developer Express Edition)

  1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\WinSDK
  2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp344,{12CDA52C-7A8F-4785-8A22-53C87393FEE0}] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=96154
  3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file WinSDK_VWDTools.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\WinSDK

    Windows SDK Express Tools for the .NET Framework (needed for Visual Basic, Visual C++ and Visual C# Express Editions)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\WinSDK
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp332,{12CDA52C-7A8F-4785-8A22-53C87393FEE0}] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=96148
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file WinSDK_ExpTools.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\WinSDK

    Windows SDK Express Tools for Win32 (needed for Visual Basic, Visual C++ and Visual C# Express Editions)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\WinSDK
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp338,{12CDA52C-7A8F-4785-8A22-53C87393FEE0}] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=96149
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file WinSDK_Exp32Tools.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\WinSDK

    Windows SDK Express Headers and Libraries (only needed for Visual C++ Express Edition)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\WinSDK
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp403,{12CDA52C-7A8F-4785-8A22-53C87393FEE0}] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=96151
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file WinSDK_Build.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\WinSDK

    Visual Studio Web Authoring Component (only needed for Visual Web Developer Express Edition)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\WebDesignerCore
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp320] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=95934
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file WebDesignerCore.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\WebDesignerCore

    SQL Server Compact 3.5 (needed for Visual Basic and Visual C# Express Editions)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\SSCE
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp478,{12CDA52C-7A8F-4785-8A22-53C87393FEE0}] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=90629
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file SSCERuntime-enu.msi to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\SSCE

    SQL Server Compact 3.5 Design Tools (needed for Visual Basic and Visual C# Express Editions)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\SSCE
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp479,{12CDA52C-7A8F-4785-8A22-53C87393FEE0}] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=90630
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file SSCEVSTools-enu.msi to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\SSCE

    SQL Publishing Wizard (only needed for Visual Web Developer Express Edition)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\SQLPub
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp485,{12CDA52C-7A8F-4785-8A22-53C87393FEE0}] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=98067
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file SqlPubWiz.msi to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\SQLPub

    SQL Server Express (x86)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\SSE
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp96] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=84246
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file sqlexpr32.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\SSE

    SQL Server Express (x64)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\SSE
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp31] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=84247
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file sqlexpr.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\SSE

    MSDN Express

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\MSDNExpress
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp30,{12CDA52C-7A8F-4785-8A22-53C87393FEE0}] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=95931
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file msdnixp.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\MSDNExpress

    Silverlight 1.0

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\Silverlight
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp36] section of baseline.dat.  In this example, the desired URL is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=103103
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file Silverlight1.0.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev_2008\wcu\Silverlight

    Additional notes for non-English Express Editions

    If you want to create an installable layout for a non-English Express Edition, you will need to use different URLs than the ones listed above.  The URLs can all be assembled using the prefix http://go.microsoft.com and the data stored in the URL value for the section in the file baseline.dat that corresponds to the component in question.

    In addition, you will also need to download the language pack for the .NET Framework 3.5 for non-English Express Editions.  This can be done with the following steps:

    .NET Framework 3.5 language pack (x86)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev\wcu\dotnetframework, then a new folder named c:\visual_webdev\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx35, then a new folder named c:\visual_webdev\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx35\x86
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp705####,{168D82F8-AC6B-4B55-804F-2AE51AC4BFDF}] section of baseline.dat, where #### is the 4-digit LCID for the language you are installing.  For example, the value will be 1036 for the French language pack.  The exact URL will vary based on what language you are installing.
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file dotnetfx35langpack_x86**.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx35\x86, where ** is the 2 letter culture code for the language you are installing.  For example, the value will be dotnetfx35langpack_x86fr.exe for the French language pack.

    .NET Framework 3.5 language pack (x64)

    1. Make a new folder named c:\visual_webdev\wcu\dotnetframework, then a new folder named c:\visual_webdev\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx35, then a new folder named c:\visual_webdev\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx35\x64
    2. Open a web browser and build a URL by typing http://go.microsoft.com/ and appending the data stored in the URL value in the [gencomp706####,{168D82F8-AC6B-4B55-804F-2AE51AC4BFDF}] section of baseline.dat, where #### is the 4-digit LCID for the language you are installing.  For example, the value will be 1036 for the French language pack.  The exact URL will vary based on what language you are installing.
    3. Navigate to the URL that you created in step 2 and choose to save the file dotnetfx35langpack_x64**.exe to the folder c:\visual_webdev\wcu\dotnetframework\dotnetfx35\x64, where ** is the 2 letter culture code for the language you are installing.  For example, the file name will be dotnetfx35langpack_x64fr.exe for the French language pack.

    Advanced note about setting default checked state for optional components

    You can configure the default checked state for the SQL Server Compact 3.5, SQL Server Compact 3.5 Design Tools, MSDN Express, SQL Express and Silverlight 1.0 optional components using the DefaultSelected and WebDefaultSelected values in baseline.dat.  Setting them to 0 will cause the setup UI to appear with the checkbox unchecked for the item in question, and setting them to 1 will cause the setup UI to appear with the checkbox checked for the item in question.  The default selection state only applies to optional components for the Express Editions, so setting these values for components other than SQL Server Compact 3.5, SQL Server Compact 3.5 Design Tools, MSDN Express, SQL Express or Silverlight 1.0 will not have any effect.

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