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How to work around a possible XNA Game Studio or Windows Phone SDK install failure on Windows 8

How to work around a possible XNA Game Studio or Windows Phone SDK install failure on Windows 8

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If you try to install the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 or XNA Game Studio on Windows 8, you may encounter an XNA Game Studio setup failure.

How to work around this issue

If you run into this issue, here are steps that you can use to work around it:

  1. Download and install the latest version of the Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable from http://www.xbox.com/en-US/LIVE/PC/DownloadClient
  2. If you are installing the Windows Phone SDK 7.1, re-run setup and choose to repair it.  This will re-run the previously failing XNA Game Studio installers and they should install correctly this time.
  3. If you are install a standalone XNA Game Studio product, re-run setup and it should install correctly this time.
  4. If you are planning to do Windows Phone development, you should also install the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update after installing the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.  This update fixes an issue that prevents the emulator in the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 from working correctly on Windows 8.

What to do if the workaround doesn’t help

If you have tried the above steps and setup still fails, you are running into a different issue than the one described above, and you will have to look at the setup log files to determine the root cause.

If you are installing the Windows Phone SDK 7.1, you can use the log collection tool to gather your setup log files. This log collection tool will create a file named %temp%\vslogs.cab.

If you are installing XNA Game Studio, you can find log files at the following locations:

  • XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh - %temp%\XNA Game Studio 4.0 Setup\Logs
  • XNA Game Studio 4.0 - %temp%\XNA Game Studio 4.0 Setup\Logs
  • XNA Game Studio 3.1 - %temp%\XNA Game Studio 3.1 Setup\Logs
  • XNA Game Studio 3.0 - %temp%\XNA Game Studio 3.0 Setup\Logs
  • XNA Game Studio 2.0 - %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft XNA\XNA Game Studio\v2.0\Setup\Logs

Once you have gathered your setup log files, please upload them to a file server of your choice (such as http://skydrive.live.com), and post a link to the log files in the App Hub Forums or in a comment on my blog to get additional support.

What is causing this failure behind the scenes

XNA Game Studio installs a version of the Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable behind the scenes.  Some older versions of the Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable attempt to install and use a file that is being installed by Windows 8, and the older versions of the redistributable are not compatible with the newer version of the file that is installed by Windows 8.  Newer versions of the Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable are compatible with Windows 8, and if you pre-install the new redistributable before installing XNA Game Studio, setup will recognize that it is already there and use the new version instead of trying to install the old version.

The reason this issue also impacts the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 is that this SDK installs XNA Game Studio behind the scenes, which in turn installs the Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable behind the scenes.

<update date="7/12/2012"> Added a note about installing the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update after installing the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 to fix an emulator issue on Windows 8. </update>

<update date="7/22/2012"> Fixed broken link to the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update </update>

<update date="10/30/2012"> Removed outdated reference to the Windows 8 consumer preview. This post applies equally to the final release of Windows 8. </update>

 

  • Thanks for the quick reply Aaron!

    You're right, the administrator rights thing was a dead end/useless :)

    I've followed your steps and have an emulator up and running in Parallels Windows 8 - amazing !! Thank you so much for your post.

    My only trouble is deploying the app - the tile shows up but it doesn't run when clicked. I'm currently reinstalling with the SNA workaround - I'll let you know how it goes! :)

  • Hi Saraswathi - I don't think the workaround in this blog post will help with the issue you're seeing.  Hopefully you can try running your app in the debugger to see if you can figure out why it doesn't launch correctly.

  • Hello Aaron - true, after installing the latest version of the Games for Windows - LIVE and re-running the SDK setup with the 7.1.1 update, the app I am working with still won't open in the emulator.

    Any advice? Is this because I'm using a VM?

    You mentioned a debugging console - I'm not seeing a debugging console within the emulator. Where can I find it? Thanks for your time.

  • Hi Saraswathi - How are you installing and running your application currently?  I was expecting it to be deployed by opening a Visual Studio project, building it, deploying it and running it from there.  If you're doing that, you can press F5 to run it in the debugger, and that should help you catch crashes on startup like the one you're seeing.

    If you don't have a VS project or the source code and you are deploying the .xap with the Application Deployment tool, then it isn't possible to debug it the way I was thinking.  In that case, you'll probably need to work with whoever created the application to get their help debugging the crash on startup.

    Based on what you described about the symptoms, I don't think this crash is related to Windows 8, XNA, or the issue described in this blog post.  It sounds like a bug in the application itself.

  • Hi, I am considering upgrading to Windows 8, but XNA is one of the things preventing me to upgrade. Now, I've seen this workaround is working for some people, but using Windows Phone SDK 7.1 . Now, Windows Phone SDK 8 is out, and apparently it provides some support to XNA (at least, to WP7.1 , not 8), what I would like to know is, if Windows Phone SDK 8 is now the "official" way to get XNA on Windows 8 (so the workaround is no longer needed), and if it is still supporting plain old desktop development

    Thanks in advance

  • Hi Vicente Penades - There are XNA components in the Windows Phone SDK 8.0, but they can only be used to develop Windows Phone games.  To develop Windows games or Xbox 360 games, you will need to install an edition of Visual Studio 2010 and the XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh.

    I posted more information about this scenario in the "Notes about XNA Game Studio" section of the blog post at blogs.msdn.com/.../10364387.aspx.

    Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions after reading through this information.

  • Perfect, although such a simple workaround. Surely MS should update this.

  • Thanks! It worked great!

  • Thank you

  • I love you man....Thank you so mush!!

  • i am unable to install the xna which u have mentioned in step 1 of workaround. It is giving me an error:

    "Install failed Error code 0x800b0003". Can u please help me out.

  • Hi Amruta Shah, India - That error code means "path not found"  Could you please zip all of your XNA Game Studio setup log files from the folder %temp%\XNA Game Studio 4.0 Setup\Logs, upload the .zip file to a file share (such as http://skydrive.live.com) and reply here with a link that I can use to download your log files and take a closer look?

  • thankyou....instant fix, appreciated!

  • This was bad, you wrote:

    "If you try to install the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 or XNA Game Studio on Windows 8, you may encounter an XNA Game Studio setup failure."

    - and i thought that you would help with that but you didn't!

  • Hi Jack - I'm sorry, but I don't understand your comment.  I provide a workaround for this issue in the blog post, and I also provide steps to gather additional information in case the workaround doesn't help.  Can you please provide more details about exactly what error you're seeing?  Also, if the workaround doesn't help, can you please also use the instructions above in this blog post to gather and upload your log files so I can take a closer look?

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