Known Issues with Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1

Known Issues with Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1

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There are several known issues when installing Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1. I've documented these below and, when possible, have included workarounds and status on any pending fixes.


Error 1718.File '...' was rejected by digital signature policy

Install Rolls Back and Breaks Applications like Live Messenger

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Takes a Long Time to Install

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Requires a Lot of Disk Space

Error 2908 – An Unexpected Error Installing the Package

Other Installation Errors

Error 1718.File '...' was rejected by digital signature policy

This problem occurs mainly on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, and could potentially occur on Windows XP. It does not occur on Windows Vista.

Starting with Windows XP, a software restriction policy known as SAFER was introduced as a preventative measure to help avoid running unsafe files. Both Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 require enough contiguous memory to check files, and Windows Server 2003 seems to fragment memory more heavily leading to this error message. Windows Vista performs the same check, but uses far less memory. In most cases following the instructions documented in KB925336 will work, but we received reports where these steps did not work. Investigation into these cases suggests the steps failed because an Active Domain policy refresh overwrote the local SAFER policy.

While we continue to investigate fixes to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 you can set a registry value to reliably install Service Pack 1. Follow the steps documented in the workaround for error 1718 to set the DWORD registry value named PolicyScope to 1 in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Safer\CodeIdentifiers registry key. If the registry value is not set you should set it, but if the domain policy updates your machine before each SAFER check is made while installing the patch you may still run into the same problem. Some people have confirmed that following the workaround steps allowed them to install Service Pack 1. Be sure to reboot your machine after both leaving the re-joining the domain.

Install Rolls Back and Breaks Applications like Live Messenger

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 for Standard, Professional, and Team editions is large – there are a lot of fixes in that package. Required disk space is calculated by Windows Installer when installing products and patches, and this task is not always accurate. Normally insufficient disk space means that Windows Installer displays one of several error messages depending on the circumstances. Whether a message is displayed or not, Windows Installer will roll back the installation. On Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, this may mean that the manifest files under %WINDIR%\WinSxS are removed. Any applications that depend on the VC runtimes in this directory will break. You can fix this issue by repairing Visual Studio 2005, either through Add/Remove Programs or by running setup.exe from your original installation media and choosing the Repair option.

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Takes a Long Time to Install

This is another documented problem due in large part to the number of fixes included in the service pack. For Team Foundation Services and Express editions, both time and space required to install their respective service packs is minimal. You can mitigate some time by disabling the patch cache and running silently.

Our product and patches for Visual Studio and the .NET Framework – except on Vista as installed with the operating system – use Windows Installer. Windows Installer is a robust, transaction installation that requires a lot of data collection and a two-phase installation to support transactional installation. Because of this and the disk I/O necessary long installation times should be expected. Disabling the patch cache will reduce the amount of disk I/O.

You can further save time by installing the patch silently, which reduces the number of steps and an extra security check required to install the patch for each product to which the patch applies. To install the patch silently, on the command line pass /quiet to the patch executable:

VS80sp1-KB926601-X86-ENU.exe /quiet

Replace VS80sp1-KB926601-X86-ENU.exe with whatever file name you downloaded is appropriate. The file here is for the English Visual Studio 2005 Standard, Professional, and Team editions.

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Requires a Lot of Disk Space

There are a lot of fixes in this service pack, and because of how Windows Installer caches patches a lot of disk space is required. Please make sure you have enough disk space to install the service pack as documented in the download page under "Installation Requirements".

Note that if you have multiple products installed for a particular patch, multiply the required space for that patch by the number of products installed on your machine for which a patch applies. This is the maximum amount of disk space required so it is a high estimate. A typical case is Visual Studio 2005 Standard, Professional, or Team Suite installed along with the Team Foundation Client and/or SQL Server 2005, since SQL Server 2005 uses the Visual Studio IDE that we package. If you're not sure what applicable products you have installed, extract the patch by passing /extract on the command line and use my Patch Applicability Browser, providing the extract .msp file you just extracted in the user interface.

Error 2908 – An Unexpected Error Installing the Package

This is another common issue related to the size of the patch and running out of disk space. Please free up some disk space as required for the patch and reinstall the patch. Note that because of the rollback, products that depend on VC may be broken until you repair Visual Studio 2005 or reinstall Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1.

Updated: Read Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Rollback Breaks Some Applications for more details.

Other Installation Errors

There are some other known issues once the patch is installed that are documented in KB928957. You may also continue to read my blog or, more specifically, the VS 2005 SP1 tag where I will post more information about other issues that may arise and any updates to workarounds or fixes.

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  • Well FWIW I'm giving up on installing SP1 on our W2K3/SP1 systems.  I think we'll convert these to XP.

    I followed kb925336 and login as local admin.

    I had 2.4GB free space on C: to start.

    I keep getting error 2908 and drive C: still has 1GB free.

    By the way, windows\installer still has the 466MB msp file left over after a failed install - this is way 500MB or so vanishes after every failed attempt.


  • Toby, KB925336 doesn't work for all systems. Please see for a workaround that will work for all systems and why the KB didn't always work.

  • Heath, thanks for the reply.  The many attempts on SP1 left the system unstable (2908 errors, .net 2.0/3.0 unstable, unable to do repair, etc).  What we ended up doing was deleting the \system32\WinSxS directory contents and reinstalling the .net 2.0 framework and apps.  The system is now running okay again and we're regrouping on how to proceed.

    Is vs2005/SP1 really supported on W2k3 server or do you recommend running on XP?




  • Toby, it is supported on Win2K3. Plenty of people have installed it and we did test it, but the only error specific to Win2K3 that we know of is the common occurance of Windows Installer error 1718, for which I have published a couple of different workarounds.

    Glad you got things going again.

  • If Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 fails to install, you might find additional .msp files under %WINDIR%\Installer

  • When installing Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 , there are a number of errors that might occur due

  • I have heard from a couple of customers who tried to install Visual Studio 2005 SP1 , only to have it

  • The only thing I fail to understand is what does VS SP1 do? It takes much more time (at least 5 and it is still running) than installing VS itself. It is simply insane where it takes more time than installing Windows XP itself! May be it's sub-standard patch - the quality seems to deteriorate these days.

  • Almost a month later, and still no SAFER fix? I'm also shocked after reading about the .NET2.0 destruction that is left behind for some people after this patch tries to uninstall itself. I definately agree with the previous poster regarding patches. On top of that, I wonder whether it was a good idea to keep this patch out in public with these bugs still unfixed (and undocumented in the error messages). I wonder how many people there are who have wasted hours trying to deal with this? I love Visual Studio 2005 and believe it is light-years above Visual Studio 2003 and competitors. That is the one reason why I am so frustrated (so no disrespect to the developers).

  • ABM, I had updated this article to address the application issues because of some problems installing and rolling back VC8 assemblies. Read for details and workarounds.

  • I never expected a response this quickly, so for that I am very appreciative. Though I am still unable to get the patch to install (I don't have permission to rejoin domains), I still appreciate the enormous amount of information and analysis you have provided on your blog. Also, after reading some technical articles about how these patches work, I can see that this process is rather high-tech and therefore non-trivial to troubleshoot. I therefore apologize for my frustrations and will wait patiently for a fix to this specific issue.

  • ABM, I don’t think you should disconnect from domain. I change SAFER registry setting and adjust Software Restriction Policies. After that I unplug my network cable, reboot my Win2003 R2 server and login as local administrator. After that I was able to install SP1. Hope this will help.

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

  • Don't you know where to get VS 2005 and .net framework.

    You are a disgrace and disaster

  • I haven't got anywhere near enough space on my 'system' partition but I have loads free in other paritions, can I force the installer to use them ?

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