Visual Studio and .NET Log Collection Utility

Visual Studio and .NET Log Collection Utility

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Setup and deployment is a tricky business. Machines can be in many different and often unforeseen states that cause setup to fail. But rarely will setup actually crash, and that is why setup logs are vital to diagnose install, repair, and uninstall problems.

Setup applications for Visual Studio and .NET may write to many different logs because the products are actually comprised of many different packages. Aaron Stebner had documented several log file names for Visual Studio 2008, but with our new and improved patch wrapper we may write even more log files. As we onboard new CTPs for great new features in Visual Studio the list of log files may also grow.

So our QA team has written a tool to collect all these logs for VS 2005 and 2008, and .NET 2.0 through 3.5 aptly named, collect.exe. The link below is an updated version of the old collect.exe that you should use when reporting bugs with setup.

Using the Collect Utility

If you encounter any setup issues, we will need all relevant logs. Please follow the instructions below to collect all those logs.

  1. Download collect.exe from the link  below.
  2. You may choose to save the tool for later use, or to run directly.
  3. The utility creates a compressed cabinet of all the VS and .NET logs to %TEMP%\

Reporting Setup Errors

There are several options for reporting setup errors, but you might consider first checking to see if the issue is a known issue. This will save you time and provide more immediate results. In most scenarios, there will be a link on the error page after setup completes. Clicking on this should provide a smaller log that highlights the errors encountered. To dig deeper, check out some of the tips provided on Aaron's blog and on my blog.

If you would like to report an error, be sure to collect logs as described above and choose from the options below.

  1. Search or post on MSDN Forums in .NET Framework Setup or Visual Studio Setup and Installation. This is a community-driven web site on which Microsoft employees also participate.
  2. Report installation issues or provide feedback for Visual Studio on Microsoft Connect. You may upload logs using Connect. This allows us to view and manage bugs, and customers to vote or provide additional details in a consistent manner.
  3. Upload logs using Windows Error Reporting. Both the MSDN Forums and Microsoft Connect will most often provide faster help.
Leave a Comment
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  • @"Microsoft Vs 2008", you might have more luck finding development help in one of our forums, like the Access Developer forum at

  • Sir When i Click restart now. and when the restart process finish. Theres nothing appears.The Program didn't appear in my program files. "Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 express edition" the name of the program ive installed.  


    help me.

  • @Sanchez there's not a lot of information to go on, but if you have Windows 8.1 note that shortcuts are not pinned to the start screen by default. You need to use the search charm (just start typing on the Start screen) or swipe down / click the down arrow to see all program shortcuts installed.

  • It would be nice to include in one page where to upload the collected

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