Do not repair VS 2008 SP1 from installation media

Do not repair VS 2008 SP1 from installation media

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If you need to repair Visual Studio 2008 once SP1 has been applied or wish to change which features are installed, you cannot run setup.exe from the original installation media.

When you run repair from media you may see an error like, "A problem has been encountered while loading the setup components. Canceling setup."


Open the Control Panel and go to Add/Remove Programs, or on Vista click on the "Uninstall a program" link under Programs. Find Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 (the exact product name will vary based on edition and language installed) and click on the Uninstall/Change button. When setup launches and components are loaded, you will be asked to repair, change features, or uninstall. Choose the option you which to perform and continue as directed.


Visual Studio is actually a collection of different installation packages, just as VS2008 SP1 is a collection of different installation packages. VS2008 SP1 replaces some of the original packages using minor or major upgrades and patches other products. This changes information about the products originally installed like the ProductCode and/or ProductVersion. This affects the detection logic that setup.exe uses to determine what to do when installing, repairing, or uninstalling the product.

This information is stored both on the installation media as well as on your hard disk under the target installation directory. For various reasons including that media is often write-protected, we can only update this information stored on your hard disk. So once SP1 is installed, the detection and package information on the installation media and on your hard disk are out of sync and only the copy on your hard disk contains the correct information.

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  • I did as you have wrote but been unsuccesful. I tried to add VC++ feature. The setup gave me this message:


    Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Setup


    A selected drive is no longer valid.  Please review your installation path settings before continuing with setup.




    I have entered installation DVD into hardware drive and have mounted the SP1 ISO file but result was the same. What can I do?

  • Well, as usually I will answer to myself.

    To add a package I needed to remove SP1 under Visual Studio (Show updates option in Add or Remove Programs) and after that rerun setup from Add or Remove Programs as you described. After that I've reinstalled SP1.

  • 在进行修复VS2008之前,我只用到C#,但是因为项目的需要我需要用到c ,准备修复一下VS2008.但是却出现了“Aproblemhasbeenencounteredwhileload...

  • I installed the KB979576 patch to solve this (or very similar?) problem.

    "Microsoft" wrote: "[...] installing KB979576 will fix this problem. KB979576 is available at Yes, the patch is seemingly unrelated, but it does contain a fix for this issue as well, and it's much smaller than uninstalling/reinstalling VS 2008 SP1."


    After installing KB979576 I was able to "change" the installation, using the "add or remove programs" feature of the control panel.

  • This just doesn't work at all. I do exactly that and then it requires that I put in the installation media. There's no way to "Choose the option you which to perform and continue as directed" without using the installation media.

  • @Richard, you will need the installation media. This post states you should not *launch* setup from the installation media. Launch it from ARP, and if / when prompted insert your installation media and it should work just fine.

  • Heath

    thank you for this helpful explanation. This allowed me installing x64 tools after applying SP1.

    Cheers, Daniel

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