Announcing availability of ISOs for Visual Studio Updates

Announcing availability of ISOs for Visual Studio Updates

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Last month, we shipped Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 (VS2012.2). We’re continuing to see good uptake of the Update releases, with the majority of Visual Studio 2012 users now running on VS Update. We’re also hearing positive feedback on the VS Update cadence, and the ongoing improvements that it brings to Visual Studio customers.

Many customers have been installing Visual Studio Updates from the “toast” pop-up notification or from the Extensions and Updates dialog. This continues to be the simplest option. The installer downloads only the components you need (based on your current VS installed configuration), and then installs the bits as they’re received. This approach often provides a very good experience, but it does require being connected to the internet for the duration of the install. Because a connection isn’t always available, the installer also supports a /layout flag, which downloads all of the bits proactively to enable subsequent offline installation. For more details on using this option, please see “How to install Visual Studio Update 2 Offline”, as referenced in the Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 KB.

In tracking the release feedback, we’ve also observed a set of users requesting an ISO image as an alternative way to download the update. The primary reasons we’ve seen for such requests are familiarity both with the format and with various download management tools. While our download telemetry shows a higher historical success rate for downloads occurring via the Visual Studio installer versus single, large ISO files, we recognize that the convenience of the ISO format may better meet some customers’ overall deployment needs. We are therefore happy to announce that we have built an ISO image for Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 and made it available for download!

We also plan to ship ISO images for the RTM version of future Visual Studio updates, in addition to the existing distribution mechanism we already provide. We hope you will enjoy this additional option for downloading Visual Studio Updates.



Eric Knox – Development Manager, Visual Studio

Short Bio: Eric has been at Microsoft for 19 years, working on various parts of Visual Studio for the last 15 years. His current role is the development manager in charge of performance, reliability and acquisition of Visual Studio.

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  • Thanks very much!

  • Thank You! I find this really helpful to have for deployment.

  • My app no longer works in XP.  It has a box and it is dead.  If this is an update, why not stop doing these before it all goes the way of Windows 8 and then where will it be?

  • There is also a set of users such as myself who could not run the update 2 installer because it fails half-way with cannot download X package. So this ISO image for me isn't about familiarity or whatever, it's the only thing that actually works. Plenty of comments/posts from people in the same situation as myself on the internet.

  • Please, tell me one thing. If I create a simple free WinRT Metro program using vs2012 express -- not for windows store(!), but for distribution only from my website, then I need to obtain a free developer license which must be renewed every 30 days using live internet connection, after that pay 100$ for the dev subscription, push it through Windows Store, or the tricky "domain" stuff, and only then it will be available through my website?? Am I right?? Explain me in several words, easily, is there a simpler way to distribute my free metro apps using my free website, please!!!

  • @Maximilian Haru Raditya and @Sam:

    You're right that our downloader should be capable of resuming, and in fact, that's what we originally designed it to do. However, somewhere along the way, we clearly messed up b/c it isn't properly recognizing previously downloaded packages. We're investigating and will fix it in a future release.

    @Mike B. IL:

    1. This is an ISO of just Update 2; it does *not* include RTM + Update 2. That's an idea that we're discussing, but we don't currently have plans to ship RTM + Updates bundled together as a single installer.

    2. In terms of VS Update also applying to installed SQL Server pieces, my initial reaction is that upgrading a server (i.e. SQL Server) or runtime that ships independently is intentionally out of scope for VS Updates. I can understand the potential convenience of it, but at the same time, I don't believe I would want to potentially upgrade/change a server while updating tools.


    I believe you're hitting a different problem that an ISO image won't actually solve. What we've seen so far for those failing to install the "Windows App Certification Kit" is that their machines have turned off the ability to auto-update root certificates used to verify digital signatures. If you're in this case, installing from the ISO will still fail, but it will fail during installation rather than during download. To fix this, you'll either have to turn on Windows' ability to auto-update root certificates or manually install an updated set of root certs. You can read more about how to do that here: KB931125 [for manually updating your system, scroll down to the section "Root update package through the Microsoft Update Catalog" to see how to find the right update for your OS.]

  • I too like the ISO very much, thank you.  Please, please, always remember that not everyone works in a company that can afford for many people to download exactly the same bits.  Having one person download it, and then installing locally is definitely the way to go for many.

    Secondly, and completely off topic, I too am very disappointed by the "gotta renew the developers license every 30 days" thing.  Especially since it seems to require an administrator to do the renewal (thats me! :-)).

    Keep in mind the principle of least privilege and that many of us really do follow it - our app devs do not have local admin access to their machines, and its a ROYAL pain.

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  • I am glad, I can finally install the update. My workstation doesn't have internet connection and the "/layout" workaround doesn't work due to company guidelines...thank you!

  • Thank You very much.

  • thanks eric for this post . i just learnt somethin wonderful in this post. http//

  • If the solution is on a network share after building it with visual studio 2012 update 2 it often prompts to reload supposedly externally changed source files. Those files were not changed from anywhere outside Visual Studio IDE so the prompt presented is completely wrong and misleading, not to mention that it also keeps reminding me not to trust network share on my own NAS box.

    I really can't understand how and why QA team allows such things to slip to release code. Don't tell me you never tried working with solutions on network share?

  • Thanks :)

  • This is a must for our company, neither of our development networks have direct internet access (sandboxed web browsing etc) so an ISO or standalone package is the only way we can possibly get updates! Thanks for releasing it.

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