Issues with installing VSTO projects that were published from Visual Studio 2008 on Windows 7 RC (Saurabh Bhatia)

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Many customers have reported issues with installing a VSTO project that has been published with Visual Studio 2008 running on the recently released Windows 7 Release Candidate.

If you published your solution using VS2008 on a machine running the Windows 7 RC and then you try to install the solution on any machine you will see the following error: “The required version of the .NET Framework is not installed on this computer”


You will see this error even if you have the right version of .Net Framework installed. The issue occurs due to some differences in the publishing mechanism on the Windows 7 RC caused by a missing file in the .Net Framework 3.5.1 which was included in the RC.

The following file is missing:

%ProgramFiles%\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\v3.5\RedistList\FrameworkList.xml

You can workaround the issue by manually copying this file from an existing non Windows 7 machine which has the .Net Framework 3.5 installed. The file will be available at the exact same location.

Once you have included this file on the Windows 7 RC machine, you will be able to publish and generate the correct manifests. After making this change please republish any solutions that were previously published from the Windows 7 RC machine. These solutions will now be able to install successfully.

We are tracking this issue and plan to address it before Windows 7 RTM. If you are using the RC release please use the workaround mentioned above.


If you have having trouble replacing the file. You need to be an Owner of the file and your user account needs Full Control.  To do this:

•    Right click the File -> Properties
•    Select Security Tab
•    Click the Advanced Button
•    Click the “Owner” Tab
•    Click the Change Button
•    Double Click your User Object
•    Click Okay
•    Click Okay,
•    Ensure you have “Full Control” Permissions to the file by repeating steps above and adding your user account with Full Control permissions.

Also if you are on a 64 bit system:

Note that you need to replace both the architecture specific files on a 64bit bit OS, i.e.
[Program Files x86]\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\v3.5\RedistList
%ProgramFiles%\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\v3.5\RedistList

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  • Saurabh blogs about how to work around an error you get if you published a VSTO solution using VS2008

  • Had the same issue, it's great you found a work around!

  • Had this same issue publishing a custom (VSTO 3.0) Excel Add-In from VS2008 on Windows 7 Beta.

    Thanks for the workaround!  

    I was having to publish from VS2008 on an XP machine to eliminate that "missing .Net Framework 3.5.1" error on install.

  • The VSTO team has a post which details an issue that you might see when trying to deploy a VSTO solution

  • I triedd to use this fix but was unsuccessful. The file is NOT missing on my Windows 7 RC1 machine, but it is only 8K. The same file on Windows Server 2008 is 24K so I tried to replace the 8K version by the 24K version but found that the file was protected extremely well. Even when I rebooted in safe mode I could not change it!!

  • I installed the Windows XP virtual sustem on Windows XP RC1 and tried to publish my VSTO addin from there. The publish seemed to work ok but the installed addin did not work properly. It failed to recognose my Custom Form Regions and displayed the Custom Tasks using the standard Task form. I then tried to install Windows Server 2008 in the RC1 VM but that would not install. I couls go back to Windws 7 BETA but that expires very soon!

  • Sorry hadn't seen the comments section in a while. I have updated info on replacing the file when its

    protected. The 24k file size is actually the correct .Net 3.5 SP1 file.

    Win 7 RTM should not have this problem :)


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Issues with installing VSTO projects that were published from Visual Studio 2008 on Windows 7 RC (Saurabh Bhatia)