Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Joys of Installing Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1

The following is a better location than MSDN Subscriptions from which to download Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Downloads.

Updated 8/12/2008: Clarification of MSDN Library download and saga of the failure of my initial upgrade and 8/13/2008: “An error occurred while performing the drop” error message added.

Problem 1: You’ll probably encounter the following Microsoft Visual Studio Patch Removal Tool message when you attempt to run the installer:

Here’s a link to the Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Readme.

Update 8/12/2008: You need about 3.7 GB of free drive space to run the SP1 installer.

Problem 2: My first couple of attempts to download and install the “Microsoft Visual Studio Patch removal tool” incurred a not-found message, which others had apparently encountered (see the Visual Studio 2008 SP1 RC: Patch Removal Tool link doesn't work message in the Connect forum.)

Ultimately, I was able to download and run the Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack Preparation Tool shown here:

Downloading required about 13 minutes on a ~3 mbps DSL connection; installation required about 25 minutes on a moderately fast machine and 45 minutes on an older Dell server.

Problem 3: You’ll need the original media from which you installed VS 2008. (This reminds me of Office 2000 + service packs and updates.)

Problem 4: Online Help files are a separate 2.15 GB download. Click the MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (x86, x64 WoW) - DVD (English) link in the “Top Subscriber Downloads” of the MSDN Subscriptions Page. (The link in the Readme’s section “2.1.7 Visual Studio 2008 SP1 will not install MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 during Setup” returns a 404.)

Update 8/12/2008: Help download point corrected. It appears that the Visual Studio team isn’t proud of their updated VS 2008 SP1 help file; they’re certainly doing their best to hide its download point. There should be a link to download the MSDN Library for SP1 on the main download page.

Problem 5: According to Amy Dullard’s Silverlight Tools Must be Updated After Installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1 blog post of August 11, 2008, you’ll also need to update your Silverlight 2 Beta 2 toolkit from

Update 8/12/2008: Problem 6: My initial upgrade to my primary development machine failed, despite the fact that the install log said that the upgrade succeeded. .NET Framework showed SP1 in Programs and Features.

The first symptom of the failure I found was an error when I attempted to use the Entity Framework’s new data-binding feature. When attempting to drag the Customers.Orders node from the Data Source window to a form to add and ordersBindingSource component and ordersDataGridView control I received the following error message:

Failed to get properties of data source ‘Orders’ because of the following error:

Requested Operation is not allowed when the owner of this RelatedEnd is null. RelatedEnd objects that were created with the default constructor should only be used as a container during serialization.

Another indicator of a problem is Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Beta 1 as the product name in the Help | About dialog.

Update 8/13/2008: Problem 7: After upgrading a complex master/details/subdetails form created with VS 2008 SP1 Beta to SP1 RTM, which was no walk in the park, attempts to replace a Beta BindingSource/DataGridView by dragging the related association node to a Windows form throws this design-mode exception:

The help topic for this exception says:

When dragging items from the Data Sources window onto controls, the items must be valid drop sources for the control. For example, you cannot drag a TextBox onto a Button.

Clearly a form is a valid drop source for the BindingSource/DataGridView combination.

Note: The preceding error message is the same as that for problem 6 except for the first paragraph.

Update: Guy Burstein’s .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1 are Available! post of August 11, 2008 has links to many SP1-related resources.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the "heads up"! Removing Beta 1 and installing SP1 worked flawlessly.