Installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1 disables ability to make changes to Visual Studio Installed Features - by Rootberg

Status : 

  Fixed<br /><br />
		This item has been fixed in the current or upcoming version of this product.<br /><br />
		A more detailed explanation for the resolution of this particular item may have been provided in the comments section.

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ID 487382 Comments
Status Closed Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 141
Opened 9/1/2009 1:05:25 PM
Access Restriction Public


After installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1, if you attempt to add or remove any Visual Studio 2008 features via the add remove programs in windows, you receive an error similar too "A selected drive is no longer valid". I encountered this when attempting to add x64 compiler for c++. The only information I can find on this is at:

This suggests that you must uninstall SP1 prior to making any changes to the install. This dose not sound like a solution in my opinion.
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Posted by SreekanthG on 6/13/2011 at 4:02 AM
Solution given by Jimmy of Visual Web Developer team did work for me. Thank you. All i did was uninstall following updates that were there on top of SP1:
I did not had to uninstall and reinstall SP1. I am able to add x64 tools and support by going to Change/Remove option of Visual Studio 2008 from my add/remove programs panel.
Posted by rwong_002 on 2/2/2011 at 5:50 PM
Uninstalling KB972222 and KB973675 first works for me. Thanks Jimmy.
Posted by fwaggie on 10/6/2010 at 7:59 AM
This fix is working great. Thank you Jimmy.
Posted by Microsoft on 7/30/2010 at 10:10 AM
Hello everyone,

After investigating this issue, it looks like 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.

The actual bug was not in the SP1 patch, but could be narrowed down to some of the patches that applied to SP1 and were released soon after. Some of these are: KB973675, BK972222, and KB971092, all of which are posted on Microsoft Update.

Thanks to bwdavis59 for helping with this investigation!

- Jimmy Lewis
SDET, Visual Web Developer team
Posted by bwdavis59 on 7/29/2010 at 6:51 AM

I was able to update my VS2008 with the C/C++ components I needed successfully. I did not uninstall Service Pack 1, but I did have to uninstall hotfixes and security updates as follows: KB971092, which may or may not have needed to be uninstalled, and then these two, one of which is the real culprit: KB972222 and KB973675.
Once I uninstalled those last two security updates, the installation proceeded smoothly and I was able to add the components that I needed. It's not the Service Pack, it's one of those two security updates. To reinstall the three security updates is 500M, so it still took too long to do a simple update.

Thanks to Jimmy for his guidance.
Posted by Microsoft on 7/27/2010 at 4:24 PM
Hello everyone,

I'm very sorry for the delay responding to this bug. As you all know, we were very busy during the VS2010 cycle, and this bug slipped into one of the cracks. We are now looking into the issue.

I recently tried to reproduce this, but was unsuccessfull. On a Windows 7 machine, I installed VS2008 RTM, then SP1. I then was able to both add and remove features from the installation without issue.

Can anyone give me some more information about their install? E.g. what OS you're using, whether you have any other VS2008 hotfixes installed (those are likely to cause this as well). Please feel free to email me directly at jamlew (AT) microsoft [dot] com.

- Jimmy Lewis
SDET, Visual Web Developer team
Posted by gammagt on 7/26/2010 at 12:33 PM
Well, almost one year and as far as I know still not even an additional answer from you guys at Microsoft.
Are you serious? How can this be!? I was almost ready to tear my desk to shreds (I'm using a german version of VS, and google only turns up one (dead) link to the german equivalent of the error message) until I guessed what the english error message could have been and had this hit.

In case you produce such a serious bug, I would at least expect you to publicize the workaround in a better way, and preferably (I don't really have a problem with my english but it's not easy to guess the correct english translation) in a localized manner. Thank's a lot for having me working overtime half a night's worth.
Posted by 6strings on 5/25/2010 at 12:48 PM
I too am joining the protest and venting my frustrations with Microsoft's inept development of VS IDE. I have spent many hours trying to solve VS 2008 install problems. I have the same issues with trying to install VS features and have not found a reliable solution. This seems to also be related to the other major issue I am having with VS 2008; I cannot uninstall the software even after removing SP1 and re-installing as well as following other Microsoft "guidelines". I get the same message that HimanshuG is experiencing - "A problem has been encountered while loading the setup components. Canceling setup." So now what does one do...? I cannot even uninstall this wonderful software and try the VS 2010 version in hopes of a resolution - in the meantime I owe my customer a new release and I can't even do a build.
I realize this is a complex software app, but with the army of developers working at MS I would expect this to be resolved in a timely manner - then again it si all to apparent they give a crap about the developers out there using there product to create Windows apps. I would never allow a deployment of software to my customer that required this convoluted method to add features not to mention the inability to uninstall the software - completely unaccaptable and rediculous. I would hang my head in shame if I were a VS developer right now!

Microsoft - you must fix this problem as well as the uninstall issues immediately or you WILL lose customers.
Posted by vibrown on 5/6/2010 at 11:54 AM
I'm joining the protest, too. This is insane. Expecting customers to spend several hours uninstalling and reinstalling SP1 just to add/remove options is not a solution at all. How can we be sure that uninstalling SP1 will not make things worse? I have no confidence in VS 2008, and can't believe Microsoft hasn't bothered to fix this problem by now.

Microsoft has never been known for quality, but this reaches a new low. Does Microsoft have any regard for its customers at all? Why should anyone throw away good money on VS 2010, after seeing how bad VS 2008 is?
Posted by HimanshuG on 4/30/2010 at 8:05 AM
I have VS2008 SP1 installed & working for the last 6+ months. Today I attempted to add "Visual Web Developer" feature so that I could program using the Silverlight 3 SDK, which says, "Upgrade Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to Service Pack 1 and make sure that the Visual Web Developer feature is installed."

Unfortunately I am running into the problem described here, "a selected drive is no longer valid" with no real option to resolve it even though the maintainance mode message seems to imply that I should be able to change something to make it work.

I verified that the registry entry "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\Setup\Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Development Edition - ENU" which has a srcPath key, points to the correct location of the installer & is available via file explorer.

If I run the setup from the srcPath location, it attempts to run, copies the setup files, but then results in the error
"A problem has been encountered while loading the setup components. Canceling setup."

Is there a way to add the Visual Web Developer feature without spending an entire day to uninstall/reinstall the software, service packs and updates?
Posted by rhenley on 3/23/2010 at 9:04 PM
I'd like this fixed so we don't spend hours tearing down and rebuilding VS 2008 just to work installer around this bug.
Posted by Michael Fosgerau on 3/2/2010 at 6:59 AM
I'm in the trap too now. I just want to install x64 tools for c++ but get the dreaded "drive is no longer valid" error! (add x64 compiler tools and press update) (error message)

Argh... MS go fix. Now please, with sugar on top! =)

(Using Vista 32 bit and MS VS 2008 Professional SP1)
Posted by lazers on 3/2/2010 at 4:16 AM
This issue has been around for some time now and should have been resolved by now. I had to install VC some time back (i already had other components installed) and after spending like at least an hour on the internet found out that i had to uninstall SP1 first. Well it took me 4 hours to uninstall SP1, install VC and then reapply SP1.
Now i needed to make another change and again the same no good fucked up issue popped up. But i do not have 4 hrs to waste.
Does any body know of a workaround which does not involve uninstalling / installing SP1.
Posted by RMcManamy on 2/21/2010 at 4:44 PM
Thank you Microsoft for wasting my entire day. I had hoped the Platform SDK install would do the trick but no go because you don't get the lib files.

First my Add/Remove Programs is painfully slow to load but a third party replacement works fine in a matter of seconds.

So I uninstall SP1, Install x64 feature for VS 2008, Reinstall VS 2008 SP1, then have to Install KB971092 to fix the SP1 ATL errors.

What a complete waste of a day to say the least. Thank you so much for having not one but multiple errors in your updates.
Posted by RMcManamy on 2/21/2010 at 10:19 AM
Completely Agree that this is BS! Wasted an entire day thinking it was problems in the code my developer sent over only to find out it's really that the x64 wasn't properly installed on my machine and now wasted another half a day trying to fix it. With all of the complaints on the web one would think Microsoft would care enough to fix the problem but I guess not.

Show's how little they do care about people working hard to develope programs for Windows.

Bring on Linux or MAC!
Posted by wdhart on 2/10/2010 at 6:53 PM
Fix this already!
Posted by samuellis on 2/10/2010 at 8:45 AM
I am experiencing the same issue while attempting to install C++ into VS2008 with SP1. I do not have time to uninstall and reinstall SP1 in order to get C++ installed. This is totally unacceptable. You'd think they'd have enough $$$ to test every possible combination of options during setup. They say "The team will review this issue and make a decision on whether they will fix it or not for the next release." Which means they'll probably wait for VS2010.
Posted by jreisz on 2/3/2010 at 5:56 AM
I agree with the other comments. It is totally unacceptable that Microsoft has known about the problem for five months and did nothing. I will spend the 2-3 hours that it takes to add a feature by adding and removing VS 2008 SP1 and I definitely won't like it and I most likely won't forget it. You need to be more responsive to your customers.
Posted by tenebrae on 12/16/2009 at 3:22 AM
I'd say it's not the first time when Microsoft publishes a bunch of howtos and best-practices and documentation about how things should be done properly and then simply does not adhere to those recommendations. I'm just wondering how many Windows Installer rules does SP1 installer for VS 2008 break. I do know how tricky deployment can be and that it is not a simple product. But end user experience for Visual Studio 2008 simply SUCKS. Deep. You've obviously did not put enough attention and / or resources to that area.
Posted by ttrentham on 12/14/2009 at 9:42 AM
Trying to add in Crystal Reports to a VS 2008 install on Windows 7 and getting the same error as soon as I pick it and click Update. Very lame. I'm not excited about uninstalling SP1 with the chance of getting an error there as well as others have mentioned. Any resolution for this? Seems pretty ridiculous.

I've heard of having to re-apply service packs after making changes, but having to completely remove the service pack, install an additional component, and then install the service pack again seems a bit onerous. You're forcing us to do it and you're forcing us with an error message that doesn't really describe the issue. FAIL.
Posted by Maxthon on 12/4/2009 at 4:07 AM
Identical problems happened on Chinese Windows Server 2003 R2 and Chinese Visual Studio 2008 SP1, though my installing procedure is VS2008-VS2008SP1-VS2010.
It is really lame as I am using the renamed Administrator
Posted by chris hance on 11/16/2009 at 10:57 AM
The addition of Managed C++ appears to be working now, so I guess the workaround of uninstalling SP1 and any other updates is successful on XP 32-bit. But thanks a bunch for wasting a significant amount of time. I recalled mapping a drive during the MSDN installation from network media, so I dug through the registry to check what drive letter I used, mapped it again, and ran through the change/remove process for the third time before finally searching the web in frustration. If you're not going to make it possible to change anything after SP1 install, could you at least make an error message pop up as soon as the installer notices that VS has been updated? One that indicates the steps we'd need to take, instead of leading developers who have better things to do on (yet) a(nother) wild goose chase?
Posted by Miha Markic on 11/15/2009 at 3:31 AM
I join the protest. For developers Visual Studio has to be a robust tool even when it comes to adding or removing its features. As for now I am really scared to uninstall anything because I have a lot of various fixes and updates listed as installed and I am really scarred to mess it beyond repair.
Posted by af80 on 11/8/2009 at 12:43 PM
This is rediculous. Come on M$ get a true solution for this in place.
Posted by Tanveer Badar on 11/7/2009 at 3:06 AM
This is completely ridiculous. Even when doing a no-op update this error message pops-up. FWIW, I am running Windows 7 x64 Ultimate. I even copied SP1 downloaded files back to %temp% in hopes that it would find the drive but still nothing.

Some excerpts from msi logs:

From: dd_install_vs_vstscore_90.txt
[11/07/09,15:56:26] Setup.exe: AddGlobalCustomProperty
[11/07/09,15:56:26] VS70pgui: ***ERRORLOG EVENT*** : Unable to retrieve the install directory for in COptionsPage::IsGoodAllComponenentsPath
[11/07/09,15:56:26] vs70uimgr: Entering DisplayMessage() method.
[11/07/09,15:56:26] vs70uimgr: DisplayMessage_START:A selected drive is no longer valid. Please review your installation path settings before continuing with setup.
[11/07/09,15:56:32] vs70uimgr: DisplayMessage_END:A selected drive is no longer valid. Please review your installation path settings before continuing with setup.
[11/07/09,15:56:32] VS70pgui: A selected drive is no longer valid. Please review your installation path settings before continuing with setup.

From dd_error_vs_vstscore_90.txt:
[11/07/09,15:56:26] VS70pgui: [2] Unable to retrieve the install directory for in COptionsPage::IsGoodAllComponenentsPath

My recommendation for the original reporter of this bug is to upload their msi log files as attachments for installer team to figure out which particular directory can't be found during maintenance, if they haven't already.
Posted by George Zh on 11/2/2009 at 6:59 AM
Uninstall SP1 is not working any more. It'll show following errors and rollback the uninstallation:

Error 1402. Could not open key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Midrosoft\Updates\\SP1\KB945140. Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel.

I'm the admin on this box. It's XP SP2.

I checked the registry, it seems missing "Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition - ENU" before SP1 in above path. There are two \ in the path.
Posted by CSEEIT on 10/29/2009 at 1:07 AM
Hello, I'm a Mac.
Posted by rich2003 on 10/22/2009 at 1:14 PM
This really does suck. I just wanted to install the x64 tools so I could try porting some of our apps. Now I find that I first need to remove and reinstall VS2008, just because I installed VS2008SP1! That's about 3 hours wasted.
Posted by John S. Peterson on 10/8/2009 at 10:34 PM
Why haven't you updated SP1 so that this doesn't happen?
Posted by Carla_in_FL on 10/8/2009 at 12:13 PM
Agree with all the posts here, especially with Waternymph!
I took the trouble, over 15 minutes of my time, to reset my password, wait for emails, and fill out the requested info, before I could get here to agree with the comments already posted.

I am implementing MSVS 2008 in the builds for our newest Oracle PeopleTools release. This bug will affect every developer in our organization. The workaround is inadequate, no matter what internal documentation I provide to our dev organization.
Posted by Kondzio on 10/8/2009 at 8:50 AM
This is horseshit. Why can't you get it right the first time instead of patching the fix of the patch that was fixed by a previous patch. This Microsoft's MO is getting really annoying. I am at work and cannot afford to be wasting half days on uninstalling and re-installing things because you guys can't get your sh*t together. Charging this much for a product and releasing half-baked code is exactly the reason why your position in the market is and will continue to slip.
Posted by WayPoint7 on 10/2/2009 at 12:46 AM
Agree, very much agree with Walt! This is no serious solution. MOreover, this voting system is unfair. Google on "a selected drive is no longer valid" and you will find much, much more complaints than votes here. Not everyone takes the trouble of logging in and voting here, after having spent hours trying to add/remove components to an installed version of Visual Studio. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
Posted by Walt Ritscher on 9/28/2009 at 5:51 PM
This is lame. There shouldn't be a need to uninstall VS 2008 in order to add or remove features. Isn't that the reason Microsoft created the msi installer and product features in the first place.

FWIW, I installed from an ISO file.
Posted by Microsoft on 9/3/2009 at 12:30 AM
Thanks for your feedback. We are routing this bug to the product unit who works on that specific feature area. The team will review this issue and make a decision on whether they will fix it or not for the next release.

Thank you,
Visual Studio Product Team