16 hours later I think I have the solution (at least for me) to these types of problems:
and a few others.
The "Documents" folder was missing!
I installed VB Express 2010 on a 64 bit Vista machine on Friday and everything went great.
On Sunday I figured I'd put it on my 32 bit Vista portable and it hung during download/installation. Even the mouse wouldn't move so I had no choice but to take it down hard. When it came back up it did a chkdsk and found lost sectors. Somewhere (and maybe it was me before this :) ) I had lost the "Documents" folder.
Most advice was to uninstall and reinstall (including Framework 4, etc.) but of course it just came back. Finally, I figured out that the "Documents" folder was missing. The worst part was the "No error message" status of the install!
In the end I took these steps to get it resolved:
1. Uninstalled everything that was "Visual ......" anything
2. Killed every *.vssettings file I could find
3. Found the correct "regedit" stuff to reattach the "Documents" folder to Vista
5. Reinstalled VB Express 2010
6. Reinstalled VS SP1
8. Satisfied myself that it was FINALLY working correct
Maybe some of those aren't needed but those are the steps I took to get it fixed.
I would LOVE to blame MS for the missing "Documents" folder but I honestly don't know where/when it dissapeared. I don't use the "Documents" folder to store my documents so it might have been gone a while.
Still seems to be working this morning :).