Visual Studio 2008 Installation Problems

Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 were released on 19th November 2007 to MSDN subscribers and will be on general release early in 2008. I downloaded and attempted to install Visual Studio 2008 and this post describes the problem and the solution.

The problem is that Visual Studio 2008 stops at the very first pre-requisite (the .NET Framework 3.5):-

After a while it demands to know where to find dotnetfx35setup.exe (the .NET Framework 3.5 distributable):-

Like most software problems it really helps to know what it is asking. In this case it isn’t actually asking for dotnetfx35setup.exe because if you download it separately and tell it where to find it then it simply asks you the question again. The only way you can see what the problem is is to run the .NET Framework 3.5 installation by itself. This reveals that it has to connect with another server to continue downloading the rest of the .NET Framework. Of course on a laptop without a network connection it can’t do this and the installation fails. Unfortunately the Visual Studio 2008 installation process tries to install the .NET Framework 3.5 silently so this rather important nugget is never revealed and the false error is given instead. The only solution to this problem is to get an internet connection. I’m not sure if Microsoft intend to make the dotnetfx35setup.exe redistributable self contained (such as a dotnetfx35.exe) but I certainly hope so - the idea of software that only works when you have an internet connection is a very frustrating one for someone who travels with a laptop.

Technorati Tags: Visual Studio 2008, .NET Framework 3.5

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Posted by: GuySmithFerrier
Posted on: Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 9:09 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous - Technical
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Saturday, December 01, 2007 2:09 AM


I was also installing the Professional edition and encountered the same problem. I actually had an internet connection, but a very slow one. After waiting more than 20 minutes the progress bar had not moved, so I thought there must be a problem and cancelled.

The second run, I just left it going when I went out and it worked, so it must be downloading the full .Net 3.5 package and I just didn’t wait long enough the first time.

Guy Smith-Ferrier

Saturday, December 01, 2007 2:09 AM


Good point, Colin. Yes, it was the Professional Edition.

Colin Angus Mackay

Saturday, December 01, 2007 2:09 AM

Colin Angus Mackay

This may be just a problem with the Professional Edition because I installed Team Suite Developer Edition on my laptop without a network connection at the time.