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Posted 18 Dec 2006

Installing Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1

, 18 Dec 2006
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Tips and tricks on upgrading your VS2005 installation to SP1


Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 is a significant upgrade that should be installed at your earliest convenience. If you're like me, your friends will report absolutely flawless upgrade experiences while you sit and struggle. This article compiles a list of resources you may need for installation.

Please leave comments below if you have ideas or additional resources and I will incorporate them. I'm not affiliated with Microsoft so this is just from my personal experience.


  • Visual Studio 2005

What's new in SP1

This list is growing. If you have links or information, please provide it in the comments and I'll add it here.


  1. Disable Software Restriction Enforcement
    1. Click Start -> Control Panel
    2. Open Administrative Tools
    3. Open Local Security Settings
    4. Click Software Restriction Policies
      If no software restrictions are defined, right click the Software Restriction Policies node and select New Software Restriction Policy
    5. Double click Enforcement
    6. Select "All users except local administrators"
    7. Click OK
    8. Reboot the machine
  2. (Optional) Disable the Patch Cache

    You can eliminate 1.3 GB of disk I/O, and cut the installation time significantly, by temporarily disabling the Patch Cache.

    • Download the patch.
    • Save the following to a batch file in the same directory you saved the SP1 install file:

    reg export HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer 
    reg add HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer /v 
                MaxPatchCacheSize /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
    net stop msiserver
    start /wait VS80sp1-KB926601-X86-ENU.exe
    reg delete HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer /v 
                MaxPatchCacheSize /f reg import installer.reg
    net stop msiserver
    del /q installer.reg 2>nul

    • Run the batch file
    • (Optional) Uninstall Visual C++
      The upgrade will apparently run much faster without C++. I haven't tested it, but you may want to consider uninstalling C++ and then reinstalling VC++ Express Edition if the day ever comes that you need C++.
    • Download Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 and attempt an upgrade. If you're lucky it will work and you don't need the rest of this article. If not, see the list of troubleshooting links at the bottom.

The upgrade may not be easy! SP1 takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour to install. Ultimately, I had to uninstall Visual Studio 2005, reinstall, then apply the service pack. My VS2005 installation didn't just uninstall either. I had to manually remove files.

Once you finally have it installed, your Help > About dialog in VS2005 should look like this:


SP1 Release NotesMicrosoft
Installation takes a long time or appears to start overPaul Wilson
Tips on optimizing the upgradeScott Guthrie
Manual Uninstall: "Setup is unable to determine a valid ordering for the installation. See the error log for further details" when trying to uninstall Visual Studio 2003 or 2005Microsoft
Silent install and other optimization tipsHeath Stewart
"Software Restriction Policy..."Heath Stewart
Disabling Patch CacheHeath Stewart

About Benjamin Allfree

Benjamin Allfree runs Launchpoint Software Inc., a technology-agnostic company specializing in unparalleled custom software solutions. Benjamin spends most of his time researching architecture and new technology.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

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About the Author

Ben Allfree
United States United States
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Comments and Discussions

Questionwindows become smaller and graphic problem... Pin
Aka013-Feb-12 17:50
memberAka013-Feb-12 17:50 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
dylanberry17-May-11 8:03
memberdylanberry17-May-11 8:03 
GeneralFurther improvements Pin
Alex_Raider7-Sep-07 5:07
memberAlex_Raider7-Sep-07 5:07 
GeneralBatch script improvement Pin
abulka21-Mar-07 11:33
memberabulka21-Mar-07 11:33 
GeneralRe: Batch script improvement Pin
Ben Allfree21-Mar-07 11:55
memberBen Allfree21-Mar-07 11:55 
JokeI report... Pin
Bartosz Bien19-Dec-06 9:45
memberBartosz Bien19-Dec-06 9:45 
GeneralRe: I report... Pin
Ben Allfree19-Dec-06 17:02
memberBen Allfree19-Dec-06 17:02 
GeneralRe: I report... Pin
Bartosz Bien22-Dec-06 23:19
memberBartosz Bien22-Dec-06 23:19 
GeneralWriting a good article Pin
WalderMort19-Dec-06 2:02
memberWalderMort19-Dec-06 2:02 
GeneralRe: Writing a good article Pin
Ben Allfree19-Dec-06 5:06
memberBen Allfree19-Dec-06 5:06 
QuestionList of Issues fixed by SP1? Pin
Uwe Keim19-Dec-06 1:37
sitebuilderUwe Keim19-Dec-06 1:37 
AnswerRe: List of Issues fixed by SP1? Pin
John Simmons / outlaw programmer19-Dec-06 3:00
memberJohn Simmons / outlaw programmer19-Dec-06 3:00 
GeneralRe: List of Issues fixed by SP1? Pin
Uwe Keim19-Dec-06 3:57
sitebuilderUwe Keim19-Dec-06 3:57 
GeneralRe: List of Issues fixed by SP1? Pin
John Simmons / outlaw programmer19-Dec-06 4:02
memberJohn Simmons / outlaw programmer19-Dec-06 4:02 
JokeRe: List of Issues fixed by SP1? Pin
Uwe Keim19-Dec-06 4:19
sitebuilderUwe Keim19-Dec-06 4:19 
GeneralRe: List of Issues fixed by SP1? Pin
John Simmons / outlaw programmer19-Dec-06 5:50
memberJohn Simmons / outlaw programmer19-Dec-06 5:50 
GeneralRe: List of Issues fixed by SP1? Pin
Uwe Keim19-Dec-06 6:02
sitebuilderUwe Keim19-Dec-06 6:02 
GeneralRe: List of Issues fixed by SP1? Pin
Offlinesurfer26-Jan-07 4:43
memberOfflinesurfer26-Jan-07 4:43 

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