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Posted 19 May 2011

Accessing TFS 2010 from Visual Studio 2008

, 19 May 2011 CPOL
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CodeProjectMost of our project may be in Visual Studio 2008. But due to the new features introduced in TFS 2010, we may force to move to TFS 2010 with VS 2008 projects. Here, the major issue comes, how to access … Continue reading →

Most of our projects are in Visual Studio 2008. But due to the new features introduced in TFS 2010, we were forced to move to TFS 2010 with VS 2008 projects. Here is where the major issue comes: how to access TFS 2010 from VS 2008?

We faced this issue and came to know about the Visual Studio 2008 Forward Compatibility Update. We went ahead and installed it from

Next, we tried to connect to TFS 2010 with a TFS name:

Add Team Foundation Server

Add Team Foundation Server

This will throw the following exception:

Exception Detail

Exception Detail

This is because Visual Studio 2008 is not able to identify the server instance or the default collection associated with the TFS 2010 project.

After some research, we found that we needed to specify the URL of the project including the server instance (by default, tfs) and project collection.

Add Team Foundation Server

Add Team Foundation Server

This will throw the following error

"TF30335: The server name cannot contain the characters ‘/’ or ‘:’, or start with 
  ‘http://’ or ‘https://’. If the server name is an IPv6 address, 
  it can contain the character ‘:’ only if the full name is enclosed by square brackets."

From a lot of research, we came across a solution for the above issues through Registry edit.

  1. Go to the Registry location
  2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/VisualStudio/9.0/TeamFoundation/Servers
  3. Right click on Servers and select New -> string value.
  4. Name the string entry with your TFS instance name (any name to represent TFS in VS 2008).
  5. Either double click on the string, or right click and select Modify to enter the value for the string.
  6. Enter the server URL as value.
  7. E.g.: http://mytfs:8080/tfs/myprojs

    Here, mytfs -> TFS server name. tfs -> TFS instance name. myprojs -> project collection.

  8. Close the Registry.
  9. Re-open Visual Studio 2008. Connect to TFS using Tools-> Connect to Team Foundation server.

Now, we face the next issue:

“TF31001: Team Foundation cannot retrieve the list of team projects from Team Foundation Server mytfs. The Team Foundation Server returned the following error: Team Foundation services are not available from the server."

Technical information (for administrator):

TF253022: You must update your client with the Forward Compatibility Update in order to connect to the Team Foundation Server that you selected. To obtain this update, go to the Microsoft Web site:”

This is totally confusing. From Control Panel, we can see that we have installed the Forward Compatibility Update. But still it is not working.

Here is the solution for the whole issue:

  1. Install the software in the following order:
    1. VS 2008
    2. Team Explorer
    3. VS 2008 SP1
    4. Compatibility Update

Ensure that you install VS 2008 SP1 only after Team Explorer. If we install Team Explorer after VS 2008 SP1, then the version of Explorer is 9.0.2xxxx. If it is in the correct order, then the version will be 9.0.3xxxxx. You can verify the versions from open Visual Studio 2008 -> Help-> About Microsoft Visual Studio-> Select the Team Explorer.

Do the Registry entry specified above.

Re-open Visual Studio 2008 and connect to TFS 2010.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Architect TCS
India India
I have over 10 years of experience working on Microsoft Technologies. I am carrying the passion on Microsoft technologies specifically on web technologies such as ASP.Net, HTML5, jQuery and Ajax. My interests also include TFS, Azure, Windows 8, Visual Studio 2010. Technology adoption and learning is my key strength and technology sharing is my passion.

Microsoft MVP: Connected Service Developer

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionNice tip.. Pin
phantom_coder8-Oct-13 3:18
memberphantom_coder8-Oct-13 3:18 
QuestionConnecting Visual Studio 2008 Team Explorer to Team Foundation Server 2011 Beta Pin
clivej31-May-12 2:40
memberclivej31-May-12 2:40 
GeneralGood Pin
Toleh23-May-11 21:06
memberToleh23-May-11 21:06 
GeneralGood... Pin
RockAji00720-May-11 17:52
memberRockAji00720-May-11 17:52 
GeneralRe: Good... Pin
ambilykk22-May-11 18:22
memberambilykk22-May-11 18:22 

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