Adventures in Installing Visual Studio 2010 on Windows 8

After a couple of months of slow computer frustrations I finally kowtowed to the ever changing computer gods and purchased a new and improved Apple MacBook Pro. For work we Bootcamp our machines in order to work in both the OSX and Windows environments. After having some trouble with WIndows 7 and USB 3.0 drivers, which I was not able to successfully install through Apple's Bootcamp I hesitantly purchased and installed Windows 8.1. I say hesitantly because no one else had done so in our company, but I had seen several developers we work with do so successfully.  My fear, as is probably true for most people, is that I would not be able to use some of my necessary programs in the new Windows OS.  Most of the installs went smoothly the two exceptions, and for the work I am doing currently the most important, thus far were MSSQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010.  

The first trouble program was MSSQL Server 2008 R2 and while this article is not about that program I did encounter some trouble getting connected to it.  I thought I would mention it though it did seem to install successfully each time, I had to uninstall and re-install it about 3-4 times before I got the correct prompt to allow for Mixed Mode authentication and a way to successfully connect to my local SQL Server instance.

The second trouble program was Visual Studio 2010.  This install was forever the feeling of so close but still yet so far.  I still had my install disc (yes a disc!), but the new MacBook Pro's do not come with a CD/DVD drive, so I decided to use an external drive.  The disk happily installed the program and all of it's features succesfully.  I went to load up my client's solution in VS2010 and received an error indicating that the solution was created in a newer version.  I realized I had not run the Windows Updates after doing the installation so the program was missing the service packs and other more recent patches (of which there are probably several). Easy enough, went into the control panel => system security => Windows Updates. As expected, there were several, and some of the others installed but the SP1 failed.  The message that was displayed was not very helpful and provided no assistance in regards to solving the error.  The main response was to try again as sometimes the server was busy, but after several attempts I gave up.  As an aside - in doing a retrace of my steps for this post I found that had I gone into the Windows update history and viewed the details on the failure there was more helpful text that would have helped resolve the issue sooner.  So a note for the future, look for more details in the Windows Update history. 

So the next step was to find and download an installer that already had the SP1. The good news was that this was easy!  Here is the link to download Visual Studio 2010 SP1. The installer worked and now I had the right version, I updated the program again using Windows Updates. A few of the updates failed but I followed the unhelpful advice from before as the error code was similar and they succeeded upon additional tries, though I still haven't been able to download and install the "Update for Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime", but for now it isn't necessary for me to have it installed.

In any case, the next step was to open the client solution and here again starts the "so close yet so far" syndrome.  This time instead of an error indicating that I had the wrong version of Visual Studio to open the solution, I now received "Unable to access the IIS metabase. You do not have sufficient privilege to access IIS web sites on your machine."  Turns out, I had turned on and installed my programs in the wrong order.  Apparently I should have enabled IIS before installing the .NET framework.  Previously I had remembered that I could use "aspnet_regiis -i" to register the offending framework.  After looking at IIS, it appeared that my .NET 4.5 framework was the culprit, but after running it several times. NO change.  Finally I decided to verify the IIS install.  So into the control panel => programs => "Turn Windows Features on or off" and at first glance I saw this:

VS2010 Insufficient Privilege to access IIS

It appeared that the ".NET Framework 4.5 Advanced Series" was enabled. But as it turned out, after a couple of more searches, attempts at fixing, that there was another Windows feature that was not enabled:

VS2010 insufficient privilege to access IIS solution

AH-HA! Success, after enabling the .NET Extensibility 4.5 and ASP.NET 4.5 the solution loaded ... almost.

Yup, I then encountered yet another stumbling block. Two projects failed to load with the error "The project type is not supported by this installation."  What else could be missing?  Luckily again the Google search came through, turns out two of the projects in the solution had an unsupported project type, but it could be fixed by removing the <ProjectTypeGuids /> node from the .csproj file. After removing this node from both of the .csproj files that were failing, I could finally load the client solution completely and successfully build.

SO there you have it, a few pointers or what not to do's on installing Visual Studio 2010 on Windows 8.1.

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