How to fix Visual Studio 2005 beta expiration dialog

As some of you may have noticed, the beta versions of Visual Studio 2005 expired on May 1, 2006. When you attempt to launch any beta version of the VS 2005 IDE and your system clock is set to May 1, 2006 or later, you will receive a message box with the following message:

The Beta period is over.
Thank you for your participation.

You can now remove Microsoft Visual Studio from your computer.

If you receive this error message when you launch Visual Studio 2005 on your system, you should uninstall the beta version using the exact order specified in the uninstall instructions or use the automated beta uninstall tool. After fully removing the beta version of Visual Studio 2005, you can proceed to install the final release and the IDE should work correctly and not display any beta expiration errors like the one listed above.

I have heard from a couple of people who reported seeing this message in the final release of Visual Studio 2005. This exact error string was located in one of the VS IDE resource DLLs, and the string was completely removed before the final release. Also, this resource DLL is a versioned file, so even if it is left behind by the beta uninstall process, it will be replaced when you install the final release of Visual Studio 2005. Therefore, the only possible way that you can receive this error message is if you still have the beta installed. If you are receiving this error message and you believe you have the final release installed, please double-check the uninstall instructions and make sure you followed them fully prior to installing the final release.