Install issues with various products given out at PDC (Vista, WinFX September CTP, .NET Framework 2.0, VS 2005, Max)

Starting approximately this past weekend, I've started hearing from a few folks who have had questions or problems installing some of the various versions of the products given out to attendees at PDC 2005 last week.  Rob Relyea did a really nice job of outlining how to configure a WinFX development machine using the DVDs given out at PDC or using bits available for download from the web.

I wanted to emphasize the key points that I've gathered by looking at the various packages given out at PDC, reading Rob's notes, and talking to some customers who have run into problems so far:

  • The build of Windows Vista given out at PDC (build 5219) contains a beta 2 build of the .NET Framework 2.0 (version as part of the OS.
  • The build of Visual Studio 2005 given out at PDC is a release candidate and has version 8.0.50727.26, and it requires the .NET Framework 2.0 release candidate (version 2.0.50727.26). This can cause problems when trying to install on top of the build of Vista given out at PDC because it has an older build of the .NET Framework integrated into the OS. I have heard of cases where installing this build of VS on Vista 5219 works and other cases where problems are encountered and setup fails. Some VS installs may also fail due to the issue I describe here but that failure can be worked around using the workaround also listed in that post. I need to try a more detailed repro and see the exact behavior for myself when I get more time.
  • The build of the WinFX runtime and SDK given out at PDC (the September CTP, also available for download here) includes a beta 2 build of the .NET Framework 2.0 (version It should install and work fine on the build of Vista given out at PDC, and setup will be smart enough to skip installing the .NET Framework 2.0 because it is already a part of the OS and the version matches.
  • The build of WinFX given out at PDC will not work correctly with the build of VS 2005 given out at PDC. As Rob describes in his blog, you need a beta 2 version of VS 2005 to use for WinFX development with the September CTP of the WinFX runtime and SDK. VS 2005 beta 2 is still available for download here and you can opt to install the VB Express or VC# Express SKUs rather than the full version of VS 2005 beta 2.

Another problem I have heard of that is related to the development tools passed out at PDC involves the beta version of Microsoft codename Max. This Max beta is built on top of WinFX and it requires the September CTP of the WinFX runtime, which was given out at PDC and is available on the web. The Max setup package will attempt to download and install the WinFX runtime if it is not already installed, but it does so by trying to download the entire 40+ megabyte package instead of using the web download bootstrapper that the standalone WinFX setup package uses. If you encounter failures during download of Max, I suggest downloading and installing the WinFX runtime directly from the WinFX download page because the link on that page points to the WinFX setup bootstrapper. The WinFX bootstrapper is more resilient to network hiccups (it has logic to retry the download several times before giving up), offers richer progress UI, and will skip downloading the .NET Framework 2.0 beta 2 to minimize bandwidth if it is already present (which it will be on Vista build 5219 from PDC). I have heard of a few Max setup failures that were simply the result of a download hiccup during that 40+ megabyte download of the WinFX runtime and a lack of retries within the Max bootstrapper. I have heard of a few others that were the result of a lack of progress feedback during Max download and user cancellations as a result. Hopefully future versions of these setup packages will work a little smoother together in the future. :-)

Please feel free to contact me or post comments if you have any questions or run into any issues with any of the PDC software (or any non-PDC versions for that matter...) and I'll try my best to help out.