Mailbag: Clarification about how to build installable layouts for a VS 2005 Express Edition


I have been trying to follow the steps listed in some of your blog posts in order to create a network install point for Visual Web Developer Express Edition.  I started by downloading and extracting the Visual Web Developer ISO file to a network share based on the instructions in this blog article. Then, I attempted to run the following command line that is listed in this blog post to perform a silent installation:

\\myserver\myshare\ixpvwd.exe /q:a /c:"msiexec /i vnssetup.msi VSEXTUI=1 ADDLOCAL=ALL REBOOT=ReallySuppress /qn"

However, when I tried this, I got Windows Installer error code 1308 stating the following:

Source file not found: .\rebootstub.exe

How can I fix this error so that I can successfully install Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition in silent mode?


Each of the Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition packages (ixpvb.exe, ixpvc.exe, ixpvcs.exe, ixpvjs.exe and ixpvwd.exe) contain an MSI that installs some files from within the CAB file that is included in the EXE itself and some files that are a part of the web download bootstrapper. In order to reduce download size, they re-use the files from the web download bootstrapper instead of requiring an additional download.

However, when assembling a network install point, the files from the web download bootstrapper may not be present in the correct location that the Express Edition setup packages expect them to be in. In those cases, you can see file not found errors (represented by Windows Installer error code 1308) when attempting to install.

In order to resolve this issue, you need to make sure to download and extract the contents of the web download bootstrapper as part of the process of creating a network install point. The way to accomplish this is listed in steps 1 through 3 of option 2 of the blog article at

Also note that you need to make sure that your silent installation includes steps to install all prerequisite components (such as Windows Installer 3.1 and the .NET Framework 2.0) or validate that they are already installed on the computers prior to attempting to install the main Express Edition MSI package. You will encounter other Express Edition installation errors if you do not ensure that prerequisites are present first.

More details for setup developers

If you are interested about how to author an MSI that will install some files from within an embedded or external CAB file and other files from flat, uncompressed source locations, I suggest looking at the following Windows Installer MSDN topics: