Mailbag: Why is Visual Studio.NET Baseline installed on my system?


I ran an MSI inventory tool on my system and it showed an item named Visual Studio.NET Baseline - English installed. I have Visual Studio .NET 2003 installed, but I cannot find this particular item in Add/Remove Programs. What is this item for?


The Visual Studio.NET Baseline product is a small MSI-based setup package that is installed as part of the prerequisites in Visual Studio .NET 2002 and Visual Studio .NET 2003. It appears in the list of prerequisites during VS 2002 and 2003 setup with the name Setup Runtime Files.

This package originally installed files needed to display setup UI when we first started working on VS 2002. Since then, the operating systems that VS will install on contain those files, so the final shipping version of this setup runtime files package installs some system-wide debugger components. The same debugger components are included in the main vs_setup.msi, but we included them in the prerequisites in order to front-load reboots that could be caused by the debugger files being in use on the system.

This package uses the ARPSYSTEMCOMPONENT property to install itself in such a way that it does not create an Add/Remove Programs entry, but it will appear when performing an MSI inventory on a system with VS 2002 or 2003 installed.