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§ Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 is out (and will eat your hard drive alive)

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Final is finally out.

Before you go and install it, though, check your disk space on C: and installed memory. No, really, bad things happen otherwise.

Thanks to the wonderful technology that is the Microsoft Installer, VS2005 SP1 eats quite a bit more disk space than it should. In order to install it, you should really have at least 3GB of free disk space on your system drive (NOT necessarily where you installed Visual Studio); people have reported VS2005 installations breaking when they tried installing with less, or even the VC8 runtime library going missing in the system (BAD). The installer will make about four copies of the 400MB archive during the unpacking process and also load the entire patch into memory to check it, so it can take a good 20-30 minutes to install the patch, and more if you're low on memory and the system starts swapping. I've heard that you can diffuse some of this with some switches on the top-level setup application and/or manually extracting the .msp with an unzip utility.

What is perhaps much worse is that you will also lose more disk space in the end than you might expect, because the Installer will copy the entire 400MB .msp file into the C:WindowsInstaller folder AND copy a ton of uncompressed backup files into a subdirectory below that. I only installed Visual C++ and Visual C#, but in the end I lost 1.3GB of space on C: after installing VS2005 SP1. I filed a bug on this behavior during the SP1 beta, but apparently the VS team didn't find a way to address it. I can't faithfully express in words how lame this is, but the next time I have to reinstall VS2005 I'm going to try slipstreaming the patch into the installation media because increasing the installation footprint of Visual Studio by 5x is ridiculous.

Comments

Comments posted:


Did you have the SP1 Beta installed prior to installing the release of SP1? I do, and it seems like the release SP1 won't install over the top of the beta :(

jon - 21 12 06 - 05:27


I just installed the damn thing today, and it took THREE HOURS AND A HALF. Unbelievable. What's more unbelievable is that Windows was non-responsive throughout the experience, due to the insane swapping.

No doubt, this is the most painful setup experience I've had to date.

Muhammad Haggag (link) - 21 12 06 - 09:41


jon, that's by far the #1 support question, and the answer is very simple: Uninstall SP1 beta first. (Make sure you tick the 'show updates' box.)

phaeron, something I noticed after the first install went awry (while unpacking, not while installing, so everything's good): The next install recreated the .msp again in the installer folder, hogging yet another 400M. I wonder why Windows Installer doesn't remove the patch even if it doesn't get installed.

foxyshadis - 21 12 06 - 11:13


foxyshadis: thanks! I couldn't find SP1 in the uninstall list, totally forgot about the Show Updates box :)

jon - 21 12 06 - 14:07


I got an error dialog box when opening a file in version 1.7.0.


Internal error: SSE state was bad before entry to external code at
(.sourcew32videocodec.cpp:209). This indicates an uncaught bug either in an
external driver or in VirtualDub itself that could cause application instability. Please
report this problem to the author!
(MXCSR = 00009fe0)

The avi file seemed to open OK, and i was able to process it.
GSpot says it is compressed with DivX5 (5.02).

If I close the file and re-open, no error.
But, if I re-start VirtualDub and then open the file, ERROR.

Thanks for all the good work,
sismoc

sismoc - 21 12 06 - 17:01


dude, have you tryd to partition C: with more space?, atleast ~15GB should work hehe but might more if you are gonna install many programs that take space like MS Office, MS Visual Studio etc

have a happy chirstmas! :D

wiak (link) - 21 12 06 - 18:07


This is typical big-company-behavior. Be it InstallShield or MSI or that thing that comes with Adobe Reader (“condensing setup…” remember?). Every single one of them does absolutely nothing other than making a ton of copies of itself, starting obscure child processes, checking itself for who knows what and show a progress bar going from 0 to 100 percent at least five times.

Why installers have become such immense gas factories, is a mystery to me, and it seems the bid companies couldn’t care less about installer usability (be it technical or user experience). I find it disturbing to say the last, because it looks unprofessional, it feels very bulky, and the process before the actual installer is almost always superfluous.

And in the end, an installer is just a collection of file-copies, and registry keys. And the uninstaller (which oftenly fails even harder than the installer) is simply destroying those files and keys. It’s really not that difficult, but apparantly they really like making easy things very complex.

Thany (link) - 21 12 06 - 20:05


Maybe someone will make RPM or APT run on Windows... :D

Mitch 74 - 22 12 06 - 10:37


To add more, after installing SP1 and recompiling my avisynth DLL,
it didn't work anymore !!!!
I have to remplace it with a version compiled with VS2003. On wich
i can't install SP1, otherwise the XBOX SDK didn't work anymore after.

Does someone also experience trouble with avisynth DLL compiled with
VS2005 SP1 ?

jpsdr - 23 12 06 - 04:22


wiak : sorry but you totally missed the point.

ParkerLewis - 23 12 06 - 04:26


The slugginess is due to an MS Installer engine "feature": it checks the signature on the 400 meg long package by loading the entire package into contiguous memory. Nice, huh? One allocation call, and three hours of waiting, while the memory manager desperately tries to fix you up with the requested stuff.
Have an 512M machine? You're doomed. Workaround: for the duration of installation, lower software restriction policies for administrators (secpol.msc->Software restriction policies->Enforcement). It will still be sluggish (until it finally decides it cannot allocate thus cannot verify the signature), but at least you can install it.

Gregorius - 23 12 06 - 19:53


"Quite a few beta customers have reported that the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Beta install requires a lot of space. This is by design a feature of Windows Installer."

It's darkly amusing how Microsoft's response to any terrible problem is "by design", absolving them of any responsibility to fix it. It's the Pee-Wee-Herman retroactive design method. Operating system crashes and destroys your data? We meant to do that.

I sure wish I could find a good list of what's actually changed. The "new in SP1" list is empty. Does it fix the 20-seconds-of-thrashing intellisense mess every time I change a header, and randomly freezing up the IDE entirely? Stop edit-and-continue from forcibly starting an un-cancellable build (and associated 30-second link time) after debugging finishes? Fix the watch window unexpanding all custom watches every time I step the program?

Glenn Maynard - 23 12 06 - 21:33


I seem to recall reading that the Windows Installer technology actually came from the Internet Explorer team, which implies that they never intended for install payloads to get this big. I'm pretty sure the contiguous memory requirement is fixed in Vista (it's in a core API, so the OS team owns it). Still, I never thought I'd find something worse than RTPatch -- and I've seen how those are _created_.

I'm guessing that some decree went down at Microsoft that everyone must use Windows Installer.

It wouldn't be so bad if there were more control over the disk space usage, but there is none. It's always in the Windows directory, the default limit is 10% of the drive (which is huge), and there is no way to manually purge the patch cache except to get an obscure cleanup utility that can only remove entire installations. Yes, hard drives are getting bigger, but I got a 120GB drive for my laptop because I wanted to store more of *my* stuff.

Phaeron - 24 12 06 - 16:25


I tried things that were described at MSDN blogs ( http://blogs.msdn.com/heaths/archive/200.. ) and it kinda works. At least I don't have 1Gb of backup files now... (had to make clean reinstallation of entire XP though...)

alex_t (link) - 25 12 06 - 16:21


Ugh. Sounds familiar - every time I've been unfortunate enough to have to install Visual Studio I've ended up with crap like this. Broken half-installed copies, conflicting dependencies, opaque installer error messages.

Installers and packages are broken in Windows, and they're broken in Linux (well, for most distros anyway). The world needs to adopt the patented VirtualDub Advanced Installation System:

1. Copy the program out of a ZIP file to wherever you want to put it.
2. Run it.
3. That's it.

And Clover (link) - 28 12 06 - 18:48


How would one go about slipstreaming this monster to CD? It's ridiculous how big some patches get, but I'm gonna hold off getting this until I've slipstreamed both this and the updates for XP, in case something drastic happens.

Inventive Software - 02 01 07 - 12:51


To slipstream VS2005 SP1, follow the directions at: http://blogs.msdn.com/heaths/archive/200..

I did this when I installed VS2005 + SP1 on Windows Vista RTM (which is a story for another time), so I know it works. Beware, though, as you'll need several gigabytes of disk space to do this.

Phaeron - 03 01 07 - 00:33


Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 is, without a doubt, the absolute worst install experience I have ever seen and I've been working with windows and installers for quite a while.

Several of my coworkers have also tried multiple times to install this beast and though they have succeeded, I have ultimately given up on this fustrating nightmare. It's hard to find words to describe how bad this is and how awful I feel right now. A whole day completely wasted, my machine pegged at 100% cpu usage. No feedback during the install.

I suggest you tell every single person you know not to install this complete piece of trash. What a complete waste of time. In fact my install quit after about 6 hours with the message "... The error code is 2350."

Having an experience like this has really soured me on the entire visual studio system.

Microsoft has lost their way. Too much of what they have been doing lately (including this thing) evidences a TOTAL lack of commitment to the end user experience.

I believe that all MS managers that had anything to do with this service pack be canned. Also I think that microsoft needs to totally rework the overly-complex and crappy beast that is msinstaller.

AAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

bzelbob - 06 04 07 - 20:41


I've managed to get it installed using a bit less disk...

Extract the .mps at the command line with /extract, and copy this to another drive.

Change environment variables to point TEMP to another drive.

By not using the same drive for the file, temp and extraction, it should save 3x400mb

Vodzurk (link) - 02 08 07 - 09:55

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