Visual Studio 2005 install madness

I'm working with a new computer and a new setup where I'm running all development tasks in a VM. It's been pretty interesting so far - I'll blog about my experience with this setup later. Right now, though, I'm getting ready to chuck the PC out the window because I can't get VS2005 to work right.

When I sat down to work on this new machine, VS2005 was already installed - Great! But when I opened an existing solution, it told me it couldn't load a web project in that solution. No big deal, right? I looked at the project, and sure enough, it was a Web Application Project. Since this is a project type that was made available after VS2005's release, I figured the project type just wasn't installed, so I went to find the installer. No sooner than I started that hunt than I saw that Web Application Projects were folded into VS2005 SP1, so I went and grabbed that. In the mean time, I double-checked that I didn't have Web Application Projects installed by trying to create a new project in VS2005 -- no Web Application Project was available.

I started the VS2005 SP1 install, and I was surprised to see that my machine was pretty sure that SP1 was already installed. Since I was also pretty sure I didn't have the right stuff on my machine, I let SP1 reinstall, and then went and tried to load my solution again. Boom. Ditto on creating a new project. Things were starting to get old.

I spent the better part of a day trying to find the problem, and I finally stumbled on this blog entry from Eric Hammersley. Alas, there were all sorts of people in the same boat. I started working down the list of fixes, repeatedly getting my hopes up and then having them dashed. I mumbled a lot of not-so-nice things about VS2005 under my breath.

My fix turned out to be permissions-related. After I set the permisisons for my Visual Studio install directory to give the Creator-Owner full permissions, then re-ran the SP1 setup, I got my Web Application Project support back - just like magic.

From the looks of this episode, I'd be wary of running any Visual Studio install that you didn't install yourself. Not exactly the behavior you'd like to see out of a company that's trying to erase a reputation of security ambivalence, but it is what it is.