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How to uninstall pre-release versions of Visual Studio 2008

Before installing Visual Studio 2008, you must uninstall all pre-release versions of VS 2008 and .NET 3.5. It can be a chore. Here Ed Tittel explains what you need to know.

Now that Visual Studio 2008 is out and about, it's important to clean up any system before installing the latest and greatest version. In particular, on a PC that has had any of the pre-RTP (release to production) releases of Visual Studio 2008 (codename Orcas) installed, elements must be removed in the proper sequence before the release version can be installed.

Microsoft recommends that this process begin with the uninstall of the main product (Visual Studio 2008, in whatever version you've got) first and foremost. This will remove most optional pre-release components that get installed along with the product.

Start by visiting Control Panel, where you'll launch the Add/Remove Programs element. Then remove all visible instances of Visual Studio 2008 or anything that includes Orcas in the product name. Next, you'll want to work your way through the list of 22 elements detailed on the Uninstalling Previous Versions of Visual Studio 2008 MSDN Web page in the order specified there:

  1. Remove "MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2008 Beta"
  2. Remove "Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5"
  3. Remove "Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 Design Tools"
  4. Remove "Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 for Devices"
  5. Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio Performance Collection Tools"
  6. Remove "Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK R2 for Pocket PC"
  7. Remove "Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK R2 for Smartphone"
  8. More on Visual Studio 2008 resources from Ed Tittel
    Choosing Visual Studio 2008 tools and technologies

    More Visual Studio 2008 goodies show up

    Visual Studio 2008 released to manufacturing -- so get started
    Visual Studio 2008 labs, training materials abundant
  9. Remove "Crystal Reports 2007"
  10. Remove "Visual Studio Asset System"
  11. Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component / Microsoft Web Designer Tools"
  12. Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System Runtime"
  13. Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System Runtime Language Pack" (non-English editions only)
  14. Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office Runtime 3.0"
  15. Remove "Microsoft Document Explorer"
  16. Remove "Microsoft Document Explorer 2005 Language Pack" (non-English editions only)
  17. Remove "Microsoft Device Emulator 3.0"
  18. Remove "Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 3.5"
  19. Remove "Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 2.0 SP1"
  20. Remove ".NET Framework 2.0 SDK"
  21. Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio Codename Orcas Remote Debugger"
  22. Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio 64-bit Prerequisites Beta" (64-bit platforms only)
  23. Remove "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

After that, it's safe to install whichever version of Visual Studio 2008 you wish to use -- Express Editions, vanilla Visual Studio 2008, Visual Studio Team System 2008 and so forth. Microsoft even offers virtual machines with Visual Studio already pre-installed.

Ed Tittel is a writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT Certification and information security. E-mail with comments, questions, or suggested topics or tools to review. Cool tools rule!

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