I finally got around to installing VS2008 RTM today – wow what a marathon! 4 hours after I started, I finally had 2008 installed and working.
I was running into problems installing Microsoft .NET 3.5 .NET Framework – both from VS2008 installer and when I attempted to install the framework as stand-alone. Vista adds complication to the install because .NET 2.0 and .NET 3.0 are part of the Vista OS, and it is when .NET 3.5 attempts to upgrade these previous framework versions; problems occur.
[12/30/07,12:23:51] Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 ‘package’:  Error: Installation failed for component Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 ‘package’. MSI returned error code 1603
[12/30/07,12:24:00] WapUI:  DepCheck indicates Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 ‘package’ is not installed.
I read numerous blog posts about uninstalling hot fixes on Vista, which seemed to aggravate .NET 3.5 all the more because the installer then belly ached that .NET 2.0 SP1 was missing. Each time I’d rerun the .NET 3.5 installer the process would run for about 40 minutes on my dual core 64-bit laptop before coughing up some error. It is amazing how much other things you can get done if you’re not watching Microsoft progress bars – I managed to prepare lunch, eat it, clean up, and have time for a short nap in the time that my machine spent chugging, apparently to a worthless end with each iteration.
I finally resolved my problem by uninstalling IIS on Vista (I rarely use it anyway) after reading similar complaints on this forum – after a quick reboot the full installation of .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 et al went without a hitch.
I love MS products, when they work, but I have to wonder why each version of Visual Studio (I had the same pains with VS2005 and VS2003) requires open heart surgery on my operating system and half a day of an unusable machine before the installation finally works – and I didn’t even meddle with Beta versions this time!
Is it just me? Am I expecting a lot from the Visual Studio team? Is this the norm and I should be quiet about it?