Installing VS 2008 and SQL 2008 Express on Windows 7

A new decade means time for a fresh windows install at work.  I ran into some trouble with windows 7, visual studio 2008, and SQL 2008 Express.  Here’s how I resolved them.  Contrary to most things I found on the web, I’m not using betas or release candidates.

First off, installing SQL 2008 Express.  I only wanted the management tools, and this was a little hard to come by.  I downloaded various EXE files from MSDN, but none of them worked (they would error out, bring up an seemingly unrelated installer, or any other confusing behavior that may have led you here).  Here’s what worked for me:

  1. Be sure any previous installation attempts have been purged via Add / Remove Programs
  2. Go to the “other install options” page for SQL express: http://www.microsoft.com/express/Database/default.aspx#Installation_Options
  3. Click the “Management Tools” install button (for me that’s: http://www.microsoft.com/web/gallery/install.aspx?appsxml=www.microsoft.com%2Fweb%2Fwebpi%2F2.0%2FWebProductList.xml%3Bwww.microsoft.com%2Fweb%2Fwebpi%2F2.0%2FWebProductList.xml&appid=134%3B135)
  4. Install the “Microsoft Web Platform Installer” (MWPI) if it asks you to
  5. Should be straightforward from here on

The funny thing here is the MWPI seems to download an installer that looks a lot like the one at Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Management Studio Express that didn’t work for me.

Next up, Visual Studio 2008 (VS2008).  My company has an MSDN subscription, so we downloaded an ISO (named en_visual_studio_2008_professional_x86_x64wow_dvd_X14-26326.iso) and I used freeware MagicISO to mount it, then ran “setup.exe”.  The install failed on the “Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component” (MVSWAC).  Here’s what worked for me:

  1. IF YOU WANT SQL2008, DO THAT FIRST
  2. Be sure any previous installation attempts have been purged via Add / Remove Programs
  3. Download WebDesignerCore.EXE from microsoft
  4. Run it
  5. Install VS2008 from disc/iso as normal.

Digging into the ISO using 7zip, the problem is /WCU/WebDesignerCore/WebDesignerCore.EXE is corrupt.  To get VS2008 to install cleanly, first we need to install MVSWAC, at which point the VS2008 installer will happily skip past the corrupt file.  I ran across several blog/forum posts with horror stories about VS2008 installing SQL2005, and needing to uninstall half the planet to get things working right.

As always, be sure to hit up windows update, and change your update settings so you get fixes for VS2008 and SQL2008.

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Management Studio Express