A fix for the mysterious installation dialog when debugging an Outlook 2010 Add-In with Visual Studio 2010

Visual Studio is the greatest programming IDE ever. Even when it’s frustrating it’s still the best thing around. However, you wouldn’t believe how it can act funny until it happens to you.

Today’s saga was when I finally got my Windows 8 environment capable of front-line development work for both Office 2010 and Windows Azure projects. I fired up the debugger and WHAM! I saw a “Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate ENU Installer” dialog that had no business being there, especially since the original installation went off without a hitch. It would spin for about 2 to 5 minutes before finally disappearing and allowing Outlook to run. Of course that was a frustrating nuisance but I realized it was getting to be a problem (after I did the math and saw that I’d about an hour today waiting after hitting F5).

Of course, searching for a solution on both Bing and Google was fruitless until I hit on this little gem: http://channel9.msdn.com/Forums/TechOff/527958-Every-single-time-I-boot-my-PC-I-get-a-VS-2010-RC-setup-dialog . It wasn’t actually my problem but it put me on the right train of thought. The key was that all their experiences had a complete file path for the missing piece that the original installation failed to provide. Mine didn’t; all I saw in my event logs was the drive letter “e:\”. I realized that it was looking for the drive assigned to the external USB drive I used to install the application… so when I plugged that drive back in and hit F5 everything worked (like it was supposed to!).

Good Times are here again.  😉

Happy Coding!

A fix for the mysterious installation dialog when debugging an Outlook 2010 Add-In with Visual Studio 2010

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