VS : How to fix stuck Visual Studio Community installation problem

Last updated: July 3, 2016
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Visual Studio Community 2015 is the free edition of Visual Studio, so I decided to install it on my computer. Setup contains lots of components, so installation running considerable amount of time was expected, but after 3 hours, it was only 30% finished. Another hour later, the setup was still trying to install the same package. It seemed that the installation got stuck. In this post I will share how I tried to solve the problem and what eventually worked.

The problem I had was deciding what to do next. There were many options to choose from. I could:

  1. Try to run install again
  2. Go to Programs and Features > Visual Studio Community > Change > Repair
  3. Go to Programs and Features > Visual Studio Community > Change > Uninstall
  4. Restore the system using System Restore that was created before the installation began and then try again
  5. Restart the computer and try again

Before I could make a decision what to do, I had to cancel the setup, but even that got stuck.

Visual Studio Community Stopping Current Session being stuck

I had to go to Task Manager to end the installation by stopping vs_community.exe process.

First, I tried to go with a second option where I chose the Repair option. That didn’t do much. Running it as Administrator also didn’t do the trick. I was getting the message:

Another Installation is in progress. Please wait to retry again

I tried Third option using Uninstall but it gave me the same message.

Next I decided to restart the computer and try again. After restart, the Windows did load without any issues except that the Visual Studio Community Installation setup automatically opened, giving me the option of Uninstall or Repair. I chose Repair.

Finally, the installation completed with no issues at all. Finally, issues with Visual Studio has been solved…or so I thought.

Strange Errors in Visual Studio

Visual Studio seemed to work just fine, but when I wanted to create ASP.NET 4.5.2 Webforms project, I got this strange error:

No such interface supported (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80004002 (E_NOINTERFACE)

I tried to create a blank solution which worked without errors, but when I wanted to add a new project to the solution, I received a different error:

Error “Project <Name> could not be opened because the Visaul C# 2015 compiler could not be created. Please re-install Visual Studio

If I looked into the solution using Windows Explorer, I noticed the files were created for the project, so I tried to add an existing project to the solution, but that didn’t help either. I again received the above “Visual C# 2015 compiler could not be created” error.

Looking on the web, I noticed those errors are not rare and there were plenty of suggestions, on how to fix them. The most frequent suggestions were:

  • Running Visual Studio from command prompt with devenv.exe /resetsettings
  • Delete Visual Studio folder in user/appdata/microsoft/visualstudio/vs version
  • Modify some registry

Unfortunately nothing of the above worked for me.

What did work

What finally worked was uninstalling the Visual studio, restarting the computer and install it again.

This time the installation succeeded and VS Community is still working with no issues.

So to recap. After stuck setup, restart the computer, then in Visual Studio Setup choose Uninstall instead of Repair, restart computer again (just to be on the safe side), run VS setup once more and hope for the best. But there is another way to try to install Visual Studio, which is discussed next.

Another Solution that worked – download ISO and install it offline

Commentator Abbas Banu Vohra mentioned another solution that involves installing Visual Studio using command prompt. Basically what we do is first download ISO version of the Visual Studio Community, extract it and then instead of installing, we use setup to first download the files directly to hard drive by using command line arguments. I recently had to reinstall Visual Studio and again got stuck during install, so I tried this solution and it worked flawlessly, just be aware that ISO is 7GB of size, and the downloaded setup files will be around 22GB.

Steps are as follows:

  1. Get the ISO version of the Community Edition. You should find it HERE under “Visual Studio Downloads” section. Select Community 2015 and choose ISO format as shown below:
    Visual Studio Community ISO download
  2. After saving the 7GB big ISO file vs2015.3.com_enu.iso, extract it with archive utility like WinRar or 7-zip.
  3. In the extracted files, there should be vs_community.exe file. We will run this file in command prompt. Easiest way to do this is to go to the folder where vs_community.exe is located with Windows Explorer and then simply type CMD inside Address bar. This will open CMD on that folder.
  4. We will use /layout Directory parameter of vs_community.exe file. This will copy installation files to the folder you specified in Directory.
  5. Once in CMD console, type vs_community /layout yourdirectory (for example, vs_community /layout c:\vs2015)
  6. If you don’t have fast internet connection, you could try using /noweb argument in addition to /Layout. This should prevent downloading 15GB of the “Optional items” from the internet. Note that by using /noweb argument, optional items needed for installation during setup will be downloaded / acquired from the web, which might cause the original problem of being stuck.
  7. Setup window will show up as shown below:
    Visual Studio Setup - Download
  8. After clicking on Download button, It will start to download / acquire all the setup files to that specified folder.
  9. Note that most of the download will finish rather quickly since they are located in extracted ISO file but acquiring the Optional Items at the end of the progress bar (around 15GB) can take some time as they will be downloaded from the internet. Using /NoWeb argument will prevent that as mentioned in step 6.
  10. After all items are downloaded, click on Complete button.
  11. Now go to the folder of the downloaded files (folder that you specified in /layout argument) and run vs_community.exe. Now, the setup will install offline by using the downloaded media in your hard drive.
Note: List of all command-line parameters for installing Visual Studio can be found HERE.

Diagnostics Tips

Here are some additional tips, that might help you diagnose the problem with the installation.

How to determine if the installation is stuck or not

If you are unsure if setup is just stuck or the component takes a while to install, check the processes in Task Manager. The number of processes will continue to change. Some of the processes that will come and go during installation:

  • ngen.exe
  • msiexec.exe – Windows installer
  • conhost.exe
  • dllhost.exe – COM surrugate
  • VSIXInstaller.exe

So if you think the installation is stuck, monitoring processes in Task Manager might help you determine if that is indeed the case.

Checking the installation log files

Another way to analyze the setup is to check out the installation logs. In Windows 7, these files are located at %userprofile%\appdata\local\temp.

Each component has its own installation log file. All filenames start with dd_vs_community_.

Conclusion

Visual Studio setup needs to install a lot of components, so it may take a while to finish but sometimes the setup can get stuck. First, we need to determine if the installation is really stuck. If it is, we can try different things to solve the problem. We can simply try Restart and Uninstall or we could download ISO and install it offline.

If you found this post useful, consider sharing it on social networks. If you solved this issue in any other way, drop a comment and let us know.

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