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I installed the Professional edition of Visual Studio, asking for just the C# package. The program ended up installing all of the following:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Data-Tier Application Framework
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Data-Tier Application Project
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Objects
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Objects (x64)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Transact-SQL Language Service
  • Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 ENU
  • Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 x64 ENU
  • Microsoft SQL Server Database Publishing Wizard 1.4
  • Microsoft SQL Server System CLR Types
  • Microsoft SQL Server System CLR Types (x64)
  • Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 (x64)
  • Microsoft Sync Framework SDK v1.0 SP1
  • Microsoft Sync Framework Services v1.0 SP1 (x64)
  • Microsoft Sync Services for ADO.NET v2.0 SP1 (x64)
  • Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 Object Model - ENU
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable - x86 9.0.30729.4148
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable - x86 9.0.30729.4974
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 x64 Runtime - 10.0.30319
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 x86 Runtime - 10.0.30319
  • Microsoft Visual Studio ADO.NET Entity Framework Tools
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional - ENU
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime (x64)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Macro Tools

I've heard that I can't get rid of the SQL Server Compact as it is needed for Visual Studio to run. I'm also aware that the Visual Studio 2010 Professional - ENU IS the actual program. However, after these, bearing in mind that only C# development is needed, what can I uninstall?

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Since not much coding is involved, won't the lighter Express versions suffice? – Karan Dec 1 '12 at 23:42
I had no idea there was a free one! Our university is connected to the Microsoft Academic service that gives students some free software and we grabbed our versions from there. Will have to look into this Express version. – Andrew Martin Dec 2 '12 at 0:13
I'd do a system restore, and then install the express edition within an Virtual Machine. The SQL Server and the other components might open additional security holes, too. In a virtual machine that connects using NAT, there will be no problem. – davidbaumann May 2 at 16:35

2 Answers 2

It's a good question but I'm going to try persuade you not to uninstall any of the components. Their existence on your system won't interfere with anything or slow it down. You only loose a bit of hard drive space.

The reason to keep what's installed is because there are unexpected, sometimes downright odd interdependencies between the components. You could try uninstall components that seem unnecessary, but you might discover something you do need no longer works.

In my opinion your bloatware tag is totally justified. The first time I installed Visual Studio 2010 (having selected Visual Basic only) I was gob-smacked at the number of components installed and size. Still, I've been using it without issue for years now. Despite the bloat, Visual Studio is nevertheless a first-rate development environment.

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The bloatware shown in the Add/remove program is just the beginning; there are much more unnecessary packages installed than you actually saw. There is a tool called Total Uninstaller. You just need to download the tool, unzip, change the XML configuration file according to your need such as adding

<add key="8" value="Team Foundation Server"/>
<add key="9" value="Blend"/>
<add key="9" value=".NET Framework"/>
<add key="9" value="SQL Server"/>

to remove any installed packages whose name containing Team Foundation Server, Blend, SQL Server and .NET Framework. The good thing about this tool is that it does so automatically so you don't have to click, wait and repeat manually.

Most of the stuffs (all except for [Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional - ENU]) you mentioned in the list is removable and still have a functioning IDE. You can remove SQL Server * but you will not get code completion in the editor.

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