I'm trying to install Visual Studio 2005 in Windows 7. When attempting to start, Windows 7 complains that Visual Studio 2005 is incompatible with Windows 7 and offers me to search online for a solution. It comes up with a link to Visual Studio 2005 SP1 for Windows Vista and Windows 7, but when I download it (VS80sp1-KB932232-X86-ENU.exe) and try to run it, it refuses to install saying that

The upgrade patch cannot be installed by the Windows Installer service because the program to be upgraded may be missing, or the upgrade patch may update a different version of the program. Verify that the program to be upgraded exists on your computer and that you have the correct upgrade patch.

  • Why do you need to install VS2005? Without knowing this, all we can suggest is to install VS2008 instead. – ChrisF Sep 2 '09 at 10:07
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    Switching VS-versions is not something we can do lightly; we need to do it (as I understand it) more or less on a company-wide basis. We are, however, in the process of switching to VS2008, but I still need to be able to build with VS2005 now and then. – JesperE Sep 2 '09 at 11:12
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    Deciding on compiler versions is not something we dare leave to our IT-department. – JesperE Sep 2 '09 at 14:08
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    There are very good reasons to continue to use VS 2005, for example, the xsd designer – bobobobo Dec 24 '09 at 19:44
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    Programmers should supersede IT for their own machines, especially when it comes to their area of specialty: software development. Or straddle the fine line between programmer roles and unofficial IT. Also, I agree, upgrading to a newer version is not trivial. – wag2639 Jun 8 '10 at 18:12

You need to ignore the warning and install VS 2005, then SP1 and then the VS2005-Vista update. Three installs.


Visual Studio 2005 might not be compatible with Windows 7:


Operating System

Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, or Windows Vista3,4

For a 64-bit computer, the requirements are as follows:

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 x64 editions

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

  • Ok, thanks. I'll go with VS2008 for now. – JesperE Sep 2 '09 at 14:08
  • NB these compatibility lists don't always get updated. There is a specific post VS2005-SP1 patch for Vista. – Richard Sep 3 '09 at 9:50
  • VS2005 actually is compatible with Windows 7, I just misunderstood how to install the patch to SP1 for Vista. – JesperE Sep 4 '09 at 17:16
  • -1, VS2005 is compatible with windows 7. but as other users have put in their answers "you need install VS2005, then VS2005 SP1, then VS2005-Vista-Update" in order to get VS 2005 to run in windows 7. – Trevor Boyd Smith Sep 8 '11 at 18:20

Consider using Windows XP Mode.

protected by Ivo Flipse Jan 13 '11 at 9:18

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