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Article ID: 944298 - Last Review: February 1, 2008 - Revision: 2.1

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SYMPTOMS

When you try to install an update for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003, or for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2002, you may receive an error message that resembles the following:
The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable.
Click OK to try again, or enter an alternate path to a folder containing the installation package File_name .msi in the box below.

CAUSE

This issue may occur for multiple reasons. These include the following.
  • Setup cannot find the correct product MSI file in the Windows Installer cache.
    When you install Visual Studio 2005, Visual Studio .NET 2003, or Visual Studio .NET 2002, Setup saves the corresponding .msi file to the Windows Installer cache. This cached .msi file is referenced whenever you try to repair or to reinstall the product, or whenever you apply an update to the product.

    In certain situations, Setup cannot find the .msi file in the Windows Installer cache. In these situations, Setup tries to resolve the source location by testing for the presence of the product installation in the last-used location when Setup was last run. If Setup cannot resolve the source location, the user is prompted to provide the installation media.
  • There is a file hash mismatch.
    Updates for Visual Studio are based on Windows Installer. Windows Installer uses file version numbers to determine whether a file on the computer is an older version that must be replaced by a newer file that is contained in an update.

    Certain files, such as text files and source files, do not carry version numbers. Therefore, the Windows Installer-based update must use another method to verify newer files. This method uses a hash for all non-versioned files. For non-versioned files, the file hash of the file on the computer is compared with the file hash that is recorded in the Windows Installer database. If a difference is detected between these two file hashes, Setup tries to fetch the file from the source installation media.
    • File hash mismatches that are caused by modifications to files on the computer
      Under certain circumstances, a user may manually modify a file that is installed during Setup. In this situation, you may be prompted to provide the installation media for the product when you try to install an update.

      Note There are valid reasons to manually modify a file that is installed during Setup. For example you might want to add a product key (PID) to the setup process for a licensed copy of Visual Studio before you put the product on a network share in your organization. You do this so that you do not have to share the PID with users who must install the product. This change is typically made in a text file that is named Setup.sdb. When you make such a change, the file hash for the file no longer matches the file hash that Windows Installer carries for the file in its database.
    • File hash mismatches that occur because of incorrect hashes that are carried in the product
      Visual Studio .NET 2002 and Visual Studio .NET 2003 may carry hashes in the Windows Installer database that do not match the hash for the file that is installed by the product.

      For more information about this issue in Visual Studio .NET 2002, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
      939401  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/939401/ ) Error message when you try to install an update for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2002: "The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable"
      Note Knowledge Base article 939401 does not apply to Visual Studio 2005 or to Visual Studio .NET 2003.

WORKAROUND

To work around this issue, insert the product installation CD in the computer's CD ROM drive. Or, provide the path of the available installation media for the product. For example, the installation media may be available on the computer's hard disk or in a shared network folder.

If you are trying to deploy an update to many computers on which this issue occurs, we recommend that you use the /addsource command-line option.

Use the /addsource command-line option

Recent software updates for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2002, Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003, and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 include support for the /addsource command-line option. If you receive the error message that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section when you try to install an update for the specified products, use the /addsource command-line option. Use this command-line option to specify the location where you want Windows Installer to look for the files. To use this command-line option, follow these steps.

Step 1: Verify that the software update that you are trying to install supports the /addsource command-line option

To do this, use either of the following command-line switches to open the usage dialog box:
  • /?
  • /help
If an update that support the /addsource command-line option is installed, this command-line option will be displayed in the usage dialog box.

Step 2: Copy the Visual Studio installation media or an administrative image

Copy either of the following items to a folder that can be accessed from all the computers to which you want to apply the software update:
  • The Visual Studio installation media. You must copy all the files from the installation media.
  • A previously created administrative image for the Visual Studio product
Notes
  • Typically, this folder is located on a network share.
  • You must verify that the Vs_setup.msi file is in the folder that contains the Visual Studio installation media files. The Vs_setup.msi file is required when you use the /addsource command-line option later.
  • If you are trying to update a component program of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition such as Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition, you may have to first extract the product from an IExpress wrapper to obtain the Windows Installer package for the product. For example, you must do this if the copy of Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition is a single file such as Ixpvb.exe.

    To extract the contents of the file, use the following command:
    Name of the setup executable file for Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition /C /T:"Full path of the folder to which you want to extract the contents of the file"
    For example, use the following command to extract the contents of the file:
    ixpvb.exe /C /T:"c:\temp\vbfiles\"

Step 3: Use the /addsource command-line option

Use the /addsource command-line option when you install the software update. When you do this, use the following syntax in the command:
Name of the executable file for the update /addsource "Path of the Windows Installer package for the product"
Note In the command, replace the Path of the Windows Installer package for the product placeholder with the path of the Windows Installer package for the product that you copied to a folder in step 2.

If the software update updates multiple editions of Visual Studio, you can specify multiple source locations for each edition of Visual Studio. To do this, use multiple instances of the /addsource command-line option, as follows:
Name of the executable file for the update /addsource "Path of the first Windows Installer package" /addsource "Path of the second Windows Installer package"
Note You have to specify the /addsource command-line option one time for each edition of Visual Studio that is installed on the computers to which you want to apply the software update. However, you only have to specify the /addsource command-line option one time if you are updating only one edition of Visual Studio. Do this even if the software update contains updates for multiple editions of Visual Studio.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Testers
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1, when used with:
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Testers
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Academic Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect
  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Developer
  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Service Pack 1, when used with:
    • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Academic Edition
    • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect
    • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Developer
    • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2002 Service Pack 1, when used with:
    • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2002 Professional Edition
    • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2002 Enterprise Developer
    • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET (2002), Enterprise Architect Edition SP1
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