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VS 2012 RTM Will Not Launch - Known Fixes Do Not Resolve

    Question

  • It appears there is a lot going on with this "won't launch" issue.  The following thread has already discussed this topic:

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vssetup/thread/d848776a-b00f-4311-ab09-3a8777462968?prof=required

    That thread is marked as "Answered", but my issue is unresolved by the various proposed fixes.  Something else is still outstanding.  I had submitted this response there, but thought it best to begin a new thread since the other thread had a different resolution.

    The problem is simple.  VS 2012 Premium RTM installs without an warnings or errors.  When I launch it, I sometimes see a quick flash of the splash screen (very brief), and that's it.  Nothing else.  No error messages.  Nothing in the event viewer.

    A coworker and I have the same laptop hardware and company Win7 64-bit OS image installed, and we both have the same issue.  On a Win7 64-bit desktop build (same OS image), the problem is not experienced.  This is a stock install of VS 2012 with no add-ins.

    Based on the great suggestions from the install FAQ's and the thread linked above, here's what I've tried:

    • Looked at EventViewer for errors - Nothing obvious found
    • Latest Graphics Driver Installed - No change
    • devenv /ResetSettings - No change
    • devenv /SafeMode - No change
    • devenv /setup - No change
    • Created new user account - No change
    • Repair/Uninstall/Reinstall VS 2012 - No change
    • Uninstall/Reinstall .NET Framework 4.5 and VS 2012 - No change
    • Deleted registry keys [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0] - Splash screen stayed up longer (re-creating keys), then nothing
    • Registry key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0] not present on my system
    • Registry key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers] not present on my system
    • Registry key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers] not present on my system

    We do have anti-virus installed, but company policy will not allow me to disable it.  The same AV software is running on other desktop installations where VS launches without issue, so I believe that helps rule out AV blocking the launch.  The company OS image is also not a likely cause since our desktop machines have the same configuration (aside from obvious differences like system-specific drivers).

    Worth noting, Test Manager (installed with VS 2012 Premium) launches without any issues.

    Anyone have additional suggestions?

    Thursday, September 06, 2012 12:54 PM

Answers

  • Boyd,

    Can you uninstall Microsoft ACT 5.6 Data Collector from Add\Remove Programs?


    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.

    • Marked as answer by boydpatterson Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:16 PM
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 7:41 PM

All replies

  • Hi boydpatterson,

    The case you offered above is caused by VS2012 Commands extension, so if the root cause of your issue is a different one, the workaround described in that case will not work for you.

    Please double check the event logs in the Event Viewer to see if there is any error message in the Application logs. If any, post here.

    Thanks,


    Vicky Song [MSFT]
    MSDN Community Support | Feedback to us

    Friday, September 07, 2012 2:32 AM
  • Hi Vicky. I don't use the commands extension, but several of the suggestions from that thread seamed relevant. As you can see, I've tried anything I can find. Unfortunately, the event logs reveal nothing.  I have no entries of any kind from the timestamp of when I attempt to launch VS.  With no error dialogs and no event log entries, I'm totally in the dark about what to do to isolate/resolve this issue.  VS has always "just worked" for me in the past, and I've even installed VS 2012 successfully several times on different machines.

    Friday, September 07, 2012 2:40 AM
  • Hi boydpatterson,

    I am sorry that my reply does not help you. And I am trying to involve someone familiar with this topic to further look at this issue.

    Thanks.


    Vicky Song [MSFT]
    MSDN Community Support | Feedback to us

    Friday, September 07, 2012 3:14 AM
  • It seems you've already tried many steps to fix it. At this point, it would be better to collect VS IDE log as it is an issue with VS IDE launch.

    Steps to be followed:
    Create a New folder called VSlogs in C:\
    Start>Run  Type c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe  /Log  c:\ VSlogs\IDE.log
    Now it would generate two files in C:\ VSlogs folder:  IDE.log and ActivityLog.xsl

    We need the above two files. Please compress them and mail them to me: TREVORH at MICROSOFT.


    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.

    Monday, September 10, 2012 6:53 PM
  • Thank you for the suggestion.  The logs do not appear to be very informative, but have been sent to the e-mail address you provided.  Please let me know if you do not receive them.
    Monday, September 10, 2012 7:54 PM
  • Received. We didn’t find any package instantiate or package load.


      <entry>
        <record>24</record>
        <time>2012/09/10 19:48:52.490</time>
        <type>Information</type>
        <source>VisualStudio</source>
        <description>AppId starting registry detouring</description>
      </entry>

      <entry>
        <record>25</record>
        <time>2012/09/10 19:48:52.521</time>
        <type>Information</type>
        <source>VisualStudio</source>
        <description>AppId stopped registry detouring</description>
      </entry>
      <entry>


    Can you try the following steps?

    StartRun  Type c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe  /resetuserdata
    StartRun  Type c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe  /setup

    Then try launching Visual Studio. If it doesn’t solve the issue,  login to the system using another user account and launch Visual Studio - does it work?


    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.

    Monday, September 10, 2012 8:29 PM
  • Thanks for the suggestion, but there is no change after these recommendations.  I even created a brand new, local admin account and tried to launch VS from there.  All attempts had the same end result.  Brief splash screen followed by nothing.

    Monday, September 10, 2012 9:27 PM
  • I have also been following along and have the exact same problem as Boyd. Nothing so far has resolved my issue. Unfortunately, I upgraded our solution to VS2012/.Net 4.5 last week and now I'm stuck without being able to do my job. There has to be some solution to this.

    The only difference I can tell between my system and Boyd's is that I'm running Windows 8 RTM 64-bit. Other than that, it's a clean OS install and clean VS install with no extensions.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 2:24 AM
  • I have a similar issue. I have windows 8 Enterprise version 64 bit. I tried to install VS2012. If I install the ulimate exe, it wont give me the metro style templates (missing in the projectt emplates folder). If I use the iso, it threw errro at the end though saying IIS8 server error. the templates for metro style are there but VS wont start.
    Thursday, September 13, 2012 10:56 PM
  • If you've not done so already, please try a ProcMon on the DEVENV.exe process and look for Access Denied errors to the registry, or anything else that might pop out. If you need help doing that, let me know.

    In addition, even though there may not be anything in the event log about it, VS may be crashing on start. We could try to grab a dump to see if that's the case:

    1) Install the 32bit debugging tools for windows from the following link http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463009/  and install it in the following folder C:\Debuggers
    2) Go to the following folder in command prompt - C:\Debuggers

    3) Then type the following command:
    cscript adplus.vbs -crash -sc  c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe 
     
    (Ignore the warning about NT symbol path - press OK)

    4) Once the crash occurs, there will a folder generated in C:\Debuggers which will be like “Crash_Mode_..Date…Time….”

     

    Once you have that file let me know via mail.


    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.


    Friday, September 14, 2012 2:48 PM
  • I'm e-mailing you the ProcMon results.  Nothing stood out.  Lots of "NAME NOT FOUND" for the registry (which I would think is common) and some file locks, but nothing that I thought looked bad.  I am e-mailing you the XML export of the process events.

    I'll have to try the debuggers next week.  I'm on metered bandwidth right now and can't afford what appears to be a 257MB download through the Win7 SDK even when only selecting the "Debugging Tools for Windows" option.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 3:44 PM
  • Received the procmon. As for the dump, perhaps you can use ProcDump instead: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/dd996900.

    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 3:56 PM
  • Review of ProcMon suggests two processes are interfering with VS launch:

    Smc.exe (Symantec Endpoint Protection)
    gmeserv.exe (Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit app)

    Two thoughts:

    1. Check what exactly is being done to devenv.exe by Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit and revert back the changes temporarily.  

    2. Stop Symantec Endpoint Protection app temporarily.


    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.

    Monday, September 17, 2012 7:16 PM
  • Can you please elaborate on #1?  I'm not sure what to do.  I don't even see 'gmeserv.exe' as one of my running processes.

    #2 is going to be difficult since company policy doesn't allow me to disable AV, but I'll see what I can do.  My other corporate machine is also running Symantec Endpoint Protection, and it launches VS 2012 without issue.  I can't be certain, but would expect the same protection policy to be in place on both machines.

    Monday, September 17, 2012 7:47 PM
  • gmeserv.exe is there, or at least is was when you ran the ProcMon:

    gmeserv.exe     1540       CreateFile           C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE          SUCCESS
    gmeserv.exe     1540       QueryDirectory C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe                SUCCESS
    gmeserv.exe     1540       CloseFile              C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE          SUCCESS
    gmeserv.exe     1540       RegQueryKey    HKLM    SUCCESS

    gmeserv.exe     1540       RegOpenKey     HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Custom\devenv.exe         NAME NOT FOUND

    Run process explorer http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx and search for the process gmeserv.exe. When found, suspend or kill that process. Once it is done, try launching VS.


    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.

    Monday, September 17, 2012 8:23 PM
  • Found 'gmeserv.exe' in Process Explorer (not listed in Task Manager).  I killed it and launched VS without success.  Launching VS actually brought back the 'gmeserv.exe' process.  Then I suspended the process, still no luck.  While in Process Explorer, I also suspended any process from Symantec, and it had no benefit either.  If I kill the Symantec process they simply respawn, so suspension was the only option.

    Monday, September 17, 2012 8:45 PM
  • Rats - sorry Boyd, thought that would help. One additional log would be helpful. Here are the steps:

    1.Download msiinv.zip from the following location: http://cid-27e6a35d1a492af7.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Blog%7C_Tools/msiinv.zip
     
    2.Extract the contents of msiinv.zip to the folder c:\msiinv on your system
     
    3.Click on the Start menu, choose Run, type cmd and click OK
     
    4.Type this command:  c:\msiinv\msiinv.exe –v  > c:\msiinv\msiinv_output.txt

    Mail me the file msiinv_output.txt


    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.

    Monday, September 17, 2012 8:47 PM
  • Output from msiinv set to your e-mail address.  Thanks!
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 1:57 PM
  • If you've not done so already, please try a ProcMon on the DEVENV.exe process and look for Access Denied errors to the registry, or anything else that might pop out. If you need help doing that, let me know.

    In addition, even though there may not be anything in the event log about it, VS may be crashing on start. We could try to grab a dump to see if that's the case:

    1) Install the 32bit debugging tools for windows from the following link http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463009/  and install it in the following folder C:\Debuggers
    2) Go to the following folder in command prompt - C:\Debuggers

    3) Then type the following command:
    cscript adplus.vbs -crash -sc  c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe 
     
    (Ignore the warning about NT symbol path - press OK)

    4) Once the crash occurs, there will a folder generated in C:\Debuggers which will be like “Crash_Mode_..Date…Time….”

     

    Once you have that file let me know via mail.


    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.



    Just sent this log to you.  In case others want to try this, the steps I had to follow were a little different. I'm on Windows 7, so I downloaded the Windows 7 SDK. This was a web-installer for the full SDK, and I only wanted the debugging tools. I unchecked everything else I could and just kept the debugging tools. I didn't get the choose the install location, so they default to "C:\Program Files\Debugging Tools for Windows (x64)". These appear to be 64-bit tools, and I did not see any options to install 32-bit versions. From your instractions, I just replaced "C:\Debuggers" with "C:\Program Files\Debugging Tools for Windows (x64)".  In that folder, there was also not a file called "adplus.vbs". There was, however, a file called "adplus_old.vbs", so I altered your instructions to work with that VBS file instead. I wanted to note those differences in case my steps changed the expected outcome of the log files I e-mailed you.
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 2:52 PM
  • Boyd,

    Can you uninstall Microsoft ACT 5.6 Data Collector from Add\Remove Programs?


    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.

    • Marked as answer by boydpatterson Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:16 PM
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 7:41 PM
  • Ding, Ding, Ding! ... We have a winner!  My co-worker tried the same thing to fix his problem successfully, too.  Thank you so much for your diligence on this!
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:16 PM
  • Excellent!! Glad to help. Thanks too to my associate Soumitra Mondal for his invaluable assistance.


    Trevor Hancock (Microsoft)
    Please remember to "Mark As Answer" the replies that help.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:31 PM
  • A few others added to this thread that they were having a similar problem, so hopefully they can try this solution now and chime in if it resolved their issue as well.
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:52 PM
  • This helped me as well.  Thank you very much!  Why is this program stopping VS from starting?
    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 2:05 PM
  • Hi Guys,

    I also have similar problem and I couldn't find Microsoft ACT 5.6 Data Collector to uninstall. Please help me out here.

    Monday, November 26, 2012 7:44 AM
  • Hi guys,

          I also have this same problem of Visual Studio 2012 will not start on Windows 7 x64 and can not find Microsoft ACT 5.6 Data Collector to uninstall.

    Have you have any other things to try.. Thanks...

    Orgbrat

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:11 AM
  • Same problem, and I have tried everything above, and have no ACT data collector to install.

    Ideas?

    Friday, January 11, 2013 12:30 AM
  • Hitting the same problem here.

    My VS 2012 was working fine but I needed to uninstall my version of Office 64bit and reinstall a 32bit version of Office (due to Office addons not working).  After doing this though my VS 2012 refuses to load.

    I've tried uninstalling Office completely and have followed all the steps in the thread above but to no avail.  I to do not have Microsoft ACT 5.6 to uninstall.

    I've had to switch back to VS 2010 for now, but I would like a solution to this problem please.


    Many thanks.

    Phill.

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013 1:45 PM
  • Hello, Phillip Steele.

    I came across your post by chance in this 6 month old, answered thread. Because of the age and status of this thread, you will get very few readers here.

    For more reads and , potentially, more useful replies, I suggest that you start a new thread. That way, your issue will appear at the top of the forum threads list with status as unanswered.

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:16 PM
  • I have also tried all the options listed here - no ACT - no solution.

    win7 64 vsPro.

    Friday, September 27, 2013 1:12 PM