How-To Geek

Fixing "Visual Studio 2005 SP1 requires an update for Windows Vista"

I’d heard that Visual Studio 2005 has compatibility issues with Windows Vista, so I wasn’t surprised when I got this error message when trying to run for the first time. To resolve this particular error message, you need to install the SP1 Update, which is pretty much the service pack for the service pack, I think.


You can download the SP1 Update here:

After installing that update, I then got this error message saying “Administrator permissions are recommended for running Visual Studio 2005 SP1”, and asking to use the Run as administrator option when launching Visual Studio.


After doing some research, you have a couple of options:

  • Run Visual Studio as administrator (your best bet is to just change the shortcut to always run as administrator.) You will still end up with some errors this way.
  • Run Visual Studio as a normal user, and only open it as administrator if you get a specific error that requires admin access.
  • Just uncheck the box.

Tip: If you are trying to debug web projects, you need to make sure that you go to the Add/Remove Windows Components in Control Panel and install the IIS6 Compatibility with IIS7 option, otherwise you won’t have much luck.

Overall, Visual Studio 2005 is just not very compatible with Vista. It’s frustrating, but that’s life.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/20/07

Comments (15)

  1. nikhil

    there is nothing such problem… u can run visual studio normally on WIndows Vista.. im using Ultimate and running visual studio in windows server 2003 compatibility mode, works much better as compared to windows xp compatibility mode & running as normal user also it works totally fine, no need to mention s run as adminstrator.

    regarding sp1, im on a slow connection so is getting downloaded through vista update . will let u all guyz more if im able to install it perfectly or with some tweak.

  2. The Geek

    I’ve had nothing but problems with it. Most things work, but it just doesn’t work as well as using it on XP.

  3. DoG

    even after installing vistaSP1, vsSP1 and running as admin, the second message still pops up. and then, vs crashes on find function. sjit.

  4. Anurag

    thanks geek
    this helped me a lot …………

    the article is very easily understandable

  5. Geraldino

    It helped me a lot!


  6. pcunite

    I am running it fine on Windows 7 x64. I just uncheck the box. I only compile vanilla C++ code however.

  7. No-Happy

    Another case of religion where no one dares say a thing against microsoft

    well after days installing windows 7 because back door bill want to index my 3 X 1tb drive without telling me what it was doing and so looking like it had crashed i did finaly managed to install win 7 and now find i can not get any service packs.

    Clearly this is MS marketing depatment that want to sell us new software instead of fixing the problom and MS should give us a full list of what this new OS won’t work with instead of talking like win 7 is all things to all men.

    Same trouble i bet with SQL-2005 so i’ll go back to XP and hope someone else brings out a new OS without all these bugs that can not be fixed.

  8. Hanoon

    “Why visual studio 2005 does not work on windows 7?I tried to to install sp1, but the package can not be installed with the following error message:
    “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.”

    Tried also to Install SQL Server 2005 on windows 7, but keep getting error message:
    “This program has known compatibility issue.”

    Anyone has some ideas or fixes?

    Thanks in advance.

  9. Eaa

    Hi, I have a form with some textboxs (.aspx) created in Vstudio2005, and always shows up well, except when I open it on Windows 7 and IE 7.
    On Ws7 these textboxs disappear…any idea???


  10. Daniel Prado

    I’ve got a nice little trouble with my Windows 7 Professional N x64, I tried to install the Visual Studio 2005 in 64bits wich was the easy part, but have an incompatible problem and windows suggested I should download a couple of updates for my Visual Studio, and so I did! My surprise was that both updates were for x86 and and I couldn’t find the 64 bits versions of neither one. Has any of you stumble to such issue before??

  11. Daniel Prado

    Now that I see, its the same problem that Hanoon had, and the explanation is that the updates are made for x86 based systems and not the glorious 64 bit based ones!
    Sad isn’t it???

  12. Olzhas

    Ну так что есть решение проблемы с Windows 7? Кто знает пусть пишет!

  13. mostk

    If the machine participated in the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista Beta, please be sure to uninstall the beta first. This also applies to Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2. Visual Studio 2005 is supported on these operating systems with the same limitations as described for Windows Vista

  14. M Rowland

    Guys, you talk as if you expect Ford to make their 2011 mustang to fit the seats from a 2000 mustang. Every other industry deprecates, improves, changes and we just expect it but when MS enhances security vis-a-vis UAC and their and others programs that assume low security OS settings have issues people cry foul. If you are still using VS 2005, consider upgrading your code. If you can’t use XP mode or dual boot using VHD to a XP install when you need to use 2005 to make fixes to old code. I’m a coder too, and yes I run into situations (like developing for Win Mobile 6.1 devices) that require an older version of VS and I work with it. Innovation is the name of the game, if Microsoft or Apple stopped issuing new OS’s and new features, people would cry foul! Yet we don’t want to innovate our LOB applications, use more secure coding tools and code-bases, include better easier to manage features (such as WPF UIs or LINQ data querying) and we wonder why their are beige boxes in server rooms across the world running Windows NT 4.0 with an Access 95 database that can’t be touched for fear that it will fail. Invest in innovation!

  15. Azeem Bhatti

    Very nice comment Rowland! I appreicate that!

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