Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 installing for over 2 hours could be a sign of a problem

Heath Stewart

On average customers are experience ~45 minute installs for Visual Studio 2010 SP1. Based on machine performance, even seeing install times of a little over an hour isn’t unexpected. But if VS2010 SP1 is taking more than a couple hours to install, there could be a problem and in the case described below requires user action.

Description of the issue

If Visual Studio 2010 SP1 is taking more than a couple of hours to install, it may be stuck in a loop waiting for the user to cancel the current operation. To determine if this is the case,

  1. Click on the Start menu and click Run.
  2. Type “cmd.exe” (without quotes) and click OK.
  3. In the command prompt, type “cd %TEMP%” and press Enter.
  4. Type “dir HFI*.tmp.html”  and press Enter.
  5. If a file was found, type “start filename” with the file name from step 4 and press Enter.
  6. Search the file for the text, “WM_ACTIVATEAPP: Focus stealer’s windows WAS visible, NOT taking back focus”.

If you find that text in the temporary log file, please see the workaround below.

If the temporary log file was not found or you do not see this text, perhaps wait a while longer or reply below with the last few lines of the log file.

How to work around this issue

If you find the text in the steps above,

  1. Click the Cancel button. This may take a short time and then SP1 will rollback.
  2. After rollback completes, reboot your machine.
  3. After logging in, install Visual Studio 2010 SP1 again.

If the workaround does not work, please comment below or through various other support options described here.


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