Duncan’s VS.NET 2003 wouldn’t run… and why that is good for you :)

Something must have changed, but I had no idea what it was… but suddenly, existing applications (the same version of which run fine on other machines) were crashing with IO errors, specifically “System.IO.IOException: The device is not ready.”.
At the same time, I could no longer open VB projects in VS.NET, or create new VB or C# project (“path not found” for the C# projects, “Project ‘project name’ could not be opened because the Microsoft Visual Basic .NET compiler could not be created. Please re-install Visual Studio.” for my existing VB projects)
Searching found lots of answers, including a KB article, but it (and all the other posts/sites I found) suggested I renamed my .NET Framework directory…. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;821790 … which I didn’t do 🙂
I didn’t try reinstalling because I really wanted to know what was actually going wrong ‘behind-the-scences’, and here is where you benefit… I found out what was causing it, so if it happens to you, you’ll know too 🙂
I had a small flash of insight… everything that was failing relies upon xml serialization, which uses temp files … so I dug around and found that my TEMP and TMP environment variables were pointing to a secondary hard drive which was no longer there. (I popped it out to put in my CD drive…. can’t run Halo without it)
So… no temp folder and you get a whole bunch of errors trying to open config file, and VS.NET fails (with a “please reinstall” error). Problem solved, although I had no luck finding any docs on this issue… 

Author: Duncan Mackenzie

I'm the Developer Lead for the Channel 9 team, formerly worked on MSDN as a developer, content strategist and author.

4 thoughts on “Duncan’s VS.NET 2003 wouldn’t run… and why that is good for you :)”


    This was the first post I found that solved this problem.

    I had this same problem with a corrupted .Net compiler using VS.NET 2002 and the 1.0 framework. I downloaded and reinstalled the SDK 1.0a and it fixed the problem immediately. Remember to reboot.

    Funny how the MSDN knowledge base **didn’t mention how to replace the compiler, even though that’s what the error message said was wrong!!!***

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