Get Silverlight 4 Installed: Tips and Tricks

What to get to install Silverlight 4 - and what to do if there are problems

Today is TAX Day (Big deal, right?). It's also Silverlight 4 Release day! Yay!

Here's what you need to do to get Silverlight 4 installed on your machine:

1. Obviously, you need an installed copy of Visual Studio 2010 RTM or the equivalent EXPRESS version.

2. Download the "Single Install" for Silverlight Developer runtime and the tools.

3. Get the Expression Blend 4 RC.

4. Download Silverlight Toolkit.

5. Get the Offline Documentation CHM.

You can also get the RIA Services Toolkit.

Now that you've got all the bits, here's what I recommend:

First remove ALL previous versions of Silverlight, the Silverlight SDK, Blend (Any version), Tools and Toolkits, including any WCF RIA Services previews. Don't expect the installers to do this for you - they almost never do. If you have any WPF Toolkit installations, remove them too, as Blend will require it.

When you install the Silverlight4_Tools.exe, it is possible that it will report a failure condition. Usually this is because you may have orphaned Registry entries that are telling it there's a previous version of something (usually RIA Services). If you're like me, you probably don't even still have the source MSI for this any longer.

If it reports a failed install, ALWAYS read through the log file - a link to it will appear on the final screen. It may only be the very last component, RIA Services, that actually failed, even though it "looks like" everything failed. For example:

[4/15/2010, 15:4:12] (IronSpigot::MsiInstallerBase::PerformAction) MSI (k:\9acfff6ddabf59ee83fd54\RiaServices.msi) Installation failed. Msi Log: Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio 2010_20100415_150133786-MSI_RiaServices.msi.txt

(As one might imagine, "k:\9acfff6ddabf59ee83fd54\RiaServices.msi" hasn't been present on my machine for quite some time.)

NOTE: You can open the Silverlight_Tools.exe file with programs like WinRar and extract all the contents to a folder. This enables you to run individual MSI installer files, which can make things easier.

If you do have a source MSI, you can right-click on it in Windows Explorer and the Details Tab will tell you the version information. Most of these things always have the same filename, which is useless if you're trying to figure out if its the one you need.

If it was RIA Services that failed, here's what you'll need to do:

Remove any of these keys if they exist (hint- you can search on the GUID in REGEDIT):


A similar issue came up with installing Blend 4 - the log reported that the February 2010 WPF Toolkit source could not be found. In that case, however, I was easily able to find it, download the MSI, execute the little booger, and choose "Remove". When you get prompted for a source location on some nonexistent drive or folder, just point it to the new one you downloaded and it will be happy. These locations all get stored in the Registry and of course, most people simply don't keep them around in the same place they originally were installed from (DOH!).

As with any registry editing, I recommend making a current backup of the Registry first. I recommend ERUNT by Lars Hederer for this. If you do not have this, please stop everything NOW and go get it. It's free. It works on every version of Windows including x64. You'll thank me later!

As a last resort, I have had great success with a proggie called "Perfect Uninstaller" For about a $35 investment, it will remove all traces of any errant installation, even if the original sources cannot be found. I don't usually recommend third party software - but this thing works!

I bet that Aaron Stebner of Microsoft will eventually have a cleanup tool for all this - but I'm not about to hold my breath! Happy Silverlighting!

NOTE: As of Thursday,June 3 2010, Tim Heuer announced that Microsoft had releaseed a minor Silverlight 4 update.You can get the details and download links here.

By Peter Bromberg   Popularity  (14056 Views)