Visual Studio 2010 Installation Errors & SharePoint 2010 "Service Unavailable" after VS 2010 Install - SharePoint Development & Administration + InfoPath

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Visual Studio 2010 Installation Errors & SharePoint 2010 "Service Unavailable" after VS 2010 Install

Last night I set up a fresh development environment for SharePoint 2010, but ran into a few issues when I came to install Visual Studio 2010 on the server, and also SharePoint 2010 once Visual Studio was installed, although there were a number of possible causes of SharePoint stopping working during the process.  In this article, I explain the steps taken to resolve issues with the Visual Studio 2010 installation and the SharePoint 2010 environment.

Server Configuration
The server is configured with Windows Server 2008 Standard as the operating System, which was created from a snapshot taken from the base install some months ago.  In the “base install”, I had installed MS SQL Server 2008, and SharePoint 2010 which were both working fine at the time the snapshot was created.

The problems and steps taken to resolve:
After creating a new VM from the snapshot and testing SharePoint, I was able to load the root SharePoint site as expected.  No other sites existed in the environment at this point as it was a fresh install of SharePoint when the snapshot was taken.  

My first attempt at installing Visual Studio 2010 failed before it even started, as the Windows Installer was in use, or a reboot was required.  Due to the time between making the snapshot and creating this VM, a number of updates had been released by Microsoft that were applicable to the server.  Rebooting the server resulted in many updates being installed.  I also activated the Windows Server 2008 installation after the reboot as the previous product key had expired.  My second attempt at installing Visual Studio also failed when attempting to install the first of the long list of required components.  I rebooted again to find that there were still some updates that needed to be configured on the server even though there was no notification of this requirements after the initial reboot.  

A number of updates relating to the SharePoint Environment and dependent components had been  installed for the .NET Framework (KB958484), Office 2010 one for SharePoint Foundation 2010 (KB2553014: Update for Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010), Silverlight, SQL Server Service Packs, a bunch of security updates for Windows and SharePoint Server 2010, and the list goes on).

Once the updates had installed, I then ran the SharePoint Configuration Wizard which included steps to complete updates to the SharePoint installation as a result of the Windows updates relating to the SharePoint Foundation 2010 components.

The Visual Studio 2010 Installation also proceeded at this point without error, but when I attempted to load the SharePoint 2010 environment in the browser after completing the installation, I was greeted with a “Service Unavailable” error (500).  A quick look at the services for IIS, SharePoint and the SQL server indicated that they were running, and restarting the services and the server didn’t resolve the issue.

An IIS Reset also didn’t help with the situation, as the main SharePoint site appeared to be running in IIS.  My next step was to check the Application Pools used by the SharePoint environment, which I found that they were all in the “stopped” state.  

Starting the Application Pools allowed the SharePoint environment to become responsive again when accessed in the browser, but when it finally loaded, I received the “An unexpected error has occurred” message.  Turns out that I was probably just a little impatient after restarting the Application Pools, as a simple refresh of the page after waiting for a few seconds allowed the root SharePoint 2010 site to load successfully again.
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