On my old (and slow) work PC I had installed SQL 2008 RC0 and it worked fine.

I tried to install it on the new box and it has ended up causing me grief. The first indication that all was not well was when I tried to launch Visual Studio 2008 after SQL installation had completed. I was greeted with the following error:

“Package ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Xaml’ has failed to load properly”

Googling this error unfortunately didn’t give any ways to fix it, apart from reinstalling VS 2008.

So that’s what I did. I got rid of all the Visual Studio and SQL products using Add/Remove.

I then also fired up RegEdit and deleted their registry settings and clobbered their Program Files directories just to make sure. Reinstalling took a few hours, but was uneventful.

I then fired up Visual Studio again, only to see this new error when I tried to run our project

Unable to load DLL ‘wpfgfx.dll’

It appears this is caused by some remnants of .NET 3.5 SP1 beta not being removed.

Rather than repeat the whole install process again, this time I just uninstalled all the .NET frameworks, used this tool to make sure, then finally clobbered the c:\windows\assembly and c:\windows\microsoft.net folders, before re-installing .NET 3.5 again.

Because some of Visual Studio’s assemblies would also have been clobbered, I then did a Repair.

All seemed ok, until I tried to use SQL Management Studio. Of course it had some managed assemblies too, but unfortunately I couldn’t see a way to repair it. Instead I uninstalled all the SQL bits again and reinstalled them.

Now everything appears to be back to “normal”.