Visio for Enterprise Architects Installation Hack


We have upgraded to Visual Studio 2008 but are still stuck with Visio for Enterprise Architects 2003 for designing databases. Recently my system started causing some problems, and I decided to format my hard disk and reinstall Windows XP, since it had a lot of obsolete/unnecessary stuff too. So I backed up all data, formatted C drive and installed everything afresh. Finally I started installing my development environment. I installed Visual Studio 2008 and wanted to skip Visual Studio 2005 installation. But the Visio for Enterprise Architects setup won’t let me do that. The setup won’t work until you install Visual Studio 2005.

I really didn’t want to install Visual Studio 2005, since we no longer use it. We have already upgraded all our projects to .NET framework 3.5. (Visual Studio 2008)

The Problem

I’m sure there are many like me who are facing this problem. When you try to install the Visio for Enterprise Architects, without installing Visual Studio 2005/2003, you get the following message, and setup won’t continue further:

You must first install one of the qualified Visual Studio Editions.

In my case, I had already installed Visual Studio 2008, and didn’t want to install Visual Studio 2005, just to fulfill an absurd installation requirement. I know I would uninstall VS 2005 after this setup finishes even if I did, since I won’t be ever using it.

You must first install one of the qualified Visual Studio Editions message

The Solution

I searched for workarounds on the internet and finally hit upon some hints.

This is what I did.

  1. Run Regedit
  2. Backup the entire registry, less something goes wrong.
  3. Create the following registry key:
  4. Inside the VSTD key, create a string value named ProductDir and set it to any value. (I had set it to “1”)
  5. Close Regedit and run the Visio setup. It should now run smoothly.

I created and saved a copy of reg file that inserts the required keys, so that the next time I run into such situations I find this handy. So if you don’t want to follow the above manual procedure, or won’t like to mess around with the registry editor, just download & run the reg file I created.

Download link: VisioEA Registry Hack

Enjoy Hot

What if It doesn’t Work?

Hacks are hacks after all. They may work in one situation and not in others.

This hack worked for me. But from what I read from various resources on the internet, it doesn’t work for everyone. This depends on your version of Visio or Operating System etc.

If the hack didn’t work for you, try the following alternatives:

In the above procedure, step 3, try with these other registry key variations (other steps remain the same). One of these might work for you:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\Setup\VS\VSTD
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.0\Setup\VS\Arch
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1\Setup\VS\Arch
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\Setup\VS\VSTD
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.0\Setup\VS\Arch
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1\Setup\VS\Arch

A Word of Caution here

  1. Playing with the registry can be harmful. Do whatever you want to do with your registry at your own risk. I take no responsibility for any damages or anything else whatsoever.
  2. As with any other hacks, you may or may not be violating any license terms etc.. I never bothered to looked at that. So, do that at your own risk.
  3. As with any other files, scan downloaded files for viruses. I may not be having the best antivirus in the world and I undertake no responsibility for any damages caused to your system by using the files. Specifically, *.reg files have the ability to cause damage to your system, since they are executable files.


11 Responses to “Visio for Enterprise Architects Installation Hack”

  1. vikash Says:

    good yaar lage raho

  2. Sumit Says:

    Thanks a lot SIr – Sumit

  3. Graziano Bassi Says:

    Thanks a lot, this solves my critical situation. Great!

  4. tiendh Says:

    Thanks a lot 🙂

  5. martin sweeney Says:


    This worked the best for me… Windows 7 64bit installing Visio 2005. Already was a …8.0\Setup\VSTA key, added above and installer worked fine.

    Thanks for the help.

    • olisipo Says:

      martin sweeney answer is the way to go on Windows 7 64bit:

      Add a “ProductDir” String Key with the value 1 on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\Setup\VS\VSTD

      Great tip, thanks!

  6. Newt Says:

    This worked great. Thanks much!

  7. Sandeep Says:

    it works thanks a lot

  8. ankit garg Says:

    Hats off bro!!

  9. Andy Says:

    Here is the setting that worked for me.


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