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Runtime versions are a bit of a mess, absolutely! Fortunately, you should be able to have both of them installed at the same time.

I have two programs on one of my computers (an old Dell Precision workstation 360, circa 2004) that doesn't want to seem to function correctly because of hang-ups with visual C++ 2008. I cannot find where 2008 is installed, but I do see 2005. Can I add 2008 without first uninstalling 2005? Should I?

In this excerpt from Answercast #64, I look at the mess involved with different runtime versions and where to get the files for your programs.

Runtime programs

So, I'm assuming that what you mean is the "shared runtime" that many programs require, much like the operating system itself, much like the .Net framework, much like the old visual basic runtime.

Visual C++ provides a number of support functions in a .dll form that allows applications to, instead of having to write all of that stuff themselves, instead simply require that you have that runtime installed.

C++ runtime versions

Now, also not unlike the .net framework, there are multiple versions of the visual C++ Runtime. You're seeing both 2005 and 2008.

It is unfortunately the case that some applications will require the 2005 version and only the 2005 version, where as other applications may very well require the 2008 version. They may require 2008 or later. Or they may require the 2008 version and only the 2008 version.

It's a bit of a mess, absolutely!

Multiple versions

Fortunately, you should be able to have both of them installed at the same time. You can indeed download the visual C++ common runtime from the Microsoft website and install it and see if that doesn't make the problem go away.

My guess is (if I've understood the problem correctly) downloading the 2008 runtime should fix this problem and still allow any of the programs that require the 2005 runtime to continue to work.

Article C5957 - October 25, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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