Siegfried Grimbeek
Oct 31, 2018 · 2 min read

As a developer, whenever I run into a problem of which the solution is not instantly available, I feel that I am obliged to share that information online.

After formatting my PC and freshly installing the software for our development environment (installed in the order listed below):

  • Visual Studio Professional 2017*
  • SQL Server 2017 Express edition
  • SQL Server Management Studio 17.9

I ran into an array of errors.

Before I dig in, it is worth noting that I am running a Windows 10 environment, on Mac OS with a tool called Parallels Desktop but it was determined that this had no relation to the errors.

As mentioned above, I started with a completely clean Windows install, then I firstly proceeded to install Visual Studio, followed by SQL Server Express and SQL Server Management Studio.

All of the above installed without any hiccups and both Visual Studio and SQL Express ran without errors but SQL Server Management Studio was where the problems started.

Upon start up of SQL Server Management Studio, I was prompted with the following error message:

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

I could dismiss the error but it would pop up again whenever I tried to perform any actions, rendering me unable to preform any actions.

After trawling several forums and reading numerous articles, most people recommended repairing SQL Server Management Studio or uninstalling and reinstalling it, etc…

None of this worked.

After trying several other suggested fixes, I came across the following error:

2015 shell isolated package missing

I once again turned to Google, hoping to simply download this package and install it but that was not the case. It seemed that one was unable to download it as a standalone package.

Eventually I found another forum, where a user suggested removing all Microsoft installations involving C++ and .NET, like literally each and every install and there were quite a few.

Then one also had to remove all software already installed, so after about two to three hours, I was back at step one, a clean install with no more traces of Microsoft packages left.

I once again started to install all three applications but this time I changed the order, which seemed to be the crucial part, the order was as below:

  • SQL Server Management Studio 17.9
  • SQL Server 2017 Express edition
  • Visual Studio Professional 2017

TL;DR

When creating a fresh development environment on Windows, install the applications in the following order:

  • SQL Server Management Studio 17.9
  • SQL Server 2017 Express edition
  • Visual Studio Professional 2017

This will prevent any strange and unexpected errors occurring.

*.NET desktop development and Desktop development with C++ was included with the install.

Beerwulf

The Beerwulf engineering blog.

Siegfried Grimbeek

Written by

Web developer, open source enthusiast and agile evangelist. Currently dreaming big and making things happen @beerwulfwebshop.

Beerwulf

Beerwulf

The Beerwulf engineering blog.

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