How do I fix an "Invalid license data. Reinstall is required." error in Visual C# 2010 Express?

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I've tried to install Visual C# 2010 Express edition onto my PC, but whenever I try to run it, I get a error message.

Invalid license data. Reinstall is required.

I've already tried reinstalling it, and the message persists.

OS is Vista Home Premium. I already have VC# 2008 Express installed.

This worked for me on Vista. It's based on work-around at MS: http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/520110/invalid-license-data-reinstall-is-required

  1. Download subinacl command line tool http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/confirmation.aspx?FamilyID=e8ba3e56-d8fe-4a91-93cf-ed6985e3927b&displaylang=en

  2. Run these commands: subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Licenses /setowner=everyone subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Licenses /grant=everyone=f

  3. Start VS 2010 Express again and this time it asks for a license key.

(On Windows 7 Home I had to run the above commands twice before they worked correctly)

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I am using Visual Studio 2013 and I have the same issue but it occurs when I try to open a solution that was made using Visual Studio 2010.

The solution for me is to open the solution file (.sln), using notepad and change this line:

[# Visual Studio 2010]

to this:

[# Visual Studio 2013]

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I just right-clicked, and opened with Visual Studio XXXX (in my case 2015). Then save it. Done.

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I have the same problem with Windows 7 Pro. Have tried everything suggested by the Microsoft people, including uninstalling, cleaning up, reinstalling both from the web installer and the VS2010 Express iso - with the same result every time.

To say it's frustrating is an understatement and the disinterest from Microsoft in fixing what appears to be a common problem (you can find lots of search engine 'hits' for the problem, none for a solution) is quite unbelievable.

Since this is virtually a virgin Win7 install, the only conclusion is that MS have broken their licesing checks again (why check for a license on a free product?).

Edit: Following further investigation I have concluded that the advice given by Microsoft is useless and does not attempt to diagnose the problem. It simply assumes a corrupt installation source. I believe that the problem is in fact corrupt permissions/ownership of registry keys. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Licenses and subkeys needs to be owned by SYSTEM with admins having full access. On my affected system the owner cannot be displayed and no permissions are shown when viewed by admin.

I don't have the definitive fix for this so far, as I cannot adequately edit the permissions for the affected registry keys.

Re-installing Windows is an almost certain fix, but also an extremely drastic one.

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I have had this EXACT problem with VS2010 Professional Trial / Evaluation download. I can provide clear and concise steps to reproduce:

  1. Set your system clock ahead by 1 day (oops!)
  2. Install the trial software.
  3. Set your system clock back to the correct date.
  4. Start VS2010, you will receive the vague message indicating "Invalid license data. Reinstall is required."

In my case, the resolution was quite simple - set the clock back ahead to the wrong date. The next day, I was able to set the clock back to the correct date and continue using the product.

Based on other answers to this question, it would appear there are numerous reasons that you could receive this message. This specific issue is most likely to be encountered by someone with a "virgin" install of Windows since it is not so difficult to set the clock incorrectly when setting up a new computer and then fix it later (and if you fix the clock hours after installing the product, it might be hard to put it all together and realize what happened).

Hope this helps someone else.

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Comments
  • I succeed with Win 10_64 bit when I install SSDTSETUP.EXE 1,6 GB
  • Please refer below link ==> stackoverflow.com/a/59577394/11701617 !!!!!!
  • even I have the same problem.. but granting rights to the registry to everyone is not the right way, I feel..
  • Check your clock before you do the above. If the clock is wrong, and you are using a trial it foobars the license.
  • Granting everyone full access to the key is not a good idea even if it does work.
  • @reece , I am running VS 2015 on a Win 10 box. When I attempt to run the commands in step 2. - it says can subinac1 is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet. Please advise!
  • If you have a newer version of Visual Studio, it's usually better to open the file through (this newer version of) Visual Studio (instead of double clicking the .sln file), because it will then perform the necessary conversion (upgrade) to the newer file format (which might be more than just replacing the version number).
  • But I didn't get what is the Visual Studio Version Selector trying to do. I have never had the Visual Studio 2010 installed (I have 2013 and 2015), so what exactly is it trying to run? Dialog which it opens says "Visual Studio 2010 Shell".
  • Same solution worked on VS2019 with text [# Visual Studio 2019]
  • Not sure why this was down-voted. Had the exact same error and this fixed it?? No need to open up notepad and change something manually like the top rated answer either!
  • You shouldn't post an answer if you can't actually answer the question. I know it's frustrating not being able to do anything (other than ask or answer questions) until you've used the site for a while, but Stack Overflow is a Question and Answer site, not a discussion forum.
  • Welcome, Bill. You'll find many veteran users of this site are somewhat intolerant of newbies who don't know the "rules". Not to worry, just learn them. Join meta and study up. Start here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/54329/…
  • Thank you for the welcome and advice. It has been noted. Let me therefore put some meat on the bones: the advice given by Microsoft is useless and does not attempt to diagnose the problem. It simply assumes a corrupt installation source. I believe that the problem is in fact corrupt permissions/ownership of registry keys. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Licenses and subkeys needs to be owned by SYSTEM with admins having full access. On my affected system the owner cannot be displayed and no permissions are shown when viewed by admin. I don't have the definitive fix for this (yet!).