This post provides a fix suggestion for the error message “VS Shell Installation has Failed with Exit Code 1638“, when trying to install SQL Server 2016 features on a Windows Server.
When you Might Get this Error?
You might get the “VS Shell Installation has Failed with Exit Code 1638” error message when trying to install specific SQL Server 2016 features on a Windows Server.
For example, you might get this error, when trying to install SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) on a Windows Server.
Why you Might Get this Error?
The reason for getting this error is because, certain SQL Server 2016 features, in our example SSIS, have as a prerequisite “Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015”.
So, if you don’t have these redistributables (x86 and/or x64) on the specific server, that’s why you get the “VS Shell Installation has Failed with Exit Code 1638” error message.
How to Resolve the Issue
The above issue, can be easily resolved, by installing “Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015” (you can get it from here).
If however you already have a higher version of the Visual C++ Redistributable installed, for example Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017, you will have to uninstall this first in order to be able to install the 2015 version and after that, you can re-install the 2017 version as well.
So the workflow for fixing the specific issue would be:
- Uninstall Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017 (if installed)
- Install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 (x86 and/or x64 or both – you can get it from here)
- Re-install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017 (if was installed in the first place – you can get it from here)
- Try again to install the SQL Server 2016 feature that you are trying to install
Note: Under certain circumstances, a restart might be required.
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Reference: SQLNetHub.com (https://www.sqlnethub.com)
Artemakis Artemiou is a Senior Database and Software Architect, Certified Database, Cloud and AI professional, Author, a 9 Times Microsoft Data Platform MVP (2009-2018). He has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry in various roles. Artemakis is the founder of SQLNetHub. Artemakis is the creator of the well-known software tools Snippets Generator and DBA Security Advisor. Also, he is the author of many eBooks on SQL Server. Moreover, Artemakis teaches on Udemy, you can check his courses here.