Instructions for Downloading and Installing Visual C# 2008 Express Edition

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Before you Install

You will need

You will also be required to register with Microsoft. Yes it's a pain but given what you're getting not that bad. If you have a Hotmail or Windows Live account already then use that. If not then you will need to sign up (it is free) for one.

The download page is on Microsoft's website for all their Express products. Microsoft Express Products.

On the next page : Download and Install Visual C# 2008 Express

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Download Visual C# 2008 Express Edition

Download the 3Mb file. This is a small download but it is the first part of a much larger set of files so don't attempt this unless you have a DSL or faster Internet connection.

The total download is well over 300Mb with the .NET 3.5 framework and MSDN or 30Mb for just the C# Part. You might want to do this early in the morning for faster download speed. As you can see from the picture, you get to choose whether you want to submit information to Microsoft. Apparently Microsoft receives 50GB of data everyday! (Crash data, customer feedback etc).

On the next page : Start the Download of Visual C# 2008 Express

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Start the Download of Visual C# 2008 Express

License Acceptance page

You'll have to wade through the usual acceptance of license stuff. You're also given the chance to accept Visual Studio receiving RSS content when you're on the web. This is a good thing as you get notifications of free content, lessons, offers and updates in a much less intrusive manner than by email.

Click Next to Proceed.

On the Next page - Want MSDN with that?

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Do you want MSDN Express Library to go?

MSDN Express Download

You should include the MSDN 2008 Express Edition in the download unless you have done this already for the Visual C++ download.

If you have already downloaded that then you may already have this. It contains projects, source code and help so it has to be downloaded, but only once!

Here's a tip. If you haven't defragged your PC for a while, I recommend you do it before installing Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition. For XP and 2000 it's easy. Just right click on the Start button and click explore. Now where you main drive is (Usually C:) right click on it and select Properties- it's normally at the bottom. Now click the tools Tab, select de-fragmentation and follow the instructions.

On the next page - Selecting the Install Folder

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Selecting the Install Folder

Select the Install folder

You have to install the software somewhere and the default selection "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\" is as good a place as any. Generally Microsoft have got this sort of thing figured out. You get pretty good at stuff with 30 years practice!

You can also review the full list of things that will be installed and see vast acreage of your precious disk space become part of the Microsoft reservation. Mine totalled 827 Mb but only 57MB download as I had the MSDN stuff already.

Also downloaded on mine was

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. You need this to run C# 2008.
  • SDKs for Express Tools for .NET and Win 32.
  • Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5

On the next page - The download begins

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Finally the Download Begins...

The old adage about "a Watched Pot never boils" was never so true with big downloads. unless you have a very fast DSL, you can probably brew and drink a pot of coffee or even cook a meal.

Trust me, the download is worth it. Mind you there is a slight chance that the next version will have been released by the time you've finished*.

*Ok Maybe I exaggerate!

On the next page Register or Else

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Register or you only get a Month

Register Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express

After downloading and Installing, run Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition. This will try to connect to the Internet and that's ok. It is just checking to download news of new articles and downloads and check for updates.

You now have 30 days to register to get a registration key. The key will be emailed to you within a few minutes. Once you have it, run Visual C# 2008 Express Edition, hit Help and Register Product then enter your registration code.

That completes the Installation. Now it's time to start learning C#.

On the next page : Compile and run your first C# application.

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Compiling a Sample Application "Hello World"

Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition

Do a File New Project it should look like the screen above then on the New Project Screen select Console Application Enter a name like ex1 in the Name: box.

After the { braces following the static void Main( line type

             Console.WriteLine("Hello World") ;
            Console.ReadKey() ;

It should look like this:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;

namespace ConsoleApplication1
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            Console.WriteLine("Hello World") ;
            Console.ReadKey() ;

On the next page : Running the Hello World Application

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Run the "Hello World" Program

Hello World Screenshot

Now Press F5 and you should see the console Hello World in all its glory. Your first C# 2008 application and hopefully not your last!

To close this and return to the Visual C# 2008 Express IDE just hit any key. Not the shift or ctrl keys, but the Space key or Enter key will do.

That completes this how to. For more on C# see the C# Tutorials.