SQL Server Installation Error: vs shell installation has failed with exit code 1638

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Recently my machine got formatted. While re-installing the system, I didn’t installed Visual Studio 2019 first. I tried SQL Server management studio later and then SQL Server. The reason for this particular order was due that the fact more or less the work was targetted more on central SQL Severs and for personal purposes I basically use an instance of Azure and then later delete it.

During the installation of SQL server, i faced a wierd problem which wasted about an hour of mine as the setup runs and then it shows as components not installed. The only error thrown during the installation was “vs shell installation has failed with exit code 1638” which seems a bit weird. Some quick googling thereafter revealed that Microsoft C++ 2017 Redistributible was the problem.

Solution also was a bit simpler. Either you install SQL Server before Visual Studio 2017 which seems not possible, Another alternate was to remove the two packages for C++ Redistributible 2017 (both 32 and 64 bit) and then install the SQL Server. Thereafter installation was breeze.

After SQL Server installation, just install the packages again. You can download both the packages from Microsoft link. For quick Reference, here are the direct download links:

32 Bit
64 Bit

Kindly put in comments if you see any other issue or this does not resolve the problem.

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