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Overview of the Windows SDK

This document describes how to install the Windows SDK for Windows 7 and the .NET Framework 4 (later referred to as the Windows SDK), which contains tools and APIs that let you create applications for the Windows operating system.

The Windows SDK lets you create applications for the following software and hardware.

Operating systems

Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP3, and Windows Server 2003 R2.

Versions of the .NET Framework

.NET Framework versions 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, and 4.

Platform architectures

x86, x64, and IA64 (Itanium)

The Windows SDK requires the following software and hardware on the computer:

  • One of the following operating systems: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP3, or Windows Server 2003 R2

  • The .NET Framework version 4

    With the exception of Application Verifier, Debugging Tools for Windows, the Windows Performance Toolkit, and their redistributable packages, the .NET Framework 4 redistributable package must be installed before the Windows SDK is installed. You can download the redistributable package from Microsoft Download Center.

    NoteNote

    The client version of the .NET Framework 4 is insufficient. Also, the Windows SDK will not install on a computer that has a prerelease version of the Windows SDK.

  • 600 megabytes (MB) or more hard disk space

Additional Components

The following components may be required for some samples and tools in the Windows SDK.

  • .NET Framework version 3.5 Service Pack 1

    Some samples and tools in the Windows SDK also require the .NET Framework version 3.5 Service Pack 1 redistributable components. These components are included in Windows 7 or you can download them from Microsoft Download Center.

  • .NET Framework 2.0

    You can download the .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable package from Microsoft Download Center. For a full list of tools, see the Tools Reference file in the Windows SDK folder.

This release of the Windows SDK does not include a .NET Framework Redistributable Package. For information about earlier versions of the Windows SDK, see Which SDK is Right for Me?.

You can download the Windows SDK in either web (.exe) or ISO format. To minimize the chance of setup errors, we recommend that you install the latest updates from Microsoft Update before you install the Windows SDK.

Download the web (.exe) version of the Windows SDK from Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4, or download the ISO version of the Windows SDK from Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4 (ISO). To install either version, follow the instructions on the download page.

If you experience a problem with the Windows SDK installation, you might be able to repair it.

To repair a Windows SDK installation

  1. Click Start, then Control Panel, and then open the Programs section.

  2. In the list of installed programs, click Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 (7.1).

  3. Click Change.

  4. In the Setup wizard, select Repair.

To uninstall the Windows SDK

  1. Click Start, then Control Panel, and then open the Programs section.

  2. In the list of installed programs, click Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 (7.1).

  3. Click Uninstall.

    Use the same steps to uninstall shared components such as the following ones. If you are running a 64-bit version of Windows, you may see both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64, IA64) versions of these components. Uninstall all versions.

    Caution noteCaution

    Uninstalling components may adversely affect other applications that use those components. For example, Visual Studio also uses the Microsoft Help Viewer.

    • Application Verifier

    • Debugging Tools for Windows

    • Windows Performance Toolkit

    • Microsoft Help Viewer 1.0

    • Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable

    • Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Standard Edition

By default, the Windows SDK is installed in ..\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1\. The following table shows the contents of the subfolders in the installation.

Folder

Contents

\Bin\

Windows SDK tools and the .NET Framework 3.5 tools

\Bin\NETFX 4.0 Tools\

The .NET Framework 4 tools

\Include\

Windows SDK headers

\Lib\

Import libraries and type library (TLB) files

\License\

Windows SDK license information

\Redist\

Redistributable files

\Samples\

Windows SDK samples

\Setup\

Setup files

Visual C++ 2010 Installation Path

On a 32-bit (x86) computer, the default installation path of the Visual C++ 2010 compilers is ..\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\VC\bin\. On a 64-bit computer (x64 or Itanium), the default installation path of the Visual C++ 2010 compilers is ..\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\VC\bin\.

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