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I'm trying to install SQL Server Management Studio on my laptop.

Operating System: Windows 7 Service Pack 1

But I got an error message saying, "The application cannot start.":

here is the error

What shall I do? I'm a student and I need this for my thesis / school project.

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When I had this issue, I was able to resolve the issue by deleting the folder C:\Users\<User account>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SQL Server Management Studio\.

This may remove any personalized settings, etc., returning you to how SSMS works on a fresh install.

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Was Visual Studio installed on the laptop before installing SQL Server Management Studio 2012?

Do you have another windows account on the laptop? Try logging in with the second account and starting SSMS or using 'Run As'. If it does start there may be something wrong with setting in your original windows profile.

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I had similar issue with SSMS 2016 after installing Visual Studio 2017 (Community). Prior the installation of VS2017 I uninstalled the VS2015. I tried uninstall/install SSMS, repair, ... Nothing helped. Finally, I had it back after uninstalling the Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2015 (which survived uninstallation of VS2015 somehow).

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This error occurs if you have previously installed a version of SQL Server prior to installing the new version.

Uninstall your old versions of SQL Server with the uninstaller. This will remove all registry keys of the old versions.

And then install your new version again. I hope it will work.

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