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Additional step to resolve package load failures in the final release of Visual Studio 2005

Additional step to resolve package load failures in the final release of Visual Studio 2005

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I have heard from and read about problems reported by several customers who are running into package load failure errors in the Visual Studio IDE after migrating from beta or CTP builds of Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 to the final release.  I previously posted this blog item with some suggestions about how to resolve this.  I finally found a machine inside of Microsoft that reproduced the same symptoms and was able to track down another possible root cause and fix that the current cleanup tools do not seem to handle in all cases.

The machine I looked at today had some orphaned beta assemblies in the GAC.  Because those were present, the native images generated during setup for the final release of VS 2005 contained references to these orphaned assemblies.  Then, when the VS IDE attempted to load packages at startup, it started loading these native images with invalid references in them and failed with one of the infamous Package Load Failure error dialogs that looked like the following (the exact package that fails to load will vary, but the rest of the dialog will look similar to this):

Visual Studio 2005 Package Load Failure Error

I had to close Visual Studio and then run the following command line to clear up these package load failures:

rd /s /q %windir%\assembly\NativeImages_v2.0.50727_32\Microsoft.VisualStu#

If you are running into package load failures on your system after installing the final release of Visual Studio 2005, I encourage you to first try the troubleshooting tool, and then try the above command line.  If all of those fail, then please proceed to step 3 in this blog post (which I've also updated to include this command line as step 2).


  • I did see this or something similar to this Messagebox whenever I tried to load a program or access anything in tools on the left side (when using VB .Net 2005 Final Version). At one time, I used the tool to remove the beta assembly files and everything, and it told me it was clear, yet I still had that problem. Originally though, I started installing without stopping my virus scanner McAfee and other programs, and I ran into a problem midway, so I continued and skipped some things that couldn't be accessed. Later, I went back uninstalled and reinstalled by use of the msconfig to disable the necessary programs, but I believe the damage was done, and I still got those errors. I have cleared out the entire .net 2.0 and VS 2005 and will prepare to do it all the correct way this time from the start. If I still get this problem when trying to access tools on the left side of VB .net, I'll post back, but my URL links to my forum questioning and someone's reply which led me here (again).
  • Hi Jordan - There is a more comprehensive list of steps to try to resolve this type of error at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/12/16/504906.aspx.  Hopefully those steps will help in this scenario.
  • Yes! Infact, I happened to find it's kb through MSDN site http://support.microsoft.com/kb/916900/en-us. An excelent resource! I once had the betas, and at one time I did use 2 of their packages that did some removing of the assemblies. It seemed like it was all gone...but nope!

    These steps worked very well. I needed to do all of them (actually done out of order of course). I did completely uninstall everything and did the reinstall (#4). That didn't work. I used the programs that removed componenets that had something to do with the SQL I guess that didn't delete after installing or were still in temporary files. But the most important were #2 and definitely #3. Thanks again for your help!
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