Some think that .NET tab in Add References dialog shows shared assemblies residing in global assembly cache (GAC).  This is incorrect.

 

The assembly list in that tab comes from assemblies found in a few folders, not GAC; and the folders themselves are listed in two (I believe) registry keys:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\.NETFramework\AssemblyFolders
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\.NETFramework\v2.0.50727\AssemblyFoldersEx

 

Try it for yourself – put your assembly (even if it’s not a strongly named) into \Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\PublicAssemblies folder and you’ll see it in the Add References .NET tab…  Now, delete it from the PublicAssemblies folders, give it a strong name and register it in GAC – you won’t find it in the Add References .NET tab…