Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More WinFX WF Beta 2 fun

Although I got my installation problems resolved on my laptop, my work machine continued to have problems with Workflow Foundation. When starting Visual Studio I'd get the following error:

Package Load Failure
Package 'Microsoft.Workflow.VSDesigner.DesignerPackage, Microsoft.Workflow.VSDesigner, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' has failed to load properly ( GUID = {FD526733-BD72-4F81-BEEC-BEB06E2AF59F} ).

I found some people who had similar problems that arose from using an incompatible WinFX beta with a pre-release version of Visual Studio, but nothing with RTM. While tracking down the problem I discovered how to generally troubleshoot Visual Studio package load failures. If you start Visual Studio from the command line with the "/log" option ("devenv /log"), an xml log file is created in "c:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\" called "ActivityLog.xml".

Mine showed 1 warning (CheckPackageSignature failed; invalid Package Load Key {FD526733-BD72-4F81-BEEC-BEB06E2AF59F}) and 2 errors (SetSite failed for package [Microsoft.Workflow.VSDesigner.DesignerPackage, Microsoft.Workflow.VSDesigner, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35] and End package load).

Searching on those GUIDs and more detailed error messages I was able to find someone with a similar problem that resulted from having an old Add In file pointing to a location that no longer existed. Sure enough, in "C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Microsoft\MSEnvShared\Addins" I had a ".AddIn" file I had created ages ago in a folder that no longer exists. Once I deleted this file, Visual Studio loaded just fine.

I have no idea why this seemingly unrelated thing caused WF to fail, but at least it's resolved.


Robert Chaplin said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I ran into the exact same problem. It started after installing and uninstalling the Atlas beta stuff, and continued even after installing the .NET 3.0 RTM bits, which I hoped would resolve things. I had been doing some add-in work a while back and did have some add-ins still active. Once I cleared out the addin folder all was good. Thanks again!

Robert Chaplin said...

And I should add that I would have NEVER figured this one out on my own. You're a life saver.

Code Monkey said...

Glad I could help. It took an odd set of random googling and link following for me to end up with a solution.