How to fix Common IDE package load failure in VS 2005 July or August CTP

Important note - the steps in this blog post have typically only proven useful in cases where a previous beta of Visual Studio 2005 was installed on the system prior to installing the final release of VS 2005.  If you have never had a beta of VS 2005 on your system and are encountering package load failure errors, these steps will most likely not help.  In that type of scenario, I recommend running devenv.exe with the /log switch (described in this MSDN topic) to create a log file of the packages it tries to load and then search in that log file for errors and warnings to help narrow this issue down further.  

A few customers have contacted me because they have seen the following package load failure error message after uninstalling VS 2005 beta 1 and upgrading to the VS 2005 July or August Community Tech Preview (CTP):

Visual Studio Common IDE Package load error

They have all tried running the VS 2005 beta cleanup tool (located here) but did not have any success.  One of the fixes that the VS 2005 cleanup tool makes is to delete some native images, and the directory that it uses to delete the native images from is specific to VS 2005 beta 2.  However, I recently figured out that this fix needs to be modified to work correctly for post beta 2 CTP builds.  That means the current version of the cleanup tool will fix this package load error if you upgrade from beta 1 to beta 2, but not if you upgrade from beta 1 to a post beta 2 build such as the July or August CTP.

There are a couple of options for how to fix this issue:

1.  You can use these manual steps:

  1. Open a cmd prompt

  2. Run del %windir%\Assembly\NativeImages_v2.0.XXXXX_32\Microsoft.VisualStu# (where XXXXX is the build number of the .NET Framework 2.0 that you have installed - you can figure that out by looking at the name of the folder at %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.XXXXX)

  3. Run %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.XXXXX\ngen.exe update /queue

The above steps will remove an incorrect native image from the native image cache and then re-run NGEN.exe to generate a new set of correct native images.

2.  You can download a work-in-progress version of the updated VS 2005 cleanup tool

This new version of the cleanup tool will automatically fix this issue on both VS 2005 beta 2 and post-beta 2 builds.  Please note that the cleanup tool is still being enhanced to handle additional known issues and should be used at your own risk.  Please provide feedback about this tool at this link (my contact page) and/or at this link (Hong's contact page).

<update date="4/11/2008"> Added a caveat to the top of this post indicating that it is typically only useful on systems that had a previous beta version of Visual Studio 2005 installed. </update>


Comments (15)
  1. Kb a c&#237;mben szereplő hiba&#252;zenetet kaptam, amikor megpr&#243;b&#225;ltam futtatni a Visual Studio 2005 beta 2-t….

  2. OferGal says:

    Will this fix the problem that accured because SQL2005 uses a higher build of .NET 2.0 ?

  3. Hi OferGal – I am not sure I know the exact problem you are describing with SQL 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0. Could you provide more detail about what kind of errors you are running into in your scenario?

  4. Ray Jezek says:

    BTW: I just installed the final release of VS 2005 on a machine that had no beta releases of VS installed on it ever and I got this same error. So they never fixed it in the release version… which seems really poor.

  5. Tom Skinner [C# MVP] says:

    I am having this problem with the 10/27/05 RTM release. Neither the latest tool or manual technique seems to work. I have more three native image directories for 2.0 frameworks.

    There has to be a better and simpler way to design these products to avoid this wort of problem.

    The spirit of .NET has been the xcopy type of install and yet the product itself seems to do just the opposite.

    Looks like a rebuild may be my only solution on this system.

  6. Rob Chandler says:

    Likewise. I just installed VS 2005 Pro RTM – Not sure if a Beta was ever on this PC. Can’t get rid of the Package Load failure no matter what I do (tried all the clean up utils around the place & reinstalled several times).

    🙁 Tell I don’t need to reformat!

  7. Keith Hill says:

    I just started to see this problem today with VS 2005 RTM. It gave me a Package Load Failure on the Windows Forms Designer Package. The only thing I’ve done since installing VS 2005 is:

    Ran reinstall because my admin installed over RDP with only 256 colors (screwed up the splash screen).

    Installed the October VS 2005 SDK

    Installed the Monad Drop compatible with .NET 2.0 RTM.

  8. Hey all – I posted an updated blog post at with additional suggestions for resolving package load failures that are not solved by running the troubleshooting tool ( Hopefully this will help solve some of these issues. Please contact me using if not.

  9. cedtat says:

    the work in progress tool you have provided has worked for me … i had problem with the final release of VS.NET 2005 because i had old reference of VS.NET 2005 beta 2 !


  10. ComputerJin says:

    Here is a SIMPLE solution.

    Try removing

    "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftMSDN8.0Packages{6E87CFAD-6C05-4adf-9CD7-3B7943875B7C}CodeBase" registry value and "SatelliteDll" registry subkey.

    It must solve this problem.

  11. Hi ComputerJin – There are a lot of possible root causes of package load failures.  This fix may help in some cases, but it might not in some others.  There is a comprehensive list of workarounds at that I recommend everyone take a look at if they are running into package load failures in VS 2005.

  12. ozkary says:


     I used the command:

    rd /s /q %windir%assemblyNativeImages_v2.0.50727_32Microsoft.VisualStu#

    and then

    Run %windir%Microsoft.NETFrameworkv2.0.50727_32ngen.exe update /queue

    This recreated the native images and VS loads fine now.

  13. Tanya52185 says:

    I’ve tried all of this none of it works. I even tried to run FSCAN but it only flashes and disappears?

  14. Hi Tanya52185 – The steps in this blog post are only useful if you previously had a beta version of VS 2005 installed on your system.  If that is not the case on your system, then I’d suggest trying to do the following:

    1.  Click on the Start menu, choose Run, type cmd and click OK

    2.  Run this command:  "C:Program FilesMicrosoft Visual Studio 8Common7IDEdevenv.exe" /log %temp%devenv.log

    3.  Look for errors or warnings in the file %temp%devenv.log that might help explain the cause of this package load failure

    If you don’t see anything in there that helps narrow this down, then I’d suggest posting a question on one of the MSDN forums at and hopefully someone there can help suggest some other workarounds for you in this scenario.

    Also, when running FSNAP, you need to make sure that you run it from a cmd prompt instead of from the Run prompt.  To do that, click on the Start menu, choose Run, type cmd and click OK.  Then run fsnap from the cmd prompt that appears.

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