How to fix platform extensions add-in store errors that can occur when using XNA Game Studio

Every once in a while, I see a post on the App Hub forums (for example, here or here) where someone runs into an error related to the XNA Game Studio platform extensions add-in store when trying to open an XNA Game Studio project for Xbox 360 or Windows Phone.  The error message looks like the following:

Microsoft XNA Game Studio
The XNA Game Studio platform extensions add-in store returned the following error:

    Could not find the add-in deployment cache file, "C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\XNA\PlatformExtensions\".  Please run AddInStore.Update or Rebuild (or run AddInUtil.exe on the command line).  Also, ensure your code has permission to read this file.

Please run Setup for Microsoft XNA Game Studio Platform Tools to repair your installation.

If you encounter an error like this while trying to use XNA Game Studio, there are a few different options that can be used to resolve it.  I suggest trying them in the order listed below, and skip to the next option if the current option does not resolve the error for you.

Option 1 – re-install Microsoft XNA Game Studio Platform Tools

The XNA Game Studio Platform Tools is one of the sub-components that is installed behind the scenes by XNA Game Studio setup.  You can re-install it by right-clicking on the platform tools MSI, choosing to uninstall it, then double-click on it and choose to install it.  The platform tools MSI can be found at the following location on a computer that has XNA Game Studio 4.0 (or the 4.0 Refresh) installed.

On a 32-bit OS:

  • %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft XNA\XNA Game Studio\v4.0\Setup\xnags_platform_tools.msi

On a 64-bit OS:

  • %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft XNA\XNA Game Studio\v4.0\Setup\xnags_platform_tools.msi

Option 2 – re-install Microsoft XNA Game Studio

For this option, you can go to the Programs and Features (or Add/Remove Programs) control panel and uninstall all of the following components:

  • Microsoft XNA Game Studio 4.0 (or 4.0 Refresh)
  • Microsoft XNA Framework Redistributable 4.0 (or 4.0 Refresh)
  • Microsoft XNA Game Studio Platform Tools

Alternatively, you can use the XNA Game Studio cleanup tool.

After uninstalling the above components, re-download and re-install XNA Game Studio.

Option 3 – re-build the XNA Game Studio Platform Tools add-in store manually

If the above steps do not help, it might help to manually re-build the XNA Game Studio Platform Tools add-in store.  These steps are run during Platform Tools setup, but in some cases they will fail, and running them manually can provide more useful error information for troubleshooting purposes.

Note – even though XNA Game Studio 4.0 (and the 4.0 Refresh) require VS 2010 and the .NET Framework 4, they will attempt to use the .NET Framework 3.5 to build the add-in store if the .NET Framework 3.5 is installed because platform tools components are shared by previous versions of XNA Game Studio (3.0 and 3.1), and older versions of XNA Game Studio cannot read the add-in store if it is re-built by the .NET Framework 4.  Because of that, I recommend using the .NET Framework 3.5 to re-build the add-in store if you have it installed.

If you have the .NET Framework 3.5 installed, run the following commands from an elevated cmd prompt:

On a 32-bit OS:

  • "%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\AddInUtil.exe" -PipelineRoot:"%ProgramFiles%\Common Files\microsoft shared\XNA\PipelineHosting\." -Rebuild
  • "%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\AddInUtil.exe" -PipelineRoot:"%ProgramFiles%\Common Files\microsoft shared\XNA\PlatformExtensions\." -Rebuild

On a 64-bit OS:

  • "%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\AddInUtil.exe" -PipelineRoot:"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Common Files\microsoft shared\XNA\PipelineHosting\." -Rebuild
  • "%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\AddInUtil.exe" -PipelineRoot:"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Common Files\microsoft shared\XNA\PlatformExtensions\." -Rebuild

If you do not have the .NET Framework 3.5 installed, but have the .NET Framework 4 installed, run the following commands from an elevated cmd prompt:

On a 32-bit OS:

  • "%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\AddInUtil.exe" -PipelineRoot:"%ProgramFiles%\Common Files\microsoft shared\XNA\PipelineHosting\." -Rebuild
  • "%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\AddInUtil.exe" -PipelineRoot:"%ProgramFiles%\Common Files\microsoft shared\XNA\PlatformExtensions\." -Rebuild

On a 64-bit OS:

  • "%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\AddInUtil.exe" -PipelineRoot:"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Common Files\microsoft shared\XNA\PipelineHosting\." -Rebuild
  • "%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\AddInUtil.exe" -PipelineRoot:"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Common Files\microsoft shared\XNA\PlatformExtensions\." -Rebuild

Option 4 – re-install the .NET Framework

If the above options do not help, it might be necessary to repair/re-install the .NET Framework on your computer.  As I described in the notes for option 3 above, the XNA Game Studio Platform Tools will use the .NET Framework 3.5 to build the add-in store if the .NET Framework 3.5 is installed on the computer.  As a result, you will need to try to repair/re-install both the .NET Framework 3.5 and the .NET Framework 4.

Option 5 – if none of the above help

If none of the above options solve this error, please do the following:

  1. Use the log collection tool to collect all of your setup log files.
  2. Upload the file named %temp%\ that the log collection tool will create to a file server (such as
  3. Post a comment on this blog post that includes a link that I can use to download your log files and take a closer look.
Comments (10)

  1. Phantasie says:

    I followed the above steps and they fix the add-in errors when running Visual Studio.

    However they do not fix the (similar) error when running the XNA Performance Monitor Tool.

    It says "The Add-in store is corrupt. … … "

    (I didnt include the full message, those look like the relevant parts.

    Im running Win 7 64 Bit, XNA 4.0, .NET 4.

    I realize this post is years old. Hoping you still might be able to help. Im doing a hobby project on the side in XNA still, and need to do some garbage collection analysis that the performance monitor would help with!

    Thanks in advance (Ill gladly upload the logs if that helps checking first to see if theres any reason to 🙂 )


  2. Hi Phantasie – The workarounds listed in this blog post should allow you to resolve that type of error, even in the XNA Performance Monitor tool.  Did you try all of the first 3 options listed above already?

  3. phantasie17 says:

    Hi Aaron

    Thanks for the response – certainly appreciate it, and this blog. I did do steps 1, 2 and 3 last night (though I don't recall if in that order, since originally I found a different site that had a re-hash of your post).

    Tonight I was going to go uninstall .NET and see. Ill try 1-3, in order, to be sure, then try step 4, then let you know! I'm always nervous about too many uninstall/re-installs on my computer I do my XNA dev on, given the current status of XNA 🙂

    Note: The second AddInUtil does give this warning:

    "C:Windowssystem32>"%windir%Microsoft.NETFrameworkv4.0.30319AddInUtil.exe" -PipelineRoot:"%Prog

    ramFiles(x86)%Common Filesmicrosoft sharedXNAPlatformExtensions." -Rebuild

    Warning: While inspecting an assembly, caught a BadImageFormatException: The file is not a valid bin

    ary: C:Program Files (x86)Common Filesmicrosoft sharedXNAPlatformExtensionsAddInsXboxZuneXna

    PEVerifier.exe This occurred while inspecting assembly C:Program Files (x86)Common Filesmicrosoft


    I'm not sure if a warning halts processing (and even keeps what it did alreayd) or not. I ran the command a second time with "-Silent". A different post I found said that warnings on this step were ok, though I see now that you don't say that. Sorry for not mentioning it last night.

  4. phantasie17 says:

    Hi Aaron

    Again, thanks for the response.


    Last night I for this error when running XNA PerfMon for the first time. VS had worked fine.

    I found a link to a soultion based of yours and I reinstalled XNA.

    This didnt fix XNA PerfMon and it caused a similar set of dialogs to pop up when running VS.

    I tried options #1 through #4, in order, again tongiht.

    Step #1 and #2 result in both VS and XNA PerfMon getting the AddIn store is corrupt error.

    Step #3 fixes VS, but not XNA PerfMon.

    Step #4 reverted me back to both VS and XNA PerfMon being broken.

    Potentially unique details:

    – I only have .NET 4.5.1 listed in add/remove programs (which is what I repaired/reinstalled in step 4). However in "%windir%Microsoft.NETFramework", I have v2.0.507727, v3.0, v3.5 and v4.0.30319 directories.

    – When running step 3 with the v4.0.30319 version of AddInUtil, the PipelineHosting command says "Updated the cache". As mentioned above, the PipelineExtensions throws a BadImageFormat exception. I removed that ZUne folder it references, and it then the PipelineExtensions build fine saying "Update the cache". Neither of these steps fix XNA PerfMon issue (but they do fix Visual Studio)

    – I then tried step 3 with the .NET v3.5 64 bit AddInUtil. It gave a "Error: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation."

    – When I run XNA PerfMon, I get the (single) dialog about the being corrupt. If I click Ok, the tool does load. However when I "Launch Application" the "Device" dropdown list is empty, as is the Application text box. I have no way to select my Retail XBox (even though XBox Game Studio Device, and Visual Studio both and see and connect to it just fine).

    – I have a SSD as my boot/OS and VS drive. I have a second HD for other programs. A year or so ago, I changed my install location for most programs to the second drive, and at one point changed the default programs/x86 folder to that second drive (a mistake, it broke everything 🙂 ). I changed it back well before any of these issues. Unlikely, but this could be related.

    – I noticed tonight that there was a .NET 4.5.2 Windows Update waiting. I applied that, repeated Steps 1-3 with no luck.

    [3072 char limit hit…]

  5. phantasie17 says:

    [And the rest…]


    – Windows 7 SP1 64 bit (legal copy)

    – Visual Studio Pro 2010 SP1 (legal copy)

    – XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh 4.0.30901.0 (valid, active, creators club membership)

    – .NET 4.5.1

    I realize you're busy and XNA is no longer being supported. So any help you are able to give me would be _greatly_ appreciated.

    For what its worth, I'm actually a professional game dev – 10 years as a programmer and another 5 in production. I currently work pretty closely with various AM's and RM's at Microsoft 🙂 This XNA project is just a side thing Im doing for fun. I miss 80's RPG's 🙂

    Finally, I ran the log collection tool in step #5, and uploaded the 25 MB (!) CAB to my one drive. I'd prefer not to share that publicly, so *if* you do have time to take a look at it, shoot me an email r.diego.barnes [AT] gmail {DOT} com or accept the friend request I just sent you on XBL and I can share the link with you 🙂



  6. Hi phantasie17 – Thanks for the additional details.  Behind the scenes, XNA Game Studio setup runs the .NET Framework 3.5 AddinUtil command lines listed in step 3 if it finds the .NET Framework 3.5 installed, and it falls back to running the .NET Framework 4 command lines if the .NET Framework 4 (or 4.5 or 4.5.1 or 4.5.2) are installed *and* .NET Framework 3.5 is not installed.  You're on Windows 7, which includes the .NET Framework 3.5 as an OS component, so it will always be installed.

    However, from your manual attempts to run the 3.5 command lines, it sounds like there might be something wrong with the .NET Framework 3.5 on your computer that is causing those commands to fail with a target invocation exception.  There might be more details about that exception in the application event log, so if you have a chance to check there and you do find something, could you copy and paste that here so I could look at that more closely?

    Normally, I'd expect the .NET Framework 4 command lines in step 3 to fix things up though even with that .NET 3.5 problem you're seeing, so I'm still stumped by that.  Do you see similar errors from Device Center or XnaPack too?  Also, can you copy and paste the full error message you see when trying to run XNARPM?

    One thing that might help in the meantime would be to try to go to C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft XNAXNA Game Studiov4.0Tools, create a file named XNARPM.exe.config, and put the following contents in it:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>



            <supportedRuntime version="v4.0"/>



    I'm hoping that getting XNARPM to run against .NET 4 instead of .NET 3.5 might allow you to avoid this error.

    Also, for future reference, you can safely ignore the BadImageFormatException that you saw for XnaPEVerifier.exe when you manually ran those AddinUtil command lines.

  7. phantasie17 says:

    Hi Aaron

    Your hunch about 3.5 being corrupt was correct; using the supplied config you provided, XNARPM now runs. I've connected XNARPM to my XNA title and, right off the bat, I'm embarrassed to see some obvious allocations off the heap I'm doing every frame 🙂

    Next up is getting Pix running 🙂

    To answer your question, Device Center and XnaPack both worked fine. XNARPM was the only tool to give that error.

    If you do want the log files, let me know and I'll post them for you.

    I appreciate your help. While this was for a personal project, I do work for a games publisher – if you want a package with some free games (xbox, pc, etc) shoot me a email at – Happy to send you some cool stuff 🙂


  8. Hi phantasie17 – I'm glad to hear that the workaround of creating XNARPM.exe.config worked for you.  We shipped config files like that for Device Center and XNAPack as a part of XNA Game Studio setup, but we somehow missed adding one for XNARPM back then.

    Now that we've figured out the issues, I don't need to look at your logs.

    I'm not sure what other side effects the .NET Framework 3.5 corruption might have on that PC, so if you run into other weird issues with .NET apps, you may need to create more config files like this, or you might want to try to repair the .NET Framework 3.5.  Here are the steps that I typically recommend that folks try in order to repair versions of the .NET Framework that ship as a part of Windows (like .NET 3.5 does on Windows 7):

    1.  Install the latest Windows service pack and updates if you haven't yet.

    2.  Try to run the System Update Readiness Tool from…/947821.

    3.  Try to repair the files that are a part of your OS by using the steps listed at…/how-to-repair-the-net-framework-2-0-and-3-0-on-windows-vista.aspx.

  9. phantasie17 says:

    Thanks again! Very appreciated!

  10. chrisc says:

    Both this and the 'how to install outside of the installer' post were very useful and worked perfectly – many thanks!

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