Finding WindowsBase.dll

OK, what’s the deal with WindowsBase.dll? It’s the dll where the System.IO.Packaging API lives, and you have to add a reference to it in your project before you can use the packaging API. And it’s never there at the end of the .NET tab on my “Add Reference” dialog. For example, here’s my list, which ends with VsWebSite.Interop. So I have to manually browse to the dll, as shown to the right.

Is it me? I did some searching on-line, and I don’t think it is.

Hai has the same problem, Dave has to find in manually, Howard can’t seem to find it at all, and even the folks at MSDN seem to have problems finding WindowsBase.dll. And that’s just a representative sample — search for WindowsBase.dll and you’ll find a bunch more people talking about where to manually locate it.

But some people don’t have any problem, apparently. They have WindowsBase.dll right there on the .NET tab, ready to click on it, no searching required. Ted Pattison, for instance, has it under his .NET tab, and even has a screen shot in his recent MSDN article to prove it. (Showoff! Great article, though.) And Mauricio seems to find it his .NET tab, too.

What do the rest of us have to do to get WindowsBase on that .NET tab? I used to think this was something I had screwed up myself, but this week I formatted my C: drive, installed Vista, installed Visual Studio, and … WindowsBase.dll was not on the .NET tab, and I had to manually browse to it.

If you’re one of us WindowsBase-challenged types, here’s what you need to know:

c:\Program Files\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\v3.0\WindowsBase.dll

Comments (10)

  1. I was one of those challenged types as well:

    But I have become un-challenged in the mean time. I think it has something to do with installing the runtime VS the SDK, but I am unsure.

  2. dmahugh says:

    I thought you were on to something there, Wouter.  But I just finished installing the SDK, and I still have no WindowsBase.dll in the listbox on the .NET tab.  Hmm … what else could it be?

    This makes it sort of hard to write about working with the packaging API, if you always have to start out with "Add a reference to WindowsBase.dll, either by clicking on it from the .NET tab (for the lucky few) or browsing to c:Windows bla bla bla (the the unlucky others)."

    Or you can just say to browse for it, then have somebody tell you that you’re doing it the hard way.  I’ve been through that a few times now.  :-)

  3. Jean says:

    I don’t have it either. But my guess is that it is part of the patch for Visual Studio & WCF / WPF. Did you install it?


  4. dmahugh says:

    I’m not sure I know what you mean, Jean — SP1?  Or are you talking about the "Visual Studio extensions"?  I installed an image off corpnet that I believe had SP1 already included.  (Not at my computer right now so I can’t check.)

  5. Jean says:

    Yes, I meant the extensions for VS 2005. But once again I did not give them a try, so it’s just a suggestion (I worked recently with a customer who had installed everything, and he could see the WindowsBase.dll).


  6. dmahugh says:

    Jean, that’s it!  I installed the "Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 (Windows Workflow Foundation)" and now I have WindowsBase.dll right there on the .NET tab.  Wouter, I’d be curious whether you installed those extensions, just to confirm whether there’s more than one way to get it there.

    And for anyone else who wants to install the extensions, here’s the URL for the download:

  7. Wouter says:

    Yep, extensions installed!

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