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ERROR: An error occurred generating a bootstrapper: Invalid syntax.

    Question

  • I'm working on VS 2005 and something has gone wrong on my machine.  Suddenly, out of the blue, I can no longer build deployment files.
    The build message is:
    ERROR: An error occurred generating a bootstrapper: Invalid syntax.
    ERROR: General failure building bootstrapper
    ERROR: Unrecoverable build error
    A quick Google search brings up the last 2 lines, but nobody in cyberspace has ever reported the first message before.  (Hooray!  I'm first at SOMETHING on the 'net!)

    Other machines in my office are able to do the build.
    My machine has been able to do the build before.  I have no idea what changed that upset the delicate balance of things on my box.
    I have also tried all the traditional rituals i.e. closing Visual Studio, blowing away all the bin and obj folders, rebooting, etc. to no avail.

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks!
    Shaul
    Thursday, July 31, 2008 2:25 PM

Answers

All replies

  • What would be the full story, can you please clarify the scenario and give the information about your OS?

    Thanks.
    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.
    Monday, August 04, 2008 5:43 AM
  • Hi,

    For simplicity's sake, I created a little "Hello World" app with a deployment file.
    Herewith the build output:
    ------ Build started: Project: HelloWorld, Configuration: Debug Any CPU ------
    HelloWorld -> C:\Vault\Multi Client\Tests\HelloWorld\HelloWorld\bin\Debug\HelloWorld.exe
    ------ Starting pre-build validation for project 'HelloWorldSetup' ------
    ------ Pre-build validation for project 'HelloWorldSetup' completed ------
    ------ Build started: Project: HelloWorldSetup, Configuration: Debug ------
    Building file 'C:\Vault\Multi Client\Tests\HelloWorld\HelloWorldSetup\Debug\HelloWorldSetup.msi'...
    ERROR: An error occurred generating a bootstrapper: Invalid syntax.
    ERROR: General failure building bootstrapper
    ERROR: Unrecoverable build error
    ========== Build: 1 succeeded or up-to-date, 1 failed, 0 skipped ==========
    I am using MS Visual Studio 2005
    Version 8.0.50727.762 (SP .050727-7600)
    .NET Framework Version 2.0.50727
    OS: Windows XP Pro

    Again, I have no idea what changed.  All I know is that one day everything was working fine; the next day I suddenly can't do any deployment builds at all (though all other projects still compile fine).

    Thanks,
    Shaul
    • Edited by ShaulB Monday, August 04, 2008 7:20 AM Extra info about what changed
    Monday, August 04, 2008 7:18 AM
  • Did you mean it only happened to the setup project and other projects were all OK?
    If we create a brandnew setup project again, will the problem persist?
    If we disable all 3rd party add-ins within the VS by running "devenv /Safemode" in Start > Run, does it help?

    If all these cannot help, I would suggest you to repair the VS from the installation source in maintenance mode and then apply SP1 for VS 2005.

    Thanks.
    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.
    Wednesday, August 06, 2008 2:52 AM
  • Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
    I tried all of the folowing:
    • I opened VS 2005 in safe mode.
    • I created a new deployment file for my "Hello World" project.
    • I ran "reinstall/repair" on my Visual Studio.
    1 hour and 2 reboots later, I'm still getting the same error... :(
    Tuesday, August 12, 2008 10:59 AM
  • I am getting the same 3 errors this morning on a solution that has been around for years.  It is now in VS 2008 (for several months) and I am still on XP.  The latest bloody Tuesday patches were installed last night.  I'm not sure what else changed, other than a few lines of code in another project.
    Friday, August 15, 2008 2:50 PM
  •  

    I am still having this issue.  Here is the whole scoop:

    I am unable to successfully compile the setup projects in my MS Visual Studio 2008 solution (on XP).  This solution has been around since 2004 and I am unaware of what may have changed to cause these errors to begin occurring on this machine.  I had not made any changes to some of the projects that are now  failing – neither the source project itself or the setup project for the source project output.

     

    I receive these errors from each setup project in the solution:

     

    ERROR: An error occurred generating a bootstrapper: Invalid syntax.

    ERROR: General failure building bootstrapper

    ERROR: Unrecoverable build error

     

    I have  tried:

     

    1)      Upgrading to MSVS 2008 SP1.

    2)      Reinstalling MSVS 2008.

    3)      Creating a brand new setup project from scratch from within the existing solution.

    4)      Creating a brand new setup project from scratch from within a brand new solution with only a single  imported project.

    5)      Creating a brand new setup project from scratch from within a brand new solution with only a single  brand new windows forms “hello world” project as the only project output in the setup project.

     

    Note that the very same solution builds without error when copied to another machine and  built there.  What has happened to my machine?

     

    Monday, August 18, 2008 12:41 AM
  • Well, at least there's solace in knowing that I'm not the only person on the planet with this problem!
    :)
    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 10:17 AM
  • I ran  into the same problem, except it happened only when building under our continuous build process. Tried all the solutions I found on the net but no luck.

    Then I discovered the real culprit: Turns out the %TEMP% directory contained over 83,000 files! And every time you build a setup project, at least 3 temp files are added to that directory and not cleaned up. Once I deleted all those files the problem went away.

    To avoid this from happening again, I created a scheduled task that cleans out the temp directory every night.

    Hope this helps.
    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 5:56 PM
  • Oh, Henning, you got me all excited about this idea... but alas, it did not help.
    It was good to go in and clean out several thousand tmp files, but it did nothing for fixing this problem... :(
    Thanks anyway...
    Shaul
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:38 PM
  • Well, I finally got an answer, by logging a support call with Microsoft.

    All I had to do was install .NET 2.0 SP1 from:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=79bc3b77-e02c-4ad3-aacf-a7633f706ba5&DisplayLang=en

    and everything works fine again.

    Kudos to Michael Bleifer at Microsoft for solving this!

    :)
    Shaul

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:30 AM
  • Well, I finally got an answer, by logging a support call with Microsoft.

    All I had to do was install .NET 2.0 SP1 from:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=79bc3b77-e02c-4ad3-aacf-a7633f706ba5&DisplayLang=en

    and everything works fine again.

    Kudos to Michael Bleifer at Microsoft for solving this!

    :)
    Shaul

    • Edited by ShaulB Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:31 AM
    • Marked as answer by ShaulB Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:31 AM
    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:31 AM
  • Clearing the %TEMP% directory worked for me.
    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:03 AM
  • Clearing the %TEMP% directory worked for me.

    Same here!
    Monday, February 27, 2012 4:27 PM
  • Clearing %TEMP% doesn't helps.

    P.S. problem occurs after Oracle Client and Tools installation.

    Thursday, August 02, 2012 2:52 PM