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VS 2008: Add-In Manager is empty

    Question

  • Hi there,

    some our users have reported this problem for a while but only recently did we manage to observe it, as one of the users has kindly provided remote debugging facilities. The problem: our add-in is installed correctly (the *.addin file is in a proper place, the path to the file is added to the list of Add-In folders etc), but Visual Studio 2008 doesn't even display the add-in in the Add-In Manager. In fact, the Add-In Manager is completely empty.

    Using ProcMon, we determined that the *.addin file is discovered and read by Visual Studio successfully. What is even more strange, VS doesn't display any add-ins at all, not only ours. I tried to create a sample add-in using the add-in wizard, and when I attempted to debug it, the add-in manager in the debuggee instanceof VS was still empty. The option 'Allow add-ins to load...' is, of course, enabled in all cases.

    The problem seems to be not new - I found e.g. this link:http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=348999&SiteID=1

    We would really like to get some assistance from MS in resolving it.

    Any advice / ideas are appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
    Friday, November 30, 2007 10:58 AM

Answers

  •  I was experienceing the same problem (VS add-in manager list was empty). Finally I detected what was causing this problems (this line gave me a hint: "One after installing (uninstalling?) SQL Server 2005"): the problem was in bad MSXML 6.0 components installation. "Add/remove" components list shows that I had MSXML 6.0 installed but just installed Virtual PC 2007 was complaining that I did not have one. So I uninstalled MSXML 6.0 from "add/remove". Then I downloaded new one (MSXML 6.0 sp1) from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d21c292c-368b-4ce1-9dab-3e9827b70604&displaylang=en installed it. And eventually my VS started loading addins. It loads noramally GhostDoc and ReSharper. I think this might help.
    Friday, October 31, 2008 9:10 AM

All replies

  • An update: the old add-in registration mechanism, via the 'AddIns' registry key, seems to work. At least when I created the 'AddIns' key, and added a 'Foo' subkey under it, the 'Foo' add-in appeared in the Add-In manager. So the problem has something to do with *.addin files.
    Friday, November 30, 2007 1:18 PM
  • I ran accross a very similar situation ( empty add-in list ) when moving to 2008.  The solution in my case was to make sure that the Version value under HostApplication in my .AddIn file was changed from 8.0 to 9.0.
    Wednesday, December 05, 2007 10:13 PM
  • Unfortunately, in my case the host application version in the *.addin file is correct, but the problem is still here. One additional note is that the user's operating system is a Windows 2003 Server 64-bit.
    Thursday, December 06, 2007 4:17 PM
  • Dmitry, can you tell me the values in the Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\AutomationOptions\LookInFolders keys under both HKLM and HKCU?  (The one under HKCU may not exist, that's normal.)  Thanks.

     

    -Josh

    VS Shell Services team

     

    Friday, December 14, 2007 7:53 PM
  • Hi Josh,

    I no longer have a remote access to user's machine, although I guess the user can resume it if there is interest in debugging this problem.

    Concerning the registry entries you're asking about: I double-checked them when I was debugging the problem myself, and they were OK. At least, OK in the sense that they contained all standard paths to *.addin files and the path to our product installation directory. I also tried to remove all the paths except for ours but this had no any effect.
    Sunday, December 16, 2007 8:21 PM
  • Hi,

    I have just hit this problem. The add-in manager is empty. It happended after I unstall SQL Server 2005.

    Is there a solution please?

    Joginder Nahil
    www.starprint2000.com
    Monday, June 16, 2008 5:07 PM
  • A user of my add-in GhostDoc has reported the same problem on an XP SP3 machine with a fresh install of VS2008. Other add-ins using XML registration don't work, either, including a new add-in created on that machine using the add-in wizard.

    For more information, see the following thread on the GhostDoc forum: http://ghostdoc.12.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=245


    Roland
    • Edited by RWeigelt Monday, August 04, 2008 9:49 PM Link added to GhostDoc forum
    Monday, August 04, 2008 9:45 PM
  • VS 2008 creates add-ins that works using the add-in wizard. So we have three cases failing:

    - One with Windows 2003 Server 64-bit
    - One with Windows XP SP3
    - One after installing (uninstalling?) SQL Server 2005

    Can you troubleshoot with:

    HOWTO: Troubleshooting Visual Studio and Office add-ins
    http://www.mztools.com/articles/2007/MZ2007009.aspx

    and also

    INFO: Default .AddIn file locations for Visual Studio add-ins
    http://www.mztools.com/Articles/2008/MZ2008001.aspx

    If no add-in is shown in the Add-in Manager, chances are that the problem is VS / Add-in Manager, not the add-in itself. FWIW I have installed GhostDoc 2.1.3 for VS 2008 in Windows XP SP2 Spanish for All Users (not just the current user) and it shows in the Add-In Manager and it loads correctly.

    There are some things wrong with default .Addin file locations, such as all VS versions hardcoding "Application Data" (without localization) in paths (but VS expects "Application Data", so do NOT localize it in your setup), or VS 2008 offering a new folder location that won't scan correctly. So, pay attention to the language of the OS and to the actual location in the OS, because Windows Vista and Windows XP use different location and wouldn't surprise me if Windows 2003 Server 64 bit or XP SP3 do the same.

    All that said, my feeling is that is some new problem. If any of you ever discover the cause of your problem and it is not listed in the article(s), let me know to update them and help others.

    MZ-Tools: Productivity add-ins for Visual Studio: http://www.mztools.com
    • Proposed as answer by Stas Berkov Friday, October 31, 2008 9:04 AM
    Tuesday, August 05, 2008 8:47 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi all,

    I just installed Visual Studio 2008 for the first time.

    I'm an old VB6 programmer and looking to test updating my code.

    After the install I expected the Add-in Manager to at least have something.  For example, something similar to "Data from Wizard".

    However, the Add-in Manager list is empty.

    I've tried the custom, full and default installs, all with the same result.  The list is completely empty.  Am I missing something ?

    The machine is XP with SP2.

    Please let me know................Thank you for your time.....
    Thursday, August 21, 2008 3:06 PM
  •  I was experienceing the same problem (VS add-in manager list was empty). Finally I detected what was causing this problems (this line gave me a hint: "One after installing (uninstalling?) SQL Server 2005"): the problem was in bad MSXML 6.0 components installation. "Add/remove" components list shows that I had MSXML 6.0 installed but just installed Virtual PC 2007 was complaining that I did not have one. So I uninstalled MSXML 6.0 from "add/remove". Then I downloaded new one (MSXML 6.0 sp1) from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d21c292c-368b-4ce1-9dab-3e9827b70604&displaylang=en installed it. And eventually my VS started loading addins. It loads noramally GhostDoc and ReSharper. I think this might help.
    Friday, October 31, 2008 9:10 AM
  • Thank you SO much, installing MSXML 6.0 SP1 fixed this problem for me too!  I appreciate your post!
    Monday, November 17, 2008 4:02 PM
  • This also worked for me, though in my case, it was either a bad install of MSXML4.0 sp2, or a non-existing MSXML 6.0.  I uninstalled 4.0, installed 6.0, and things started working.  I re-installed 4.0, and things continue working.

    Anyhow, double thanks:  this was a serious blocking issue for me, and I'm thrilled to get it resolved.

    Cheers,
    Hawkeye Parker
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 7:52 PM
  • It works! Thanks.

     

    I've replaced old directory:
    C:\Users\sang5006\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Addins\


    with a new one:
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\MSEnvShared\AddIns\

     

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011 10:14 PM