VS.NET 2005 – Cannot create device project

I’ve been doing a lot of development in VS.NET 2005 for our SNAP projects, and decided to go back and do some work in VS.NET 2003 when I got the “helpful” message; “Cannot create device project. An installed SDK contains entries that duplicate existing entries and has corrupted the data needed for device connection. Uninstall the SDK.” As displayed below.

Cannot create device project warning

There is a similar message “Unable to read the project file ‘PInvokeVB.dbdproj’. And installed SDK contains entries that duplicate existing entries and has corrupted the data needed for device connection. Un-install the SDK.” Or whatever project you decide to open.

Unable to read project file Warning

These messages happened any time I opened or created a new Smart Device project.

Since Microsoft was not helpful enough to tell me which SDK is the problem, the search was on to figure it out. However, after un-installing essentially everything, i.e. SNAP, OpenNetCF Smart Device Framework, Intermec IDL, Symbol SMDK, and VS.NET 2003 itself, all that was obvious is that it had something to do with the Symbol SMDK 1.4 installation.

So it was time to break out the Sysinternals programs File Monitor (filemon.exe) and Registry Monitor (regmon.exe), two very useful tools. Fortunately, this pointed rather quickly to some old SMDK 1.1 files that were somehow left around in the devices addon directory (C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataMicrosoftvisualstudiodevicesaddons).

Since there was both a “Symbol.SMDK.1.1.xsl” and “Symbol.SMDK.1.4.xsl” files, when the Smart Device projects are opened two sets of Symbol dlls are loaded, thus creating the duplicates. Simply delete the old SMDK 1.1 files and everything works correctly.