Visual Studio 2008 (ORCAS) "Project Creation Failed"

For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.
Alice Kahn

This is due to some assembly redirects that are added to the devenv.exe.config file by installing the GAX (Guidance Automation Extensions).

Here is the fix, and it's an easy one:

1) Navigate to: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE in Windows Explorer

2) Load devenv.exe.config in your favorite text editor.

3) Find this string: "Microsoft.VisualStudio.TemplateWizardInterface"

4) Comment out the element so it looks like this:

<!--assemblyIdentity name="Microsoft.VisualStudio.TemplateWizardInterface" publicKeyToken="b03f5f7f11d50a3a" culture="neutral" /-->
<bindingRedirect oldVersion="" newVersion="" />

5) Restart Visual Studio 2008. All fixed!


  1. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Saved me some serious time!


  2. Anonymous10:50 AM



  3. Anonymous3:18 PM

    Thank you very much

  4. Anonymous7:04 AM

    I did not find in that file Microsoft.VisualStudio.TemplateWizardInterface
    and I still get this error when creating database project, please somebody help me

  5. I've published a tiny ui-based tool that applys the described patch automatically.
    You can downloaded it at

  6. Anonymous11:12 AM

    I don't have a devenv.exe.config file the only config file that I have şs VCExpress.exe.config

  7. Anonymous8:50 PM

    Thanks guys. Had problems with a Workflow project. I had just installed the Guidance Automation for the web services factory (studio 2005), looks like that was the conflict.

  8. Anonymous8:01 PM

    How microsoft release a product that doesnt work from the first step ??? Incredible ! Microsoft retail versions are just beta!
    ( w/e I dont have that line )

  9. Sorry, but it looks like you don't get it. The product works fine, it's just that installation of the GAT causes a configuration file entry that needs to be corrected, OK?

  10. Anonymous11:20 AM

    Hi - I am getting the same sort of error while trying to create "Excel Workbook Project" from VS2008. Once I click the OK button to create it, I am getting "Project Cannot Be Created" error message and nothing else. I tried repairing my Professional Office 2003 installation and that didn't solve the problem. I also tried commenting different parts of the config file that I thought would help and that didn't help either.

    Also, when I try opening a project containing an excel workbook that someone created, it gives me an error saying "Excel Designer Could Not Be Activated". I am experiencing this issue only for Excel projects. I can create ms word project without any problem.

    Do you have any suggestion as to how I could get over this problem? I am using the professional version of VS2008.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  11. Anonymous9:50 PM

    Cool. It solved my problem and saved my times. thanks.

  12. Anonymous3:08 PM

    I don't have that file....

  13. Anonymous4:26 PM

    I think Web Service Factory (Model Edition) or one of its prerequisite installs broke mine..

  14. Anonymous4:03 PM

    Grrr... Thanks for your help!

  15. Anonymous5:38 PM

    I don't have that line. Can somebody help?

  16. Anonymous4:24 PM

    Saved me time, Thanks!

  17. Anonymous3:10 PM

    It worked...thanks

  18. Thanks a LOT !!!!

    hope you dont mind me reposting the same...

  19. Thanks for the help. Linked to you on my blog:

    Btw, the new February 2008 GAX/GAT releases don't cause this issue.

  20. Anonymous12:05 AM


    Works for Visual Studio 2008 final release as well.

  21. Anonymous9:17 AM

    Thank you very much!!!

  22. Anonymous6:25 PM



  23. I don't have the file either. Did anyone come up with another solution?

  24. Anonymous8:06 AM

    I don't have that file either...

  25. Anonymous6:29 AM

    Thanks! Great. You saved me from reinstalling all developer tools.

  26. Anonymous1:49 PM

    Thanks a lot.

  27. Anonymous11:00 PM

    I have the file, but not that entry.

    It really isn't that simple, and yes it is pretty lame to not be able to create projects/solutions when you first install a product.

    Let me also point out that this only happened to me on Vista. I had no issues with XP.

    I actually could not create a damn thing with VS2008 in Vista. I had to run a subinacl ( in admin mode ) to be able to create a VB project. This fixed all except C++.

    More googling to do.

  28. Anonymous11:01 PM

    OH, I should have mentioned. I have MSDN versions of both.

  29. Anonymous12:00 AM

    Well, after many googles and then going to MSDN forums, I found the solution that worked for me. I thought i might be good to post a link here so that people realize that there is more than just one problem that causes this issue...and more than one solution.


  30. Gulfraz Khan10:37 PM

    It worked for me.
    Thanks Peter.

  31. Peter,
    You're the man! It was your fix, or wait on hold with our State's helpdesk. You won.

    Installation info:
    - Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, Version 9.0.30729.1 SP
    - Microsoft .NET Framework Version 3.5 SP1
    - Installed Edition: Professional

  32. Anonymous1:20 PM

    It worked ! Thanks :)

  33. Having the same problem

    Downloaded Visual Studio C++ 2008 Express Edition. Installed it, and when I go to create a project. It says project creation failed.

    Tried following your steps but there is no file called devenv.exe.config. There is, however, a file called VCExpress.exe.config. Regretably there is no path in this file that you describe in your blog that needs to be commented out.

    Similarly I tried the patch that one of your Commenters left. Unfortunately this also does not work.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated


  34. Thank you Peter, it was so ridiculous.

  35. Anonymous2:52 AM

    Thanks! Super Its Working
    Thanks a log........

  36. Is it possible to write assembly language code and combine with visual basic in visual studio 2008?

  37. Thank you, this did the trick for all .Net Projects.

  38. Anonymous9:20 PM

    umm. not sure why but i dont have devenv.exe.config, could someone please help me, anyone else with same problem??

  39. Anonymous7:12 AM

    I have this problem in VSExpress 2012, I can't find devenv with it. Could you please help me?


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