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Fix Error: An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format

, 13 Jun 2011
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Post on how to fix an error while trying to run the sample project ShellObjectWatcherSampleWPF from the latest version of Windows API Code Pack

While trying to run the sample project ShellObjectWatcherSampleWPF from the latest version of Windows API Code Pack, I came across the following problem, both in Visual Studio 2008 and 2010:

image

Or in a search-engine friendly way:

“Cannot create instance of ‘MainWindow’ defined in assembly, ‘ShellObjectWatcherSampleWPF, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null’. Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation.  Error in markup file ‘MainWindow.xaml’ Line 1 Position 9.”

Checking the internal exception, revealed the following:

"Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.WindowsAPICodePack.Shell, Version=1.1.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null' or one of its dependencies. An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format."

Now, when we get an error of “incorrect format”, it usually means there is a matching problem between the bitness of the project and the bitness of the machine.

Since my system happens to be x64 based, and the project was compiled as 32bit, we got ourselves a problem.

Usually, this doesn’t matter, since .NET is bit-agnostic (yet another advantage of JIT compilation), but since the project depends heavily on P/Invoke, it does indeed make a difference.

The solution is simply to go to the Project Properties | Build and change the Platform target to x64.

image

That’s it for now,
Arik Poznanski.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)

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About the Author

Arik Poznanski
Software Developer (Senior) Verint
Israel Israel
Arik Poznanski is a senior software developer at Verint. He completed two B.Sc. degrees in Mathematics & Computer Science, summa cum laude, from the Technion in Israel.
 
Arik has extensive knowledge and experience in many Microsoft technologies, including .NET with C#, WPF, Silverlight, WinForms, Interop, COM/ATL programming, C++ Win32 programming and reverse engineering (assembly, IL).
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Comments and Discussions

 
SuggestionIIS: An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format Pinmembertanioskahi10-May-12 20:46 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMember 78397824-Apr-12 5:40 
QuestionSharepoint 2007 vs visual studio 2008 , debug problem Pinmemberkinny0722-Nov-10 21:18 

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