How to: Troubleshoot a PLK Load Failure

[This documentation is for preview only, and is subject to change in later releases. Blank topics are included as placeholders.]

After you develop a VSPackage and before you distribute it you must obtain and install a package load key (PLK). For more information, see How to: Obtain a PLK for a VSPackage and How to: Add a PLK to a VSPackage Project (C#).

After you have installed the PLK in your VSPackage, test it by loading the package in Visual Studio with the developer license key (DLK) disabled. For information about testing your PLK, see How to: Add a PLK to a VSPackage Project (C#).

If your VSPackage does not load, here are some steps you can take to debug the PLK load failure:

  • Examine the Output and Debug windows. Some load failures display a message there.

  • Examine the activity log.

  • Check the information you used to create the PLK against the system registry.

  • Make sure cryptographic services are running.

  • Troubleshoot the VSPackage itself.


The fields in a PLK are not localized.

For more information, see How to: Troubleshoot VSPackages.

To examine the Output and Debug windows

  1. Open the project that creates your VSPackage. Right-click the project node, click Properties, and then click the Debug tab.

  2. Add the /noVSIP switch to the Command line arguments, for example:

    /rootsuffix Exp /noVSIP

  3. Close the dialog box and start the project under the debugger by pressing F5.

    The experimental build starts.

  4. Examine both the Output window in the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) that started the project and the Output window in the experimental build.

    Some load failures write debugger messages to the Output window of the IDE that opens the project. Other load failures write messages to the Output window of the experimental build.

To examine the activity log

  1. Exit Visual Studio and restart it with the /log switch.

    Make sure that you open it with the same root suffix as before.

    devenv /rootsuffix Exp /noVSIP /log

  2. Reload the VSPackage.

  3. Exit Visual Studio.

  4. Examine the ActivityLog.xml file in the %APPDATA%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0 directory for errors.


    Within your VSPackage, you can use the SVsActivityLog service to log entries in the ActivityLog.xml file.

To check the PLK information against the system registry

  1. Run regedit.exe and examine the system registry key

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\<version>\Packages\<Package GUID>

  2. Compare the subkeys against the information you received in the email that delivered the PLK. The following subkeys must match exactly: CompanyName, ID, MinEdition, ProductName, ProductVersion. Look for extra trailing spaces. Case does not matter.

To see if cryptographic services are running

  1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Management.

  2. Expand the Services and Applications node and select Services.

  3. Examine the Cryptographic Services entry. The status of this entry should be Started.

See Also


Experimental Build

Other Resources

VSPackage Load Keys