Knowledgebase Helps Solve Strange Visual Studio FORMATETC Error

ASP.NET Team Blog
27 September 2010

Last week, I spoke with a potential DevExpress customer who asked for help in trying to figure out an unusual Visual Studio 2008 error:


Mark Lauter of Sumo Software had already tried a google search without any luck. So my first suggestions were to make sure to install:

I also didn’t have a clue as to the source of the error. But I knew that it probably didn’t originate from the DevExpress ASP.NET controls. Why?

  1. Glaring errors are usually reported quickly by the large customer base (and fixed promptly by DevExpress Support)
  2. The DevExpress ASP.NET team runs tons of unit and QA tests

So, I asked Mark to check this knowledgebase search results of similar reported issues and very soon afterwards, Mark solved the issue! Here’s how…

Hi Mehul,

I have some good news.  Through the DevExpress knowledgebase I came across someone who said that they were receiving the FORMATETC error because they had projects in VS 2008 that were unloaded – load them all and it fixes the error.  In the solution we’re working on right now we have about 16 “dead code” projects that we keep around for reference, but keep in them unloaded because they won’t build anymore and the error messages get in the way of current code messages.

So today I removed all the dead code projects from the solution, loaded all of the remaining unloaded projects and presto! I was able to add a DevExpress ASP.NET button and it automagically created the references and the registration tags in the ASPX page.  Now the fun begins!

We bought two licenses and I’m excited to start adding some DevExpress features to the project.

Thanks for all your help so far.

Mark Lauter
President | SUMO Software Corporation

Thanks Mark! Your feedback will be help for other developers in a similar jam.

Visual Studio Rocks!

I love Visual Studio, especially the latest Visual Studio 2010. Microsoft has created a great IDE and working through these rare errors is well worth the effort.

Have you faced a similar ‘invalid FORMATETC error’? Drop me a line below with your issue/solution for this error. Thanks!

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