More Silverlight, Visual Studio setup hassles

I thought I’d fixed my Silverlight 2 Beta 2 installation; but I had not.

I ran into the issues described here, specifically:

  1. Error “Object reference not set to an instance of an object” when adding a WCF service
  2. Silverlight app cannot see WCF services in same solution
  3. Error “Unable to find ‘DynamicTypeService’” when clicking the Advanced button in the Add Service Reference dialog.
  4. Visual Studio crashing on exit

Here’s what fixed it for me. First, I attempted to debug Visual Studio while adding a WCF service and spotted an exception related to version control. I discovered that Visual Studio was set to use Team Foundation Server as the Source Control plug-in, even though my Team Foundation Server is offline. I don’t know if the Silverlight install somehow reset this, as I thought I’d set it to None in Tools – Options – Source Control – Plug-in Selector; but I changed it back to None and that fixed the Object Reference error.

Unfortunately it did not fix the second problem. Following a tip in the thread mentioned above, I moved the file:

\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\Microsoft.VisualStudio.ServicesProxy.dll

Then I uninstalled Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008. Then I reinstalled it (no reboot). Everything works.

The Microsoft.VisualStudio.ServicesProxy.dll is replaced with a new version.

An indicator of this problem is the size of your Silverlight Tools install in Control Panel – Programs and Features. If it is 1.14MB you may have the problem. If it is 1.17 or 1.18MB you probably do not have the problem. The size of my install increased from 1.14MB to 1.17MB on reinstall. A theory is that if the Silverlight Tools installer sees the ServicesProxy.dll, it doesn’t install some other stuff that in fact it should install.

Related posts:

  1. New Visual Studio 2010 beta has WPF editor, Silverlight designer
  2. Installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1
  3. Visual Studio 6 on Vista
  4. Microsoft on Visual Studio 2008 and beyond
  5. Visual Studio 2010 RC arrives with go-live license

35 comments to More Silverlight, Visual Studio setup hassles

  • Dude, you’ve saved my project!

  • Thanks, It helped me 🙂

  • I think you’ve saved my day as well!

    This reminds me a LOT of issues I had going to 2008 RTM and a single .targets file not getting updated properly.

  • Jax

    For me, the servicesProxy.dll suggestion fixed the object reference error as well (I use TFS as my Source Control Plugin, so I can’t make it none 🙂 )

  • Jan

    ServicesProxy.dll was the culprit here also !
    Thx !

  • mike kidder

    Works for me! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    Spent entire day reinstalling software only to have Silverlight solutions crash VS.

  • Markus

    Thank you!! Saved my day (and project)!
    servicesProxy.dll fixed both my problems: reference and crash on exit.

  • You rock – this cost me time today, but your fix (and helpful / well-written post) saved the day.

  • I appreciate the help! Moving the ServicesProxy.dll was an excellent catch!

  • Nice one Bud! Really helped me too. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to post it.

  • Thanks lot,
    It’s working now.

  • Hrayr Diloyan

    Thanks a lot for usefull information. Using your article i solved my problem in a minutes.

  • Rafael


    Thank you for your article. A time saver!

  • Thanks for the post Tim. I appreciate your help.

  • oksana

    I spent two days trying to resolve it; finally I found your blog.
    Thank you for your time and sharing….

  • vidds

    Great Stuff.Thanks a lot

  • Alan

    I have a big problem with the “VS 2008 x x Silverlight Windows Vista 64bit” installed the silverlight 2 beta 2 and can not add a “refernce services” in the project. Ja read several forums and speak to all the removel dll ServicesProxy and install the Silverlight again if the size of the installation is 1.14mb that is my case, but the problem is that there is no such dll. Do you know what I have to do to run Silverlight 2 beta 2 in Windows 64bit view?

  • Alan C Cosin

    This process works for windows vista 64bit? I am not finding the dll \ Program Files \ Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0 \ Common7 \ IDE \ Microsoft.VisualStudio.ServicesProxy.dll in order 64bit worked in 32bit normal … Does anyone know how to solve this problem for 64bit platform?

  • Art Scott

    This entry at SL Forum helped me:

  • Thanks for publishing this article – I had this problem and your solution solved it.

  • Perfect solution! I can’t believe an error this easy to fix hasn’t been addressed in Microsoft’s downloads. In any event, this solved the SL WCF Service Reference problem for me.

  • Michael S

    Well done!!! I have been trying to get this to work for about a day now. This show be a link on the “Get Started” page on the Silverlight website.

  • Claus

    You saved my day. Removing the Microsoft.VisualStudio.ServicesProxy.dll file and then reinstalling Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008 fixed the problem 🙂 thx

  • Nicely done. I can confirm that the solution described here also worked on Win 2K8.

    Thank you for sharing and persisting this thread.

  • Just adding to the Kudos on the list. I banged my head against the wall trying to figure out why I couldn’t see the web services (I thought it was AntiVirus, setup, etc.).

    Finally I discovered that I could see the web service in the same project, but not within the solution.

    That is when I hit upon my search on Google and came across your blog.

    Greatly appreciate you taking the time to post what you discovered as it saved me yet another day of frustration.

  • Calvin J. Rodriguez

    I am having these same exact symptoms while installing Silverlight 2 RC. Unfortunately, the solution isn’t working for that release. Has anyone else encountered this problem with RC?

  • Tim Apke

    That did the trick, and I’m using the RTW version of Silverlight 2.0. Many thanks!

  • Greg Joyal

    No luck here… I’ve tried twice uninstalling the Silverlight 2 Tools, Repairing Visual Studio and then installing the tools. No luck, it always reads 1.14 mb as the install size and gives me the “object reference” error. This is so frustrating… I’ve never even had the beta tools installed… argh.

  • Tuizi

    I don’t find: “Tools – Options – Source Control – Plug-in Selector” in Visual Web Development. No solution with Visual Web Development?

  • Jimmer

    U’re a star. Nice one

  • Scott

    There are a number of computers here that all get the “Object reference not set to an instance of an object” when adding a WCF Service. The uninstall/install of the Silverlight tools has not been successful. Each time the size of the tools is 1.14 MB in the add remove.