VS 2010 Setup Project: Error updating dependencies

I successfully created my Web Setup Project, but a couple of days later the setup project stopped compiling and raised errors instead:

ERROR: Unable to update the dependencies of the project. The dependencies for the object ‘MyAssembly.DLL’ cannot be determined.

Clicking the Refresh Dependencies command in the context menu of the setup project’s Dependencies raised the error

The operation could not be completed.

These errors occur in VS 2010, and seem to be around for several years now (connect, connect, connect).


From the workarounds section of this Connect entry, this solution worked for me:

1. Open .VDPROJ file (in a text editor)
2. Find the "Hierarchy" section.
   Delete everything so the section looks like this:


3. Find the "File" section.
   Delete everything so the section looks like this:


4. Reload the project
5. Rebuild the project.

I removed the whole sections “Hierarchy” and “File”, which also worked.

However, the whole procedure seems cumbersome considering you may have more than one setup project in a solution, and probably more than one solution you are developing or maintaining.


The error still seems to be present in VS 2010 SP 1. Fortunately, MS in the meantime provides the hotfix KB2286556 which solved the problem for now.

14 Responses to VS 2010 Setup Project: Error updating dependencies

  1. amir says:

    i have donload in apply hotfix but error still remain

  2. Bernhard says:

    After deleting these lines of the .vdproj, VS2010 complains that it cannot open the project.

    Also, KB2286556 didn’t help me either, although the symptoms look exactly the same here… 😦

  3. Paul Barsby says:

    Hotfix worked for me on top opf VS 2010 SP1. Thanks.

  4. Cyrus says:

    I got it fixed just like Paul installing the Hotfix on top of VS 2010 SP1, but was really not cool bug. Can somebody give a link for the reason of that problem? Image not being able solve that and recreating the installer on top of all Projects.

  5. amoghnatu says:

    Thanks a lot! Helped me save a lot of time!!

  6. Faisal says:

    Thanyou so much. Was bothering with this damn issue for days. Hotfix resolved the issue.

  7. Faisal says:

    I have founded one another approach useful which I would like to share here.
    Previously I was using primary output and content files from my Web Mvc project directly into my setup project, which after somedays I was failing to complie due to the crappy error mentioned in this forum. Now I have created first a Web Deployment project i.e. right clicking on my Mvc project and selecting “Add Web Deployment project” option rather.
    After that I again right clicked my project and selected “Build Deployment Package”.
    Then in my Mvc Setup project I removed everything, even removed all custom actions from Custom Actions Editor. Right clicked on Mvc Setup project, selected Add => Project Output. In the dialog from the project dropdown, I selected my newly created deployment project, then selected “Precompiled Web outputs” and clicked OK button. Re-added my custom actions again. And now when I build my Mvc Setup project, voila….it compiled successfully with no errors.

  8. WJ says:

    link to the hotfix is broken! can anyone help?

  9. Luan says:

    Is that hotfix download working? Every linked I’ve tried doesn’t work.

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