Troubleshooting Assembly Binding

Today I was testing something with third party assemblies in our web site and saw a familiar error:

Could not load file or assembly ‘XXXX.DLL’ or one of its dependencies. The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log or use the command-line sxstrace.exe tool for more detail. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x800736B1)

So, I decided to follow this suggestion and use sxstrace,exe for the first time.

Here are the steps I followed.

I switched to the bin folder of my web application using Visual Studio command prompt.

I started sxstrace using the following command line

sxstrace trace -logfile:sxstrace.etl

Then I hit my web site to get the error

Then I ran the utility again to convert the log to plain text

sxstrace Parse -logfile:sxstrace.etl -outfile:sxstrace.txt

Finally I opened sxstrace.txt in text editor.  I immeditely saw what assembly was missing

ERROR: Cannot resolve reference X.Y.Z,processorArchitecture=”amd64″,publicKeyToken=”wwwwwww”,type=”win32″,version=”″.

Thanks and enjoy.


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