Visual Studio Web Project Fails to Open with COMException

By Michael Flanakin @ 7:46 AM :: 1990 Views :: .NET, Development :: Digg it!


When opening a solution with a web project in Visual Studio, you receive the following error in a popup dialog:



Apparently, this is an issue with IIS configuration. I'm not quite sure why we get such a useless error message, tho. Very annoying. If you're not sure you're seeing this with a web project, load the solution and, when the error pops up, look at the status bar. You should see a "loading" message with the path of the problematic solution.


  1. Ignore the errors and let the solution load
  2. In the Solution Explorer, right-click on the project that failed to load, click Edit <project file>
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the file and look for <UseIIS>True</UseIIS> (located at \Project\ProjectExtensions\VisualStudio\FlavorProperties\WebProjectProperties\UseIIS)
  4. Repace True with False
  5. Save and close the project file
  6. In the Solution Explorer, right-click on the project, click Reload Project

More Information

  • Applies to: Visual Studio 2005, 2008