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Trouble-shooting "Cannot find custom tool 'StringResourceTool' on this system" error

Topics: .NET, SRT, StringResourceTool
Oct 30, 2007 at 8:28 PM
I posted the following to MSDN forums (and got no responses). Then I discovered the SRT had moved here, so I'm starting over..

BTW: please don't throw rocks... I realize I'm using the out-of-date version of SRT, but as you will read, we're hip-deep in alligators with this dev project, and we can't presently afford the time to upgrade the SRT.

I PROMISE we'll upgrade as soon as we get past shipping this version of our app. We love this tool, and contrary to some of the supposedly "informed" posts otherwise, I still don't see a real alternative to it.

Posted to MSDN Visual Studio Extensibility forum:


We're about three years into the development/ongoing-support of a very large .NET app that began development under .NET 1.1-VS2003-ELB 1.1 and has now been transitioned to .NET 3.0-VS2005-ELB 3.1.

When we began development, we chose to use the original Microsoft String Resource Tool (the June 2005 version from the Patterns and Practices Library). Although the old SRT was intended for VS2003, we've found that MOST of our dev systems can run the tool OK under VS2005 (after copying various folders and registry changes).

==> But on some of our "identical" development systems, we get the "Cannot find custom tool" error when we run the SRT under VS2005. It's not intermittent... some systems never fail, while others always fail.

I've nearly gone blind comparing the directory structures and registry contents of two side-by-side systems - one where the SRT runs OK under VS2005, and the other on which the SRT fails under VS2005. And I don't see the difference! I even went so far as to completely rebuild one of the failing systems (starting with a formatted HD !) and it still fails.

Does anyone have any insight on ALL the pieces which must be in-place for VS2005 to load a custom tool? I'm convinced that the difference must be something other than the folder structures and registry settings.

BTW: I know the SRT isn't "supported" under VS2005... but upgrading to the new 2.x version of the SRT (which I believe is still in beta) or to a different tool isn't an option near-term - we really need to find a short-term workaround.