CRM 2011 – Why error logs are great in Excel

I have been banging my head against my keyboard today.

Having been tasked with updating the solutions and customizations on one of the servers which had beenn set to Production but was now 3 months out of date.

This meant I had to deploy 30 solutions and update all sorts of dll’s and static data.



I got this head banging error on the 3rd solution import of the day!

We split our solutions in different parts – Entities, Processes (workflows), Plugins and security roles.

The error occurred on the plugin import and the error in the import log was frustratingly stupid and annoying (the best errors are)

import error

The message says

An error has occurred contact your CRM Administrator or Microsoft Dyanmics community or as a last resort Microsoft Support.

The special trick is if you open the file using internet explorer, you just get an xml list of all the components and no real error message.   The reason it opens in IE is because I was on the server and it didn’t have excel installed!

This is the import error file in IE

import error 1


It goes on and on and it’s pretty much useless.

So I had to copy and paste it over a bunch of servers until I could finally get it to a machine which had excel and then hey presto, you get two tabs, solutions (hold general info) and components (detailed info – yippeee).  Here is the file and I have Hoskified the real content

import error 2

I open the component sheet and finally I get an actual error message

14:54:45.30 Plugin Assembly Plugins.Common Plugins.Common Plugins.Common Failure 0x8004418B Plug-in assembly does not contain the required types or assembly content cannot be updated.

Which says this

Plug-in assembly does not contain the required types or assembly content cannot be updated.


No I don’t really know what the heck that means but we had gone from one major release 1 to release 2.  For these two major releases we created two different solutions.  This mean when I came to importing the plugins, it didn’t bring up the choice of overwriting or maintaining.

I think what was happening it was was trying to update a plugin but was having trouble because it was trying to do it from a different solution but I don’t think this should really be the reason because it’s the same publisher.


To resolve the problem I opened up the good old faithful Plugin Registration tool, in it’s beautiful old fashioned look (none of this CRM 2013 fancy pants plugin registration tool in CRM 2011).

I took the bold decision to unregistered the offending plugin.  I had backup my database but I also thought the new solution had a new copy of the plugin, so it should be a problem.



I imported the solution again and got another error, a different plugin was clinging onto dear life and not allowing himself to be deleted (the matrix nonsense about code is true!).

I unregistered that plugin, wondered how many plugins I would have to unregister to get this solution to successfully imported.

Next import the plugin solution installed, HAZAAR, Hosk 1 – CRM 0


I then had to import another 27 solutions, yawn…but thankfully without incident

Another exciting day in the Life of the Hosk,  it reminds me of the saying