Loading WinForms designer and a new form of dll hell in VS2005

I have a VS2005 app that has assemblies with inherited forms and classes and there is something not quite right in my references that makes these particular assemblies very unstable.

This is a project that is being ported from VS2003.

When trying to load the form up in the designer, I frequently get “Could not load file or assembly” with a reference to a class file that has nothing to do with UI. And then I cannot access the design surface.

The referenced assembly is also referenced in the class from which the winform inherits. Sometimes I change the references (in both assemblies) to point to the compiled dll and then it’s working. Then somehow it breaks again. Sometimes, then pointing them both to the project, rather than the dll might fix this but maybe not. And I might battle it for a while then just have to walk away from the computer with my hands up in the air.

It’s very frustrating. Sometimes I can get away without having to have access to the design surface for whatever it is that I am doing. But I sure wish I could figure out what the heck the problem is, why it prevents me from loading up my winform and solve it once and for all.

Update: Today, this particular one was solved finally by referencing the DLL and not the project of the class that the form was inheriting from. If I had the time to try to figure out WHY, I would, but I know have to get back to working on this project.

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