Visual studio error – “error occurred during difference operation: cannot execute the configured tool”

Today my Visual Studio 2013’s corporate licence key “went stale”. I was unable to use VS until I had linked it to my company’s corporate/bulk licence.

VS presented me with this screen:
VS 2013 licence Problem - Copy

I fixed this by signing-in to MSDN using an account crereated using my corporate email address. This gave me 90 days’ grace, during which time I need to have someone link this account tot he corporate pool.

This seems unnecessarily difficult.

Having gained access to VS again, I was unable to compare files. Something about the re-licencing screwed up the built-in comparison tool. I saw this error when trying to compare:
“error occurred during difference operation: cannot execute the configured tool”

In the ActivityLog.xml file I also saw:

<entry>
<record>545</record>
<time>2014/02/03 09:29:46.76</time>
<type>Error</type>
<source>VisualStudio</source>
<description>End package load [DiffPackage]</description>
<guid>{8DE3F279-5341-44B9-AFD8-F429920DF4AE}</guid>
<hr>80131500</hr>
<errorinfo>Object reference not set to an instance of an object.</errorinfo>
</entry>

I fixed it by running this command line:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE>devenv /ResetSkipPkgs
I closed all VS instances, ran this command to start VS, then closed it, then restarted as normal.
I had to reset some of my options (mainly windows), but that happens weekly anyway.

Leave a Reply