System.BadImageFormatException on a 64-bit Machine

The other day, one of our customers was switching over to 64-bit development machines, and encountered the following issue:

System.BadImageFormatException: Could not load file or assembly'(assembly name)' or one of its dependencies. An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format.

The likely reason is that you (or in this instance, our customer) are trying to load a 32-bit assembly into a 64-bit application. This can happen when you have the Any CPU platform selected.


If your scenario sounds like the one I described, try setting your application to run in x86 mode. In Visual Studio this can be done by going to Build -> Configuration Manager…
Visual Studio Configuration Manager
…and setting the Platform to be x86.
Visual Studio Configuration Manager

This article and many others like this can be found on my SoftArtisans blog.

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