Error trying to deploy a feature to SharePoint

December 1, 2008

Using VS2005 to deploy a solution that I have been been working on previously without issues.  One day it decided to play silly buggers.

“This solution contains two assemblies with the same name, or the SharePoint server already has an assembly with the specified name”

I went into the GAC and deleted all the assemblies related to my deployment.  Deployment still errored but with another error (assuming this is progress).

“The solution can not be deployed.  Directory associated with feature XXX in the solution is used by feature YYY installed in the farm. All features must have unique directories to avoid overwriting files”

I deleted my feature from \12\template\FEATURES and tried again (another error, but different this time).

“The feature name XXX already exists in SharePoint. You need to rename the feature before solution deployment can succeed”

To fix this you need to completely remove the feature from SharePoint.

go to the administration SharePoint site > Operations > Solution Managagement.  Then retract AND THEN uninstall the feature from the same screen.

Deploying then worked.  Unsure as to why this started to misbehave and if it happens again I’m just going to uninstall the feature straight away and try again.