Solution for “Package ‘Microsoft SQL Management Studio Package’ failed to load”

I had an odd issue where SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2008 R2 would start up, display the following error message, then exit:

Package ‘Microsoft SQL Management Studio Package’ failed to load

Using SysInternals Process Monitor tool to monitor SSMS.exe it seemed that it was looking for the following registry key but not finding it:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftMicrosoft SQL Server100Tools

By renaming a parent key (rather than delete it – just in case it didn’t fix the issue) solved the issue for me. The key I renamed was:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftMicrosoft SQL Server

Running SSMS again recreated the 100Tools sub keys and all was well again. I hope it works for you too.

28 thoughts on “Solution for “Package ‘Microsoft SQL Management Studio Package’ failed to load”

  1. Hi

    Thanks but no cigar. The key was recreated and launching SSMS stated it was setting up for first time use but then displayed the same error again. I guess it is reinstalling .net as the next possible cause.
    Windows Server x64 with SQL Express.


    1. Me to 😦
      I just now tried to run the ‘repair’ on .NET but this did not work. I am going to try running the ‘repair’ on SQLExpress next.

      1. SQLExpress SSMS had been running great for two days after installation and then I started to get the ‘package’ error. I almost tried the SQL re-install repair when I noticed that SQL Service Pack 1 was waiting in the Windows update queue. I thought that all the updates had been applied already…
        After finishing the service pack update SSMS opens up just fine.

  2. Legend!!! I have had issues on 2 machines now with VS 2010 and SSMS. I wish I had have found this before I started the laborious task of rebuilding the first machine…

    1. * Start > Run > regedit
      * navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server
      * right-click, Rename ‘Microsoft SQL Server’ folder/key

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