How to fix build error Invalid command line switch for CreatePkgDef.exe. Can not find the tools for VS SDK

Dec 27, 2013 | Utkarsh Shigihalli Utkarsh Shigihalli

Extensions VisualStudio

I found this solution in the MSDN forum. I am merely posting it in my blog because I made this mistake twice and also I thought I should just document it here :-)


You are building a Visual Studio package and using hosted build server to build your code. When you build you get following error.



I initially thought build server does not have VS SDK installed. However, thanks to the answer by Jeff in this forum question I was able to know the actual cause. I am quoting the below text from the forum answer

The TFS build service runs as a 64-bit process on a 64-bit machine, and the VS SDK always gets installed as 32-bit (to work with Visual Studio). Since the registry key that the build process needs is located under HKLM\SOFTWARE\WoW6432Node\Microsoft\VisualStudio\VSIP\11.0 the 64-bit build process looks for it in the wrong location.


  • Open the build definition which is causing the issue and go to “Process” tab
  • Under the “Advanced” node, you will see “MSBuild Platform”
  • Change it from “Auto” to “X86”


About author
Utkarsh Shigihalli
Utkarsh Shigihalli
Utkarsh is passionate about software development and has more than 12 years of work experience in the areas of Azure, VSTS, C# and TypeScript. He has developed numerous extensions for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Team Services. He is currently working as a Consultant in the United States.