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Assembly Cache Viewer (Shfusion.dll)

The Assembly Cache Viewer (Shfusion.dll) is a Windows shell extension that allows you to view and manipulate the contents of the global assembly cache using Windows Explorer. Shfusion.dll is located in the <Windows Folder>\Microsoft.NET\Framework\vx.x.xxxx folder, where x.x.xxxx is the version and build number of the .NET Framework you are using.

NoteNote:

In Windows Vista, the Assembly Cache Viewer does not run with elevated permissions even if you launch it from a command window that has elevated permissions. This is because the Assembly Cache Viewer is a shell extension for Windows Explorer, which does not run with elevated permissions. To run the viewer with elevated permissions, log on as a local administrator.

To view the contents of the assembly cache

  • Navigate to the \assembly subdirectory of the Windows directory, <System Drive>:\<Windows Folder>\assembly, in Windows Explorer. The contents of the global assembly cache are displayed using Shfusion.dll.

    This causes the contents of the assembly folder to appear differently than the contents of normal Windows folders. The names of the assemblies installed in the global assembly cache are displayed. In addition the tool displays details about each assembly's type, version, culture, and public key token.

The following screenshot shows the contents of the assembly cache displayed in the viewer.

Global Assembly Cache contents

Assembly

To view and change cache size limits for download

  • Choose Cache Settings from the Tools menu in Windows NT systems or the View menu in Windows 98 systems. Alternatively, you can use the Configure Cache Settings icon on the toolbar.

    The Cache Properties dialog box appears. The display resembles the traditional drive properties dialog box except that it shows the amount of cache space used, in megabytes.

The following screenshot shows the Cache Properties dialog box.

Cache Properties dialog box

Settings

To view assembly properties

  • Right-click the assembly name in the viewer and choose Properties from the shortcut menu.

    A Properties window appears which shows the assembly's name, version, culture, public key, the codebase from which the assembly came, and the last modified date of the assembly. You can also view an assembly's properties from the File menu.

The following screenshot shows the Properties window for the System.Data assembly.

Assembly Properties window

System.Data properties

To add an assembly to the cache

  • Use Windows Explorer to drag the file that contains the manifest into the assembly cache directory. Only assemblies with strong names can be added to the cache.

You can also use the Global Assembly Cache Tool (Gacutil.exe) to add an assembly to the cache.

To delete an assembly from the cache

  • Right-click the assembly in the viewer and choose Uninstall from the shortcut menu.

You can also delete an assembly from the File menu by choosing the Uninstall Assembly option, from the toolbar using the Delete button, or by using Gacutil.exe.

To display help for the viewer

  • Use the F1 key, or choose Help Topics from the Help menu.

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