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Deploying solutions, both from within Visual Studio and a Powershell script seems really unreliable. For example, I have one package trying to deploy about 3 .dlls and on average it's taking 3 attempts to work. I do nothing in between each attempt besides clicking deploy!

I get the usual "unable to add x.dll to the GAC", yet trying immediately after I'll get the same message for a different dll.

I'm developing on a co-located Server 2012 VM, but we get similar problems on our staging environment which is a more traditional 3-tier farm.

It's really really killing my development speed as it's taking anywhere between 2 and 5 minutes just to deploy, let alone then start debugging.

Does deploying to the bin folder rather than the GAC help? Any ideas how I can overcome this?

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For SharePoint 2007 deployment, I personally use WSP builder, works great as far as you use it properly.

However back in day,s I used to add a project output to solution and then generate CAB files, then convert CAB file into WSP by changing file's extension and use STSADM command for deployment.

In newer version of SharePoint (2010, 2013) & Visual studio (2010, 2012) it has been made really easy to create solutions project based on templates and then deploy them using a single button command. This seems to be a great relief for SharePoint developer however sometimes you will come across unusual errors while deployment of solutions specially for VS 2012 for SharePoint 2013.

For SharePoint 2010 and 2013, I personally use WSP file out of bin folder and add + deploy it using Power-Shell. If your servers are fast enough then you can add solution using PS and then deploy it through Central administration.

Deploying solutions, both from within Visual Studio and a Powershell script seems really unreliable. For example, I have one package trying to deploy about 3 .dlls and on average it's taking 3 attempts to work. I do nothing in between each attempt besides clicking deploy!

Could be because your machine is slow and takes time to deploy solutions, also check what steps its going through while deploying in your deployment settings, if nothing suspicious then record and analyze ULS logs to figure out what's actually is wrong,

How to use ULS Viewer in SharePoint environment

It used to happen to me with STSADM deployment and I had to manually use this, as development machine was too slow.

stsadm -o execadmsvcjobs 
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Thanks for your comment. This is for SP2013, although I had similar issues with 2010. Our VMs are running on i5 3570s with 24Gb RAM on SSDs. Is that too slow? We haven't altered the default Visual Studio Deployment steps, so would hope that isn't wrong. Is there anything in particular I should look for in the ULS logs? –  SPDuFeu May 11 '13 at 10:59

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