How do I – Resolve the failure to load a module into PowerShell when using the Import-Module cmdlet

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in How Do I...

If you’ve ventured into the world of PowerShell extensions and modules, and more specifically, that world, targeted at SharePoint, then you have probably run into this error before.

Import-Module : Could not load file or assembly 'file:///C:\cjvandyk.SharePoint.PowerShell.dll' or one of its dependencies. This assembly is built by a runtime newer than the currently loaded runtime and cannot be loaded. At line:1 char:14+ import-module <<<< .\cjvandyk.SharePoint.PowerShell.dll + CategoryInfo: NotSpecified: (:) [Import-Module], BadImageFormatException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : System.BadImageFormatException,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.ImportModuleCommand

This error is thrown by PowerShell when you are using the Import-Module cmdlet to import a PowerShell module (redundant, isn’t it?) that was built using the .NET Framework 4.0. The ugly error looks like this:


If you’re trying to use that module on a SharePoint system, the odds are that the server does NOT have the 4.0 version of the Framework installed. You can easily confirm this by simply checking the sub folders under the C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework location.


In the above example, you can see that 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 are all installed on the server. If you find that 4.0 is NOT installed, you can quickly install it following this guide.

Once it’s installed you only have one more thing left to do. By default, PowerShell will run under the 2.0 Framework. We need to force it to default to the 4.0 Framework and only revert back to 2.0 if it doesn’t find what it’s looking for in 4.0.

That is easily done using a .config file for the PowerShell executable. Browse to the C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0 location.


You may not have the two .config file on your system. If you don’t, you need to create them manually. Name the files exactly the same as the .exe files, but with a .config extension at the back. Create them as text files, but you will need to show extensions from your Folder Options in Windows Explorer in order to get rid of the .txt extension. The two config files should be named “PowerShell.exe.config” and “PowerShell_ise.exe.config”. The content of the two files is a simple XML snippet that simply points PowerShell to default to 4.0 and fallback to 2.0. Copy and paste the following snippet into the .config files.


Now when you restart PowerShell, attempting to load your module should yield no errors (if your module is compiled correctly and valid), and you should be able to implement the functionality from the module without any problem.



Tags: , , ,

Trackback from your site.

Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.