Manifest may not be valid or the file could not be opened

Hi experts,

I'm really going nuts with this here. I'm using VS 2005 and I'm just trying to publish a simnple C# application. Using the built-in Publish Wizard this should be a piece of cake. Unfortunately not for me.

After publishing all neccessary files and starting the <setup.exe> I receive an error message (see attached file). It says that something is wrong with the manifest file...

Even after doing some researches about manifest files I have to admit that I still don't really understand it's purpose. Anyway: The application I'm publishing is for internal purposes only, so I don't need any certificate stuff. So I unchecked the "Sign the ClickOnce manifests" checkbox on the signing tab, published again and hoped everything would be fine now. Unfortunately nothing changed. Still get the error on starting the <setup.exe>.

I guess I'm missing something easy...could anybody please help me, please!

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anarki_jimbelSenior DeveloperCommented:
The goal of manifests:
ClickOnce deployment is controlled by two essential XML files called manifests. One is the application manifest, which has an .exe.manifest file extension. This manifest summarizes the assemblies, required permissions, required libraries, etc. used by the executing application. Each application manifest is specific to one particular version of the application; consequently, each revision of the application caused by republishing from Visual Studio will produce a new application manifest.

The other manifest is the deployment manifest, which contains secure links to the actual files the ClickOnce runtime uses to control the install process (the application manifest and itself). The deployment manifest also contains policy settings that determine the mode in which your application is installed (on-line or off-line), and govern update-mode settings. Unlike the application manifest, there is one and only one deployment manifest per application. A deployment manifest has an .application file extension.

Hard to tell what the problem is. I believe some security issues, might be...
softwareaAuthor Commented:
Hello anarki,

thank you very much for your detailed explanations concerning manifests. I think I understand the concept much better now. Unfortunately it does not really solve my problem.
But let me ask you one more question: is it possible to publish an application without using manifests at all? I'm just looking for a simple way to create an installer which I can put on the web and my users can download it from there. There is no encryption or similar stuff neccessary (you mentioned security issues).

anarki_jimbelSenior DeveloperCommented:
Unfortunately I haven't big experience in publishing applications.
MSDN tells that manifests are compulsory:

Tryk the article:

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softwareaAuthor Commented:
Yes, I already read these articles. I guess the important statement is: "To publish an application using ClickOnce deployment, you must sign the application and deployment manifests for the application with a public/private key pair."
So, it seems like I can not do without a manifest at all, and even worse I even have to sign the manifest.
As my problem is still not solved, I probably have to move to another solution than teh Publish Wizard. It's a pitty.

Anyway: thank you very much for your help!
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