Because I stopped working at Avanade and started my own company (this web site is under construction and in Dutch), I had to buy and install a new laptop. Everything went great and I was up and running in half a day. Or should I say half an evening… ;)

The next day I wanted to continue developing a web site we are working on. I needed one of the Ajax Control Toolkit controls, so I added it to my toolbar the way you should go about this (create a separate tab, right click, ‘choose items’, browse for the assembly). Strange enough, none of the toolkit controls showed up in my toolbar. I tried again, restarted Visual Studio and even restarted my computer. All to no avail…
After a while, I checked the ‘Show all’ option for the toolbar, and there were my Ajax controls, all of them disabled (grayed out). And if you think that is weird, read on for the cause of this behavior ;).

After some searching, I found something that I thought could be a solution. Unfortunately this did not solve my problems. Not even after repeating the steps several times. Luckily there were several people that commented on that same post, stating the proposed fix didn’t actually fix the problem. One of them said something about Microsoft wireless hardware being the culprit. I removed the wireless receiver of my Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse, and the controls all appeared on the toolbar. Enabled and all…!

Now, whenever I need the Ajax controls in Visual Studio, I do the following:

  • Start Visual Studio (if not started already)
  • Open up a web page or a user control, or at least something you can place an Ajax control on
  • Open up the toolbox (note: no Ajax controls!)
  • Unplug the wireless device and see the controls appear like magic
  • Plug in the device: the controls should stay where they are

Hope this helps some of you…