Dealing with ‘Could not load type ‘DotNetNuke.Common.Global’’

There are a thousand reasons this dreaded message can appear, but what if it appears on a site that you are 100% sure nobody has tampered with in any way other than uploading files for quite some time?

The problem

The error itself is as follows:

Parser Error

Description: An error occurred during the parsing of a resource required to service this request. Please review the following specific parse error details and modify your source file appropriately.
Parser Error Message: Could not load type 'DotNetNuke.Common.Global'.
Source Error:
Line 1:  <%@ Application Inherits="DotNetNuke.Common.Global" Language="VB" %>
Source File: /global.asax    Line: 1

The context

That was exactly the case I faced today when a client called me and reported the error. The client was absolutely sure that no changes had been performed other than uploading some files, both to the application and the server itself (no upgrades, no apppool changes, no iis configuration changes).  Just to be safe, I checked the dates of the files in the bin folder as well as the date of the global.asax file and all had not been changed during the past few months.

Possible causes

Searching the Web, I was panicked to see that there were at least a few dozen possible causes of this error. For example, there’s a multi-page thread in the DotNetNuke forums dicussing this error. Sadly, most of the cases regarded upgrades to the core platform, recompiling or other stuff that had been changed.

So what else could be wrong? Well, I once more discovered than when something seems inexplicable, it doesn’t always have to be some extremely complicated technical issue.


The client had access to the full site root via an FTP client. Upon trying to upload stuff, the client accidentally moved the App_Data folder inside another folder. That was it!

I moved the App_Data folder back to the root and everything was fine again.

What I learned from this incident: Always look for the simplest possible cause of an error first. Hope it helps some of you out there.


shanoo June 23, 2012 at 9:08 PM  

I was also getting this error because of the virtual directory was pointing at the wrong folder.

Thanks for this post.

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