I’ve made my mind to do this post just because I saw there wasn’t a solution to what happened to me with this problem, even though the solution to it was pretty naive to me. The thing is, in an ASP.NET project, I have a publish profile with precompilation enabled and with the advanced precompile option “Merge all outputs to a single assembly” enabled too. I decided to set to this output assembly my project name, something that seemed to me the right thing to do. But then, suddenly a misterious error showed up.

Publish Profile

An error occurred when merging assemblies: ILMerge.Merge: The target assembly ‘Whatever’ lists itself as an external reference

ILMerge error

I didn’t have a reference to the same project anywhere, what was this error about? After googling for a while, I decided to do the silliest attempt to solve the issue, that kind of change you don’t think is going to fix it, but, why not trying? I changed the output assembly name. And the error vanished. And everything worked. So I had wasted a morning because of something so simple…

I hope this post now prevents you from losing yours. Please try it out, because in my case it worked!