Friday, October 08, 2010

One man’s debugging tale - How he hunts down a bug in NuPack, with his friends WinDbg and Reflector

Tatham Oddie - Yet Another Debugging Tale – Visual Studio Disappearing

“Call me a nerd (that’s obvious!), but I find a good debugging tale like something of a geek murder thriller. Every issue has its own little debugging quirks. This blog post, and some of my previous ones, are posted to be both entertaining as well as educational. I don’t want to bore you to death with cdb or WinDbg documentation, but you might find some of the approaches useful in the future.

The Issue

This morning ScottGu announced NuPack, a package management solution for .NET.

Eager to try it out, I opened an existing solution, expanded a web application project, right clicked on the References node and chose Add Package Reference.

The dialog popped up for a second or so and then my entire VS shell just disappeared without a trace. No error. No crash dialogs. Nothing.

This happened reliably every time.

Note: This issue is now fixed in the latest source.

My Debugging Steps

I opened a fresh instance of VS, attached WinDbg, opened the solution in question, and expanded the project nodes.


I always find it fascinating watching a skilled debugger hunt down a bug… It’s amazing what you learn in the process. :)


Related Past Post XRef:
New background on NuPack - A little about how it came about…
I “Nu” I needed you… Unpacks v1 Developer Preview/CTP 1 Released (Think, “Where have you been all my dev. life… finally an package management system/installer for .Net”)

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