Thursday, 1 October 2009

(FIX) Visual Studio hangs, crashes and restarts when opening .ASPX or .ASCX files

So I come in to work, do my morning SVN update, open my Visual Studio 2008 solution and the aspx file I was working on the previous night hangs, crashed and restarts... errr WTF?!?

After doing this with every .aspx and .ascx file I opened I decided to abandon VS and use Notepad++... this was NOT a good solution! What made it even stranger is that I could open the same aspx/ascx files in a different VS solution and they'd open fine - no crashes, no restarts.

Stuck in VS hell for a couple days I thought ok let's take some time to figure this out. I googled some fixes, first I found a few suggestions on StackOverflow, then a hotfix update for an ASP.NET with MVC bug but I still couldn't resolve the issue. Then I reinstalled VS - made me lose my keyboard and environment
settings but I still had the crash/restart problem.

FINALLY I did something clever, instead of just watching the crash I debugged into it which gave me a null reference error in some shared code. Essentially another dev had been working on a shared project which was checking for an entry in the root web config:

var configEntry = System.Configuration.ConfigurationManager.GetSection("DumbAss") as NameValueCollection;

I had updated SVN at a project level so I got the shared change but missed the root web config update - I mean how often does the thing change anyway!

Essentially this hang, crash, restart issue is not always a Visual Studio problem (although it could handle it better). If like me you're stuck and need VS up and running check your web.configs are up-to-date with all the required config sections and if you're still getting VS restarting it's a good idea to step in with debug mode so you can see the real error that's being thrown.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What worked for me in VS 2005 was to Right-Click the file, hit "Open with..." and select the "User Control Editor with Encoding" instead of "User Control Editor (Default)".

21 May 2010 at 17:31  

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