FIX: Visual Studio crashes after playing around with its windows

Lately I had been getting annoyed by Visual Studio crashing on me while working on ETL packages.  The crashes seemed somehow related to debugging a package because they usually occurred after I clicked the “Package execution completed. Click here to switch to design mode, or select Stop Debugging from the Debug menu.” link.  But I couldn’t really pinpoint why or when exactly they occurred.  Now I’ve got an explanation, and a solution!

How did I get to the solution?  Well, today I decided to click the “Send to Microsoft” button on the infamous crash pop-up window.  And from it I actually got a link to a fix for the issue.  Apparently the issue is not related to Integration Services in particular, it is a much broader Visual Studio shell issue that occurs in Visual Studio 2008 with SP1 when you’ve got a combination of undocking windows and changing window layout.  And that is indeed what I usually do when debugging a package!  When the package stops executing I often execute the following scenario:

  • double-click the title bar on the Output window to undock it
  • enlarge the undocked Output window to almost full-screen so I can have a good look at the errors
  • double-click the title bar to dock the window back to its original place
  • click the “Package execution completed.” link (or hit the Stop Debugging button)

And that’s exactly the second scenario described in this Microsoft Support article because when you stop debugging, the IDE switches the window layout back from debug to design.

I have now installed the hotfix and the issue is gone.  Beware though if you also use WPF, better read through the whole article and comments on the download page first.

Hmm, this may also explain some other unexplicable crashes I’ve seen lately.  Makes you wonder doesn’t it :-)

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  1. Asgeir Gunnarsson’s avatar

    Thanks allot. I have the exact same method as you, and had the same problem of BIDS crashing all the time. Had not connected it to undocking and docking windows.

    Its a lifesaver

    Reply

  2. Riet Albers’s avatar

    I have the same problem: after ‘stop debugging’ BIDS crashes, but we are developing onder Visual studio 2005. Does the hotfix mentioned apply also to that version?

    Reply

    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      Hello Riet,

      This issue/hotfix applies specifically to VS2008 with SP1, so it looks like you’re having a different problem. At least, as far as I can tell. Are all SPs for VS2005 and SQL2005 installed on that machine?

      If the above doesn’t solve your problem, I suggest that you try to describe it as good as possible on one of the forums, such as this one: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/category/sqlserver/
      Hopefully someone recognizes the problem and knows where to find the solution.

      Good luck!
      Valentino.

      Reply

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