Scott Hanselman

Visual Studio 2003 disappears when opening a Web Project

March 29, 2006 Comment on this post [7] Posted in ASP.NET | Bugs
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My buddy Ramkumar at work today had a weird problem. When he opened a Web Project in Visual Studio 2003, the IDE *disappeared*. Not crashed, not Dr. Watsoned, but poof. Aren't those the best bugs?

Anyway, we poked around for a bit and did these things that one does when debugging VS.NET 2003 Web Project problems.

  • Checked that IIS was running and on Port 80. Check. Not the problem.
  • Checked that ASP.NET was installed and installed it again just in case with ASPNET_REGIIS.EXE -i. Check. Not the problem.
  • Checked with Spybot that nothing nasty was installed and watching the network. Check. Not the problem.
  • Checked that Front Page Extensions were installed by right clicking a VDir within IIS's MMC-based Admin.
    • Yikes, not there. How could VS.NET have installed, FP is a prerequisite.
    • Went into Add/Remove Programs, then Windows Setup and installed Front Page Extensions.
    • Then configured FP by right-clicking the Web and selecting "Configure Front Page Extensions"

Then it all worked and we were left with that sickening feeling that we had a small spot on our floor and ended up laying down completely new carpet.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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March 29, 2006 11:41
So... how did VS get installed without FP? Did they uninstall FP after installing VS?
March 29, 2006 18:27
Thanks for ruining my Wednesday morning by reminding me about FPX.

March 29, 2006 21:46
Hmmmm, never had the IDE disappear on me w/o some kind of error dialog. But I have had it refuse to minimize on me. Really weird.
March 29, 2006 23:22
I guess you must be referring to having VS.NET 2003 installed for remote dev and debugging, because when I install it for local development, I never install FrontPage and it works just fine. Interesting...
April 04, 2006 21:50
I've had this happen.....

The only way to "fix" it is to use "Alt-Tab" to get to that VS.NET instance.

A bit old fashioned, but it works....

May 18, 2006 5:50
I still have this problem regularly, but I have the front page extensions installed as required. Causes a lot of wasted time.

Seems to be reasonably randomly. I can shake it by killing aspnet_wp.exe and trying again - seems to help, but not guaranteed. Only on web projects too.
May 18, 2006 5:52
I forgot to mention, ALT-TAB cannot contact the instance. It is gone... The process also disappears, not just the IDE.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.