John Robbins' Blog

  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials Client Restore vs. Microsoft Surface Pro

    In this corner we have a Microsoft Surface Pro that needs to have a full client restore. In that corner we have Microsoft’s own Windows Server 2012 Essentials that contains said full client backup. Let’s get ready to rumble! ™ (I hope I don’t owe Michael Buffer money for using his trademark. He’s made over $400 million from it!) For what would seem like a simple task of restoring a full back up to a new Surface Pro nearly put me down for the count. Given the body blows I went through I wanted …

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  • Initial ASUS Vivo Tab Note 8 Review

    Eight days ago I went through the five Kübler-Ross stages of grief in about 490 milliseconds as I watched my Surface Pro fall out of my backpack and kiss the concrete directly on the upper right hand corner. I didn’t even have to open the Type Cover to know that the glass would have made a spider proud. The Microsoft hardware designers should be happy to know that the machine still boots and is functional, but touch is not so hot when a swipe leads to a bloody finger. While I’d been eying the …

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  • A Behavior Change in Visual Studio 2013 .NET Breakpoints

    One of my favorite tricks is to use Visual Studio breakpoints to call a method to force state changes when testing code. There’s just some times where calling a method at a breakpoint is the fastest way to create a test. To call a method at a breakpoint, set a regular location breakpoint, right click on the breakpoint circle in the gutter, and select Condition. That will get you the wonderful Breakpoint Condition shown below. The Visual Studio team didn’t put full Intellisense in because they …

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  • Displaying Multiple .NET Objects with WinDBG’s Command Language

    While we are getting some nice tools from Microsoft for analyzing our memory, there’s still a lot of gaps where you have to resort to WinDBG and SOS. A perfect example that I’ve run into is looking at variables/types that are in different app domains because the Visual Studio debugging environment has essentially zero support for app domains. That’s normally not a problem for most people, but there’s a lot of things that you just need WinDBG and SOS to figure out. In this article I wanted to …

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  • ProcMonDebugOutput Now on GitHub

    A few years ago Mark Russinovich and I put together a feature in SysInternal’s Process Monitor where you can add tracing statements to the log. (Here’s the original post.) The idea was that by seeing your tracing in line with the wonderful Process Monitor I/O reporting, it would be easier to track down problems in you code. This is especially true when you are using 3rd party libraries that might be hitting the disk or registry a ton. In the original blog post I gave you the code to make this …

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  • ProcDump Post Mortem Switches: Order Matters

    This week I’m working behind the “Great Firewall” in China and Twitter is blocked by the Chinese government, but my blog is not. I would have tweeted this but instead dear reader, you get the complete back story along with the debugging challenge on how I figured out the problem. While working with a customer we wanted to set up a test machine to get a minidump when anything crashed. That sounds like a job for the awesome ProcDump from Sysinternals; especially now that it can act as the post …

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  • Productivity Power Tools Used to Fix Itself (@tasks rocks)

    The Productivity Power Tools extension is one of those must haves in Visual Studio, especially if you are showing Visual Studio as a presenter. Typing PresentOn in the Quick Launch (CTRL+Q) box makes the IDE font, menu items, and dialog text bigger so everything in the IDE is easier to see. My life is good with the Visual Studio 2013 Productivity Power Tools except something got messed up and I was permanently stuck in PresentOn. No amount of PresentOff in the Quick Launch would reset any fonts …

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  • Fixing Outlook Hangs

    Wintellect’s most important client, my wife, comes to me and says that her Outlook desktop application is all messed up. It hasn’t connected and downloaded emails in over five hours. She’s rebooted the computer and done basic Outlook trouble shooting that she found on the web but Outlook never connects to her Exchange server. Considering she’s on a Surface Pro, running Windows 8, with Office 2013 Professional Plus, and connecting to an Office 365 Exchange server, this is …

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  • TFS Build Numbers & File Version Now with Hosted TFS Build Support

    Over the years I’ve been posting on the blog here at Wintellect a set of MSBuild tasks that make it easy to get the TFS Build number during a build and use it as your binary version string. You can read about that code here and here. In a nutshell, you modify your C#, VB, or C++ project and magically you have the build numbers. Link to the created files in your project and now your file versions match the TFS build number with easy to understand encoding for the build date. None of this …

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  • Automatically Load the Right SOS for the Minidump

    Don’t you just love the following error message when trying to debug a minidump with SOS and WinDBG?The version of SOS does not match the version of CLR you are debugging.  Please load the matching version of SOS for the version of CLR you are debugging. CLR Version: 4.0.30319.1 SOS Version: 4.0.30319.235 SOS is built as part of the framework, so if you have a newer version of .NET on your machine than was running on the machine where the minidump was taken, you are completely out of luck. …

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