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We have a .net 3.5 SP1 application and one of our users cannot run the program. They get the Windows dialog: "X has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly...".

Assuming that the .net Framework and the program are correctly installed, what else could prevent the program from running on a PC that can run other software?

Update: I repaired .Net using the MSI repair and it still exhibited the same behaviour. Downloaded Paint.Net to make sure it wasn't just my software and the same thing happened. The machine was a 4 month old Dell laptop so I asked our customer to try Dell support. They didn't seem to care that it wouldn't run a .Net app (wtf?!?!) and system rollbacks did nothing. The person had to run the Dell restore disk to solve the problem in the end!

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Do they get the dialog straight away? Does your software connect to the internet? Plus a host of other questions spring to mind. Can you provide more details please. – ChrisF Aug 24 '10 at 19:31
Can you get more details about what caused the error? Usually if you can get to the details the exception that was thrown will be given. – heavyd Aug 24 '10 at 19:31
What version of Windows? Does it work on other versions of Windows than the one you're using? Do other .NET 3.5 applications run? If not, you may have a corrupted installation. If that's the case, you'll have to uninstall (or if it's bad enough, run the .NET cleanup utility:, then reinstall. – Force Flow Aug 24 '10 at 21:40
@Chris - yes, dialog appears immedaitely. @heavyd - there are no other details in the error dialog. @Force Flow - Vista x32, not sure about other apps, but have asked the user to install Paint.Net. Thanks for the pointer to the cleanup too. – Sean Kearon Aug 25 '10 at 8:13
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The runtime normally hooks in a default exception handler that will Log the exception message to the event log or published it to the user (when compiled for Debug mode and using WinForms). There are a few rare cases where you will be unable to get a proper exception message, such as when a BadImageFormatException (corrupt executable file), a StrongNameExcpetion or a StackoverflowException occur.

Best thing todo is to launch the process inside a Debugger (CorDbg is fine, or VisualStudio if you have it installed).

Else check the event log. If that doesn't help, use DebugView (can't link, sorry but its the first hit on google) to get the debug output from the crashing process.

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Thanks Johannes, can't run in a debugger I'm afraid as it's on a user's PC. – Sean Kearon Aug 30 '10 at 10:20
Was DebugView of any help? – Johannes Rudolph Sep 1 '10 at 20:17

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