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How to log a bug for Visual Studio and .NET Framework setup

How to log a bug for Visual Studio and .NET Framework setup

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The Product Feedback web site can be used to report bugs in Visual Studio, the .NET Framework and other products directly to the product teams at Microsoft.  The following steps describe what information to include when reporting a bug with the setup (installation, uninstallation, etc) for all versions of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework.  Please follow the instructions and provide all of the requested information listed below.  Doing so greatly speeds up the investigation process and saves time for the product team, which allows them to investigate and fix more bugs before new versions of the products ship.  It also helps other customers who find bugs in Visual Studio and .NET Framework setup solve their issues and find workarounds more quickly and easily.

1.  Choose a concise yet descriptive title for the bug

Remember that others using the Product Feedback web site will perform queries based on text in the bug title in order to search for similar bugs when they run into problems using Visual Studio or the .NET Framework.  In addition, lists of bugs appear in the Product Feedback pages and are displayed by title.  Please do not just title the bug “Setup failed.”  Instead, try to envision how you would search for the same bug at a later time if you encountered the same issue and wanted to try to find a workaround.

If your bug only happens on a specific operating system platform or product language, include it in the title.  In addition, if the bug involves a specific file or error code, include the name of the file or the error code number as part of the title.

Note: The Product Feedback web site requires you to perform at least a minimal search of previous bugs to try to find duplicates before reporting your issue as a new bug.  It is very helpful to spend a little time searching for duplicates prior to reporting a new bug for the following reasons:

  • An existing bug may already have a fix or workaround that will solve your problem.
  • Bugs with more votes are more likely to be fixed by the product teams at Microsoft.  Logging a duplicate will spread out the votes.
  • The product team will be able to spend less time sorting through duplicate bugs and more time fixing bugs.

2.  List all applications installed on the machine as well as those running during setup

Please list any software installed on your machine that was not installed as part of the operating system.  In addition, specify what (if any) software was running during setup, especially any anti-virus, anti-spyware or personal firewall software.

Most importantly, always include whether or not any other versions of Visual Studio or the .NET Framework have been installed on your machine prior to trying to install the product where you found the bug, even if the prior version was uninstalled.  This is particularly important in scenarios where you have beta versions of Visual Studio or the .NET Framework installed (or used to and have subsequently uninstalled them).

3.  Provide detailed steps that will reproduce the bug, including full install paths

Always include as much information as you can find about the version of the product you are trying to install.  For example, specify whether you are installing from CD, DVD or a network location.  If you downloaded the setup package, include a URL where you downloaded it from.  Include the full name and version information for the product you are trying to install.  Please try to be as specific as possible without including extra steps that are not necessary to reproduce the bug.

Important Note:

Please only report one distinct issue per bug on the Product Feedback web site.  If you find multiple problems during the course of a single installation scenario, please do not list them all in a single bug report.  Instead, open a separate bug tracking each of them.  In many cases, setup features are owned by different people (and often by different product teams), so it is very beneficial to have separate bugs that can be assigned to different owners to improve the overall turnaround time for fixes.

4.  Include all relevant log files and other supporting information

Please zip and attach all relevant setup log files for the product you are logging a setup bug against.

If your bug relates to setup UI, attach a screenshot to support your bug description (preferably in jpeg format because it is smaller in size).  If you saw a pop-up error dialog, attach a screen-shot of the error you saw in addition to the log files.  Please choose a meaningful name for the screenshot file(s) that you attach to a bug report, particularly if you attach more than one screenshot.

If you are unsure about where in setup that the failure occurred, please err on the side of caution and attach all of the logs listed in the link below that are relevant to the version of Visual Studio or the .NET Framework that you are installing and a screenshot of any setup UI screens that are present at the time of the error.

The following links provide more information about how and where to gather log files for the version of Visual Studio or the .NET Framework that you are reporting a bug for:

Note:

When searching your machine for these log files you should always make sure that the checkboxes to enable searching of system folders and hidden files and folders (these checkboxes are off by default on Windows XP and higher).  Failing to do so may cause some log files to not be listed even if they are present on your machine.  To enable searching of system folders and hidden files and folders, you can do the following:

  1. Open a Windows Explorer window
  2. Go to the Tools menu and choose Folder Options...
  3. Click the View tab
  4. Choose the radio button labeled Show hidden files and folders
  5. Uncheck the box labeled Hide protected operating system files (recommended) and choose Yes to the warning message
  6. Click the Apply button
  7. Click the Apply to All Folders button
  8. Click OK

Example Setup Bug

The following is an example of a setup bug that is written using the above guidelines.  I took the text of this bug from the Microsoft bug database for Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Framework 1.1

VS Setup: 1935 error for VisualStudio.Designer.Interfaces.dll causes setup to fail and roll back

Steps to Repro:

  1. Install Windows XP Pro English with service pack 1
  2. Install all of the latest critical updates on Windows Update
  3. Run setup.exe from the root of CD1 for Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect Edition
  4. Choose link #1 and install VS Prerequisites
  5. Choose link #2 and start installing VS
  6. Observe the behavior of setup

Actual Results:

VS setup fails due to a 1935 error for the assembly component Visual Studio.Designer.Interfaces.dll.  Full log files are attached (1935_error.zip).  A screenshot of the error dialog is also attached (30501_1935_error.jpg).

Expected Results:

No errors during installation

Note:

Here is the relevant snippet from the log file –

Error 1935.An error occured during the installation of assembly component {54AEE04D-8872-4EE5-94CA-641D767E4C12}. HRESULT: -2146234301. assembly interface: IAs semblyCacheItem, function: Commit, assembly name: Microsoft.VisualStudio.Designer.Interfaces,Version="1.2.3400.0", PublicKeyToken="b03f5f7f11d50a3a", Culture="neutral",FileVersion="1.2.30516.0", ProcessorArchitecture="neutral"
Action ended 13:26:06: InstallFinalize. Return value 3.

 

  • Microsoft has created what I think is a really cool mechanism for customers to report bugs and suggestions...
  • PingBack from http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/492809.aspx
  • Great mechanism, but they reject most bugs as could not duplicate.

  • Hi Me - There are ways you can make the bugs less likely to be rejected - include as clear and detailed repro steps as possible; attach screenshots and zip files with repro projects if possible; try to repro it on more than one computer and note your results if possible; etc.

  • The biggest problem is where to begin. Visual Studio contains literally thousands and thousands of bugs, it's the most hideously unfinished product I've ever seen. Ms have been way too ambitious adding more 'features' than anyone could ever want and adding thousands of bugs in the process. Seriously guys, keep it simpler, make it faster, make sure it actually works, stop pissing people off.

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