It’s really intriguing how very minute configurations can have the potential of bringing the entire project development to a grinding halt. In this article, I would like to walk you through one such strange behaviour I noticed on one the Enterprise Customer’s Development Environment.
When trying to create a New SSIS package using Business Intelligence Studio 2008 on a Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition (x86) machine , there was error thrown by the Package designer :
"Microsoft Visual Studio is unable to load this document. Exception has been thrown by the target of the invocation."
When I checked the Event viewer logs, I could not find any error/ warning messages being recorded for this behaviour.
I decided to get started by installing the Debugging tools for Windows (32bit) on customer’s machine. I knew I would also need to download the PSSCOR2 debugging extension. (The very idea of this was to save customer’s time in uploading those huge crash dump files to our FTP location)
Following there, here’s how I would list my approach to troubleshoot the issue:
adplus -crash -p 456 - fullonfirst
Now that I had the dump files, I opened Windbg and loaded the PSSCOR2 Extension after loading the dump file. Here's what happened next:
First task was to print the exception using the !pe command :
0:000> !pe Exception object: 0481e76c Exception type: System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException Message: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. InnerException: System.ArgumentException, use !PrintException 048141e4 to see more StackTrace (generated): <none> StackTraceString: <none> HResult: 80131604
I was interested to see what would the Dump Object on 048141e4 reveal , hence
0:000> !do 048141e4 Name: System.ArgumentException MethodTable: 6de97354 EEClass: 6dc64294 Size: 76(0x4c) bytes (C:\Windows\assembly\GAC_32\mscorlib\220.127.116.11__b77a5c561934e089\mscorlib.dll) Fields: MT Field Offset Type VT Attr Value Name 6deb0ae8 40000b5 4 System.String 0 instance 00000000 _className 6deaff5c 40000b6 8 ...ection.MethodBase 0 instance 00000000 _exceptionMethod 6deb0ae8 40000b7 c System.String 0 instance 00000000 _exceptionMethodString 6deb0ae8 40000b8 10 System.String 0 instance 0481e5c0 _message 6deaa444 40000b9 14 ...tions.IDictionary 0 instance 00000000 _data 6deb0c7c 40000ba 18 System.Exception 0 instance 00000000 _innerException 6deb0ae8 40000bb 1c System.String 0 instance 00000000 _helpURL 6deb0704 40000bc 20 System.Object 0 instance 0481e700 _stackTrace 6deb0ae8 40000bd 24 System.String 0 instance 00000000 _stackTraceString 6deb0ae8 40000be 28 System.String 0 instance 00000000 _remoteStackTraceString 6deb2d34 40000bf 34 System.Int32 1 instance 0 _remoteStackIndex 6deb0704 40000c0 2c System.Object 0 instance 00000000 _dynamicMethods 6deb2d34 40000c1 38 System.Int32 1 instance -2147024809 _HResult 6deb0ae8 40000c2 30 System.String 0 instance 00000000 _source 6deb33b0 40000c3 3c System.IntPtr 1 instance 0 _xptrs 6deb2d34 40000c4 40 System.Int32 1 instance -532459699 _xcode 6deb0ae8 40001ec 44 System.String 0 instance 00000000 m_paramName
Next, Dump Object 0481e5c0 to view the exception message
0:000> !do 0481e5c0 Name: System.String MethodTable: 6deb0ae8 EEClass: 6dc6d65c Size: 130(0x82) bytes (C:\Windows\assembly\GAC_32\mscorlib\18.104.22.168__b77a5c561934e089\mscorlib.dll) String: Font 'Verdana' does not support style 'Regular'. Fields: MT Field Offset Type VT Attr Value Name 6deb2d34 4000096 4 System.Int32 1 instance 57 m_arrayLength 6deb2d34 4000097 8 System.Int32 1 instance 48 m_stringLength 6deb17c8 4000098 c System.Char 1 instance 46 m_firstChar 6deb0ae8 4000099 10 System.String 0 shared static Empty >> Domain:Value 03b32dc0:04641198 << 6deb1718 400009a 14 System.Char 0 shared static WhitespaceChars >> Domain:Value 03b32dc0:046417a8 <<
This error message gave me a hint that it was an issue related to probably a corrupted font on the customer’s machine. Hence I went directly into the "C:\WINDOWS\Fonts" folder and started looking for the Verdana fonts. I could notice that there were 3 types of fonts for Verdana.
I compared the same location on my virtual Windows 2003 OS and found the following fonts for Verdana:
BINGO!! The Missing font was Verdana ( True Type) . I copied this font from my machine and pasted into the fonts folder onto customer’s faulty server machine. The next few clicks of my mouse tried to launch BIDS 2008 again and created a New SQL Server Integration Service Project. The SSIS designer was now loaded successfully.
The only question that still remained unanswered was: How did the particular Verdana font go missing on Customer’s machine? What would have caused such a mischief?
Well J I’ll leave it you to think about it, until next time.
Author : Ajay(MSFT), SQL Developer Engineer, Microsoft
Reviewed by : SMAT(MSFT), SQL Escalation Services, Microsoft