When you run VS 2008 SP1 profiler on Intel Nehalem CPU based machine, you may experience crash of operating system (blue screen).

This problem occurs because the sampling profiler uses a kernel mode driver in the operating system. However, the Intel Nehalem processor was created after the release of the 2008 version of the profiler, thus profiler could not be completely compatible with the Nehalem processor before the release. There is a hot fix for this problem – KB958842 – which you need to install to resolve the problem.

On some versions of Nehalem family there is no blue screen experience, rather profiler doesn’t seem to work. For example:

 

Error VSP1336 : Could not attach to process ID:1234 notepad.exe. The profiler was unable to start sampling with the specified configuration.

 

Or:

 

Error VSP1398 : The monitor was unable to start the VS performance driver.  The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it. Consider using the /Admin:Driver,Start and /Admin:Security options of VSPerfCmd from an elevated environment.  Profiling cannot continue.

Error VSP1341 : Could not start logging engine.  Shutting down.

Error VSP1394 : Could not start profile monitor

The reason of the problem is the same, and the KB958842 is the remedy for this case as well.

Needless to say, the problem is taken care of in new version of profiler that is released in Visual Studio 2010.