visual studio project files not opening?

Posted on 2010-09-24
Last Modified: 2013-11-26

I just tried to open a solution on my server which i haven't done for a while... and noticed that while the solution opens fine on my workstation, it does not open on the server. The project opens, and the solution explorer fills with the list of files, but if i click on one of the .aspx files or .vb files to open so i can see the designer and code... nothing happens? The hourglass stays for a few seconds and then nothing happens?

Any ideas?

Rgds, Aiden
Question by:AidenA
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Assisted Solution

existenz2 earned 200 total points
ID: 33753761
Sounds like an installation which got corrupted or a version difference of the VS between workstation and server.

Author Comment

ID: 33753966
ah *&%$

i guess it probably is. that server is a never ending source of problems...

ok i will do a reinstall and see

Expert Comment

ID: 33765700
Aiden - if you've not installed Visual Studio (same version as your dev environment) but you've installed SQL Server 2005 (or higher) then the version of Visual Studio on the server is not the full version - it will be the BIDS (BI - Business Intelligence) version that came with SQL server which means most of the project templates and libraries your development environment uses would not be installed hence problems opening up the solution on the server.

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Author Comment

ID: 33767930
hi thanks... humm. well actually that's just reminded me that the version i have on my pc is the 2005 professional ed while the version on the server is the 2005 std version. Not sure if i was using anything that can only be used on the professional version but it's possible. I will just try and install the prof version instead then... it's possible that could be the problem alright

Author Comment

ID: 33768141
ok, it's a moot point because i can't install or remove anything from the server. The error is 'Error code 1601 for this component means "The Windows Installer service could not be accessed.'

Actually, we've had this problem before trying to install a windows service. looks like nothing can be installed on this server... it is a windows 2000 server and just seems to be too old.

Unless you guys have some idea about how to fix this issue that we haven't already tried?

Expert Comment

ID: 33768193
You might need to check the server that it has latest Windows Installer installed - Widows Server 2000 is quite old indeed. Also, is there a reason you're trying to run the solution on the server in the first place? Very bad practice to have development tools installed on your server IMHO.

Author Comment

ID: 33768573
well may be bad practice, but you're supposed to have a test environment which is the same as the production environment (i.e. have a server which is used for production and a server which is used for testing).

without that is really difficult to solve some problems which occur on the production environment without being able to run locally on VS. And in theory i don't think anything bad should happen really. The site i work on is important but not mission critical. So, how would you solve these problems then, not being able to run VS on your server, and not having a test server?

As for the windows installer... tried to install windowns installer loads of times and just didn't work. Think the server is just on it's last legs anyway, we are trying to get another one

Accepted Solution

CyberSoft earned 300 total points
ID: 33768663
Yes, I agree one needs a pre-production/test environment that mimics the production environment for testing but having Visual Studio on that pre-prod/test server then violates the duplicate environment scenario - as you may have something work on that environment that doesn't work on live/production. That makes it even more difficult to test.

With proper error logging and/or tracing you should be able to debug issues without having development tools on the server.

We've always developed systems on dev machines with a local test server for testers and then a pre-production server online which is a exact replica (settings, resources, hardware, OS, etc) of the live environment.

Considering Windows 2000 server is over 10 years old now - you should be seriously considering at the very least (if cost is a factor) looking at Windows 2003 Server otherwise Windows 2008 Server.

If you're having problems getting Windows Installer to install on your server then you're most likely not going to get the correct VS version installed either.

Author Comment

ID: 33768738
yeah well that's the thing also, because of the server problems I was never able to get remote debugging working either. I log all the errors into a table in my database, but often that's not enough to figure out the error. Probably I don't use proper analysis, but then i don't have time to invest in these things also, need to get the site operational! But, i study things on the side as i'm going along... and doing the microsoft 356 exam which has sections on this kind of thing so maybe i'll get a chance to learn a bit better how to solve these issue. But anyway, since i can't get remote debugging installed and everything i seem to do on the server doesn't work out... then i think my hands are somewhat tied...

ok well thanks for the info... i'll close the question since I don't think there's much i can do right now until i get a new server. When that happens I'll try and get remote debugging working and do some investigation into the other problem solving techniques and tracing (although is tracing not just about finding out how long thing take to load up etc? well i guess that could help if there's an error also i suppose...)

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33768754

Expert Comment

ID: 33768914
Well, tracing isn't necessarily only about timing, you could go as granular as logging each method call and params passed to and returned from to aid in your debugging. Good luck and thanks for the great answer rating.

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