cfix 1.1 may experience hangs when used in the VisualStudio 2008 debugger

When used in conjunction with the VisualStudio 2008 debugger, cfix may hang indefinitely as soon as an assertion fails. The reason for this behavior is a Symbol Server-caused deadlock between the debugger and cfix. I am going to discuss the details of this deadlock in a separate post.

Until a new version of cfix is available, you can work around this problem as follows: Go to the cfix installation directory and rename or delete symsrv.dll. This will stop cfix from contacting the symbol server. While cfix now will not be able to capture proper stack traces any more, this will prevent the mentioned deadlock situation to arise.

The problem only applies to cfix 1.1 and VS 2008. The problem does not occur when debugging with VS 2003, VS 2005, or cdb/ntsd/WinDBG.

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2 Responses to “cfix 1.1 may experience hangs when used in the VisualStudio 2008 debugger”



  1. 1 Debugging a Debugger Deadlock « JP’s Blog Trackback on August 23, 2008 at 8:10 am
  2. 2 cfix 1.1.1 released « JP’s Blog Trackback on August 26, 2008 at 11:14 am
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About me

Johannes Passing, M.Sc., living in Berlin, Germany.

Besides his consulting work, Johannes mainly focusses on Win32, COM, and NT kernel mode development, along with Java and .Net. He also is the author of cfix, a C/C++ unit testing framework for Win32 and NT kernel mode, Visual Assert, a Visual Studio Unit Testing-AddIn, and NTrace, a dynamic function boundary tracing toolkit for Windows NT/x86 kernel/user mode code.

Contact Johannes: jpassing (at) acm org

Johannes' GPG fingerprint is BBB1 1769 B82D CD07 D90A 57E8 9FE1 D441 F7A0 1BB1.

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