Cannot Open Files - by Kelmar

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ID 510008 Comments
Status Active Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 3
Opened 11/11/2009 11:16:26 PM
Access Restriction Public


Selecting File->Open->Project/Solution... or File->Open->File... does not display a file open dialog box.  The toolbar button for the equivalent action also does not do anything.

The IDE window will flash breifly as if it is opening the dialog, but then goes back to normal.

Draging and droping a file from the Windows file explorer works as expected; but this will not work if the application is run as an administrator.
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Posted by Microsoft on 6/17/2012 at 10:16 PM
The WPF team has recently reviewed this issue and will not be addressing this issue as at this time the team is focusing on the bugs impacting the highest number of WPF developers. If you believe that this was resolved in error, please reactivate this bug with any necessary supporting details.
Posted by joatski on 3/18/2011 at 11:51 AM
Did anyone at MS ever look at this issue / does anyone have any other suggested workarounds?

This is seriously impacting my ability to work in VS 2010.
Posted by joatski on 3/16/2011 at 11:56 AM
The posted workaround also isn't viable for me. It did cause the open dialog, etc... to work, but if I enable XP SP3 compatibility mode, I get a bunch of errors when compiling:

XXX.h.PCH.cpp : fatal error C1074: 'IDB' is illegal extension for PDB file

These errors don't occur when running without compatibility mode set (but then I have to drag-drop a solution in to be able to even attempt to compile...)
Posted by joatski on 3/16/2011 at 11:22 AM
I can also reproduce this problem using Visual Studio 2010 RTM.

I have also tried installing SP1 for Visual Studio 2010 (10.0.40219.1 SP1Rel), and the problem persists.

I am running Windows 7 professional 64 bit.
Posted by Alejandro E. Moreno Ruiz on 10/4/2010 at 9:50 AM
I am also affected by this bug.

I'm using Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard.

Intel Core2 Duo
Posted by Microsoft on 2/18/2010 at 1:21 PM
Hi Kelmar,

Quick heads up that this is still on my radar to investigate - sorry about the delay.

Sasha Siddhartha
Lead Software Developer
Visual Studio Platform
Posted by Microsoft on 1/22/2010 at 5:15 PM
Hello Kelmar,

I'm sorry - I just saw your response today. Can you please email me directly at: suzanne.hansen (at) so we can co-ordinate the upload/download of the trace program?

The uploaded files are only available for a few days.

Thank you,
Suzanne Hansen, Program Manager, Visual Studio Platform Shell Team
Posted by Kelmar on 1/5/2010 at 8:17 PM

I'm sorry I didn't get your last response until just recently. The download area says there are no files available to download.

Can you repost?
Thank you
Posted by Microsoft on 12/9/2009 at 9:39 AM
Hello Kelmar,

Thank you for providing us with more details – the information you're provided is helpful. This is a very interesting bug. There’s (hopefully) one last piece of information that will help us get to the bottom of this issue. I’d like you to run an IDNA trace with a program that I will supply to you. This will allow us to do some advanced debugging.

To run the trace:

1)    Install the MSI from the site:
a.    Choose “Receive Files from Microsoft”
b.    Enter password: -1E36])Hfx%BTcb
c.    Note: There’s a 64-bit version and a 32 bit version available to download… I accidentally uploaded the 32-bit version.)
2)    Start VS (Visual Studio) and do all the necessary steps up to the point right before you click File->Open File
3)    Use taskmgr.exe to determine the PID for the running instance of devenv.
4)    Now we need to initialize the tttracer drivers using the following:
a.    Open a command prompt, change the directory to c:\debuggers\ttt and run tttracer.exe with the following command line
     tttracer -initialize
b.    From the same command prompt run tttracer.exe again to attach tttrace to the devenv.exe process
     tttracer -attach <pid> -dumpFull -bg -out c:\Debuggers\
c.    Wait for control to return to the console window before proceeding.
5)    Back in Visual Studio, run File->Open File and watch it fail
6)    Switch back to the console window and stop the tttracer.exe utility with the following command line:
     tttracer -stop all
7)    Exit VS, Zip and Upload the resulting .RUN and .OUT files.

You can upload these files at the same location where you downloaded the tttracer.
Password: -1E36])Hfx%BTcb

Thank you,
Suzanne Hansen, Program Manager, Visual Studio Platform Shell Team
Posted by Kelmar on 12/2/2009 at 4:05 PM
As far as I can recall it has existed sense the very first time I tried Visual Studio 2010; it certainly has been existent right from the get go on this particular install.

The OS is Windows 7 Ultimate Edition build 7100 64-bit; if you'd like I'd be more than happy to provide a dxdiag dump which would also list all specific driver versions as well.

As for the Windows Forms, application, no. Those applications work perfectly. Even if I build them from Visual Studio 2010. I speculate native Win32 applications would also not be a problem.

For specific properties I'm not certain what it is you'd be looking for. I know that attempting to open a file from the file menu (I often just use Visual Studio as a general text editor) doesn't work. Editing a Visual C++ project's directories won't show the directory selection dialog. And the add Existing item is present in all project types that I'm aware of (or the ones that I most commonly use)

These dialog boxes are in fact part of the native Win32 API (if I'm not mistaken the Windows Explorer is responsible for responding to these calls), and the Windows Forms code is just a thin wrapper around this. I'm not nearly as familiar with WPF as I am Windows Forms or Win32 but I speculate that WPF is attempting to also do the same thing and something somewhere isn't quite syncing up right.

Because I believe that these dialog boxes are handled by the Windows Explorer I decided, as a precaution, and to further verify things, to uninstall several applications that I knew added extensions to the Windows Explorer menus. Specifically 7-Zip and TortoiseSVN. This however did not provide any fruitful results. I also made sure there were no other applications running at the time of my tests and that didn't provide any change in the behavior.
Posted by Microsoft on 12/2/2009 at 1:47 PM
Hello Kelmar,

First, my apologies for the delay in responding to you. Thank you for taking the time to let us know about this Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 bug. I’ve read through your follow-up comments, and I want to make sure I understand the problem completely. You’ve already done some of the debugging that I was going to ask you to try – that’s very helpful. I also have a few questions for you:

Did this bug appear after you had been using Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 for a little while, or has it been present the entire time?

What specific operating system are you running? Windows 7 Professional?

You mention that this also reproduces when you create a standalone WPF application and attempt to use a Windows Forms OpenFileDialog component. Does this also reproduce if you create a Windows Forms application with the OpenFileDialog component?

I want to make sure I have a good list of the affected features in Visual Studio. Can you please add anything I omitted or misunderstood? You are not seeing any dialog boxes for the following scenarios: right clicking on a project in the Solution Explorer and selecting Add Existing Item, Selecting File->Open->Project/Solution... or File->Open->File... I don’t do much C++ coding, so please forgive my need for clarification: For the directory or file selection in the VC++ directories properties in a project – can you point out some specific properties where a dialog doesn’t appear?

I believe that most of these dialogs are provided by the operating system. Does Add->Existing Project work for you? How about right clicking on a Solution in the Solution Explorer and selecting “Open Folder in Windows Explorer”?

Although I’m glad to hear that you’ve been able to work around this bug, I would like to work with you to get to the bottom of this issue. If you can think of any other details that may help us track down this bug, please let us know. (e.g. Do you have anything unusual installed on the computer? Is this a virtual machine?)

Thank you,
Suzanne Hansen, Program Manager, Visual Studio Platform Shell Team
Posted by Kelmar on 11/14/2009 at 11:04 AM
I was able to reproduce the problem by attempting to use the Windows Forms's OpenFileDialog component from within a Windows Presentation Foundation application.

This problem also prevents one from right clicking on a project and selecting "Add Existing Item".

I was able to work around this issue by running the IDE in compatibility mode for Windows XP SP3.
Posted by Microsoft on 11/13/2009 at 10:24 PM
Thanks for your feedback.

We are rerouting this issue to the appropriate group within the Visual Studio Product Team for triage and resolution. These specialized experts will follow-up with your issue.

Thank you
Posted by Microsoft on 11/13/2009 at 4:37 AM
Thank you for your feedback, We are currently reviewing the issue you have submitted. If this issue is urgent, please contact support directly(
Posted by Kelmar on 11/12/2009 at 8:23 AM
It would appear that anything that involves file or directory selection (such as adding directories to the VC++ directories properties in a project) do not display their intended dialog boxes.
Posted by Microsoft on 11/12/2009 at 6:18 AM
Thank you for your feedback, We are currently reviewing the issue you have submitted. If this issue is urgent, please contact support directly(