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Debugging ASP.NET

Friday, December 15th, 2006

I don’t use the debugger in Visual Studio 2003 all that much. I got used to not using a debugger when doing PHP programming, since PHP doesn’t ship with a debugger. I did use a debugger in some of my computer science classes, but much of the time I just don’t find it necessary.

This means that I make a lot of changes to my system between the times when I do want to use Visual Studio’s debugger, and pretty much any time I try to use the debugger, I find it isn’t working. Whether it’s a permissions problem, a security setting, or something changed in an update, something always goes wrong.

This MSDN article lists some things that can go wrong with the debugger. This blog post and its comments are also useful. This time, the setting I had to change was an authentication one — except that the first time I changed it, things still didn’t work. I tried again a few minutes later, and it did work. The setting I changed was within Internet Explorer — go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Security ->Internet -> Custom Level -> User Authentication and select “Automatic logon with current username and password.”

It’s truly astounding to see the list of problems on that MSDN article. Not only are there a zillion things that can go wrong, the error message I got didn’t match any of those. In fact, the error message I got said I wasn’t in the Debugger Users group, which simply wasn’t true. This is definitely a situation where accurate error messages could make a big difference. I wonder if this situation is any better in Visual Studio 2005.

One Response to “Debugging ASP.NET”

  1. furiousball Says:

    IM me one night and I’ll lend a hand. I’ve basically done everything possibly wrong you can with IIS/VS so I’ve probably seen your error. You can learn from a moron like me.

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