Lessons learned while solving a software issue on a client’s laptop

“This laptop has the latest version of the software and it’s not working”.

That is how it ended up on my desk. After two days of debugging, crashing and reading log files I solved the problem. I’m hired to get things done, not to try-and-fix.

The problem was caused by a corrupted IIS Metabase and IIS 6 configuration compatibility Windows feature. A DirectoryService object would throw a COM Exception after thirty something seconds and we are using it twice in a WCF service. Two times 30 seconds is a little more than a minute and that is the receive timeout of our binding.

The solution was to re-install the Windows feature.

Lessons learned

  • Logging with System.Diagnostics.Trace works great, but sometimes remote debugging is needed
  • Remote debugging is best done over UTP, Wifi signals are not always stable enough
  • When remote debugging to a computer that isn’t yours, use “No Authentication”
  • Repro will take 80% of the time, sometimes even more

About erictummers

My work as a recruited developer changes almost every month. I like challenges and sharing the solutions with others. On my blog I’ll mostly post about my work, but expect an occasional home project, productivity tip and tooling review.
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