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Churn mode caused Visual Studio to lockup?
fourpastmidnight
#1 Posted : Wednesday, October 3, 2018 2:26:05 PM(UTC)
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I was having an issue with flickering unit tests. I used churn mode to help me figure out what was going on. Pretty neat, it worked. I still don't know why the tests were flickering, but I made a change that seemed to resolve the issue.

To ensure the issue was truly gone, I wanted to churn the 5 tests in that category of tests for a minute or two to see if the issue would resurface. However, upon selecting the category and turning on Churn mode, Visual Studio went black and the cursor turned into the "circle of patience". After about 3 minutes, nothing changed--except Visual Studio eventually turned that ghostly white and the dialog popped up about Visual Studio not being responsive, restart, close, or wait?

In Task Manager, I could see that Visual Studio's process memory would fluctuate between 600 - 700 MB, occasionally dropping down to 50MB before rising again. All the while, one of the NCrunchBuildEngine processes was consuming 20% CPU resources and I could see 5 NCrunchTestHost processes consuming about 1% - 2% CPU resources. So, NCrunch was doing work. But, I'm wondering if it also caused Visual Studio to "hang".

I'm running Visual Studio 15.8.4 with NCrunch 3.20.
Remco
#2 Posted : Wednesday, October 3, 2018 10:41:58 PM(UTC)
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Hi, thanks for sharing this issue.

Can you reproduce this at will?

If so, I'm wondering if it still happens with all the NCrunch tool windows closed.

The only real interaction churn mode has with the IDE is the updating of test status values while they run in the background. If you're churning tests that execute quickly, these status updates should be buffered so they don't overload the IDE. It's possible there's an update somewhere there that isn't being buffered correctly. Most updates are related to open code windows or tool windows.
fourpastmidnight
#3 Posted : Thursday, October 4, 2018 8:17:21 PM(UTC)
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I'm not sure if I can reproduce it at will. I know I had been running VS for many days with the same solution open, as well as I hadn't rebooted in 26 days. Finally, Chrome was so unresponsive, I just had to reboot the whole machine. It definitely seemed to be NCrunch that "caused" VS to hang--but I can't rule out that the reason NCrunch caused VS to hang wasn't some internal OS corruption due to the length of time between reboots. I just wanted to ask the question and relay what I experienced.

If I happen to reproduce this, I will most certainly post a reply back into this thread.

Best Regards,

Craig
Remco
#4 Posted : Thursday, October 4, 2018 8:22:35 PM(UTC)
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fourpastmidnight;12736 wrote:
I'm not sure if I can reproduce it at will. I know I had been running VS for many days with the same solution open, as well as I hadn't rebooted in 26 days


I'm seriously impressed that you managed to run a workstation for 26 days without a reboot. System stability just isn't what it used to be, now that we have a world of such frequent software updates.

If you can get this to happen again, there's a useful way to get more data on the crash. Assuming the crashed instance stays around for long enough, try launching a second instance of VS and using its debugger to attach onto the crashed instance, then break into the process and examine the stack trace of the main thread. Often this can yield some useful clues as to what the IDE was doing when it crashed.
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