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The Caffeinated Geek Tech Obsessed in Winnipeg

At one of the clients I am working with we had a strange issue this week.  A new employee joined the development team as a QA lead and was given a laptop to use that is a couple of years old.  The firm has been in the process of upgrading their equipment to Windows 7 and thus far hasn’t really had any issues.

Well, on this particular computer, our WPF application would install (it’s click once) and open but then hang.  Very odd indeed.  In looking at our application log, I found many instances of this exception being logged.

1/6/2010 2:18:24 PM: Application Exception: Exception Source: PresentationCore
Exception Type: System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException
Exception Message: Exception from HRESULT: 0x88980406
Exception Target Site: SyncFlush

The user also strangely reported that the application did work as long as they didn’t have an external monitor connected.

Some Googling led me to believe it may have something to do with video drivers after seeing others with driver issues plaguing WPF applications.

Updating the graphics (intel onboard) driver didn’t resolve the issue. After some more googling on that chipset and driver issues with Win 7 I found that many people were complaining about game and video not functioning with that driver.  The apparent workaround was to disable hardware acceleration in the driver.  Sure enough, that resolved the issue with our WPF application.

Man I’ve come to the conclusion that video drivers are in fact the #1 issue with all Windows machines.  I don’t know how many times a machine has worked flawlessly except for issues with the video driver.  Microsoft obviously needs to put more pressure on the video chip makers to improve the quality of their drivers.

Anyway, there is a few hours that I didn’t get to spend on the actual application. Custom software is tough enough without having to troubleshoot the laptops and desktops they are running on.

Posted on Sunday, January 10, 2010 3:39 AM | Back to top


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