Mark Gilbert's Blog

Science and technology, served light and fluffy.

I am my own worst user

I was working on a web service project, and I made what I thought was an innocuous change to the data structures exposed by the service.  I ran it, and the service threw this exception:

Server was unable to process request. –> File or assembly name l48f9hj_.dll, or one of its dependencies, was not found.

The name of the file referenced turned out to be irrelevant since it changed each time I ran my web service test rig.  I rebuilt the web service, refreshed the web reference in my test rig, restarted my machine, spent at least 30 minutes searching on the Internet and following people’s advice on adjusting security settings on various folders on my machine – all to no avail.

I mean, it was working up until I made that change to the class…

(stunned silence)


(Mark backs out the change, recompiles, and tests.)  Hey, whatdya know!  It freakin’ works again.


Here’s the bad part.  If I was a tech working a support line, my first three questions to a caller like me would have been:

  1. Has the web service worked at all?
  2. When did it stop working?
  3. What changed between #1 and #2?

I simply failed to follow my own troubleshooting steps.

Are you ready for the worse part?  I had the same exact problem crop up two weeks prior, and in that two weeks I not only forgot that it happened, I forgot what I did to fix it.  As with most things in my life, if I don’t write it down, it just doesn’t exist.

Some days I feel like I’m in a Christopher Nolan movie, and this blog is my version of a Polaroid camera.


March 20, 2008 - Posted by | General, Visual Studio/.NET

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