September 25th, 2011

Ouch! (Financial Only)

I was replacing a light bulb in the fixture at the top of the stairs earlier this week, both of them finally having decided to give up the ghost, when I took a good look at the top of the venerable 2-step aluminum ladder that I was using. I did not in the least like the look of the top step -- which I had no intention of setting foot on! -- which had a tear in the aluminum on one side.

I went ahead and replaced the bulbs and set out upon a plan to replace the ladder. I looked at Home Depot today and discovered that I could get a relatively inexpensive ladder that was not actually rated to support my weight. It probably would...

I have now purchased an annoyingly expensive 2-step fiberglass ladder that is rated to hold me. The only thing more annoyingly expensive than this ladder would be the injury from a fall resulting from buying a ladder that came apart underneath me.

Putting the Fault Tolerant Heap In Its Place

If you've been following my little battle against Microsoft's Fault Tolerant Heap which happily enabled itself on a development system in such a way to make actual development use impossible, you may be amused to find out that I now have a solution to the problem and am able to go back to normal debugging with Visual Studio. More or less. :)

It turns out that you can disable the Fault Tolerant Heap by renaming the DLL that it uses: Windows\AppPatch\AcXtrnal.dll. I had tried this before without success, because on Windows Server 2008 R2, the file belongs to "Trusted Installer", which prevents anyone except an installation program from deleting or renaming the file.

If you go to the advanced options in the file properties, you can take ownership of the file away from Trusted Installer and give it to yourself. Then you can add yourself (or just Administrators) to the list of people with Full Control of the DLL.

And then you can rename it.

This will prevent the Fault Tolerant Heap from running on the system at all, at least until you get an OS update that reinstalls it, at which point you'll have to do all this again.

But -- for the time being, at least! -- the Fault Tolerant Heap has been moved to the correct location.

The trash heap.

"Hi! We're from Microsoft and we're here to help you!"