Visual Studio 2005 Dropping Out of Debug (After IE8 Installed)

Had this issue and wanted to pass it on:

IE 8 has a feature called Loosely-Coupled Internet Explorer (LCIE) which results in IE running across multiple processes.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/readiness/developers-existing.aspx#lcie

Older versions of the Visual Studio Debugger get confused by this and cannot figure out how to attach to the correct process. You can work around this by disabling the process growth feature of LCIE. Here’s how:

  1. Open RegEdit
  2. Browse to HKEY_LOCALMACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Internet Explorer -> Main
  3. Add a dword under this key called TabProcGrowth
  4. Set TabProcGrowth to 0
    Since you are running on Windows Server 2003, this is all you should need to do. If you run into the same problem on Vista or newer, you will also need to turn off protected mode.

Credit: Brad Sullivan, Program Manager, Visual Studio Debugger, MSFT

To turn off protected mode in Vista, it is the checkbox on the Security tabĀ under Tools -> Internet Options.

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