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Home » U++ TheIDE » U++ TheIDE: Compiling, Linking, Debugging of your packages » I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error...
I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #9919] Fri, 08 June 2007 16:22 Go to next message
blackbyrus is currently offline  blackbyrus
Messages: 1
Registered: June 2007
Junior Member
Here's an example of the error:
LINK : fatal error LNK1168: cannot open C:\upp\out\MSC71.Debug_full.Gui\Hello.exe for writing

In this specific one, Hello.exe had already compiled 3 times before it suddenly stopped working.

I get it for my (very simple, straight from tutorial) programs, and for the already written example programs that came packaged with the IDE. Sometimes a program will compile a couple of times, I'll make a very minor change, then I will get that error, I change it back, and now it won't compile anymore. I'm confused as to what I may be doing to cause this.
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #9920 is a reply to message #9919] Fri, 08 June 2007 17:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11561
Registered: November 2005
Ultimate Member
This usually means that program is still running. Win32 cannot write to the image of running process. Check the process list and kill the process.

Rarely, this can be caused by the problem in the debugger -> in that case, you need to restart TheIDE.
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50478 is a reply to message #9920] Tue, 06 November 2018 17:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
koldo is currently offline  koldo
Messages: 2899
Registered: August 2008
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Hello all

I get very frequently this error.
The system is Windows 10 and compiler is VS 2017.
It is annoying as only way to avoid it is restarting TheIDE or changing exe name.
Thank you.


Best regards
Koldo
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50482 is a reply to message #50478] Tue, 06 November 2018 19:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11561
Registered: November 2005
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koldo wrote on Tue, 06 November 2018 17:06
Hello all

I get very frequently this error.
The system is Windows 10 and compiler is VS 2017.
It is annoying as only way to avoid it is restarting TheIDE or changing exe name.
Thank you.


Are you using debugger?
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50483 is a reply to message #50482] Wed, 07 November 2018 12:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
koldo is currently offline  koldo
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Registered: August 2008
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Yes.

Best regards
Koldo
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50484 is a reply to message #50483] Wed, 07 November 2018 16:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
koldo is currently offline  koldo
Messages: 2899
Registered: August 2008
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Running Sysinternals Process Explorer, it appears that the program is already running.
However in TheIDE there is no option available for stopping any process, so TheIDE thinks that the process is already stopped.
This problem happens sometimes, every 5-10 compilings of the same source.


Best regards
Koldo
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50600 is a reply to message #50484] Sun, 25 November 2018 17:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
peterh is currently offline  peterh
Messages: 27
Registered: November 2018
Location: Germany
Promising Member
For me it happens after previous debugging.
(I am on Windows10 64 Bit)
It happens for me when I am using MSVC17 or MSVC17 64 Bit in TheIDE and only after debugging.

In the Windows Taskmanager it can be seen, that the previously debugged process is still attached to TheIDE.
If I choose "Debug" in the Windows Taskmanager then Windows tries to attach the VSstudio debugger.

Attaching VSStudio debugger fails.

There is an error message, which says "There is another debugger attached to this process, which is not configured to handle this kind of exception".

It seems to me, it happens, when the debugee was stopped and had some kind of exception during shutdown and this probably prevented the debugger from detaching.

These are just my observations. (And educated guesses) Hope this is useful.
I have no experience with windows programming, but have used debuggers on DOS and Linux some decades ago.

[Updated on: Sun, 25 November 2018 20:24]

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Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50610 is a reply to message #50600] Mon, 26 November 2018 10:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11561
Registered: November 2005
Ultimate Member
peterh wrote on Sun, 25 November 2018 17:40
For me it happens after previous debugging.
(I am on Windows10 64 Bit)
It happens for me when I am using MSVC17 or MSVC17 64 Bit in TheIDE and only after debugging.

In the Windows Taskmanager it can be seen, that the previously debugged process is still attached to TheIDE.
If I choose "Debug" in the Windows Taskmanager then Windows tries to attach the VSstudio debugger.

Attaching VSStudio debugger fails.

There is an error message, which says "There is another debugger attached to this process, which is not configured to handle this kind of exception".

It seems to me, it happens, when the debugee was stopped and had some kind of exception during shutdown and this probably prevented the debugger from detaching.

These are just my observations. (And educated guesses) Hope this is useful.
I have no experience with windows programming, but have used debuggers on DOS and Linux some decades ago.


OK, then it is "known issue". We are well aware about this, but have found not solution yet. It looks like Microsoft .dll we are using to get symbolic information from the .exe fails to close same handles to .exe.

For now, if I run into this, I simply restart theide.

If you want to try to resolve this, the critical code is in Pdb::Stop (ide/Debuggers/Pdb.cpp). Problem is that it works "most of time"... Sad
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50613 is a reply to message #50610] Mon, 26 November 2018 12:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
peterh is currently offline  peterh
Messages: 27
Registered: November 2018
Location: Germany
Promising Member
Yes, when I see the problem then I try to solve it, or at least look for a way to reproduce it.

I see this problem frequently, because I use the debugger frequently.
Not that I write software, but I work through the examples and if I dont understand something, then I use the debugger to see how stuff works.

I could try the tools from sysinternals to investigate this problem furter, when it happens.

My observation is, sometimes it doesnt happen and sometimes it happens frequently, with the debugee being substancially unchanged.

It is not reproducible, this could be a hint for uninitialized variables, dangling pointer or race condition.

If the problem is in the microsoft dll then only a quick'n dirty workaround would be possible:

Before the build starts, delete the target *.exe file.
Possibly the Windows API has a way to get the filehandle and close and delete the file? (I dont know this; this is just an unproven idea)
If this is not possible rename it and delete it at next start.
Possibly move the exe to temp then windows would delete it.

[Updated on: Mon, 26 November 2018 13:30]

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Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50617 is a reply to message #50613] Mon, 26 November 2018 17:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
peterh is currently offline  peterh
Messages: 27
Registered: November 2018
Location: Germany
Promising Member
		if(hProcess != INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE) {
			DebugActiveProcessStop(processid);
			TerminateProcess(hProcess, 0);
			
                        // Wait for max. 10 seconds. This should solve 99.9% of all problems. I hope so ;-)
                        // TODO: If a complex unknown and possibly buggy process is terminated violently, 
                        // then the error codes are hard to interpret and should be displayed to the user.
                        WaitForSingleObject(hProcess,10000);
                        

                        while(threads.GetCount())
				RemoveThread(threads.GetKey(0)); // To CloseHandle
			UnloadModuleSymbols();
			SymCleanup(hProcess);
			CloseHandle(hProcess);
		}


Possibly I have found a problem.
The TerminateProcess() systemcall is asynchronous and returns immediately, eventually before the process is actually terminated.
Also it kills all threads.
(If the documentation is correct)

Possibly a WaitforSingleObject() call must be inserted here.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/api/process threadsapi/nf-processthreadsapi-terminateprocess

I think I will try this, when I am at home.

In a later stage the waiting time could be measured, and if it is longer than 9 seconds then the error codes could be displayed to the user and the user should decide if he/she wants to wait longer and retry or ignore the error codes.
This is more work to implement and not necessary for now.
If this approach works, I would be happy to try to write the code. Wink

Edit:

I have now compiled this and it works so far.
If the aforementioned problem shows up again can only be said after some hours of trial.

[Updated on: Mon, 26 November 2018 22:58]

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Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50618 is a reply to message #50617] Tue, 27 November 2018 00:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
koldo is currently offline  koldo
Messages: 2899
Registered: August 2008
Veteran
Hello Peterh

Good find.

Quote:
The TerminateProcess() systemcall is asynchronous and returns immediately, eventually before the process is actually terminated.
Also it kills all threads.
(If the documentation is correct)
TerminateProcess() does not kill child processes.

To handle that Bazaar/Functions4U includes TerminateChildProcesses(). It kills all processes tree.

It may be dangerous, as it does not follow the proper killing order but, as using TerminateProcess() is a brute force process end, TerminateChildProcesses() just tries to do the same thing, but in depth.

Edit: Similar focus is used in PauseChildThreads() with surprising effectivity even for child GUI software.


Best regards
Koldo

[Updated on: Tue, 27 November 2018 00:19]

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Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50619 is a reply to message #50618] Tue, 27 November 2018 08:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
peterh is currently offline  peterh
Messages: 27
Registered: November 2018
Location: Germany
Promising Member
Then TerminateChildProcesses() might be a better solution if it doesnt block.

In any case terminating an unknown eventually buggy process which can have childprocesses, threads and pending IO can go wrong.

Cleanly terminating is without problems in simple cases and might be impossible in complicated cases.
Compromises are necessary. Terminating is always an emergency brake.

I must admit, I am unable to write this debugger and I value and respect your work.
I have only focussed to this problem and went through the code step by step and had an idea what to look for: uninitialized variables, dangling pointers, buffer overflows, race conditions.
And in this case it seems to be a race condition.

BTW, if there are childprocesses, then there is the question if it is good to terminate them. Possibly they can be terminated with the taskmanager or Sysinternals Process explorer or a debugger can been attached to them?

All the best

[Updated on: Tue, 27 November 2018 09:11]

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Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50620 is a reply to message #50619] Tue, 27 November 2018 09:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11561
Registered: November 2005
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peterh wrote on Tue, 27 November 2018 08:54

I must admit, I am unable to write this debugger and I value and respect your work.
I have only focussed to this problem and went through the code step by step and had an idea what to look for: uninitialized variables, dangling pointers, buffer overflows, race conditions.
And in this case it seems to be a race condition.


I absolutely agree - I have to admit that I have completly missed the fact that Terminate is nonblocking.

IMO what we need there is active wait, with Progress for cancelation (for the case that Terminate fails). Or maybe just keep trying for only 3s.

Mirek
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50621 is a reply to message #50620] Tue, 27 November 2018 09:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11561
Registered: November 2005
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So I have tried a quick patch to resolve this based on the new info. It is in the trunk.

I would appreciate testing... Smile

Mirek
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50623 is a reply to message #50621] Tue, 27 November 2018 10:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
peterh is currently offline  peterh
Messages: 27
Registered: November 2018
Location: Germany
Promising Member
Thank you!
So this is in nightly build tomorrow?

I am going to test and report in the evening, when I am at home.
Dayover I am at Job and look occasionally into the forum.
My Job is not programming, but industrial electronics hardware.

My idea is this:

In normal cases termination should be quicker than some 100 milliseconds.
Only if there are problems like pending IO it would last longer.
I do not know if in this cases Windows waits or if it terminates the process in the hard way, leaving open serial ports, USB devices and Files behind. Wink

However the timeout in WaitForSingleObject() must have a meaning and nobody knows how the next version of Windows or other versions will handle this.
So, if a timeout happens there must be an unusual problem and only the user/programmer can know for the reason.

It is then questionable wether the termination would succeed and the user should be asked, when a timeout happens if he wants to wait, instead of closing the process-handle, possibly unsuccessful.
Inbetween he/she could use other system-tools to debug or ignore the problem and restart the IDE and possibly chooses to reboot afterwards.

We use hardware testprograms here.
Some of the devices we test are defective and have unforseeable problems. This is, why we test. Wink
We connect potentially defective devices to the USB Port and disconnect them, semiautomatically some hundreds a day.
I have often seen USB devices vanish after a crash and in this case there is no other choice than to reboot after such an event.
So if such a situation is encountered while debugging the test program, the debugger must leave the decision about closing a process handle after timeout to the debuggers user.

[Updated on: Tue, 27 November 2018 13:17]

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Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50625 is a reply to message #50623] Tue, 27 November 2018 13:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
koldo is currently offline  koldo
Messages: 2899
Registered: August 2008
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Quote:
So I have tried a quick patch to resolve this based on the new info. It is in the trunk.

This morning I have used your patch in a tough way, stopping the debug with SHIFT+F5.
For now it goes right Smile


Best regards
Koldo
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50629 is a reply to message #50625] Tue, 27 November 2018 21:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
peterh is currently offline  peterh
Messages: 27
Registered: November 2018
Location: Germany
Promising Member
I have now downloaded Pdb.cpp from the Git website and compiled this into my IDE.
I tortured it somehow, a lot of breakpoints, Shift F5, singlestep inside a thread
and always rebuilt the debugee (GUIlock).

No problems so far.
I have also seen with this nightly build Alt J is working again and Mathtools compiles again.

[Updated on: Tue, 27 November 2018 21:14]

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Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50636 is a reply to message #50629] Wed, 28 November 2018 10:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
peterh is currently offline  peterh
Messages: 27
Registered: November 2018
Location: Germany
Promising Member
Hi,

I did download nightly build 12584 this morning.
The sources included do not contain the updated code for Pdb::Stop()
So it is unclear to me if the binary has the updated code.
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50637 is a reply to message #50636] Wed, 28 November 2018 10:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11561
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peterh wrote on Wed, 28 November 2018 10:49
Hi,

I did download nightly build 12584 this morning.
The sources included do not contain the updated code for Pdb::Stop()
So it is unclear to me if the binary has the updated code.


It was revision 12585. So perhaps tomorrow...
Re: I keep getting the same "cannot open exe for writing" error... [message #50651 is a reply to message #50637] Thu, 29 November 2018 12:21 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
cbpporter is currently offline  cbpporter
Messages: 1335
Registered: September 2007
Senior Contributor
I tested with 12587.

The issue is not fixed.

In the past I would get a hang up when the process locked and I had to quit TheIDE.

Now, I get a message telling me that the binary can't be opened for writing. So I guess it is an improvement. The process can't be killed by windows manager and I need to shut down TheIDE.

A few months ago I tried everything to fix this but gave up. I was using WinAPI (WaitForSingleObject if I remember correctly) to wait for the process. Yet the process would not finish and TheIDE would hang forever.

			dword exitcode;
			int start = msecs();
			while(GetExitCodeProcess(hProcess, &exitcode) && exitcode == STILL_ACTIVE && msecs(start) < 3000)
				Sleep(1);


This behaves better than WaitForSingleObject since it won't lock forever, but I suppose testing GetExitCodeProcess after 3 seconds will still give an active result in the case where the exe can't be written too. Maybe that should be logged somewhere and shown in TheIDE?

There must be a more aggressive way o killing a process as a fail safe?


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