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XAML Designer not working in VS2013 + Blend5 on Dell AIO 2350

    Question

  • Hi,

    I just set up a new development machine (Dell All-In-One Inspiron 2350) with VS2013/Blend5 - and if I try to use the XAML designer in either of these environments (for Windows 8.1 Store Apps) - it shows the outline of the page/ UIElement containers but doesn't render any of the elements at all so they are visible. 

    This is really odd as it works just fine on 3 other machines I have.  I've tried creating brand new projects and same problems exist.

    If I move my mouse over the design surface it will highlight the bounding boxes of elements (and allow me to select them) - as well as allowing selection of elements in the Document Outlines (and showing Properties panel correctly). I can compile/rebuild etc and no errors are showing at all (as far as Blend/VS2013 is concerned it seems to think everything is good).

    Strangely enough though - both Blend + VS2013 xaml designers both work just fine if I open/create a Silverlight or WPF project (haven't tried WP) - however fails to work for Win8 XAML.

    I can of course run XAML/Windows 8 apps with no problems - it's just the developer/design mode that's not working (and that pretty much prevents me doing any Win8 development on this machine - the primary purpose of it).

    I've updated all the drivers for everything - can't see any issues there. It's uses Intel HD Integrated graphics - the only thing I can think of that may be causing issues - however have noted that on my Toshiba Kira notebook it works fine on external HDMI/monitor (and that's driven by same Intel HD Integrated graphics chip as the Dell Inspiron).

    Is there anyone out there who has seen this issue / found some solution. I was going to try and ring DELL tomorrow when their support line opens - but fear it's unlikely I will get someone who even knows what VS2013 is - or that they will just point the finger at Microsoft or Intel.

    note I'm happy to send in any crash dumps etc (not that anything is actually crashing) if that will help.

    thanks

    Niall


    Niall Ginsbourg Windows Entertainment + Connected Home MVP (since 2007) mobilewares.net / Australia

    Sunday, November 03, 2013 6:45 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    I managed to get this working eventually by setting the 'per application' settings in AMD Catalyst control panel for devenv.exe to use 'optimal performance' setting (which as I understand it from my conversation with DELL support forces the app to utilize the Radeon HD 8690A discrete graphics instead for rendering).

    So from this, I am pretty sure that the issue was with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 hw or it's driver in this machine. Please pass this on to the appropriate team if you feel it's worth chasing up further (nb - the two less expensive models of this AOI from DELL don't come with the additional Radeon HD hw - only the integrated Intel HD graphics - so there might be no workaround for these users).

    Niall


    Niall Ginsbourg - MVP Windows Media Center - Australia

    Monday, November 04, 2013 12:13 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    This is really odd as it works just fine on 3 other machines I have.  I've tried creating brand new projects and same problems exist.

    Strangely enough though - both Blend + VS2013 xaml designers both work just fine if I open/create a Silverlight or WPF project (haven't tried WP) - however fails to work for Win8 XAML.

    Based on your description, I think that you can check whether there are any differences between your machine and other three machines for example your machine is using Intel HD Integrated graphics, whether other machines also use it? Then you can consult corresponding support.

    In order to check if the issue is related to your Visual Studio, I suggest you to reinstall your VS to check the result.

    If no help, to get the issue confirmed and diagnose by product team, would you please create connect report for it? You will get email notification for update.http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/CreateFeedback.aspx, if you submit it, you could share us the link here, so we could know the latest information from the Product team expert.

    Best regards,


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    Monday, November 04, 2013 8:21 AM
  • Hi,

    I managed to get this working eventually by setting the 'per application' settings in AMD Catalyst control panel for devenv.exe to use 'optimal performance' setting (which as I understand it from my conversation with DELL support forces the app to utilize the Radeon HD 8690A discrete graphics instead for rendering).

    So from this, I am pretty sure that the issue was with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 hw or it's driver in this machine. Please pass this on to the appropriate team if you feel it's worth chasing up further (nb - the two less expensive models of this AOI from DELL don't come with the additional Radeon HD hw - only the integrated Intel HD graphics - so there might be no workaround for these users).

    Niall


    Niall Ginsbourg - MVP Windows Media Center - Australia

    Monday, November 04, 2013 12:13 PM
  • Hi,

    Thank you for your information. I have moved this thread to Tools for Windows Store app forum for better response. I think that it is beneficial for other members which encounter the same issue when work with XAML/Windows 8 apps.

    Best regards,


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.
    Click HERE to participate the survey.

    Tuesday, November 05, 2013 2:47 AM
  • I know this is a bit late, but we were having exactly the same issues when migrating a WPF solution from VS2010 to VS2013. In other words, the XAML design pane "shows the outline of the page/ UIElement containers but doesn't render any of the elements at all so they are visible". In our case it was the buttons that weren't rendering and they didn't respond to edits without a rebuild of the solution. In our case, the answer was to look at the theme for the buttons, and change the static references to dynamic (as many as possible - some have to remain static) - but only within the theme. It was ok to leave the reference to the style as static within the actual XAML page. There will probably be some effect on performance at run time but we haven't noticed any.
    Thursday, January 08, 2015 8:48 AM