UWP Apps Fail to Launch and XAML Designer Crashes if Visual Studio and Windows Store Apps Are Both Installed to a Non-Default Drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • UWP applications fail to launch from Visual Studio if project location and Windows Store apps installation path are on a non-default drive. Also, the XAML Designer will crash if you install Visual Studio and Windows Store apps to a non-default drive

    Windows 10 allows users to change the default storage location of Windows Store applications. If you select a non-default drive for your apps, and if you install Visual Studio 2015 onto this drive, the XAML designer will not start and Windows Store app projects built on this drive cannot be run from Visual Studio.

    You can confirm that your secondary drive is affected by running fltmc instances and checking the output for “FileCrypt:”

    Filter     Volume Name  Altitude   Instance Name       Frame SprtFtrs VlStatus  
    ---------- ------------ ---------- ------------------- ----- -------- -------- 
    FileCrypt  D:           141100     FileCrypt Instance   0    00000003

    The XAML designer failure occurs immediately after loading a XAML file, and will show a message similar to:

    Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

    Server stack trace:
    at Microsoft.VisualStudio.DesignTools.DesignerContract.Isolation.Primitives.IsolationBoundary.RemoteIsolationContext.<>c__DisplayClass14_0.<Microsoft.VisualStudio.DesignTools.DesignerContract.Isolation.Primitives.IsolationBoundary.IRemoteContext.CreateInstance>b__0()
    at Microsoft.VisualStudio.DesignTools.DesignerContract.Isolation.Remoting.ThreadMarshaler.<>c__DisplayClass47_0`1.<MarshalIn>b__0()
    at Microsoft.VisualStudio.DesignTools.DesignerContract.Isolation.Remoting.STAMarshaler.Call.InvokeWorker()
    at Microsoft.VisualStudio.DesignTools.DesignerContract.Isolation.Remoting.STAMarshaler.Call.Invoke(Boolean waitingInExternalCall)
    at Microsoft.VisualStudio.DesignTools.DesignerContract.Isolation.Remoting.STAMarshaler.InvokeCall(Call call)

    The F5 failure dialog will specify "Unable to active Windows Store app [guid]. The [app.exe] process started, but the activation request failed with the error 'The app didn't start'."

    Thursday, March 3, 2016 6:11 PM


All replies

  • To workaround this issue:

    Note: the workaround below will make any Store apps installed to the secondary drive inaccessible until next restart.

    The file system driver can be temporarily disabled by running the following command from an admin command prompt:

    fltmc detach filecrypt <driveletter>:

    This will enable both running apps from this drive as well as usage of the XAML designer until the machine is restarted.

    For a longer term fix, move your app or Visual Studio install to your system drive, or a secondary drive that has never been the storage location for Windows Store apps.

    Thursday, March 3, 2016 6:11 PM
  • This issue has now been fixed in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (1607).
    Friday, November 18, 2016 4:35 PM