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[.net] Before Posting - Please Post Full Exception

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Just a friendly reminder to everyone to help us anser questions quickly and correctly: When you post about an error using .Net, please fully describe the error. That means getting the FULL ERROR MESSAGE. You can usually do this by getting the exception's ToString(), and pasting that here along with the usual message. Also make sure to include any InnerExceptions of the thrown Exception. These are exceptions within exceptions, and if included usually give more detailed reasons for what went wrong. If you feel like you are lost with an error message that is just too general, make sure there aren't any InnerExceptions. Thanks, following these two error reporting guidelines will help us help each other. Good day to you all! PS - I am in no way a moderator or staff member, and this post is not a rule. Just to make sure it is clear that this is just to help us all out with the many problems that could be solved quickly if we had the right information at the start.

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Also, in the case of a DirectX exception where the exception description reads something useless like "there was an error in the application", post the error code (it's one of the properties of DirectXException).

It would be good to get this stickied...

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I wrote an entry in the Java Forum FAQ on asking for help. Paraphrased here for posterity:

Q: How do I know when to ask for help?
A: There is a general hiearchy of tasks one should consult when trying to find answers.

Step 1.) Check the API specification. When it comes down to questions about usage (i.e. "How does such-and-such class work") there is literally no better source than the API specification on the MSDN website. Read it, follow the related links, read those, and if you still have questions ask questions about what you don't understand in the API.
.NET Framework Reference Information
.NET Framework Class Library
C# Programmer's Reference
Visual Basic Language and Run-Time Reference
Managed Extensions for C++ Programming.

Step 2.) Search google. You would think this is an automatic task, assumed by all. Also, don't forget to go past the first 2 pages. Actually open some links and read them, don't judge souly off of the description. Searching google may reveal the name of an illusive API class, at which point you can return to step one.

Step 3.) Make sure you have read the Wikipedia entry on C#. It contains a good set of links to extra information.

Step 4.) Test some stuff out. Computer programming is a science, if you don't try things out, you will never learn. Even if you fully expect it to fail, LET IT FAIL! You learn more from your failures than your successes.

Step 5.) Ask a structured, focused question. This includes documentation of your efforts so far (your code in a [ source ] tag, the API specs you've looked up, your google search terms, etc), your output (compiler output, Console.out, and Console.err), and the problem you are having trouble with (i.e. "It crashes with an 'out of memory' error when I hit line 1024", NOT "It doesn't work").

Note: Under no circumstances do you post every line of code in your project. You should figure out the lines of code that cause the problem and post JUST those lines, with perhaps a few extra for context.

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