Did you know… Sara turns 30 today, so I need another "Go Sara Go", and how to use /safemode? – #174

Yep, today is the Sara Birthday Edition v3.0.

Sara’s First Tip She Ever Learned

When i started on the Visual Studio team back in Sept 17th, 2001, the first feature my test lead ever gave me to test was the /safemode feature.  If you have 3rd party packages (meaning you’ve installed a VS Package that uses the VS SDK, formally known as VSIP), you can use this command line switch to have VS launch in "safemode" where all 3rd party packages are prevented from loading.  This is a great way to test whether there’s an issue with VS or it is with a 3rd party package.  a funny story here is I was also making the transition from linux to windows, so I had to ask someone what’s the DOS equivalent to "ls".


Sara’s Favorite Most-Obscure VS Tip Ever

In Visual Studio .NET 2002 (we tried 2003 and it didn’t work, but i swear i remember this in 2002, although i don’t have 2002 installed anywhere to confirm), in the Task List, if you had an error that was too long to be displayed in the given cell, if you put focus on that cell / row and press CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+T, it would display the tooltip showing the full error or file path.  Don’t ask, i have no idea =)  If it doesn’t work, then i must have had a dream about it alongside the screen reader dreams i was having at the time.

And Go Sara Go v3.0!!!

Comments (201)

  1. Meile Zetstra says:

    Go Sara Go!!

    Happy birthday!



  2. MemiLavi says:

    Go Sara Go and Happy Birthday!

  3. Nathan says:

    Go Sara Go! Thanks for all the tips, have a very happy birthday!

  4. Goooooo Birthday!  🙂

  5. RobIII says:

    Go Sara Go!

    Go Sara Go!

    Go go! Woooo Sara Go!

  6. Ben S says:

    Go Sara Go 🙂

    (Still using .NET 2002 here, so I’ll give that "dream tip" a go!)

  7. VS Tips sure come in handy sometimes.

  8. Alessandro says:

    go sara go

  9. Antony Gibbs says:

    Go Sara Go!

  10. Don Bailes says:

    I’d love to write a poem to honor you on your 30th for all you do to inform us.  If I did, it would be memorable only in that it would be the worst poem ever penned.  Please forgive my lack of poetic expertise, but do have a wonderfully happy birthday. Joyeaux Anniversaire!

  11. Will Pearson says:

    Go Sara, Go!

    Oh, and happy birthday.


  12. jane says:

    Go Sara Go,  Happy Birthday and wish you many more.  Hope you have a great day.  Your tips are great.

  13. Nick Haslam says:

    Go Sara Go

    and Happy Birthday!

  14. Henrik says:

    "go sara go"

  15. Stanley says:

    Go Sara Go

  16. Steve says:

    Go Sara Go!

    And Happy Birthday too!

    I don’t know what I’d do,

    without these tips from you.


  17. robert says:

    Go Sara Go!!! 🙂 you are amazing, keep up the good work!

  18. Nick says:

    Of we go to Sara Edition 4.0 😉

  19. pete says:

    welcome to the club 🙂

  20. I read these everyday – thanks for all the tips!

    Go Sara Go! 🙂  And Happy Birthday.

  21. Xander says:

    go sara go

    And a happy birthday! I’m up next year Feb for Xander v3.0, it’ll be beta till I hit v4.0 I think.

  22. Fred Beiderbecke says:

    Happy Birthday.  May you have many more years to provide VS Tips.

  23. Nazareno says:

    Go Sara Go!!!!

  24. Marneus says:

    Go Sara go!

    And thanks for tips 😉

  25. ccatto says:

    Hey Now Sara,

    Happy B-Day, Go Sara Go!

    Thx 4 all the tips & great content.


  26. Sherry Chupka says:

    go Sara go

    happy 30th birthday

  27. bryant says:

    read it every day, and share ‘gems’ with the rest of our programming staff. great stuff, and thanks!

  28. Gregor Suttie says:

    Sara you dont look a day over 29 – Go Sarah Go.

  29. Gregor Suttie says:

    Sara you dont look a day over 29 – Go Sarah Go.

  30. Dug says:

    Go Sara go.  Congratulations on Sara Birthday Edition v3.0  

  31. Dave says:

    Go Sara Go

  32. GVS says:


  33. Susan H says:

    She just turned the big three-oh…

    And her tips are so helpful you now…

    She has saved me some time

    and that’s more than a dime

    so I’m posting for "Go Sara Go!"

  34. I find the tips very informative and I would like to see you continue. I can only imagine how much time it takes, and speaking for myself, I thank you for it.

  35. kooriyoo says:

    go sara go! and keep writing tips 🙂

  36. gfrizzle says:

    Go Sara Go! I love your tips of the day – it’s like a little endorphin hit every time I see a new one is out there. Keep up the good work!

  37. Sean says:

    Go Sara Go!!!! Happy birthday tip lady.

  38. Michael Marlowe says:

    sara, is actually a homeless irish man who is unemployed and who, when seeing women out running in groups along the road says "go girl go". The ladies should be at home drinking tea and kebabs, not exploiting someone who is in poor housing. These ladies are skittish types and look like endearing sweethearts. Sara, is I`m afraid is such an endearing sweetheart.

  39. Jim says:

    Read your helpful tips

    It is my daily routine

    Have a good birthday

  40. Dave Woods says:

    I am no poet but here is a Go Sara Go birthday poem:

    Happy Birthday and thanks for all the tricks!

    I look forward to reading each day.

    It’s a strange way to get my kicks

    But it keeps me sane along with my pay.

    Training puppies sounds quite hard.

    I would much rather write some code

    And send you a birthday card!

    Happy Birthday!

  41. Wish you a very happy birthday.

    Great Blog.

  42. arunv says:

    Go Sara Go. :), Happy birthday sara.

  43. sergio says:

    Go Sara Go !

  44. Keith Parish says:

    Go, Sara, GO!!!

    May you have many, many more.

  45. Roses are red… no wait, that is not a birthday poem.  How about a simple Happy Birthday! and a Go, Sara, Go!  I love the tips.  Some I know already, some I don’t, but always read ’em.

  46. Wally says:

    Go Sara Go!

    If you’re only version 3-oh,

    there is one thing we know,

    the tips will keep flowing for sho!

  47. Brian says:

    We had a nice chat at the last PDC about accessibility in Visual Studio, and I’m still learning things from you!

    Go Sara, Go!

  48. James Curran says:

    Go! Sara Go!

    Now the real countdown… 17 months until you’re Pi decades.



    (who’s 30 months shy of 0x30 years)

  49. dave kingston says:

    Go sara go

  50. Matthew says:

    Wooo! Go Sara! Go!

    Enjoy your 30s, they’re the business!

    Happy Birthday.

  51. Go Sara Go!! says:

    Thanks for the tips!  They’re a greate way to start the day.

  52. David N says:

    Happy B-day!

    Thanks for your hard work!

  53. Goooo Sara..gooooooo!!

    Happy birthday and thank you so much for your tips.

    They are VERY helpful.


  54. Brett Stinson says:

    Go Sara Go

    The only way to know

    When to CTL-SHIFT-O

    Or When to ALT-CTL-O

    Is to read the tips from Sara

    That she so diligently shares

    For those of us who don’t

    Know what she Knows


    Happy Birthday!

  55. Ory says:

    Go Sara Go! Happy Birthday!

  56. Tyl Thalman says:

    Happy Birthday! and thanks for all of the tips

    Go Sara Go


  57. bkaraban says:

    go sara go

  58. Hawk Der Nacth says:

    Happy birthday Sara!! Thanks for thinking of the geeks of the world instead of walking the dog!

  59. Alex says:

    Go Sara Go! Happy Birthday to you!

  60. jacobmattison says:

    A tip o’ the hat

    for your tip of the day:

    To read something like that

    makes me just have to say

    Keep up the good work,

    ’cause I sure give a hoot.

    Though I usually lurk,

    Here’s a birthday salute.

    Your tips are such fun

    that we never get bored,

    so before I am done,

    I’ll say, thanks, Sara Ford!

  61. Chris says:

    Go Sara Go …. Will you stop … No No No!

  62. Travis Illig says:

    Go, Sara, go! (And happy birthday!)

  63. Go Sara Go!!

    Greetings from a brazilian subscriber from Taboão da Serra, SP, Brazil

  64. Pedro says:

    Go Sara Go!

    From Brazil, feliz aniversário =)

  65. Ant says:

    Go Sara Go!

    Happy Birthday!

  66. Dario says:

    Go Sara Go!!!!

    Wish you a happy birthday.

  67. patrick says:

    Go Sara Go….

    Tips are great! Have a Happy Birthday!

  68. Aydsman says:


    Hope you had a glorious birthday.

    Great blog – one of a select few I subscribe to.  Keep it up!!!!

  69. Danny says:

    Go Sara Go! Happy birthday from Victoriaville, Québec!

  70. josh says:

    Go Sara Go

    Happy B-Day

    Love the tips and used the one to use your rss feed for the VS start page.

  71. Richard Thomas says:

    Hi Sara,

    A very happy birthday (geez, i’m having trouble remembering my 30th).

    Oh, and yes…

    Go Sara Go!

  72. Inga says:

    Go Sara Go!!!

    Your tips are fantastic! Keep your brilliant work going!

    Have a great day!!

  73. Monte says:

    Sara gives tips on her blog,

    They are smooth and creamy,

    Wow, Sara is dreamy!

    She is contributes much more than a cog.

  74. Tom says:

    a small birthday wish

    from a dev to another

    i say go sara go

  75. geo_m says:

    Go Sara, Go!

    Happy birthday and thank you!

  76. Robin says:

    Go Sara Go! & Happy Birthday!

  77. GO SARA GO!!!!

    Happy 30th Birthday, if 40 = the new 20 then 30 = the new 10?

  78. MarcT says:

    Go Sara Go

  79. Blair says:

    Happy B-Day!!

    and GO SARA GO!!!

  80. Paul McKee says:

    Go, Sara, go!

    Happy Birthday from your ex (teammate, that it)!

  81. Tanner says:

    Go Sara Go. Thanks for all the tips!

    Have a great birthday!

  82. Programmerman says:

    Happy Birthday!  We love you Sara!

    Reading your tip is the greatest part of my morning.

  83. Steve says:

    Go Sara Go!

    (And thanks for the great tips!)

  84. Peter says:

    Go Sara Go! Happy birthday.

  85. BGT says:

    Thanks for the nice tips and happy birthday.

    Go Sara Go!

  86. Ed says:

    Go sara go!  Happy Birthday!  Thanks for all the VS tips!

  87. Lorenzo says:

    go sara go!

    Happy birthday!

  88. tomsmi says:

    Go Sara Go!

    Happy Birthday.  Thanks for all the tips.  

  89. Susan says:

    Wanted to surprise you with a quick trip for your 30th but as usual things did not come together on this end.  Wishing you a most Happy Birthday and so very many more!

    I too read your blog daily and though I understand zero of it, I enjoy reading what your ‘friends’ and ‘readers’ respond as well as your stories.


  90. Carl says:

    Go Sara Go

    I release Carl v3.0 last week – I wasn’t really happy to release it but everyone said that it would be fine. Obviously, there were a few people – friends mainly – that revelled in telling me that it was going to be my worse release ever, and that everything was going to come crashing down.

    I can say that a week after the release, everything looks fine and there have only been a few ‘teething problems’!

    I’m not quite ready to be looking forward to v4.0, and I am anticipating lots of work required before I’m ready to release it!

    So, Happy v3.0, may the bug count be low!


  91. bill says:

    Go Sara GO!

    I really am a Bill, just not THE BILL 😉

    I appreciate your tips and pass many of them along

    to my wife who has just made thhe move to app development in VS. She is coming from the world of Access DBs so it is all a new world. Your tips give her something to look forward to, kind of like a present every day!

    Seeing things from her POV brings things into clearer focus as to how far we have really come. I started with GBASIC on DOS.

  92. Ulf Persson says:

    Go Sara Go! Grattis på födelsedagen (="Happy birthday" in swedish)!

  93. Alex says:

    Go Sara Go. :), Happy birthday!

  94. go sara go.  I read your tip every day!  Thanks for providing

  95. Ulf Persson from Sweden says:

    Go Sara Go! Grattis på födelsedagen! ("Happy birthday" in swedish)

  96. Rory Becker says:

    Happy Birthday Sara

  97. GO SARA GO! We love your daily tips – thanks so much! Happy birthday!

  98. randy.liden@hotmail.com says:

    Go Sara Go.  Happy Birthday.

    Thanks for all the tips!

  99. john says:

    go sara go!

    Happy birthday!

    Thanks for the tips.


    Don’t have 2 either, only 2003, 2005, 2008

  100. Steve says:

    Go Sara Go!

    And Happy Birthday Too!

    I don’t know what I would do

    Without these tips from you

    Not only are you smart and funny

    But very pretty too

    I don’t know what I would do

    Without these tips from you

    My days are filled with coding

    And managers without a clue

    I don’t know what I would do

    Without these tips from you

    Visual Studio is the best IDE

    Better than you know who

    And I don’t know what I would do

    Be it for these tips from you

    I thank you for your dedication

    And for sharing what you know

    There’s only on thing left to say

    Go Sara Go!

  101. Brian says:

    Go Sara Go.

    Happy 3-0.

  102. Dave says:

    Go Sara Go… but then come back and continue the tips!

    I’ll be 30 this year as well… what a coincidence… oh.. but mine is base 20! … LOL





  103. John says:

    Go Sara Go!

    Wouldn’t have taken you for a Linux-girl.  I do LS all the time, too.  Keep on keepin’ on!

  104. scrappymel2 says:

    Go Sara Go….

     Happy Birthday to you

    Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Sara Ha

  105. scrappymel2 says:

    Go Sara Go….

     Happy Birthday to you

    Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Sara Ha

  106. Timothy Fries says:

    Go Sara, Go!

    May the next 30 be better than the first. 🙂

  107. skarnis says:

    Thank you for the great tips.  I am sure that your tips have saved so much time for so many people that many puppies have had the proper time to be trained.

    Enjoy YOUR day.  I think the readers will understand if you have too much fun and miss tomorrows tip.


  108. JMD says:

    Go Sara Go!

    It’s not much, but here’s a(nother) birthday haiku…

    Sara’s VS tips

    Alacrity is the prize

    Subscribe to her blog

  109. Tomek says:

    Go Sara Go! 😉

    "Wszystkiego najlepszego" from Poland 🙂

  110. BradO says:

    Go Sara Go….

    Happy Birthday from one of your South Dakota readers!

  111. mharaguchi says:

    go sara go

  112. Ulf says:

    Gooooo Sara Goooo

    I so enjoy your blog

    Best regards from a snowy northern Sweden

  113. Ray says:

    Go Sara Go

  114. Royce says:

    Happy Birthday and thanks for all the great tips.  I read them every morning and it gets my day off to a good start.

  115. Martin says:

    I’m not good at poems. Therefore just

    Go, Sara go!

    and Happy Birthday!!!

  116. BrianC says:

    Go Sara Go!

    Happy Birthday!

    Thanks for the blog….

  117. Go Sara Go. And Happy Birthday.


  118. Lars Broberg says:

    Happy Birthday and thanks for all the tips!

  119. Maggie says:

    Go, Sara. Go!

    "Do you like my hat?"

  120. Mark says:

    GoSaraGo /safemode

  121. Andy says:

    Go go go

  122. Mike says:

    My wife is the poet so I will just have to get by with saying:

    Congratulation!  Happy Birthday!

    Keep those tips coming!


  123. congratulations on your 30th trip around the sun, this is where the fun begins!

    go Sara

  124. congratulations on your 30th trip around the sun, this is where the fun begins!

    go Sara

  125. congratulations on your 30th trip around the sun, this is where the fun begins!

    go Sara

  126. congratulations on your 30th trip around the sun, this is where the fun begins!

    go Sara

  127. Peter N Roth says:

    Go Sara Go!

    3o 5ara 3o!

  128. GarthA says:

    Go Sara go!  Happy bday and thanks for the VS tips – they’ve been very helpful and timely with the v2008 recent release.

  129. Antonio says:

    GO SARA GO !!!

    Oh, God, Thank you for send us Sara´s help with VS!!!

  130. Happy birthday Sara!

    And go go go !

    great tips, I feel definitely cleverer every day 🙂

  131. nardbard says:

    Go Sara Go, Happy B-day!!

  132. David White says:

    Big ups to Sara. Reading you in NZ.

  133. Dorie says:

    GO SaRA Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  134. Pete says:

    Go Sara Go!!!

    Happy Birthday, thanks for your hard work giving back to the community.

  135. Mike Sargent says:

    Sara Ford: Microsoft’s Go Go Girl!

  136. Dan Janda says:

    Go Sara, Go…

    You have nice tips.  (Don’t quit sharing them, either!)  

    And, HAPPY birthday.  30 isn’t old.  I suspect more than a few of us have kids and grandkids older than you, so there is LIFE after 30 (and 40 and 50 and 60… can’t say yet about 70 ;-))

  137. Bryan Hoylman says:

    Go Sara, Go!

    Happy Birthday!

    Thanks for the tips.

  138. Nick says:

    Go Sara GO PARTY!

  139. Kevin says:

    Happy 3.0 release Sara! Go Sara Go!!!

  140. Go Sara Go!

    o Sara Go!G

    Sara Go!Go

    Sara Go!Go

    ara Go!Go S

    ra Go!Go Sa

    a Go!Go Sar

    Go!Go Sara

    Go!Go Sara

    Go!Go Sara

    o!Go Sara G

    Go Sara Go!

  141. Go Sara Go!

    No poetry talent here.  Sorry.

  142. Dirk says:

    "Growing older is not so bad if you consider the alternative."

    Maurice Chevalier

    I think the actual quote is "Being old…" but I didn’t want to offend you 🙂

  143. Go Sara Go my wish ….

    and a poem will acomplish

    Sharing knowledge is wise

    getting people realise

    that a tip will save them time

    having freedom in their life

    which is actually a gift

    and i write it as a ..tip!

    Well, i read once that getting older is the fine for the wisdom we gain. Having this in mind and keep going on this effort. After all people that decide to share things are wise in any case:)

    Greetings from Greece

  144. Happy Birthday Sweetie!!  Hope you enjoy the 30’s!!  I am winding down towards the 40’s.

  145. DM says:

    Go Sara Go!!!

    A big thank you for all your efforts.

    Happy Birthday!

  146. Gary says:

    Was the cake so delicious and moist?

    Go Sara Go!

  147. Sven Aelterman says:

    Go Sara Go!

    Microsoft probably has a great pension plan, but still, go for the v 6.0!

    Tip of the Day is a great read every morning!

  148. Alan says:

    Go Sara Go!

    30 is the new…well, 30. So live it up girl!

  149. Carl Clark says:

    Looking forward to more daily updates on the way to 3.1!

    Happy birthday!

  150. John S. says:

    Thanks for all your hard work! GSG

  151. Saqib Shaikh (SaShaikh) says:

    Go Sara Go!  Hope you have a wonderful birthday and an awesome year to come.  Thanks for all the hard work you’ve put into this blog, and as a blind developer thank you for your previous work on VS accessibility – truly appreciated!

  152. Mattias says:

    Go Sara Go!

    And you can download the DOS equivalent to "ls" here:


  153. Michael Butler says:

    Go Sara Go

    and a happy birthday too.

  154. Per Kristian says:

    Go Sara Go, or Gratulerer med dagen, as we Norwegians say 🙂

  155. Gunnar Syren says:

    Ok, one day late, but that’s only because of the time difference, so here’s a

    Go, Sara, Go!

    from Sweden. I read your blog every day!

  156. bill says:

    Thanks for all the tips.

    Happy Birthday!

    Go Sara Go!

  157. Alan Nevill says:

    Go Sara Go

    Have a good day.

    From sunny Saudi Arabia.

  158. a monster says:

    Go Sara Go.

    30 is awesome, 31 is the downer…

    Happy birthday.

  159. Ben Gribaudo says:

    Go Sara Go! Greetings from Chicago. Thank you for these great tips.

  160. Simon says:

    Go Sara Go!

    Happy Birthday.

  161. Steve B. says:

    go, sara, go~!

    Your RSS feed has replaced the default in my VS IDE startup page for the past 6 mos — you’ve got something worth reading DAILY and the content in that default msdn feed changes like every 5 months 🙂

    Happy b’day and keep up the great work~!

  162. Ridge (in New Joisey) says:

    Here’s a tip for Ms. Sara and her like-minded kin

    who help us escape when it’s trouble we’re in

    with a comment, a post, a snippet of code

    that when dropped in a mod reads like a great ode

    there’s no way to repay these folks for their gift

    except to do likewise, maybe give them a lift

    so to all who are "out there" and the one that we know

    we can say thank you, thank you, and "go, Sara, go"

  163. Jessie says:

    Yay! Go Sara Go!

    All the best on your birthday,

    Thanks for all the tips!

  164. Go Sara Go!

    The tips are appreciated.

  165. Arlin says:

    Go Sara Go!

    Happy Birthday and keep up the good work!

  166. Rajeev says:

    Go Sara Go!

    Thanks always for the great tips.  I can only imagine how much time it must take to do this, and not many people would have the perseverance to keep this going for so long and so consistently.

    Happy birthday!

  167. Marty says:

    Go Sara Go!

    And Happy Birthday!

  168. GregM says:

    Yesterday’s attempt apparently didn’t work…

    Happy Birthday!!!!!

  169. Go Sara Go! In two years, you’ll turn 0x20, so rejoice 😉

  170. Thomas Danecker says:

    Happy Birthday!

    And of course: Go Sara Go!!!

  171. Eric Johnson says:

    Congrats on shipping Sara v3.0! Go Sara Go!

  172. Dave Gardner says:

    Happy Birthday from sunny Perth, Western Australia. Keep up the good work.

    Go Sara go!

  173. Martin Brown says:

    Go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go go Sara!

  174. Jack says:

    Go Sara Go!  

    Hope you had a great v3.0 release party.

    Thanks for all the tips!

  175. small_mountain says:

    Go, Sara, Go!

    And thanks for the tips.

  176. Double-U says:

    Go Sara Go and Happy Birthday!

  177. Jay Turner says:

    For one that is working up to 6.0 and still coding my only comment is, like fine wine I am sure you will become better and better as time goes on. Best of luck and keep on keepin on(to show my age once again).

    Go Sara Go

  178. gogola says:

    turn back to linux, well, at least before 31.

  179. silentline says:

    Go Sara Go! I just tuned in last week, but I will continue to check back for great new tips! Please keep them coming, they are appreciated. Happy birthday!

  180. Paul Ballard says:

    Run Forrest, Run!… Er wait, I mean Go Sara Go! 🙂

    Happy Birthday whipper-snapper!

  181. RobBurke says:

    Go on, ya good thing!  Continued thanks for the insightful series, and belated happy birthday to you!

  182. Richard says:

    Go Sara Go

    A little late, but Happy Birthday

  183. Igd says:

    Go Sara Go!

    Happy birthday, and thanks!

  184. Matt says:

    Goto Sara go? Well, all right …

    @echo off



    echo GO SARA GO!


  185. Renil says:

    Go SARA Go…

    Belated Birthday wishes 🙂

  186. Jalen Wang says:

    Go Sara Go

    Thanks for your tips.

  187. Garry Trinder says:

    Happy Birthday!

    -Long time Lurker 🙂

  188. felipe2050 says:

    Go Sara Go! Happy birthday (even if a bit late…) and thanks for the blog!

  189. Marcus says:

    Go Sara Go V3.0.

    Let us post a "Go Sara Go" at the next major release.

    Never mind saying something negative about a x.0 revision.

    Happy belated birthday Sara!

  190. cometbill says:

    Text is cheap

    and times are hard

    so consider this comment

    your birthday card

    Go Sara Go !!!

  191. Reader says:

    Go Sara Go !!!

    And Happy birthday

  192. Fred Kuipers says:

    Go Sara Go!!!

    And the good news is: I was not the only one to hit the 3.0 that week! Happy Birthday!

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