Opening 64-bit Dumps of 32-bit Processes in Visual Studio 2013

Hello, I am Andrew Chan, a Program Manager on the Visual Studio Debugger Team and in this post I would like to go over an improvement we’ve made to opening dumps of 32-bit processes in Visual Studio. In a nutshell, Visual Studio is now able to open dumps of 32-bit processes that are collected using Task Manager on 64-bit versions of Windows!

The Visual Studio dump debugging feature has had a limitation in that it wasn’t able to debug dumps of 32-bit process that were collected using Task Manager on 64-bit versions of Windows. This was because Task Manager on 64-bit versions of Windows creates a 64-bit dump of the 32-bit process which Visual Studio didn’t understand. This was a known limitation that has been documented before.

Now in Visual Studio 2013, this caveat no longer exists because we are able to properly process 64-bit dumps of 32-bit processes. This means that both 32-bit and 64-bit dumps of a 32-bit process can be open without any problems. You can try this yourself by following the steps of our older blog post to obtain a dump and observe how it now works in VS 2013.

If any of you have feedback on this, please let me know in the comments or in our MSDN forum.