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Tarun Arora - Visual Studio ALM MVP ALM, Agile, Automation, Performance Testing, Software QA, Cloud, ...

Issues you may run into while using Visual Studio need to be reported to the Microsoft Product Team via the Microsoft connect site. The Microsoft team then tries to reproduce the issue using the details provided by you. If the information you provide isn’t sufficient to reproduce the issue the team tries to contact you for specifics, this not only increases the cycle time to resolution but the lack of communication also results in issues not being resolved. So, when I report an issue one part of me tells me to include as much detail about the issue as I can clubbing screen shots, repo steps, system information, visual studio version information,… the other half tells me this is so time consuming, leave it for now and come back to fill all these details later. Reporting a bug but not including the supporting information is an invitation to excuses like …


Microsoft has absolutely changed this experience for VS 2012. The Microsoft Visual Studio Feedback tool is designed to simplify the process of providing feedback and reporting issues to Microsoft that you may encounter while using Microsoft Visual Studio 2012.

Note – The Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Feedback client currently only works for VS 2012 and not any other versions of Visual Studio.

Setting up the Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Feedback client

Open Visual Studio, from the Tools menu select Extension and Updates.


In the Extension and Updates window, click Online from the left pane and search using the text ‘feedback’, download and Install Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Feedback Tool by following the instructions from the wizard.


Note - Restarting Visual Studio after the install is a must!

How to report a bug for Visual Studio 2012?

Click on the Help menu and choose Report a Bug


You should see an icon Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Feedback Tool come up in the system tray icon area


You’ll need to accept the Privacy statement.


You have the option of reporting the feedback as private or public.

Microsoft works with several Partners, MVP’s and Vendors who get access to early bits of Microsoft products for valuation. This is where it becomes essential to report the feedback privately. I would choose the Public option otherwise. After all if it’s out there in the public, others can discover and add to it easily.


You now have the option to report a new issue or add to an existing issue. Should you choose to add to an existing issue you should have the feedback ID of the issue available. This can be obtained from the Microsoft Connect site.

For now I am going to focus on reporting a new feedback privately.

Filling out the feedback details

You will notice that VsInfo.xml and DxDiagOutput.txt are automatically attached as you enter this screen (more on that later). 

Feedback Type

Choose the feedback type from (Performance, Hang, Crash, Other)

Note – The record button will only be enabled once you have enabled once you have chosen the feedback type, Bug-repro recording is not available for Windows Server 2008.




Effective Title and Description

Enter a title that helps us differentiate the bug when it appears in a list, so that we can group it with any related bugs, assign it to a developer more effectively, and resolve it more quickly.

Example: Imagine that you are submitting a bug because you tried to install Service Pack 1 and got a message that Visual Studio is not installed even though it is.

Helpful:  Installed Visual Studio version not detected during Service Pack 1 setup.

Not helpful:  Service Pack 1 problem.

Tip: Write the problem description first, and then distil it to create a title.

Example Description:

Helpful: When I run Service Pack 1 Setup, I get the message "No Visual Studio version is detected" even though I have Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate and Visual C++ 2010 Express installed on my machine. Even though I uninstalled both editions, and then first reinstalled Ultimate and then Express, I still get the message.

Record: Becoming a first class citizen

Often a repro report is invaluable to describe and decipher the issue. Please use this feature to send actionable feedback. The record repro feature works differently depending on the feedback type you selected. Please find below details for each recording option. You can start recording simply by selecting a feedback type, and clicking on the “Record” button.

When "Performance" is the bug type: When the Microsoft Visual Studio trace recorder starts, perform the actions that show the performance problem you want to report and then click on the "Stop Recording" button as soon as you experience the performance problem. Because the tool optimizes trace collection, you can run it for as long as it takes to show the problem, up to two hours. Note that, you need to stop recording as soon as the performance issue occurs, because the tool captures only the last couple minutes of your actions to optimize the trace collection. After you stop the recording, the tool takes up to two minutes to assemble the data and attach an file to your bug report. The data includes information about Windows events and the Visual Studio code path. Note that, running the Microsoft Visual Studio trace recorder requires elevated user privilege.

When "Crash" is the bug type: When the dialog box appears, select the running Visual Studio instance for which you want to show the steps that cause a crash. When the crash occurs, click on the "Stop Record" button. After you do this, two files are attached to your bug report - an file that contains information about the crash and a file that shows the repro steps. Repro steps are captured by Windows Problem Steps Recorder. Note that, you can pause the recording, and resume later, or for a specific step, you can add additional comments.

When "Hang" is the bug type: The process for recording the steps that cause a hang resembles the one for crashes. The difference is, you can even collect a dump file after the VS hangs; start the VSFT either from the system tray or by starting a new instance of VS, select "Hang" as feedback type and click on the "Record" button. You will be prompted which VS to collect dump about, select the VS instance that hanged. VSFT collects a dump file regarding the hang, called, and attaches to your bug report.

When "Other" is the bug type: When the problem step recorder starts, perform the actions that show the issue you want to report and then choose the "Stop” button. You can pause the recording, and resume later, or for a specific step, you can add additional comments. Once you’re done, is added to your bug report.

Pre-attached files

It is essential for Microsoft to know what version of the the product are you currently using and what is the current configuration of your system.


Note – The total size of all attachments in a bug report cannot exceed 2 GB, and every uncompressed attachment must be smaller than 512 MB. We recommend that you assemble all of your attachments, compress them together into a .zip file, and then attach the .zip file.

Taking a screenshot

Associate a screen shot by clicking the Take screenshot button, choose either the entire desktop, the specific monitor (useful if you are working in a multi monitor configuration) or the specific window in question.


And finally … click Submit


If you need further help, more details can be found here.

You can view your feedback online by using the following URL “"><feedbackId>

Happy bug logging Be right back

Posted on Saturday, September 8, 2012 12:01 PM TFS2012 , ALM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Are you reporting Visual Studio 2012 issues to Microsoft correctly?

# re: Are you reporting Visual Studio 2012 issues to Microsoft correctly?
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Thank you posting the instructions.
Left by Forrest on Sep 09, 2012 4:25 AM

# re: Are you reporting Visual Studio 2012 issues to Microsoft correctly?
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when developers are USERS, there is _no_ difference between them and the normal people. sad but true:)

thank you for this tutorial.
Left by táblázatban on Sep 10, 2012 1:18 PM

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