Visual Studio step-over or step-into from breakpoint in separate thread disconnects the remote debugger

I am using Windows 7 with VS2005 to debug an MFC application on a T30 module running WCE7 1.4.

If I put a breakpoint pretty much anywhere that will get landed on in code that is running in a separate thread, then click step over or step into, I immediately get an error message:

Microsoft Visual Studio
The remote connection to the device has been lost. Verify the device connection
and restart debugging.

Clicking OK gives me “Microsoft Visual Studio has encountered a problem and needs to close.”

I typically have to use task manager to forcibly quit Devenv.exe. Sometimes Mobile Device Center reports that its still connected but its not, so I then have to reboot the CE device.

Same issue occurs when using VS2008 (running in Virtual Box).

I can replicate this maybe 90% of the time with VS2005 (or VS2008) and T30 modules. And maybe 1% or less with VS2005 and PXA320, PXA300XT, VF50, VF61 modules.

Has anyone else experienced this?

Any suggestions?

The reason why you see this more often on T30 than on PXA is probably not the module type itself but the OS or the fact, that on T30 with CE7 you run on a multi core system where as on PXA with CE 6 or 5 you run on a single core system. To check if this assumption is true or not, you can once try to run CE 6 on the T30, also it is officially not supported.

This kind of issues have been seen on VS2008 in the past with WEC 7 if not all required updates for VS2008 have been installed. You find a list of required updates on our SDK installation guide. We actually never tested that on VS2005, probably multi core systems are not supported there.

I already have all the VS2008 updates installed.

I just realized I forgot to mention I was using debugging over USB, so I am going to answer my own question.

Debugging over USB connection (ActiveSync/Mobile Device Center) has always been buggy and slow, however with the T30 it is pretty much useless (it always randomly disconnects the debugger). Both VS2005 and VS2008 crap all over place when debugging over USB on a T30.

Switching to debugging over IP is much faster and so far has been completely reliable. Its inconvenient to setup and requires a WiFi or Ethernet adapter if you don’t have one built into your custom base board.

Here are the links to the Toradex and Microsoft articles that explain how to set it up: