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Aug 3, 2011

VS2010 remote debugging and Windows 7 firewall

*Update, 2011/09/16: The issue has been fixed in the next major release of Visual Studio.

I've had some trouble getting remote debugging going for a development server at work. Turns out there are some oddities in the way VS 2010 creates and manages the firewall entries that let the remote machine connect back to the local computer. You'd might want to read this before checking out the MSDN articles:  How to: Set Up Remote DebuggingHow to: Configure the Windows 7 Firewall for Remote Debugging.

I was working with a development server that had the remote debugging monitor installed. Others have been debugging on the server, so I was sure that the server was set up correctly. I was pretty sure my problems were caused by the setup on my local machine.

If you lack firewall rules for remote debugging, VS2010 detects this and asks you what to do:


Without giving it much thought I chose to "Unblock remote debugging from computers on the local network (subnet)". After all, the development server was somewhat "local." The remote debugging monitor reported that I connected to the server, but nothing more happened and I timed out with this error message: 
Unable to connect to the Microsoft Visual Studio Remote Debugging Monitor named 'xxxxxxx'. The Visual Studio Remote Debugger on the target computer cannot connect back to this computer. A firewall may be preventing communication via DCOM to the local computer.
I then realized that subnet was probably a keyword here, as the server was in the same domain but on a different subnet.

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