TFB210602: Failed to copy.

Build error: Value cannot be null. Parameter name: path1.

Now that’s a cryptic title, right?

First of all; a big thanks to Jason Barile/MSFT that set me in contact with Aaron Hallberg that in turned found a workaround for the bug I’m about to describe.

Second; The bug is fixed in MSFTs trunk version of TFS 2010, so you don’t need to run over to connect.microsoft.com to report it.

With the release of the Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010, I thought it would be cool to check out the new TFS Basic mode running locally on one of my laptops.

I was amazed that the whole installation process took only about 20 minutes – something that is way better than the near-nightmare scenario of installing a full TFS 2005 or 2008 (I haven’t tried to setup a full scale TFS 2010 yet).

In addition to the TFS 2010 itself, I also installed the Team Build Controller and Team Build Agent locally on the same laptop (and of course Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate).

I imported a small pet project / demo I’m working on into the source control, and set up a build definition for it so that I could do continuous integration builds when checking in future changes.

Right-click.
Queue new build…
Building…
Bang. Build Error :-(

Now, I tried all sorts of things to try to figure out what caused the build failure, and I got some input from Jason Barile, that didn’t work out either (turned out that I’ve set the build server’s working directory to the same directory for it to drop the result to).

Luckily, I twittered my need for someone that could take a look at my problem, and that’s where Jason entered the scene; we did a SharedView session, and as I’ve already written, we didn’t get very far. But Jason works with a brilliant guy named Aaron, that was more than willing to take a look at the problem too.

We did a SharedView where we discussed what I’ve already tried, and tried to narrow down the possible things that could mess up my build. After checking up a bit internally, Aaron came back with a small piece of source code we checked out locally; a bit of code that tries to infer the location of MSBuild.

Well, it  turned out that when it parsed a value from the registry (or something) it took my current regional settings into account, and here in Norway we use , (comma) as a decimal separator – something that is different from the US standard; . (period.

The fix for it was to hardcode the path to msbuild in the BuildTemplate.xaml file that is actually the workflow that is used by the build server. Aaron sent me a version that I plugged in – and bam! Green build!

Thanks again Jason & Aaron – I love the openness a great attitude of every MSFT employee I’ve met so far :-)

The modified .xaml file can be downloaded from here.

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  • http://ljusberg.se/blogs/smorakning Anders Ljusberg

    Thank you so much for this blog post – I had exactly the same problem, but the new .xaml file works like a charm!

  • Staffan

    Could you point to the exact location in the xaml file to fix this?
    Or maybe email me the file so I can do a compare. I cannot download your file right now.