I was debugging a Windows application that makes use of DirectShow to render media - and for some strange reason, the application would terminate without warning when run under Visual Studio's debugger.
No error message, no exceptions, nothing. The application ran fine outside the debugger. I was able to debug the same code base several weeks ago without incident.
Poking around a bit, I isolated the line of code causing the silent termination: The DirectShow IGraphBuilder interface's Render method. Digging deeper, I find that the ultimate culprit is Ahead Nero 7 Essentials, which had been installed on my development system several weeks before. Apparently, Nero Essentials installs a variety of DirectShow filters on the target system, and, these filters actively prevent running under a debugger. In this case (on my development system), there was absolutely no error message or other indication of why - just a silent termination.
After I isolated the problem, I was able to determine that there is supposed to be a "Nero Protection Error" message box presented to the user, but it never appeared on my system, nor did the system event log contain any useful information. Feh.
This gets my vote as one of the dumbest stunts I've ever seen. I am pretty sure there's nothing all that special about Nero's DirectShow filters, and, if someone really wants to reverse engineer them or break the protection/licensing, they will. This lame attempt does nothing more than encourage (force?) legitimate users to remove the Nero filters from their machines. Nice going. Did the developers or marketing geniuses stop to think about this use case?
Ahead Nero 7 Essentials just cost me an hour or more of productive time. Then there's the aggravation.
Lame. Stupid. Did I mention lame? And I used to *like* Nero software.
I can only hope that the same problem does not happen with Nero 8 and 9.
ImgBurn - Freeware, and it works!
Update: I've tried ImgBurn, a freeware CD/DVD image read/write utility, and so far, it looks good. UI is slightly wonky but it's a very good piece of free software - and, best of all, you can install it without Administrator rights. Give it a try!