“The active Test Run was aborted because the execution process exited unexpectedly”

I just got this error when running a medium unit test suite (many hundreds of tests).

“The active Test Run was aborted because the execution process exited unexpectedly. To investigate further, enable local crash dumps either at the machine level or for process vstest.executionengine.x86.exe. Go to more details: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=232477

Anyone want to guess the problem is?

It appeared in the output window, quite suddenly in an otherwise fairly happy and fairly TDD day.


  • Delete existing TestResults and .SOU (my traditional voodoo).
  • Have a glass of wine (my traditional, calm down and try again).
  • Restart VS.
  • Reboot my machine.

No joy. Hmmm.

Can I tell you how much I do not want to investigate further through local crash dumps?

Let me see if I can run any tests at all. It really looks like MSTest is broken.


  • Another test ran fine.
  • Let me run a block: yes.
  • Another block: no
  • Another block: yes
  • Another block: yes
  • Another block: yes
  • And so on…until I found just one test.

OK, I’ll debug it.

When debugging, rather than running the test – the app crashes with a stupid error that resulted in a recursive call and a stack overflow error.

Stack overflows can be really funny to diagnose. There’s no more air and the last gasp of the process is to shout something, anything, a final nonsense farewell…

Except if that error can ever physically get to a user, the phrasing could be better. I already submitted a request for a better message.

I’m posting here, because if you encounter this error do some combination of the following:

  • Run tests in debug mode
  • arrow in on one or more offending tests, then run in debug mode
  • There may be other ways this occurs – but it’s been reported at least twice with a stack overflow

One thought on ““The active Test Run was aborted because the execution process exited unexpectedly””

  1. I ran into this error too but it ended up being bad binding redirection in the app.config inside of the unit test project.

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