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Some issues occur when you run the Diffmerge.exe tool in Visual Studio 2008 SP1 to compare two files

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you run the Diffmerge.exe tool in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) to compare two files, you experience the following symptoms:
  • You receive a dialog box that contains the following error message:
    Encountered an improper argument.
  • After you click OK in the dialog box, a Differences window appears. You notice that the window is blank.
  • After you click the "x" button on the Differences window, a Microsoft error reporting window appears.
  • If you view the Application log, you notice an error that resembles the following: 
    Faulting application name: diffmerge.exe, version: 9.0.21022.8, time stamp: 0x47317018 Faulting module name: ntdll.dll, version: 6.1.7600.16385, time stamp: 0x4a5bdb3b Exception code: 0xc015000f
  • If you run the Diffmerge.exe tool at a command prompt, you receive the following message:
    Unhandled Exception: System.Runtime.InteropServices.SEHException: External component has thrown an exception.
    at DiffMergeApp.NativeMethods.MSDiff_ShowDiffUI(IntPtr hwndParent, String psFileName1, String pszFileName2, Int32 fFlags, String pszOrigNameFile1, String pzOrigNameFile2)
    at DiffMergeApp.App.RunMsDiffMerge(ArgParser argParser)
    at DiffMergeApp.App.Main(String[] args)


Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is now available from Microsoft. However, it is intended to correct only the problem that this article describes. Apply it only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.

To resolve this problem, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services to obtain the hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:Note In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.


You must have Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 installed to apply this hotfix.

Restart requirement

 You do not have to restart the computer after you apply the hotfix if no instance of Visual Studio is being used.

Hotfix replacement information

 This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
diffmerge; msdiff

Article ID: 983179 - Last Review: 12/12/2015 04:36:01 - Revision: 4.0

Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1

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