System.ExecutionEngineException occurs when displaying WPF window

This article helps you resolve the problem where attempting to instantiate another WPF Window results in an unhandled exception after closing one Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) Window.

Original product version:   Visual Studio Professional 2010
Original KB number:   2691806


You have developed a Microsoft .NET 3.5 WPF component and hosting it in a non-WPF based client application, such as a Windows Forms application or native application. The client application calls into the WPF component to instantiate and display a custom WPF Window. The first instantiation of the Windows displays as expected. However, after closing the Window and attempting to instantiate another WPF Window results in an unhandled exception.

If running the application in the Visual Studio IDE, you receive following exception and call stack:

System.ExecutionEngineException: Exception of type 'System.ExecutionEngineException' was thrown.

WindowsBase.dll!MS.Internal.Invariant.FailFast(string message, string detailMessage)
WindowsBase.dll!MS.Internal.Invariant.Assert(bool condition, string invariantMessage)
PresentationFramework.dll!System.Windows.Application.GetResourceOrContentPart(System.Uri uri)
PresentationFramework.dll!System.Windows.Application.LoadComponent(object component, System.Uri resourceLocator)
WindowsFormsApplication1.exe!WindowsFormsApplication1.Form1.button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)

If running the application under a native debugger, such as Windbg, you receive a breakpoint exception with the following call stack.

eax=00000001 ebx=00000000 ecx=00000001 edx=001becbc esi=79aedfd0 edi=577ac529
eip=76c3280c esp=001be81c ebp=001becc8 iopl=0 nv up ei pl nz na po nc
cs=0023 ss=002b ds=002b es=002b fs=0053 gs=002b efl=00000202
KERNELBASE!DebugBreak+0x2: 76c3280c cc int 3

0:000> knL
# ChildEBP RetAddr
00 001be818 797cd3a7 KERNELBASE!DebugBreak+0x2
01 001becc8 797cd6e0 mscorwks!EEPolicy::LogFatalError+0x2b5
02 001bece0 797d58f4 mscorwks!EEPolicy::HandleFatalError+0x4d
03 001bed94 577ac529 mscorwks!SystemNative::FailFast+0x142
04 001bed9c 57877ec1 WindowsBase_ni!MS.Internal.Invariant.FailFast(System.String, System.String)+0x35
05 001bedbc 55b5ea77 WindowsBase_ni!MS.Internal.Invariant.Assert(Boolean, System.String)+0x219ca1
06 001bedbc 55b5d935 PresentationFramework_ni!System.Windows.Application.GetResourceOrContentPart(System.Uri)+0x87
07 001bede4 003e0589 PresentationFramework_ni!System.Windows.Application.LoadComponent(System.Object, System.Uri)+0xc5
08 001bedfc 003e04f8 WPFClassLibrary!WPFClassLibrary.WPFWindow.InitializeComponent()+0x79
09 001bee08 003e046e WPFClassLibrary!WPFClassLibrary.WPFWindow..ctor()+0x28
0a 001bee24 003e03dc WPFClassLibrary!WPFClassLibrary.WPFManager.ShowWpfWindow()+0x76
0b 001bee34 7aec4170 WindowsFormsApplication1!WindowsFormsApplication1.Form1.button1_Click(System.Object, System.EventArgs)+0x2c


The crash symptom occurs when the application calls into the System.Windows.Application.LoadComponent method to load a XAML file, associated with a WPF Window or UserControl. Eventually, the WPF run-time calls into System.Windows.Application.GetResourceOrContentPart to load resource packages associated with the current System.Windows.Application object.

This failure occurs because the resource packages associated with the current System.Windows.Application object could not be retrieved. This usually occurs because the current System.Windows.Application object has already been shut down, either by an explicit or implicit call to Application.ShutDown.

This behavior is by design.


When creating the instance of the System.Windows.Application object, set its ShutDownMode property to ShutDownMode.OnExplicitShutdown. This will only allow the Application object to be shut down as a result of custom code explicitly calling Application.ShutDown.

More information

When the Application.ShutDown method is called, the WPF run-time unloads the resource packages associated with that Application object. At some point later, if the application does something that requires accessing the resources associated with the same Application object, the System.Windows.Application.GetResourceOrContentPart method attempts to load those resource packages, but is unable to because they were previously unloaded. When WPF detects this, it is considered a fatal condition and WPF purposely calls System.Environment.FailFast, which throws a System.ExecutionEngineException and terminates the process.

A client application is allowed to create one instance of an System.Windows.Application (or derived) type per AppDomain. The resources associated with that Application object are unloaded when the Application.ShutDown method is called. The Application.ShutDown method may be called explicitly by custom code, or it may be called internally by the WPF run-time based on the value of the Application.ShutDownMode property. By default, the ShutDownMode property of the Application object is set to ShutDownMode.OnLastWindowClose. This will cause the WPF run-time to shut down the Application object automatically after the last WPF window associated with that Application object has been closed. In a scenario where a client application has created an instance of a WPF Application object and displayed a Window and closed it, that window is deemed to be the last window closed, so WPF will automatically call Application.ShutDown.