Visual Studio and Xamarin Update Pain

I’m in the middle of writing a cross platform app (UWP, IOS, Android) using Xamarin on Visual Studio 2017.

Yesterday, just for fun, I updated stuff on my PC…

  • I set my Windows 10 PC to the Release Preview Ring on Windows Insider and got the Creators update
  • I installed the latest VS2017 update (15.0.26228.12)
  • I updated my MacBook to MacOs 10.12.5 Beta (16F43C)
  • I updated my Xcode to 8.3 (8E162)


After which some stuff was broken.

  • VS would connect to my Mac & Start the build agent but after a few seconds it would just stop.
  • My IOS app wouldn’t compile. It kept bombing with “The ‘ConvertPdbToMdb’ task failed unexpectedly”.
  • I couldn’t deploy my UWP to my Surface Pro.


I finished all the updates around 9:00pm last night & started on getting things working again at 8:00am this morning. I’ve just got it all going (10:00am). Here are the fixes…

Connecting to the build agent: Download and install the latest Xamarin Studio on my Mac (6.2.1 Build 3), reboot my Mac, Restart Visual Studio

ConvertPdbToMdb task failed: Go to the Build tab on Property page of my common .Net Standard library, click the ‘Advanced’ button at the bottom & set ‘Debugging Information’ to full in the ‘Output’ section.

Deploy to UWP: Dunno mate. Rebooted my Surface Pro a few times and it started working.

Amazingly, my Android app – often a source of deployment pain – didn’t even break wind.

Given all the updates I did at the same time I guess a couple hours of chasing down issues isn’t the end of the World. But, the whole Xamarin/Visual Studio plumbing still feels a bit fragile and it’s frequently not great at giving useful information back. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all evolves now VS2017 is out there. Hopefully, a whole building full of clever peeps at Microsoft are on the case.