Object reference not set to an instance of an object

| November 2, 2017

Sometimes people run into this cryptic error message, “Object reference not set to an instance of an object”

This is confusing, and uninformative.

What happens is that you are running into some error, such as the Cannot open/create a parameter file error, and then clicking the “Continue” button to move on. Because of the first error, the program hasn’t been set up correctly in memory, and when you try to access some function of the program you may get this second error.

The real cause of the problem you are having is the first error. The second error, the “object reference” error, just means that the program has run into issues and can’t figure out what to do.

So what we need to see is that first error.

Unfortunately, there is one copy of the “error.pdf” file created at a time. When you get the first error, that is saved to the error.pdf file. Then you click “Continue” and the second error occurs, which creates a new error.pdf file that overwrites the first one. If you then locate that file and send it to us, we get the meaningless error information and cannot help you.

Two ways to resolve this:

  1. Exit the program and try again. When you get the first error, stop, don’t continue. Locate the error.pdf file that was created and send that to us. Once you have saved that file, then you can continue. You’ll get the error, just exit the program. You can examine the details of that first error message for help.
  2. Alternately you can set up the log file to save more information. See the article on getting detailed diagnostic information.

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Category: General Support

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