Visual Studio 2008 troubleshoot start-up

Had a monstrously weird issue with a particular solution file, everything was working fine (opening, building, compiling and even unit testing) then for seemingly no apparent reason the solution wouldn't even open!

I didn't know this was possible but looking at the devenv.exe command line arguments it is possible to log all activity using the /Log switch.  This outputs to an XML file which outputs with an xml-stylesheet processing instruction href to ActivityLog.xsl. Quick scan of the disk didn't find the file, but I found a post on the MSDN forum with the following:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="" >
    <xsl:output method="html"  encoding="utf-16"/>
    <xsl:template match="activity">
        <title>Activity Monitor Log</title>
        <style type="text/css">
            body{ text-align: left; width: 100%;  font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; }
            table{ border: none;  border-collapse: separate;  width: 100%; }
            tr.title td{ font-size: 24px;  font-weight: bold; }
            th{ background: #d0d0d0;  font-weight: bold;  font-size: 10pt;  text-align: left; }
            tr{ background: #eeeeee}
            td, th{ font-size: 8pt;  padding: 1px;  border: none; }
            tr.warning td{background-color:yellow;color:black}
            tr.error td{background-color:red;color:black}
            span {text-decoration:underline}
            a:hover{text-transform:uppercase;color: #9090F0;}
            <tr class="title">
                <td colspan="7">Activity Monitor Log</td>
                <td colspan="2">infos</td>
                <td colspan="5"><xsl:value-of select="count(entry[type='Information'])"/></td>
                <td colspan="2">warnings</td>
                <td colspan="5"><xsl:value-of select="count(entry[type='Warning'])"/></td>
                <td colspan="2">errors</td>
                <td colspan="5"><xsl:value-of select="count(entry[type='Error'])"/></td>
                <th width="20">#</th>
                <th width="50">Type</th>
                <th width="280">GUID</th>
    <xsl:template match="entry">
        <!-- example
            <time>2004/02/26 00:42:59.706</time>
            <source>Microsoft Visual Studio</source>
            <description>Loading UI library</description>
            <xsl:when test="type='Information'">
                    <tr id="info" class="info">
                        <td><xsl:value-of select="record"/></td>
                        <xsl:call-template name="row"/>
            <xsl:when test="type='Warning'">
                    <tr id="warning" class="warning">
                        <td><xsl:value-of select="record"/></td>
                        <xsl:call-template name="row"/>
            <xsl:when test="type='Error'">
                    <tr id="error" class="error">
                        <td><xsl:value-of select="record"/></td>
                        <xsl:call-template name="row"/>
    <xsl:template name="row">
                <td id="description"><xsl:value-of select="description"/><xsl:if test="path"><br/>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;<xsl:value-of select="path"/></xsl:if></td>
                <td id="guid"><xsl:value-of select="guid"/></td>   
                <td id="hr"><xsl:value-of select="hr"/></td>   
                <td><xsl:value-of select="source"/></td>   
                <td><xsl:value-of select="time"/></td>

The log should point to issues, but in this case actually didn't finish writing - had to close the activity to make it valid!  Using the /SafeMode switch the solution opened which pointed to a bogus add-in.  That will teach me to install so many random tools to make me more efficient!

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