"Object reference not set..." error when opening product using VMware

Product(s): WaterCAD, WaterGEMS, HAMMER, SewerGEMS, SewerCAD, StormCAD, CivilStorm
Version(s): 10.02.01.XX
Area: Installation


When trying to open the product on Windows 10 inside a virtual machine using VMware, it crashes with an "object reference not set..." error and then Windows tries to apply a "compatibility mode" setting which, if successful, prevents further crashes on future attempts to open the application. When clicking  "Click here for details..."  the error log indicates the following details:

System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

at Haestad.Framework.UI.Integration.RibbonParentFormExtender.ParentFormWindowsProcedure(IntPtr hWnd, UInt32 uMsg, UIntPtr wParam, IntPtr lParam)

Note: a very similar error has been known to occur in other circumstances (when not using the VMware environment), in which case compacting the database or removing supporting files (leaving just the .STSW/WTG and .SQLITE files) may help. If not, please contact Technical Support for help, including details of what you are doing at the time of the crash.


This is a known issue (reference # 1041223) specific to the ribbon interface and its interaction with VMWare and the Windows 10 operating system. Typically it self-corrects after the first crash, but it has been resolved in a patch for version (storm/sewer) and (water). To fix the issue, either contact Technical Support for the latest cumulative patch set for this version, or upgrade to a newer version when available.

See Also

Cumulative patch set frequently asked questions