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TFS 2010 Build Agent unavailable, stuck in Initializing… status

July 31, 2012

The first simptom of the problem was that our TFS team builds started to fail with the error message;

TF215097: An error occurred while initializing a build for build definition \My Project\Nightly build: The message with To ‘http://servername:9191/Build/v3.0/Services/Controller/4’ cannot be processed at the receiver, due to an AddressFilter mismatch at the EndpointDispatcher. Check that the sender and receiver’s EndpointAddresses agree.

After a bit of troubleshooting, we found that the build agents are in Unavailable status in the Visual Studio Team Explorer.

The Team Foundation Server Administration Console showed that the Agents stuck in the Initializing… status, restarting both the controller and the agents did not help.

Looking at the event log of the server where the agents are installed however showed an interesting error message:

Service ‘agent name’ failed. Details:
Exception Message: TF205022: The following path contains more than the allowed 259 characters: C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Local\Temp\BuildAgent\Source\…. Specify a shorter path. (type InvalidPathException)

In fact, there were some files in the source code quite deep in the folder hierarchy, and when TFS appended the path of the Temp folder to them, they exceeded the 259 characters.

Having no better idea, we moved these files into another folder, closer to the root. After this was done and the changes were checked in and we restarted both the Build Controller and the Build Agents – everything went back to normal.

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