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by Phil Ball

Q. A very strange error message popped up on my computer. It said, "Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation." The only choice was a button marked OK. What does this mean?

A. I've seen a lot of error messages but this one is just weird. So I copied the text of the error message and pasted into the search line of Google. Among the 360,000 results that returned in answer to this search were many other requests from other users who had also received the same exact message. One return would seem to offer support; Microsoft offered the following explanation: "In an application that was built on the Microsoft .NET Framework version 1.0, when you try to deserialize data that has a value of Byte[0] in a DataSet class, you receive the following error message: 'Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation.'" Now wasn't that informative? I'm more confused than I was before.

But included with that bit of non-information was a link to a "Fix" for the problem. So my suggestion is to do the same thing with this or any other error message that you receive and don't understand; Google it, or Bing it, or whatever your choice of search engines is. Whenever something like this comes up, I search for a solution on the Internet. It would be very unusual for you to be the first and only person that this has ever occurred to so you can usually find the answer among a bunch of inquiries about how to get rid of it and asking how important it is.

In this case, the problem is not due to any malware on your computer, it would seem to be a problem deep within your computer, probably at the basic level below Windows so using Microsoft's solution would seem to be the best bet. It is amazing how often an error message either doesn't mean quite what it says or else is just gibberish like this one so a search on the Internet is the best solution. Good luck; I hope it is an easy fix.

Published: Courier 6/1/14 - Page 4C