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MS-Windows Troubleshooting

error C2833: 'operator DEBUG_NEW' is not a recognized operator or type


When compiling an application (in which a header file has just been changed) the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler generates the compiler error:

... \include\crtdbg.h (536) : error C2833: 'operator DEBUG_NEW' is not a recognized operator or type

followed by in excess of 20 errors.


Normally the compiler error C2833 means that the specified symbol is not recognised and this indicates a simple programming error.

This specific error, in ‘crtdbg.h’ involving ‘operator DEBUG_NEW’, is a compiler bug. This bug has been observed in Visual Studio 5 and Visual Studio 6 (up to and including service pack 5).

Possible Remedies:

These remedies deal with the compiler bug only.

  • Try recompiling. This sometimes cures the problem.
  • If recompiling does not cure the problem then ‘clean’ the affected project and rebuild. This has always been observed to cure the problem.
  • Anders Musikka has contributed the following tip: It is not necessary to do a full clean of the project and rebuild. You can just delete the xxx.pch file in the debug/release  directory and recompile the failed .cpp file(s).

Whilst it is in no way conclusive, this bug may be related to the project pre-compiler header settings. I have noticed that it only seems to affect projects where the precompiled headers is set to ‘automatic use of precompiled headers’.

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