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.NET applications sometimes crash right at application startup (can't access .exe)

If it was me I would firstly see if I could re-create the issue locally and completely eliminate the network. Its all about building up clues that will hopefully lead you closer to the solution. Other things that maybe worth thinking about are:

  1. 32bit vs 64bit, What was the target for your compilation?
  2. Is there any funky scripts running on the server?
  3. Does it behave in the same manner on a different server?
  4. Maybe try removing the .NET framework from the server and then re-installing it
  5. Make sure that there are not any other errors in the event log from other parts of the system
  6. Is there any firewall or anti-virus on the server that maybe interfering with the application
  7. I would also run a memory tester on the server and possibly also chkdsk but this is just a general thing to eliminate that wouldn't hurt to do as a matter of course
  8. I would even swap out the network lead (extremely unlikely its this)
  9. Try putting the application on a different UNC share and see if you can re-create it from there

Process of elimination is the name of the game, even the most unlikely candidates shouldn't be overlooked.

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