Hexadecimal value 0x00 is a invalid character

I am generating an XML document from a StringBuilder, basically something like:


Later, something like:

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    All the data comes from a database.
    Recently I’ve had a few issues with the error:

    Hexadecimal value 0x00 is a invalid character, line 1, position nnnnn

    But its not consistent.
    Sometimes some ‘blank’ data will work.
    The ‘faulty’ data works on some PCs, but not others.

    In the database, the data is always a blank string. It is never ‘null’
    and in the XML file, it comes out as < data>< /data>, i.e. no character between opening and closing. (but not sure if this can be relied on as I am pulling it from the ‘immediate’ window is vis studio and pasting it into textpad).

    There is possibly differences in the versions of sql server (2008 is where it would fail, 2005 would work) and collation too.
    Not sure if any of these are likely causes?

    But exactly the same code and data will sometimes fail. Any ideas where the problem lies?

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  • 6 Solutions collect form web for “Hexadecimal value 0x00 is a invalid character”

    Without your actual data or source, it will be hard for us to diagnose what is going wrong. However, I can make a few suggestions:

    • Unicode NUL (0x00) is illegal in all versions of XML and validating parsers must reject input that contains it.
    • Despite the above; real-world non-validated XML can contain any kind of garbage ill-formed bytes imaginable.
    • XML 1.1 allows zero-width and nonprinting control characters (except NUL), so you cannot look at an XML 1.1 file in a text editor and tell what characters it contains.

    Given what you wrote, I suspect whatever converts the database data to XML is broken; it’s propagating non-XML characters.

    Create some database entries with non-XML characters (NULs, DELs, control characters, et al.) and run your XML converter on it. Output the XML to a file and look at it in a hex editor. If this contains non-XML characters, your converter is broken. Fix it or, if you cannot, create a preprocessor that rejects output with such characters.

    If the converter output looks good, the problem is in your XML consumer; it’s inserting non-XML characters somewhere. You will have to break your consumption process into separate steps, examine the output at each step, and narrow down what is introducing the bad characters.

    In my case, it took some digging, but found it.

    My Context

    I’m looking at exception/error logs from the website using Elmah. Elmah returns the state of the server at the of time the exception, in the form of a large XML document. For our reporting engine I pretty-print the XML with XmlWriter.

    During a website attack, I noticed that some xmls weren’t parsing and was receiving this '.', hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid character. exception.

    NON-RESOLUTION: I converted the document to a byte[] and sanitized it of 0x00, but it found none.

    When I scanned the xml document, I found the following:

    <item name="SomeField">
         string="C:\boot.ini&#x0;.htm" />

    There was the nul byte encoded as an html entity &#x0; !!!

    RESOLUTION: To fix the encoding, I replaced the &#x0; value before loading it into my XmlDocument, because loading it will create the nul byte and it will be difficult to sanitize it from the object. Here’s my entire process:

    XmlDocument xml = new XmlDocument();
    details.Xml = details.Xml.Replace("&#x0;", "[0x00]");  // in my case I want to see it, otherwise just replace with ""
    string formattedXml = null;
    // I have this in a helper function, but for this example I have put it in-line
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
    XmlWriterSettings settings = new XmlWriterSettings {
        OmitXmlDeclaration = true,
        Indent = true,
        IndentChars = "\t",
        NewLineHandling = NewLineHandling.None,
    using (XmlWriter writer = XmlWriter.Create(sb, settings)) {
        formattedXml = sb.ToString();

    LESSON LEARNED: sanitize for illegal bytes using the associated html entity, if your incoming data is html encoded on entry.

    To add to Sonz’s answer above, following worked for us.

    //Instead of 
    XmlString.Replace("&#x0;", "[0x00]");
    // use this
    XmlString.Replace("\x00", "[0x00]");

    I also get the same error in an ASP.NET application when I saved some unicode data (Hindi) in the Web.config file and saved it with “Unicode” encoding.

    It fixed the error for me when I saved the Web.config file with “UTF-8” encoding.

    As kind of a late answer:

    I’ve had this problem with SSRS ReportService2005.asmx when uploading a report.

        Public Shared Sub CreateReport(ByVal strFileNameAndPath As String, ByVal strReportName As String, ByVal strReportingPath As String, Optional ByVal bOverwrite As Boolean = True)
            Dim rs As SSRS_2005_Administration_WithFOA = New SSRS_2005_Administration_WithFOA
            rs.Credentials = ReportingServiceInterface.GetMyCredentials(strCredentialsURL)
            rs.Timeout = ReportingServiceInterface.iTimeout
            rs.Url = ReportingServiceInterface.strReportingServiceURL
            rs.UnsafeAuthenticatedConnectionSharing = True
            Dim btBuffer As Byte() = Nothing
            Dim rsWarnings As Warning() = Nothing
                Dim fstrStream As System.IO.FileStream = System.IO.File.OpenRead(strFileNameAndPath)
                btBuffer = New Byte(fstrStream.Length - 1) {}
                fstrStream.Read(btBuffer, 0, CInt(fstrStream.Length))
            Catch ex As System.IO.IOException
                Throw New Exception(ex.Message)
            End Try
                rsWarnings = rs.CreateReport(strReportName, strReportingPath, bOverwrite, btBuffer, Nothing)
                If Not (rsWarnings Is Nothing) Then
                    Dim warning As Warning
                    For Each warning In rsWarnings
                    Next warning
                    Log("Report: {0} created successfully with no warnings", strReportName)
                End If
            Catch ex As System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapException
            Catch ex As Exception
                Log("Error at creating report. Invalid server name/timeout?" + vbCrLf + vbCrLf + "Error Description: " + vbCrLf + ex.Message)
            End Try
        End Sub ' End Function CreateThisReport

    The problem occurs when you allocate a byte array that is at least 1 byte larger than the RDL (XML) file.

    Specifically, I used a C# to vb.net converter, that converted

      btBuffer = new byte[fstrStream.Length];


      btBuffer = New Byte(fstrStream.Length) {}

    But because in C# the number denotes the NUMBER OF ELEMENTS in the array, and in VB.NET, that number denotes the UPPER BOUND of the array, I had an excess byte, causing this error.

    So the problem’s solution is simply:

      btBuffer = New Byte(fstrStream.Length - 1) {}

    I’m using IronPython here (same as .NET API) and reading the file as UTF-8 in order to properly handle the BOM fixed the problem for me:

    xmlFile = Path.Combine(directory_str, 'file.xml')
    doc = XPathDocument(XmlTextReader(StreamReader(xmlFile.ToString(), Encoding.UTF8)))

    It would work as well with the XmlDocument:

    doc = XmlDocument()
    doc.Load(XmlTextReader(StreamReader(xmlFile.ToString(), Encoding.UTF8)))
    MS SQL Server is a Microsoft SQL Database product, include sql server standard, sql server management studio, sql server express and so on.