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In the C newsgroup, I've seen quite a lot of code for reading in data from a file like this:. This code is far from guaranteed to work. In particular, the FileStream could be reading just the first 10 bytes of the file into the buffer. The Read method is only guaranteed to block until some data is available or the end of the stream is reached , not until all of the data is available.
That's where the return value which is ignored in the above code is vital. You need to cope with the case where you can't read all of the data in one go, and loop round until you've read what you want. Here's a method which you can use if you want to read from a stream into the whole of an array, not stopping until it's finished:.
Sometimes, you don't know the length of the stream in advance for instance a network stream and just want to read the whole lot into a buffer. Here's a method to do just that:. While the above is simple, it's not terribly efficient, as it ends up copying the data at the very end, and probably several times between.
Here's some code which works well if you know the expected length of data to start with. While you could use Stream. Length , it isn't supported for all streams. Using code such as the above, whether synchronously or asynchronously, you shouldn't come across the kinds of error that can otherwise occur, such as data which appears to be corrupted or truncated. Note that because read here is a long , this code can theoretically cope with files larger than 2GB.
In practice I believe all CLR implementations at the time of this writing will choke when asked to create such a large object, but in the future this restriction may be relaxed. Read data, 0, data. Read buffer, 0, buffer. Read buffer, read, buffer. Copy buffer, newBuffer, buffer.