Advanced .NET Debugging (Addison-Wesley Microsoft Technology Series) / Edition 1

Advanced .NET Debugging (Addison-Wesley Microsoft Technology Series) / Edition 1

by Mario Hewardt, Patrick Dessud
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Advanced .NET Debugging (Addison-Wesley Microsoft Technology Series) / Edition 1

“Mario Hewardt’s Advanced .NET Debugging is an excellent resource for both beginner and experienced developers working with .NET. The book is also packed with many debugging tips and discussions of CLR internals, which will benefit developers architecting software.”

–Jeffrey Richter, consultant, trainer, and author at Wintellect

“Mario has done it again. His Advanced Windows Debugging (coauthored with Daniel Pravat) is an invaluable resource for native code debugging, and Advanced .NET Debugging achieves the same quality, clarity, and breadth to make it just as invaluable for .NET debugging.”

–Mark Russinovich, Technical Fellow, Microsoft Corporation

The Only Complete, Practical Guide to Fixing the Toughest .NET Bugs

Advanced .NET Debugging is the first focused, pragmatic guide to tracking down today’s most complex and challenging .NET application bugs. It is the only book to focus entirely on using powerful native debugging tools, including WinDBG, NTSD, and CDB, to debug .NET applications. Using these tools, author Mario Hewardt explains how to identify the real root causes of problems—far more quickly than you ever could with other debuggers.

Hewardt first introduces the key concepts needed to successfully use .NET’s native debuggers. Next, he turns to sophisticated debugging techniques, using real-world examples that demonstrate many common C# programming errors.

This book enables you to

  • Make practical use of postmortem debugging, including PowerDBG and other “power tools”
  • Understand the debugging details and implications of the new .NET CLR 4.0
  • Master and successfully use Debugging Tools for Windows, as well as SOS, SOSEX, CLR Profiler, and other powerful tools
  • Gain a deeper, more practical understanding of CLR internals, such as examining thread-specific data, managed heap and garbage collector, interoperability layer, and .NET exceptions
  • Solve difficult synchronization problems, managed heap problems, interoperability problems, and much more
  • Generate and successfully analyze crash dumps

A companion web site ( contains all sample code, examples, and bonus content.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780321578891
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Publication date: 11/23/2009
Series: Addison-Wesley Microsoft Technology Series
Pages: 503
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword xix

Preface xxi

Acknowledgments xxxi

About the Author xxxiii

Part I: Overview 1

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Tools 3

Debugging Tools for Windows 3

.NET 2.0–Redistributable 4

.NET 2.0–SDK 5



CLR Profiler 11

Performance Counters 14

Reflector for .NET 15

PowerDbg 16

Managed Debugging Assistants 18

Summary 21

Chapter 2: CLR Fundamentals 23

High-Level Overview 23

CLR and the Windows Loader 26

Application Domains 33

Assembly Overview 38

Assembly Manifest 39

Type Metadata 42

Summary 68

Chapter 3: Basic Debugging Tasks 69

The Debugger and the Debugger Target 69

Symbols 74

Controlling Execution 77

Loading Managed Code Extensions 85

Controlling CLR Debugging 90

Setting Breakpoints 90

Object Inspection 103

Thread Operations 131

Code Inspection 143

CLR Internals Commands 146

Diagnostics Commands 149

SOSEX Extension Commands 151

Crash Dump Files 163

Summary 165

Part II: Applied Debugging 167

Chapter 4: Assembly Loader 169

CLR Loader Overview 169

Simple Assembly Load Failure 179

Load Context Failure 185

Interoperability and DllNotFoundException 195

Debugging Light Weight Code Generation 197

Summary 202

Chapter 5: Managed Heap and Garbage Collection 203

Windows Memory Architecture Overview 204

Garbage Collector Internals 213

Debugging Managed Heap Corruptions 254

Debugging Managed Heap Fragmentation 262

Debugging Out of Memory Exceptions 272

Summary 291

Chapter 6: Synchronization 293

Synchronization Basics 293

Thread Synchronization Primitives 294

Synchronization Internals 306

Synchronization Scenarios 316

Summary 344

Chapter 7: Interoperability 345

Platform Invocation 345

COM Interoperability 352

Debugging P/Invoke Calls 358

Debugging Interop Leaks 373

Debugging COM Interop Finalization 378

Summary 388

Part III: Advanced Topics 389

Chapter 8: Postmortem Debugging 391

Dump File Fundamentals 392

Windows Error Reporting 409

Summary 438

Chapter 9: Power Tools 439

PowerDbg 439

Visual Studio 448

CLR Profiler 460

WinDbg and the CmdTree Command 467

Summary 469

Chapter 10: CLR 4.0 471

Tools 471

Managed Heap and Garbage Collection 472

Synchronization 480

Interoperability 483

Postmortem Debugging 484

Summary 485

Index 487

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