Notes from a dark corner

Debugging ASP.NET, the CLR and anything that uses clock cycles.

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  • Blog Post: CLRMD: .NET Crash Dump and Live Process Inspection

    Lee Culver, a software developer on the .NET Runtime team, has shipped an awesome managed code library for anyone interested in analysing memory dumps and the internals of running .NET applications.  Known as CLRMD, this library allows you to write code that does all the kinds of stuff you do with...
  • Blog Post: New CLR and .NET Performance tool

    Vance Morrison, CLR performance architect here at Microsoft, has released a new tool for conducting performance investigations on .NET applications. It is called PerfView and you can read more about it on his post here . You can download it here . It is designed to have as low an overhead on the application...
  • Blog Post: Tips for successful .NET Debugging with WinDBG

    Here are my tips for pain free .NET debugging with WinDBG 1) Always use a 32-bit debugger for a 32-bit process and a 64-bit debugger for a 64-bit process, both to generate the dump and to analyse it. Use usermode dumps only (managed debugger extensions are not expected to work with kernel mode) and ensure...
  • Blog Post: Long paths and .NET

    I was helping a colleague recently on an issue to do with long file system paths and the challenges and limitations of handling them in .NET. I knew there were issues but could not recall all the details. Anyway, I just came across a wrapper class on Codeplex to assist in handling long paths. The landing...
  • Blog Post: Finding the .NET version in a debug session

    An interesting little question came up on one of our internal discussion groups today. “How can I find in a debug session the version of the .NET runtime being used in the debuggee?” [in an automated/scripted fashion and without using debugger extensions or symbols] Here is what I came up with: 0:029>...
  • Blog Post: Update to CLR 2.0 version history post

    I finally got around to doing an update to my CLR 2.0 version history post , to which there is a permanent link on on the home page of this blog titled “CLR 2.0 Fixes” under the “Articles, list and resources” heading. HTH Doug
  • Blog Post: Some ASP.NET, IIS and CLR fixes

    My job involves a wide variety of stuff, from investigation, debugging, diagnosing and solving of specific customer problems through passing on product feedback and bug reports to product groups and mentoring other support engineers on their cases to looking at how we can make our support processes and...
  • Blog Post: Summary of ASP.NET Versions, Updates and Hotfixes

    [Note: November 2010 Some recent fixes added] [Note: September 2009 I am in the process of trying to bring this list up to date. It may not be complete] There is nothing worse than wrestling with a problem for ages only to discover later that there is already a fix for it. I therefore felt it would be...
  • Blog Post: “Failed to load data access DLL, 0x80004005” – OR – What is mscordacwks.dll?

    Ever seen this error in a WinDBG/CDB debug session? Failed to load data access DLL, 0x80004005 Verify that 1) you have a recent build of the debugger (6.2.14 or newer)             2) the file mscordacwks.dll that matches your version of mscorwks...
  • Blog Post: Recent updates for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1

    I wrote previously about fixes that are available for three issues that can occur when you install SP1 for .NET Framework 3.5. In addition to those three CLR issues, there were some other problems caused by the service pack which is why we also released the rather cutely named "Family Update"...
  • Blog Post: Getting the .NET Framework made easy...

    The Microsoft .NET Framework product group have been busy making it easier to find out about and install the latest version of the .NET Framework... a simple URL and a clean UI at http://www.microsoft.com/net/   It's certainly easy to remember. And while I'm at it, worth a mention is the Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Useful document about .NET Framework 2.0 Security

    The US NSA have a free, unclassified, 300 page, very useful looking document about .NET Framework 2.0 Security: http://www.nsa.gov/snac/app/I731-008R-2006.pdf HTH Doug
  • Blog Post: Free Microsoft Developer and web design software for full time students

    This sounds like a good deal. Free? Free? Sounds to good to be true :-). But it is. If you are a full time student and into software development, take a look: https://downloads.channel8.msdn.com/Overview.aspx Check the site for details, but at time of writing the products included were: Visual Studio...
  • Blog Post: Uninstalling .NET Framework 3.5 SP1

    You may have a need to uninstall .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, perhaps for testing purposes or because you find it causes you some specific issue with an application you have. If this is the case, it's important to realise that when you install .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 it actually updates the .NET 2.0 bits and...
  • Blog Post: Does DEP/NX affect web applications?

    A while a go when I posted about the .NET Framework 3.5 and 2.0 SP1 being available for download, Kima posed an interesting question in the comments. Kima asked whether the new enforcement of NX compatability by the C# compiler after the application of 2.0 SP1 would affect ASP.NET applications? Specifically...
  • Blog Post: 1433

    This is a number that is going to become very familiar to me over the coming months and probably years. It'll join a hall of fame, along with 42, 832, 2032, 288,6018. Why? Is it my ATM pin? My new car registration? No, neither of these. It is in fact the "Revision part" of the version number of most...
  • Blog Post: Installing (and uninstalling) .NET Framework 2.0 SP1

    An interesting point about the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 is that it is both a service pack AND a full install. By that I mean if you already have .NET 2.0 installed then it gets updated. If you haven't, it doesn't matter, it gets installed anyway. The "service pack" download (NetFx20SP1_x86.exe) is only...
  • Blog Post: Version history of the CLR 2.0

    [update 13/3/12 – added 5719] [update Oct & Nov 2011 – various additions as I find them] [update 23/9/11 added MS11-044 and MS11-028] [update 31/5/11 added .5669] [update 7/4/11 added a load of fixes that I didn’t have listed] [update 29/12/9 added lots of post SP2 hotfixes, MS09-061 versions and...
  • Blog Post: A reading list for debugging, .NET, CLR, WinDBG etc

    I'm often asked "Where can I learn more about doing this kind of stuff?", this "stuff" being debugging with WinDBG, understanding how .NET works, looking at dump files and generally figuring out what's gone wrong with .NET applications. I started assembling this list sometime ago and it is by no means...
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