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: PerfView - a powerful tool for investigating .NET performance issues

    Vance Morrison , Performance Architect on the Common Language Runtime (CLR) team writes and maintains a very powerful tool called PerfView that harnesses the power of Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) data produced by the CLR. The tool can be download here . Although he had previously published some tutorial...
  • Blog Post: Great article and free eBook on .NET Memory Management

    This article by Chris Farrell is a great introduction to how .NET manages memory for applications. But even better it is actually chapter 1 of an eBook “Under the Hood of .NET Memory Management” that is available for free ! Thanks Chris and Nick! HTH Doug
  • 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: Version history of the CLR 4.0

    [ update 18/6/2012 LDR.569 added ] [ update 16/4/2012 – changed the format to make LDR/GDR branch versioning clearer at the suggestion of Vivek Mishra (thanks!) ; added .468 and  .476 ] [ update 15/2/2013 – added MS12-074, 2733944, 2756195 ] [ update 17/4/2013 – added 1001, 2001, 2004 and 2008 ...
  • Blog Post: Updated the “Version history of the CLR 2.0”

    I’ve done an update to my “ Version history of the CLR 2.0 ” page, adding in numerous fixes (some new, some quite old) that I had not got round to adding. HTH Doug
  • Blog Post: You spent HOW much on our new server and the app slowed DOWN??!!

    I had a support case recently where the customer had moved their server farm onto brand new hardware, each server with lots of CPUs. At the same time they had taken the operating system from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2. I forget how many CPUs they had but let’s just say that their task...
  • 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: An index to Maoni's blog posts about the GC

    Maoni Stephens has a great blog about how the .NET Garbage Collector (GC) works. I was delivering a .NET debug class last week and had cause to bring together an index of her many GC related posts: Maoni's WebLog : Using GC Efficiently – Part 1 Maoni's WebLog : Using GC Efficiently – Part 2 Maoni's WebLog...
  • Blog Post: Failed to CoCreate profiler

    Sometimes support cases are like buses. You never see one and then two or three the same come along all at once. Recently one of my team mates asked me about an error his customer was getting in their event log: Source: CLR Category: None Event ID: 0 Description: The description for Event ID (0) in Source...
  • 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: Vineet’s notes on the CLR GC

    Came across these interesting notes on the CLR GC.
  • Blog Post: .NET Type internals

    If you debug .NET a lot you need to know what is going on inside a .NET application. I came across a great article about .NET Type internals that is very useful. 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: “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: KB957541, KB957542, KB957543 - CLR fixes available for direct download

    Back in October I blogged about what's new in .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. I also talked about 3 problems that affect the CLR that can result when you install the service pack. Up until this point you'd have had to call Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the fix package. There are plans to release...
  • 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: .NET Framework 3.5, 3.0 SP1 and 2.0 SP1 available for download

    Following the earlier news about Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 shipping, various .NET Framework updates and releases are now available for download: .NET Framework 3.5 (available as a web install or a downloadable full package ) .NET Framework 3.0 SP1 .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 (available...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 have shipped!

    Looks like we may all be needing that training kit I blogged about earlier . Soma has just announced that Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 shipped! I think we can expect lots more download links to go live in the coming hours and days and plenty more blog traffic too. I recently blogged about...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Training Kit released

    Today we have released the Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Training Kit This 123Mb download is packed with 28 PowerPoint presentations, 20 demos and 20 labs. Good stuff DPE team! Cheers Doug
  • 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...
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