If broken it is, fix it you should

Using the powers of the debugger to solve the problems of the world - and a bag of chips    by Tess Ferrandez, ASP.NET Escalation Engineer (Microsoft)

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  • Blog Post: Getting full user mode dumps automatically when your process crashes

    I recently got a question about if it is possible to generate full user mode dumps automatically every time the process crashes (without having debug diag or adplus installed and monitoring your system). This would be useful for example if you are setting up a site, and you want to make sure you get...
  • Blog Post: First step in troubleshooting complex issues: Define and scope your issue properly

    Is it a plane, is it a bird, is it a UFO? Before you can delve into any kind of troubleshooting of an issue you need to thoroughly define it.  If you don’t you’ll probably end up spending a lot of time randomly gathering and looking at data that is probably not even relevant to the issue at hand...
  • Blog Post: Why do I see ExecutionEngineException, StackOverflowException and OutOfMemoryException on the heap when debugging .net applications?

    I came back from a long vacation today and I’ve finally caught up with enough emails to do something useful with my day. As I scanned through my blog email bucket I noticed that I had a lot of emails relating to my last post on dumping .net exceptions in windbg , and most of them asked why they see OutOfMemoryExceptions...
  • Blog Post: Developers are from Mars, Ops people are from Venus… or It looked good on paper

    A few weeks back me and Micke (one of our Architect Evangelists) had a session at TechDays where we talked about “things that looked good on paper” i.e. things that sound pretty ok in the design/development phase but sometimes turn out to be a disaster in production. We are both pretty passionate about...
  • Blog Post: Debugging a .NET crash with rules in Debug Diag

    During mine and Micke’s presentation at TechDays this week I showed a demo of setting up rules with Debug Diag to identify the cause of a crash in an ASP.NET application. Even though debugging might be tricky, setting up rules in Debug Diag is beautifully simple and I personally believe that it would...
  • Blog Post: Video of my TechEd presentation of Common Issues in ASP.NET and how to debug them with Windbg

    My TechEd presentation “Common Issues in ASP.NET and how to debug them with Windbg” is now up on channel 9, so if you want to watch it, here you go http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/MSDNSweden/Vanliga-fel-som-grs-med-ASPNET-och-hur-du-hittar-dem-med-WinDbg/ Have fun, Tess
  • Blog Post: Slides for interactive TechEd Sessions about debugging .net issues in windbg

    ... and here are the slides for the interactive session
  • Blog Post: Slides and resources for TechED presentations about debugging .NET issues with Windbg

    I still have to figure out a way to host the video from the break-out session but until then, here are the slides for my presentations (attached). And here are a list of some of the tools and resources I used for the presentations Tool/Resource Comment Download Link Debugging...
  • Blog Post: Q&A Reader emails about .NET memory leaks and random questions

    Here are of some of the reader emails I got this week and my answers to them... How do I troubleshoot this memory leak Debugging techniques for capturing stacks of OOMS Do you have a list of Debugging 101 links? Debugging managed code in IE Getting to dependency properties with sos let me know if this...
  • Blog Post: Quick Debugging Tip: Disable apppool recyling while getting crash dumps

    I have probably mentioned this before, but I think it is worth mentioning again because of the frequency of this issue. When debugging a crash, we usually get customers to use a crash rule in debug diag or to use adplus -crash to get memory dumps at the point of the crash. Both of these attach to...
  • Blog Post: OutOfMemoryExceptions while remoting very large datasets

    When you have to pass an object back and forth between processes or application domains you have to serialize it into some type of stream that can be understood by both the client and the server.   The more complex and big the object gets the more expensive it is to serialize, both CPU wise...
  • Blog Post: Debugging Puzzler - WinForms crash - Can you figure out what caused it?

    Earlier this week I was doing a presentation and since the company I presented for had mostly winforms developers I wanted to convert all my ASP.NET debugging demos to winforms equivalents for the presentation. As I was converting my first demo (a performance issue) I ran into a bit of a snag because...
  • Blog Post: Questions on application domains, application pools and unhandled exceptions

    I got an email with some questions around application domains, application pools and unhandled exceptions from a developer that was frequently seeing his website crash, and also had some related issues with session loss in his application. I have written before about unhandled exceptions and session...
  • Blog Post: The 21 most popular blog posts

    I started this blog 2.5 years ago today, mostly because I felt that the same types of issues came up over and over and over in our support cases. I figured that if I started writing about them, a lot of people would be able to resolve them on their own, or even better avoid them in the first place. A...
  • Blog Post: DebugDiag 1.1 or Windbg, which one should I use? and how do I gather memory dumps

    If you have read any of my posts you have probably noticed that I am very partial to windbg and the debugging tools for windows. I often get friendly nudges from the developers of debugdiag when I suggest using adplus and windbg on internal discussion lists, and to be fair I have to beat on the drum...
  • Blog Post: ASP.NET Crash: StackOverflowException with Server.Transfer

    I have written a few posts about stackoverflow exceptions, here, here , here and here . The one I am going to talk about today is one of those unfortunate cases where you are trying to do the right thing and still shoot yourself in the foot. Problem description: Randomly when browsing the application...
  • Blog Post: My presentation on Troubleshooting ASP.NET production issues at Developer Summit 2008

    The purpose of my presentation was to show some common pitfalls and of course to show off windbg and sos just to show people that if you have a hang, perf issue, memory leak or crash, there are tools out there that can help you figure out the root cause so that you don't have to resort to guessing. ...
  • Blog Post: .NET Case Study: Stackoverflow Exception when using a complex rowfilter

    When you use very complex Rowfilters or expressions on datasets or datatables you may end up getting a stackoverflow exception. Eber was running into this and posted a comment here. Since it is something we see from time to time and it was a bit to long to answer in the comments, here is the why and...
  • Blog Post: .NET Debugging Demos Lab 5: Crash

    Last week I published a debugging challenge for Lab 5. It was really interesting to see the results and I have to say I was really happy to see the excellent results from the poeple who commented on the debugging challenge (sounds like my work here is done:)). Quick Poll, for the next one (a memory...
  • Blog Post: .NET Debugging Demos Lab5: Crash - Review

    Since I already posted a challenge for this lab earlier I didn't want to wait too long with publishing the review... Previous demos and setup instructions If you are new to the debugging labs, here you can find information on how to set up the labs as well as links to the previous labs in the series...
  • Blog Post: .NET Debugging Demos Lab 2: Crash - Review

    Hi all, I realize that you probably haven't all had a chance to look at the Crash lab yet, considering I just published it on Friday but here is the review for it. I have to say that considering the amount of downloads for the buggy bits site I am a bit surprised with the lack of questions about the...
  • Blog Post: .NET Debugging Demos Lab 2: Crash

    It was nice to see that so many people downloaded the demo site already and checked out the lab instructions for the first lab, and thanks to Pedro for pointing out that the original demo site required .NET Framework 3.5... I've changed it now so the one that you can download from the setup instructions...
  • Blog Post: ASP.NET Crash: System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException

    This has been a busy month for blogging for me, I'm up to a whopping 8 posts this month including this one which is the most I have written in any given month (since Feb 2006)... We have seen a few cases lately where ASP.NET apps die due to an unhandled CryptographicException when finalizing a SafeHandle...
  • Blog Post: ASP.NET Case Study: Tracing your way to Out Of Memory Exceptions

    One of my colleagues asked me to look at a memory dump for a customer and I thought that was I found was fairly interesting so here is the story. Problem description: Memory in our ASP.NET application (w3wp.exe) keeps growing and growing and requests become slower and slower as time goes by. ...
  • Blog Post: ASP.NET Crash: Bad CacheItemRemovedCallback - Part II

    In August I wrote about how you could cause a nasty high memory situation by using CacheItemRemovedCallbacks improperly, today I got a case where improper use of CacheItemRemovedCallback caused a crash, so I figured I'll use it to show you how you can use them to bring down your website in seconds.....
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