This post is the second and final one dedicated to debugging .NET Windows services (you may read the first one here). The inwrap tool (presented in the first part) is not very friendly to use and I myself haven’t used it since then 🙂 It’s not the best advertisement of someone’s own work, but it did motivate me to write another tool which maybe will gain your interest. The winsvcdiag is a simple application that allows you to debug a start of a Windows service from Visual Studio (or any other debugger – even the remote one).
Diagnosing Windows Services might sometimes be cumbersome – especially when errors occur during the service start. In this two-parts series I am going to show you different ways how to handle such problems in production. In the first part we will focus on “exceptions discovery” techniques which very often are enough to figure out why our service is not working. In the second part we will setup a debugging environment and attach a debugger to our service. Let’s start then.
I recently needed to diagnose an interesting problem with one of our Topshelf Windows Services. The service ended in a StopPending state and we needed to kill it in order to make it work again. But before killing the service we collected a process dump for further analysis. In this post I will show you what I read from this dump and how this information might help you better understand your own Topshelf applications.
In this post I will show you how to create a very simple Windows Service (I will call it Musketeer) that will collect information about other processes running on a server. Such a tool might be helpful if you host Windows services on some remote server and you want to store information about their performance in a database for further analysis. This tool might also be a cure if your admins didn’t give you enough privileges to connect the Performance Monitor to the remote server:)