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Advanced .NET Debugging 1st Edition

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321578891
ISBN-10: 0321578899
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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Advanced .NET Debugging


“While the .NET environment provides a developer with a powerful toolbox to accomplish their goals, it can often be a daunting task to debug some of the issues that inevitably crop up during software development. This book provides the crucial details about how the CLR works internally, which you need to know to diagnose many classes of bugs in your .NET programs, and it provides clear examples of how to solve the same types of issues we see our customers struggle with on a daily basis. This book is required reading for all serious .NET developers.”

—Lee Culver, CLR Quick Response Team, Microsoft Corporation


“Have you ever wondered why your .NET application is not responding? Or why it’s intermittently consuming high CPU? Or crashing? When things go wrong you need to think low level, using the proper knowledge and tools to investigate the internals of your application. Advanced .NET Debugging delivers the knowledge necessary to quickly isolate nasty software problems. Welcome to the debugging world!”

—Roberto A. Farah, Senior Premier Field Engineer, Microsoft Corporation


“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 that will benefit developers architecting software. I highly recommend Mario’s book.”

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


“This book talks about tools such as SOS in the kind of depth that I have not seen elsewhere. It’s a definite aid in understanding and debugging managed application behavior.”

—Maoni Stephens, GC Developer, Microsoft Corporation


Advanced .NET Debugging is essential reading for someone who wants to get under the covers and obtain an intimate understanding of how the .NET Common Language Runtime works. It clearly identifies the layout of the system and how the assemblies are loaded and organized. I recommend it to anyone who wants to debug more complex issues brought on by synchronization problems and corruption. It also effectively addresses the difficult task of postmortem debugging.”

—Pat Styles, Microsoft Corporation 

From the Back Cover

“Mario Hewardt'sAdvanced .NET Debuggingis 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. HisAdvanced Windows Debugging(coauthored with Daniel Pravat) is an invaluable resource for native code debugging, andAdvanced .NET Debuggingachieves 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 Debuggingis 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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (November 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321578899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321578891
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #866,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mario Hewardt is a Principal Program Manager in the Application Insights team at Microsoft and author of Advanced Windows Debugging and Advanced .NET Debugging. With nearly two decades at Microsoft, he has worked with the development of Windows starting from Windows 98 up to Windows Vista. With the advent of cloud computing, Mario has worked in the SaaS arena and delivered the Asset Inventory Service as well as leading a team of developers building the core platform for the next generation Microsoft online management service - Windows Intune. Mario has also worked closely with enterprise customers as a Dedicated Developer Premier Field Engineer helping ensure that customers build their solutions on the Microsoft stack in the most efficient and reliable way possible. Mario lives in Washington state with his wife, daughter and two dogs.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By PC on December 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you program for the .NET framework you *need* this book. It helps to take your debugging skills (as well as understanding of the platform) to the next level. How many times in the past have we tried to nail down a particularly tricky bug, and after hours (or days) of pulling at your hair, given up in despair and doubted our worth as a good programmer ? Well, if you have trodden down that path, then I am sure this book will help. I wish to warn you that this is not a book for a beginner nor for the faint-hearted. It will show you the tools, it will show you the way, but you will have to walk that path which begins by buying this book and reading it.

If you already have Advanced Windows Debugging by the same author and have read it, then you should be in good shape to tackle this one. But if you haven't, fear not, you can still make it.

The book is soft-bound, neatly printed in about 500 pages and contains 10 chapters divided into 3 parts. It doesn't weight much and can be easily carried around.

Part 1 consists of 3 chapters. In the first chapter the reader is an introduction to the tools. The 2nd chapter - CLR fundamentals - contrary to its name, is not a high level overview for the newbie. Instead it is a wealth of information for all .NET programmers. No matter how senior a programmer you are, I will bet that you will still learn something (probably a lot) from this chapter. The 3rd chapter - Basic Debugging Tasks - is a bit lengthy (I don't mean that in a bad way) at about 100 pages, helps you get acquainted with the tools and commands.

Part 2 consists of 4 chapters - Assembly Loader, Managed Heap and Garbage Collection, Synchronization and Interoperability. As you might guess from the names, it is pretty advanced.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brian Rasmussen on December 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Advanced .NET Debugging is a great book and a valuable addition to any dedicated .NET developer's toolbox. Not only does it cover the highly useful Debugging Tools for Windows package (the book uses ntsd for all examples, but everything applies to WinDbg as well) and how to debug hard-to-solve problems. It also provides a lot of details on how the .NET runtime works internally. It is well written, easy to read, and full of useful gems. My only complaint is that the examples use debug builds, which may give a somewhat misleading view on how to go about troubleshooting problems in real world applications as release mode builds will usually not have the same amount of details available. However, it still comes highly recommended.

Brian Rasmussen
Microsoft MVP Visual C#
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Roberto A. Farah on December 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
As one of the official reviewers of this book I think this is the deepest .NET debugging book I'm aware of. It teaches how to use WinDbg and other troubleshooting tools to diagnose problems like hangs, crashes and memory leaks coming from .NET applications. The cool thing here is that these techniques are the same techniques used by folks from Microsoft Support!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nipam on February 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for "deep diving" in ocean named ".Net" this is the book. I started reading this book and had couple of queries which I thought of asking author. I got replies to both of my queries within 3 hrs period, yes 3 hrs. I have never seen such dedication by any author to their reader. I wish Mario will help development community by offering more such books in future.
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